911 calls

Google v. CNIL (CJEU)

November 29, 2017

The Reporters Committee, on behalf of a coalition of 24 media organizations, filed a Statement in the Court of Justice of the European Union, which is considering a request for a preliminary ruling lodged by the French high court in Google v. CNIL.  The referred case concerns Google's challenge to an order issued by the French data protection authority requiring Google to delist certain articles from its search results on Google domains worldwide.  The coalition argued that Google should not be required to delist search results globally, and that global application of the "right to be forgotten" is incompatible with fundamental rights and freedoms and international law. The coalition brief was written with attorneys from WilmerHale. The coalition's brief is also available in the as-filed French version.

State legislatures seek to exempt police body camera footage from open records laws

Freedom of Information | Commentary | April 1, 2015
April 1, 2015

Hannah Bloch-Wehba and Adam Marshall

Dozens of state legislatures across the United States are considering legislation that would exempt footage from police body-worn cameras, or "bodycams," from disclosure under state open records laws, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has learned. Though the new technology is supposed to enhance transparency and accountability, the proposed measures may actually increase secrecy.

Maine Today Media Inc., d/b/a Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram v. State of Maine

June 27, 2013

Maine Today Media sought access to 911 records concerning a landlord-tenant dispute that turned deadly. Despite a presumption that 911 records are subject to disclosure, a trial court ruled that the state could withhold the records based on fears that if the records were disclosed, it could potentially harm witness testimony at the criminal trial. On appeal, Maine Today Media argued that the state had failed to demonstrate that such harm was possible.

Reporters Committee releases guide to legal issues in covering Ohio school shooting

Press Release | March 5, 2012
March 5, 2012

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has put together a guide on some of the legal issues that journalists covering the Ohio school shooting may encounter. The guide is available on the Reporters Committee web site, and covers primarily freedom-of-information and court-access issues.

Pa. court orders addresses of 911 calls must be released

Christine Beckett | Freedom of Information | Feature | February 17, 2011
February 17, 2011

A Pennsylvania appeals court held Wednesday that the destination addresses -- or nearby cross streets -- linked with 911 time response reports must be released under state public records laws. The ruling in York County v. Pennsylvania Office of Open Records overturns a lower court decision that held that the state Office of Open Records was wrong to order the addresses released.

Alabama governor signs bill restricting access to 911 calls

Miranda Fleschert | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | April 28, 2010
April 28, 2010

Alabama governor Bob Riley signed legislation into law Tuesday that exempts 911 recordings from being released to the public under the state's public-records laws,  and instead requires a court order to compel their disclosure.

Under the new law, in order for a court to order the release of 911 audio tapes, it must find that the public's interest in disclosure outweighs the privacy interest of the person making the call, The Associated Press reported.

Alabama passes bill to exempt 911 calls from open-records law

Curry Andrews | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | April 19, 2010
April 19, 2010

The Alabama Senate passed a bill last week that would make the audio recordings of 911 calls exempt from state open records laws, the Florence Times Daily reported.

H.B. 159 was sent to Gov. Bob Riley for signing on April 14, 2010.

Florida leaders halt state effort to ban release of 911 recordings

Curry Andrews | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | March 17, 2010
March 17, 2010

A measure to make all emergency dispatcher recordings private in Florida was sidelined on Monday when a state legislator revoked his support, The Miami Herald reported.

When the bill was approved by an initial House committee last week, it had the support of House Speaker Larry Cretul. Cretful then decided to "take a breather on the issue" after speaking with colleagues and media representatives. His decision came on the first day of national Sunshine Week.

States push to exempt 911 calls from records laws

Curry Andrews | Freedom of Information | Feature | March 12, 2010
March 12, 2010

A decade ago, reporters could expect to have access to 911 calls to file accurate stories, gain insight into crimes and monitor emergency response time -- but more and more states are pushing for that to change.

Alabama, Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida are among the states that have proposed legislation to limit the media's access to emergency-call recordings. The specifics of the bills are different but the intentions are the same. Open-government advocates say the trend is a worrying shift away from transparency.

Ohio bill would prohibit broadcasting of 911 calls

Amanda Becker | Newsgathering | Quicklink | December 29, 2009
December 29, 2009

Two Ohio state senators have proposed a bill that would prohibit the broadcasting of 911 telephone calls and levy a $10,000 fine for infractions.

The Society of Professional Journalists wrote a letter to the bill co-sponsors urging them to reconsider the proposed measure, saying it would diminish the media's ability to report on breaking events.