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Boston Globe v. Department of Public Health

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  1. Freedom of Information

The Reporters Committee and 8 media organizations filed an amicus brief in support of the Boston Globe in Boston Globe v. Department of Public Health before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The Department denied the Globe’s request for the data on all birth and marriage certificates, which are publicly available on an individual basis if one goes to the Department. The trial court ruled in favor of Department, explaining that the database is exempt from disclosure because it would be an unwarranted invasion of privacy. The Boston Globe appealed.  RCFP’s amicus brief argues that the Department failed to show that privacy concerns justified the withholding of the database, and that the costs of obtaining each of the records in person could be prohibitive for many reporters, including student journalists and freelancers. The Boston University Tech & Cyberlaw Clinic represented the Reporters Committee on the brief.

2018-12-21 brief amici curiae media organizations