EFF Says First Amendment Protects Links To Leaked Corporate Documents - InformationWeek
Business & Finance
09:58 AM
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

EFF Says First Amendment Protects Links To Leaked Corporate Documents

The Electronic Frontier Foundation claims that a writer has a right to link from a public wiki to electronic copies of Eli Lilly documents showing side effects of a drug.

An advocacy group claims the First Amendment allows citizen journalists to link from public Web pages to electronic copies of damaging internal documents.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation claims that an anonymous writer has a right to link from a public wiki to electronic copies of Eli Lilly documents showing side effects of Zyprexa, a drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Federal District Court Judge Jack Weinstein ordered Web publishers to stop publishing the material and scheduled another court appearance in San Francisco for next week.

"Preventing a citizen-journalist from posting links to important health information on a public wiki violates the First Amendment," EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann said in a prepared statement. "Eli Lilly's efforts to censor these documents off the Internet are particularly outrageous in light of the information reported by The New York Times, which suggests that doctors and patients who use Zyprexa need to know the information contained in those documents."

The EFF said media reports showed that the leaked Eli Lilly documents, from a liability lawsuit, contained evidence that the company downplayed the drug's side effects, including weight gain, high blood sugar, and diabetes, while marketing the drug for uses the Food and Drug Administration didn't approve.

The pharmaceutical company issued a statement to refute the article published by The New York Times, saying that the death of a patient profiled in the newspaper could not be attributed to any single factor, including medication.

"Millions of patients around the world have benefited from Zyprexa and Lilly is concerned that this tragic story about a single patient could unnecessarily frighten people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and cause them to discontinue their medication without first consulting a physician," the company stated Thursday, the same day it also announced a settlement in a Zyprexa liability lawsuit.

In all, Eli Lilly has agreed to pay up to $1.2 billion to settle claims relating to the drug. The company maintained in its prepared statement that the patient who died had a complicated medical history, as do many patients with schizophrenia. It pointed out that the FDA has approved the drug and said that patient safety is Eli Lilly's first priority.

EFF claims that several citizen journalists contributed to an in-depth analysis on the wiki, which explained that the company deliberately created a marketing campaign to downplay the risk of diabetes in patients taking Zyprexa.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll