Appeals court rules government must release drone memo

Emily Grannis | Freedom of Information | News | April 25, 2014
April 25, 2014

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Department of Justice must release a memo on the legal basis for using drone strikes to kill American citizens abroad.

The New York Times made Freedom of Information Act requests in 2010 for opinions or memos from the Office of Legal Counsel "that address the legal status of targeted killings" and those OLC memos analyzing when it would be legal for U.S. military or intelligence agencies to target a U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist.

CIA must acknowledge records of drone strike program, appellate court rules

Lilly Chapa | Freedom of Information | News | March 19, 2013
March 19, 2013

The CIA cannot refuse to search for records about U.S. drone strikes on the grounds that acknowledging the existence of the records would harm national security, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. ruled.

N.Y. court orders Twitter to turn over user information in criminal case

Amanda Simmons | Privacy | News | July 3, 2012
July 3, 2012

A New York criminal court ruled that prosecutors seeking information about a defendant’s Internet activity can subpoena third-party online service provider Twitter. The request is not a government intrusion under the Fourth Amendment, he held, but a federal law requires a search warrant for some recent information.

Federal appeals court rules government may withhold CIA interrogation, waterboarding records

Amanda Simmons | Freedom of Information | News | May 22, 2012
May 22, 2012

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that the government may withhold certain records relating to the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques – including waterboarding – from public disclosure under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

First Amendment prevents prosecution for recording police performance of public duties

Chris Healy | Newsgathering | News | May 8, 2012
May 8, 2012

The Illinois Eavesdropping Act, one of the broadest restrictions on audio recording nationwide, is likely unconstitutional and may not be enforced against the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois when it records conversations of police officers openly engaged in their public duties, a federal appellate court ruled today.

Police do not intend to enforce Illinois eavesdropping law during NATO summit

Rachel Bunn | Newsgathering | News | April 30, 2012
April 30, 2012

Journalists opposing the controversial Illinois eavesdropping statute expressed relief when a Chicago official announced that police do not plan to enforce the law when the city hosts the NATO summit in May. A state representative also introduced a bill last week to make it legal to audio record police officers in public.

Louisiana man arrested for criminal defamation of police chief can press wrongful arrest suit

Andrea Papagianis | Libel | Feature | March 23, 2012
March 23, 2012

A U.S. District Court judge ruled that a civil lawsuit can continue against a Louisiana police chief and four officers accused of violating a former officer's constitutional rights. The court declined to dismiss the civil rights case against the officers who arrested the police veteran for criticizing the chief in email messages to a local newspaper.

Bill to rescind penalty for taping police officers fails, while state seeks to withdraw appeal in recording case

Chris Healy | Newsgathering | Feature | March 22, 2012
March 22, 2012

A bill in the Illinois House of Representatives that would have created an exemption from criminal liability under the state's broad eavesdropping law was defeated by a vote of 59-45. HB 3944 would have decriminalized the recording of police officers publicly engaged in their public duties.

"We always knew this would be a heavy lift, and I guess it was heavier than we thought," said state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, the chief sponsor of the bill.

Illinois defamation suit not dismissible on anti-SLAPP

Rachel Bunn | Libel | Feature | January 24, 2012
January 24, 2012

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a defamation suit filed by a high school basketball coach against about a dozen critics is not subject for dismissal under Illinois’ Citizen Participation Act, a statue aimed to prevent Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP).

Boston police admit arrest for videotaping was wrong

Andrea Papagianis | Newsgathering | Feature | January 12, 2012
January 12, 2012

After standing by their officers for four years, the Boston Police Department admitted officers were wrong when they arrested attorney Simon Glik for filming an arrest of a young man with his cell phone.