On Thursday, the Technology and Press Freedom Projects Linda Moon will join Digital Strategist Tim Schwartz, author of A Public Service: Whistleblowing, Disclosure, and Anonymity, for a webinar dedicated to unpacking the rights of journalists and content producers during times of pandemic and protest. The webinar, hosted by Alley, a digital consulting firm, will explore strategies to help journalists safely document protests and police brutality and work with sources securely and remotely. Register for the webinarhere.
Also, the First Amendment Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law is hiring alegal fellowfor the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years. The fellow will work with Reporters Committee attorneys Gabe Rottman and Jennifer Nelson, who administer the Clinic.
Heres what the staff of the Technology and Press Freedom Project at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is tracking this week.
A journalist has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming police violated his federal and state constitutional rights, including the right to record police activity in public, after he was tackled and arrested while covering aJune 1 Black Lives Matter protestin Asbury Park, New Jersey.
According to a filingin the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Gustavo Martnez Contreras, a reporter for the Asbury Park Press, waslive-streaming the protestwhen he noticed police officers violently arrest two teenagers. The reporter was backing away from the scene, per instructions by the officers, but continued to record.
As documented in footage from the reporter and police body-worn cameras, officers then swore at Martnez Contreras, slapped his phone out of his hand, tackled him, and arrested him. The filing alleges that an officer later asked about the badge the journalist was wearing around his neck, which showed his press credentials, and that Martnez Contreras identified himself as a reporter on four other occasions.
The complaint, filed on July 13, notes that reporters rights must be as ingrained in policing as Miranda rights, and asks the court to order police not to interfere with First Amendment activities in the future. It also asks that the court require law enforcement to change their policies to prevent such interference, and for unspecified damages.
A press badge should not be a bullseye, the filing reads. Reporters should not be in danger of violence or arrest at the hands of the police seeking to silence their reports on public protests especially where those reports cover police violence against civilians protesting peacefully against police misconduct.
The same day the suit was filed, the Reporters Committeesent a letterto New Jersey officials protesting a local prosecutors reliance on Reporters Committee resources to clear the officers who arrested Martnez Contreras of wrongdoing.
Ininvestigative findingsreleased on June 8, the Monmouth County prosecutors office, which covers Asbury Park, claimed that the officers reasonably believed Martnez Contreras was a protester disobeying a lawful order. The report further claimed that the officers did not know Martnez Contreras was a reporter because he was allegedly not wearing bright clothing. The prosecutors office cited the Reporters Committeesguideandtip sheetfor journalists covering protests, which only provide practical safety advice, including that journalists should try not to wear clothing that matches what protesters are wearing.
The relevant legal standard, however, is whether officers reasonably should have known that Martnez Contreras was a reporter. The letter thus argues that the Reporters Committees resources do not support the prosecutors arguments, and asks that the findings be updated accordingly.
NPR recentlyreportedthat foreign nationals working for Voice of America and other U.S. international broadcasters may not have their visas extended upon expiration, raisingfurther concernsover theeditorial independenceof VOA and its sister services. A decision not to renew these visas could impact dozens of employees, some of whom could face retaliation for their reporting if forced to return to their home countries.
The video app TikTok said it received500 demands for user datafrom governments in the first half of the year, up 67 percent from the second half of 2019. Most demands came from India which has since banned the app. The company reported that none of the demands were from China, the home of TikToks parent company. Reporters at theWashington Postrecently analyzed the data TikTok collects from users.
Verizon recentlylauncheda feature called Number Lock to provide added security to its customers. Number Lock allows users to prevent scammers from SIM swapping, or transferring a users number to another carrier in order to take control of bank, email, and social media accounts.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has announcedan investigationwithin the Pentagon to weed out leakers, while White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadowsreportedly told some staffersthat he has fed information to suspected leakers to determine whether they then pass the information to the media. The inquiry comes in the wake of disclosures that led to reports of Russia offering bounties to Afghan militants for killing American troops.
On Thursday, Twitterreportedthat it was the target of a coordinated social engineering attack, which resulted in the accounts of hundreds of popular users posting spam-like messages about crypto currency. The company said the breach was conducted by unspecified individuals who targeted company employees with access to sensitive internal administrative systems.
Adeep diveby Voxs Recode explores the development and future of smartphone trackers, which can extract and aggregate data from a wide variety of apps.
Thisanalysisfrom the Columbia Journalism Review details the lengths media organizations have gone to in order to obtain and disseminate accurate data about COVID-19. Many news outlets have sued local officials for access to data, while others have created their own statistical tools to provide a complete picture of the pandemic in the absence of similar government resources.
Gif of the Week:Many quick hits this week remind us that cell phones can raise paw-sonal privacy issues.
