A federal magistrate’s order that stops a Web site from routinely tossing relevant data could, if replicated, carry broad e-discovery implications.

Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian’s ruling in late spring required TorrentSpy, a widely used indexing Web site that provides users with forums for comment and operates on a peer-to-peer protocol, to turn over customer data only ephemerally kept in its computers’ random access memory, or “RAM.” The ruling could result in floods of similar requests in other civil cases, according to Ira Rothken, the Novato, CA-based, attorney for the TorrentSpy Web site.

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