Posts tagged with ‘ACLU’
The CIA recently rejected an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request for documents that disclose the US government’s guidelines for targeting US citizens and foreign nationals with drone attacks.
In its response to the ACLU request, the CIA wrote that “it can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to this request without compromising national security concerns.”
Take it away, Glenn Greenwald:
Numerous Obama officials — including the President himself and the CIA Director — have repeatedly boasted in public about this very program. Obama recently hailed the CIA drone program by claiming that “we are very careful in terms of how it’s been applied,” and added that it is “a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases and so on.” Obama has told playful jokes about the same drone program. Former CIA Director and current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also likes to tell cute little jokes about CIA Predator drones, and then proclaimed in December that the drone program has “been very effective at undermining al Qaeda and their ability to plan those kinds of attacks.” Just two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech purporting to legally justify these same drone attacks…
… Everyone in the world knows the CIA has a drone program. It is openly discussed everywhere, certainly including the multiple Muslim countries where the drones routinely create piles of corpses, and by top U.S. Government officials themselves.
But then when it comes time to test the accuracy of their public claims by requesting the most basic information about what is done and how execution targets are selected, and when it comes time to ask courts to adjudicate its legality, then suddenly National Security imperatives prevent the government even from confirming or denying the existence of the program: the very same program they’ve been publicly boasting and joking about. As the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer put it after Obama publicly defended the program: “At this point, the only consequence of pretending that it’s a secret program is that the courts don’t play a role in overseeing it” – that, and ensuring that any facts that contradict these public claims remain concealed.
Nine organization have now filed an Amicus — or friends of the court — brief to support an ACLU appeal against the CIA’s refusal to disclose documents that explain “when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, and how the United States ensures compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killing.”
The organizations signing the brief are:
- Bureau of Investigative Journalism
- Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict
- Center for Constitutional Rights
- Center on National Security at Fordham Law School
- The Constitution Project
- First Amendment Coalition
- Human Rights Watch
- International Commission of Jurists
- National Security Archive
The ACLU’s published a photographer’s cheat sheet on their rights when shooting in the field (US only):
- When in public spaces where you are lawfully present you have the right to photograph anything that is in plain view.
- When you are on private property, the property owner may set rules about the taking of photographs.
- Police officers may not generally confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant.
- Police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances.
- Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations.
- Note that the right to photograph does not give you a right to break any other laws.
Click through for explanations of each, advice on what to do if stopped or detained, exceptions for shooting around airports and special considerations for videography (eg., “With regards to videotaping, there is an important legal distinction between a visual photographic record (fully protected) and the audio portion of a videotape, which some states have tried to regulate under state wiretapping laws.”)
Jonathan Doyle likes to dress up like Bigfoot, run around New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock, film and then interview people’s reactions to seeing him.
The State says this is a no-no until he pays for a permit and gets a $2 million insurance bond to film
Doyle, and the ACLU, says this violates his free speech rights.
Via the BBC:
Mr Doyle said no complaints had been made to the state park service in 2009 when he first dressed as Bigfoot, traversed Mount Monadnock, then took off his costume and interviewed bystanders about what they had seen.
"People loved it. It was socially engaging," the 30-year-old told AP.
But when Mr Doyle announced he would head back to the mountain on 19 September last year, Monadnock park manager Patrick Hummel brought it to the attention of his supervisor in an e-mail entitled “Bigfoot problem on Monadnock… not kidding”.
Mr Hummel then intercepted Mr Doyle during his next outing, barring the film-maker and his friends from filming and requiring them to obtain a permit.
"Jonathan Doyle started this thing with nothing but good humour and intentions," said Barbara Keshen, a lawyer for the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union. "But it does have serious overtones."
What say you? Do filmmakers and other media creators need permission and permits when in or on public places and spaces?