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The Technology and Press Freedom Project at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press uses integrated advocacy combining the law, policy analysis, and public education to defend and promote press rights on issues at the intersection of technology and press freedom, such as reporter-source confidentiality protections, electronic surveillance law and policy, and content regulation online and in other media. TPFP is directed by Reporters Committee Attorney Gabe Rottman. He works with Stanton Foundation National Security/Free Press Fellow Linda Moon, Legal Fellows Jordan Murov-Goodman and Lyndsey Wajert, Policy Interns Abe Kenmore and Joey Oteng, and Legal Intern Sasha Peters.
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This Week in Technology + Press Freedom: July 19, 2020 - Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
- I'm a First Amendment scholar and I think Big Tech should be left alone - The Conversation US - January 23rd, 2021
- Letter to the editor: Put the First Amendment first - Daily Mississippian - January 23rd, 2021
- Napolitano: Does the First Amendment restrain Big Tech? - Daily Herald - January 23rd, 2021
- Do Critics of Police Have the First Amendment Procedural Protections That Nazis Get? - Reason - January 23rd, 2021
- Ask the expert: The First Amendment and free speech - MSUToday - January 23rd, 2021
- Letter: To everyone, including friends and family members, who feel First Amendment rights are being denied - Sumter Item - January 23rd, 2021
- Knight Institute Urges Supreme Court To Preserve Ruling That Trump Violated First Amendment 01/25/2021 - MediaPost Communications - January 23rd, 2021
- Do Social Media Companies Have Too Much Power Over The First Amendment? - WFAE - January 23rd, 2021
- What the First Amendment Really Says About Whether Trump Incited the Capitol Riot - Slate - January 23rd, 2021
- Ask the Lawyer: There is no First Amendment right to social media use - The Oakland Press - January 23rd, 2021
- Permit Requirements for Filming in National Parks Violate First Amendment - Reason - January 23rd, 2021
- Does the First Amendment protect you on social media? - RADIO.COM - January 23rd, 2021
- Simpson sues Board of Elections, claims dismissal violated First Amendment rights - Greensboro News & Record - January 23rd, 2021
- What does the day after Section 230 reform look like? - Brookings Institution - January 23rd, 2021
- Twitter and Facebook Just Proved That Deplatforming Works - The Nation - January 23rd, 2021
- Afternoon Briefs: SCOTUS will consider cheerleader's First Amendment case; former AG dies at 88 - ABA Journal - January 5th, 2021
- No Blanket Protection for Internet Platforms - The Wall Street Journal - January 5th, 2021
- Walsh Vetoes Ordinance That Would Restrict Police Use Of Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets - WBUR - January 5th, 2021
- Happy new and old year: 2020 just won't go away when it comes to first amendment issues in 2021 - Hopkinsville Kentucky New Era - January 5th, 2021
- Far-Right VA State Senator Claims huge victory for the First Amendment and for open access to government for all Virginians. Except That the Court... - January 5th, 2021
- Will You Save Money On Hospital Bills With New Price Transparency Rule? : Shots - Health News - NPR - January 5th, 2021
- "I am asking Washingtonians and those who live in the region to stay out of the downtown area on Tuesday and Wednesday and not to engage with... - January 5th, 2021
- Julian Assange Extradition to U.S. Blocked Over Mental Health Concerns - The New York Times - January 5th, 2021
- The First Amendment is under siege and most Americans know it - The Central New York Business Journal - December 30th, 2020
- First Circuit Creates Exception To Massachusetts Wiretap Statute Based On First Amendment Rights, Allows Citizens And Press To Record Police Activity... - December 30th, 2020
- First Circuit Appeals Court Reaffirms Its 2011 Decision: The First Amendment Protects The Recording Of Cops - Techdirt - December 30th, 2020
- New Year's Eve In The Year Of The Coronavirus - The Rhino Times of Greensboro - The Rhino TImes - December 30th, 2020
- On Religion: COVID was year's top religion story. But which story? - Tahlequah Daily Press - December 30th, 2020
- How Lin Wood Became a Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theorist - The New York Times - December 30th, 2020
- The Year That Changed the Internet - The Atlantic - December 30th, 2020
- Section 230 Isn't A Subsidy; It's A Rule Of Civil Procedure - Techdirt - December 30th, 2020
- 7 Recommendations for the New Year - Contracting Business - December 30th, 2020
- Smith: Small steps to bring hope and wonder - The Register-Guard - December 30th, 2020
- Court Enjoins Enforcement of Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping Executive Order for Federal Contractors and Grantees - JD Supra - December 30th, 2020
- COOMBES: Put the First Amendment first - University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily - October 12th, 2020
