Photographers' Rights

Photographers' Rights At Issue As Arizona Community Rises Up Against "Occupying Army" of Border Patrol Agents

Photographers' Rights At Issue As Arizona Community Rises Up Against "Occupying Army" of Border Patrol Agents

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:10pm
The ACLU of Arizona today sent a letter to the U.S. Border Patrol demanding that the agency immediately stop interfering with the First Amendment rights of the residents of Arivaca, Arizona, to protest and to photograph government activities that are in plain view on a public street.
Hidden Third Cameraman Proves Crucial in Nebraska Photographer-Abuse Case

Hidden Third Cameraman Proves Crucial in Nebraska Photographer-Abuse Case

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:36am

Take a look at the photograph above. It shows a former police officer in an orange jumpsuit making a court appearance to face a felony charge of evidence tampering, as well as misdemeanor obstruction and theft. I hope that police around the nation…

Police Harassment of Photographers Remains a Problem

Police Harassment of Photographers Remains a Problem

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:31pm

It’s been almost two years since we posted our ”Know Your Rights” Guide for Photographers, began calling attention to the problem of police harassment of photographers (including through this video), and began blogging about the issue. And several years before that, our affiliates around the country had already begun filing what have become numerous lawsuits on the issue.

It’s also been nearly two years since the First Circuit Court of Appeals held that the right to film police officers is protected by the First Amendment and that, moreover, that principle is so “fundamental and virtually self-evident” that it should have been known to the police even before the court’s ruling. That ruling was only the most prominent—courts around the country have been pretty much unanimous in finding such a right.

Yet the problem persists.

As Carlos Miller documents on his invaluable site Photography is Not a Crime, incidents of police harassment of photographers (and worse) continue to take place around the country on a daily or near-daily basis.

Why is it so hard for police officers to learn the law? We have seen settlements in some cities in which police department management has sent clear messages to their officers instructing them on the law, but in many cities, not enough has been done to train officers and/or enforce requirements that they abide by the Constitution.

As citizens prepare to gather this Fourth of July for rallies to restore the Fourth Amendment, let’s hope that this First Amendment right is respected as well.

"Ag-Gag" Not Just About Animal Welfare

"Ag-Gag" Not Just About Animal Welfare

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:54am

A story out of Utah this week neatly showcased the rising concerns among civil liberties and press freedom groups around so-called "ag-gag" laws, which, in various ways, make it illegal to document animal abuse on factory farms and other agricultural…

ACLU Sues Over Abuse Of Photographers By Border Patrol Agents

ACLU Sues Over Abuse Of Photographers By Border Patrol Agents

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:42pm

The ACLU of San Diego filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) for violating the constitutional rights of two photographers, and for maintaining an official policy prohibiting the use of cameras and video recorders…

NYCLU Report from OWS Anniversary Protests

NYCLU Report from OWS Anniversary Protests

By Katherine Bromberg, Occupy Wall Street Coordinator, NYCLU at 5:43pm

Approximately 3,000 protesters from across the country amassed in New York City’s financial district to celebrate Occupy Wall Street’s one year anniversary.  Refusing to be deterred by the barricades and checkpoints that precluded…

New Public Safety Broadband Network: Tool For A Domestic Secret Police?

New Public Safety Broadband Network: Tool For A Domestic Secret Police?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 6:19pm

Police in Tampa used smartphones and tablets to spy on protesters at the Republican National Convention, according to a report today from the National Journal.

Smartphones have proven to be an excellent tool for empowering individuals faced…

Two More Days to Vote for ACLU SXSW Panels!

Two More Days to Vote for ACLU SXSW Panels!

By Ateqah Khaki at 1:22pm

The ACLU is hoping to be at South by SouthWest next March, and we need your help! We’ve submitted four panel pitches (one, two, three and four) for SXSW Interactive, and there are two days left for the public to vote for and comment on the…

At the RNC? Know Your Rights!

At the RNC? Know Your Rights!

By Ateqah Khaki at 6:09pm

After a brief weather-related delay, the 2012 Republic National Convention is finally getting underway. Although crowds of protestors are smaller than initially expected, as we recently pointed out, in past years, political conventions have sometimes…

First Amendment Violations to Watch for at the RNC and DNC

First Amendment Violations to Watch for at the RNC and DNC

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:11am

We know that photographers have been having problems all over the country with police harassment, and that demonstrators’ free speech rights have also been under assault. But with the Democratic and Republican political conventions coming up,…

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