PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display

ACLU vs. NSA: Standing to Challenge NSA Warrantless Wiretapping

Standing 01

In ACLU v. NSA, –F.3d — (6th Cir. 2007), a panel from the 6th Circuit held that the ACLU and other plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). NYT coverage is here. According to the sketchy details known about the program, the court noted, […]

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The Steven Hatfill Case, Law Enforcement Leaks, and Journalist Privilege

Police Officer on Cell Phone

It seems to happen way too often. Despite policies and laws that forbid law enforcement officials from mentioning the names of suspects who are not yet formally accused or even arrested, leaks invariably seem to happen. The leaks can wreak havoc in the lives of those whose names are mentioned. Many of these people wind […]

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How Much Does the First Amendment Limit Juror Privacy?

Law The_Jury_by_John_Morgan

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a recent decision — Commonwealth v. Long, — A.2d —-, 2007 WL 1574157 (Pa. 2007) — concluded that the First Amendment requires public disclosure of jurors’ names. This is an issue that the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet addressed. According to the court: […]

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Anuj Desai on the Post Office and the First Amendment

Post Office and Privacy

Professor Anuj Desai (U. Wisconsin Law School) has posted his forthcoming article, The Transformation of Statutes into Constitutional Law: How Early Post Office Policy Shaped Modern First Amendment Doctrine, on SSRN. Anuj’s paper is a fascinating history of the early Post Office and how statutory protection of letters influenced constitutional law. From the abstract: […]

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Can the First Amendment Serve as a Source of Criminal Procedure?

Constitution First Amendment

Typically, when we think of the constitutional criminal procedure that regulates government information gathering, we think of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. But many government investigations involve collecting information about speech, association, religion, and the consumption of ideas. The NSA surveillance of telephone calls, for example, involves speech. National Security Letters can be used to […]

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NSA Surveillance and the First Amendment

First Amendment

Earlier today, a federal district judge struck down the Bush Administration’s NSA surveillance program which involved intercepting international electronic communications without a warrant. The opinion is available here. I have not had time to read the opinion carefully yet, but I am especially intrigued by the court’s use of the First Amendment as one of the […]

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NYC Subway Searches

Subway

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit recently upheld New York City’s program of random searches at subways. The case is McWade v. Kelly, No. 05 6754 CV (2d Cir. 2006). The program was initiated after the London subway bombing. Back in December, 2005, a federal district court upheld the searches, which are conducted […]

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A Victory for Anonymous Blogging

Anonymity

Anonymous bloggers received a great victory this week in a case decided by the Delaware Supreme Court — Doe v. Cahill (Oct. 5, 2005). The case involved John Doe, who anonymously posted on a blog statements about Patrick Cahill, a City Councilman of Smyrna, Delaware. Doe, in criticizing Cahill’s job performance, noted that Cahill had “obvious mental […]

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California’s Tougher Anti-Paparazzi Law and the First Amendment

Paparazzi

Recently, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law that toughened California’s Anti-Paparazzi Act, Cal. Civ. Code §1708.8. The original act was passed in 1998 in response to Princess Diana’s death, which was caused when her car was fleeing aggressive paparazzi. […]

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The Washingtonienne Case and the Still-Very-Much-Alive Public Disclosure Tort

Washingtonienne Case

Earlier this summer, I blogged about the Washingtonienne case. Recently law professor Andrew McClurg wrote a piece for the Washington Post about the case. He writes: Cutler’s blog, written under the pseudonym Washingtonienne, was a daily diary of her sex life while working as a staffer for Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio). It recounted, entertainingly and […]

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