Friday, February 16, 2007

US Federal Court limits police surveillance of protests

A federal court judge in New York has delivered a strong rejection the practice of routine law enforcement video taping of protests unless there is actual reason to believe that illegal acts will be comitted.

Judge Limits New York Police Taping - New York Times

In a rebuke of a surveillance practice greatly expanded by the New York Police Department after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal judge ruled yesterday that the police must stop the routine videotaping of people at public gatherings unless there is an indication that unlawful activity may occur.

Four years ago, at the request of the city, the same judge, Charles S. Haight Jr., gave the police greater authority to investigate political, social and religious groups.

In yesterday’s ruling, Judge Haight, of United States District Court in Manhattan, found that by videotaping people who were exercising their right to free speech and breaking no laws, the Police Department had ignored the milder limits he had imposed on it in 2003....


From Boing Boing.

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