- Did the First Amendment to the Constitution lay the foundation for an authoritarian state? - The Indian Express - October 12th, 2020
- First Amendment Right to Record Child-Protection Visit to Your Home - Reason - October 12th, 2020
- First Amendment scholars weigh in on legality of Terminal Tower Biden Harris light display - cleveland.com - October 12th, 2020
- Use of Trademarks in Creative Works & Lanham Act Liability - The National Law Review - October 12th, 2020
- 'Introduction to the First Amendment Museum' topic of presentation - Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel - October 12th, 2020
- Judge amy coney barrett and the First Amendment - Lexology - October 12th, 2020
- A vote for Trump is a vote against the First Amendment - Poughkeepsie Journal - October 12th, 2020
- Trump Admin. Says First Amendment Is Moot In WeChat Case - Law360 - October 12th, 2020
- You Shouldn't Get Sued for Petitioning the Government - Cato Institute - October 12th, 2020
- Reporters Committee welcomes Inasmuch Foundation Legal Fellow - Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press - October 12th, 2020
- FIRST 5: Trump and COVID-19 -- How 'free' are/should we be? - Salina Post - October 12th, 2020
- Candidates and voters alike suffer as yard signs are targeted for theft and vandalism - Burlington Hawk Eye - October 12th, 2020
- Letters to the Editor: The First Amendment in Rio Rancho - Albuquerque Journal - September 21st, 2020
- Texas A&M University Introduces First Amendment Website - Texas A&M University Today - September 21st, 2020
- Attorney on first amendment rights of protesters: The government must protect these rights - RochesterFirst - September 21st, 2020
- Polk County GOP chairperson gathering signatures in support of a Second Amendment Designated County - Grand Forks Herald - September 21st, 2020
- Health officials urge people who attended Trump rally on Saturday to get tested for coronavirus - The Fayetteville Observer - September 21st, 2020
- Potsdam 'toilet gardens' will stay, for now, as federal judge grants injunction in toilet case - NNY360 - September 21st, 2020
- This Week at The Ninth: Informational Injury and Union Dues - JD Supra - September 21st, 2020
- Even with a Recent Lag, Special Interest PACs Enjoy Big Fundraising Edge Over Parties - InsiderNJ - September 21st, 2020
- Readers respond: Racists coming out of the woodwork - oregonlive.com - September 21st, 2020
- WeChat and TikTok Sanctions Not to Came Into Effect Yesterday - JD Supra - September 21st, 2020
- The Oklahoma Meat Consumer Protection Act is Meat Lobby's Response to the Increased Consumer Demand for Plant-Based Options - vegconomist - the vegan... - September 21st, 2020
- Army esports team denies accusations of violating First Amendment, offering fake giveaways - ArmyTimes.com - July 21st, 2020
- FIRST FIVE: Fighting over the meaning of First Amendment freedoms - hays Post - July 21st, 2020
- My View: In Provincetown, strange views of the First Amendment - Wicked Local Provincetown - July 21st, 2020
- John Bolton Gambles That Constitution Will Save Profits on Book That Was Embarrassing to the President - Law & Crime - July 21st, 2020
- Second Circuit Wrecks All Sorts Of First Amendment Protections To Keep Lawsuit Against Joy Reid Alive - Techdirt - July 21st, 2020
- Editorial A flushtrated community: Potsdam trampling on First Amendment rights of toilet artist - NNY360 - July 21st, 2020
- Churchill: Troy preacher has the right to offend - Times Union - July 21st, 2020
- More conferences cancel fall sports and other COVID-19 news - Inside Higher Ed - July 21st, 2020
- First Amendment on the street | Opinion | dailyitem.com - Sunbury Daily Item - June 30th, 2020
- Taking a cellphone video of police? Theres a First Amendment for that - Seattle Times - June 30th, 2020
- First Amendment Bars California from Requiring a Proposition 65 Glyphosate Warning - JD Supra - June 30th, 2020
- Read the First Amendment | Letters To The Editor - The Central Virginian - June 30th, 2020
- First Amendment right to protest is in jeopardy in Jacksonville - The Florida Times-Union - June 30th, 2020
- Pence says First Amendment is why Trump campaign held Tulsa rally despite local health officials' warnings - Yahoo News - June 30th, 2020
- Supreme Court hands win to religious schools | TheHill - The Hill - June 30th, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: Remember and Defend the First Amendment - Dana Point Times - June 20th, 2020
- Another look at the First Amendment | Opinion - Franklin News Post - June 20th, 2020
- Death threats protected by First Amendment, attorney says - Alpena News - June 20th, 2020
- Really Pathetic: First Amendment Expert Torches DOJ Efforts to Stop John Bolton Book - Law & Crime - June 20th, 2020
- The First Amendment protects attorneys from compelled speech | TheHill - The Hill - June 17th, 2020
- Protesters are protected by the First Amendment and will not be cited any violations if they remain peaceful - WATN - Local 24 - June 17th, 2020
- Dear Journal: That's some amendment, that First Amendment; let's use it - The Daily World - June 17th, 2020