Michael McNeely makes phone calls for Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp with other volunteers and staff at Kemp's campaign office during a phone banking event in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Are Political Robocalls Protected Under the First Amendment?

September 10, 2019 The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a Montana law banning political robocalling violated the First Amendment because it regulated speech based on its content. The case was brought by Victory Processing, a political consulting business, which says that the state’s law prevented them from using automated telephone calls to convey political[Read More…]

September 13, 2019 Privacy, Top Stories
Oregon Reporters Face Possible Criminal Investigation For Contacting Public Officials

Oregon Reporters Face Possible Criminal Investigation For Contacting Public Officials

August 19, 2019 After months reporting on a local politician’s contract work in Malheur County, journalists at a small newspaper in eastern Oregon now face a possible criminal investigation for their conduct.   According to The Washington Post, the Malheur Enterprise is being investigated for harassment because State Rep. Greg Smith, the lawmaker at the heart of their reporting, complained that[Read More…]

August 20, 2019 Privacy, Top Stories
An Americans for Prosperity banner is seen during an event in Manchester, New Hampshire, July 22, 2015. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter

Advocacy Group Sues New Jersey Officials Over New Law They Allege Violates The First Amendment

June 25, 2019 The New Jersey Attorney General and three state election enforcement officials are being sued by Americans for Prosperity (AFP), over allegations that a new state law imposing disclosure requirements on advocacy groups violates the First Amendment. Last month, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a revised version of the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditure[Read More…]

LAPD Sgt. Roger Nunez wears the new body cameras to be used by the Los Angeles Police Department. August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Al Seib/Pool

South Carolina Supreme Court Overturns Order That Barred Disclosure of Police Body-Camera Footage

  June 27, 2019: Breaking News Update South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty vacated the order that would have prohibited lawyers from sharing police body-camera footage. The judge objected to the administrative order because it affects “the operation of the courts” and was issued without prior approval. June 26, 2019 Circuit court judges in Greenville County, South Carolina[Read More…]

June 27, 2019 Below the Fold, News Gathering, Privacy
Los Angeles Times Building (source: Wikipedia)

Judge Issues Protective Order for LA Times Reporters in Ongoing Lawsuit Against LA County

June 24, 2019 A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that journalists at the Los Angeles Times do not have to disclose the identities of their sources or turn over unpublished material they gathered during the course of their reporting. Under California’s Shield Law, journalists are protected from being forced to reveal confidential sources or to turn over unpublished information[Read More…]

June 26, 2019 News Gathering, Privacy
Police officers in San Francisco, California, U.S. June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

San Francisco Police Chief Apologizes For Raid On Journalist’s Home and Office

Police raided the home and office of a San Francisco freelance videographer in connection with an investigation over a leaked police report. The freelancer, Bryan Carmody, had received the leaked report which included salacious details of the events surrounding the sudden death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. First Amendment advocates contend that the search violates California Shield Law.

May 28, 2019 Privacy
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with the Governor of Missouri Mike Parson as he arrives in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Missouri Attorney General Changes His Mind About Exceptions to Sunshine Laws

August 21, 2019: “Very Limited Instances” When Privacy Can Be Used to Withhold Government Records, says Missouri Attorney General. On August 20, 2019, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt submitted a legal brief in which he argued that the First Amendment could protect public officials who refused to release public information, if those records had information about private citizens. Missouri Governor[Read More…]

May 13, 2019 Privacy
New York Fair Trial Free Press Conference

New York Fair Trial Free Press Conference

Every year, the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) convenes a panel of journalists, judges, and lawyers to discuss a hypothetical case involving free speech, the freedom of the press, and citizens’ right to a fair trial. In October, 2018 the program explored a hypothetical case in which an incumbent Governor who’s running for reelection, is going through a contentious[Read More…]

A test text message of the Presidential Alert, National Wireless Emergency Alert System is seen on a mobile phone in New York City, New York, U.S. October 3, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Could The Presidential Text Message Alert System Violate The First Amendment? Lawsuit Says Yes

October 3, 2018: Judge Denies Plaintiffs’ Request Three people fought back against the first-ever national presidential text message alert system in the hopes of stopping a scheduled system test that went into effect yesterday afternoon. The plaintiffs, suing President Trump and a FEMA administrator in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, argued that the alert system violates their First Amendment and[Read More…]

October 4, 2018 Privacy
Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, stands in court during his trial against Gawker Media, in St Petersburg, Florida March 17, 2016.  New York based media company Gawker is being sued for $100 million by wrestling celebrity Hogan, who says the release of a sex tape violated his privacy.  REUTERS/Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/Pool via Reuters

Hulk Hogan v. Gawker: Invasion of Privacy & Free Speech in a Digital World

Hulk Hogan, a former wrestler whose real name is Terry Bolleau, sued Gawker Media for invasion of privacy after it published a sex tape of him and friend’s wife. Hogan’s suit was financially backed by Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who’d been been outed as being gay by Gawker. A jury awarded a $140 million judgement to Hogan. Gawker initially[Read More…]

August 30, 2018 Deep Dive, Privacy