Fwd: Journalists convicted for reporting at night

fuzzyTew fuzzytew at gmail.com
Tue Jun 20 12:19:16 PDT 2023

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Freedom of the Press Foundation <newsletter at freedom.press>
Date: Tue, Jun 20, 2023 at 11:55 AM
Subject: Journalists convicted for reporting at night

Congress should end warrantless spying on press and public
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Dear friend of press freedom,

Here are some of the most important stories we’re following from the U.S.
and around the world. If you enjoy reading this newsletter, please forward
it to friends and family. If someone has forwarded you this newsletter, please
subscribe here <https://freedom.press/subscribe/>.

*Body camera footage showing Asheville Blade journalist Matilda Bliss's
press pass. Bliss and colleague Veronica Coit were convicted of trespassing
for recording police evicting unhoused people from a public park shortly
after the park's closing time.*

A North Carolina jury convicted
journalists Matilda Bliss and Veronica Coit of trespassing for violating a
park curfew to report on a police eviction of a homeless encampment. A
judge denied their motion to dismiss the charges on First Amendment

The very same day, the Department of Justice made clear
in a report on misconduct by the Minneapolis Police Department that
“blanket enforcement of dispersal orders and curfews against press violates
[the First Amendment] because they foreclose the press from reporting.”

Bliss and Coit already filed a notice of appeal. As Freedom of the Press
Foundation (FPF) Director of Advocacy Seth Stern explained
“We don’t have secret police in the United States. Officers are not
entitled to operate without press and public scrutiny just because it’s
dark out. The Constitution requires that journalists be given sufficient
access to public land to report the news, no matter the time.”
*FPF joins call to end warrantless spying on journalists and others*

Several senators — both Republicans
<https://twitter.com/SenMikeLee/status/1668658467702185984?s=20> and
<https://twitter.com/SenatorDurbin/status/1660680119948652552?s=20> — say
they’re fed up
with excuses over intelligence agencies’ abuse
of a controversial surveillance law that gives them access to huge amounts
of Americans’ data. As we explain
Congress should use the coming expiration of the law, known as Section 702
of FISA, to make critical reforms and rein in rampant warrantless spying on
Americans, including journalists.

Section 702 <https://cdt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Section-702.pdf>
allows intelligence agencies to access Americans’ communications without a
warrant, as long as the American is talking to someone outside the U.S.
Despite being touted as a national security measure focused on foreigners,
Section 702 has become a powerful tool for domestic spying, including for
searches targeting journalists

FPF joined a coalition of more than 20 privacy, civil rights and civil
liberties organizations calling on Congress to adopt significant reforms
to Section 702 as part of its reauthorization. In addition to imposing a
warrant requirement for searches of Americans’ data and narrowing Section
702’s parameters, Congress must improve the transparency of surveillance
activities so that the press is not left to rely on information revealed by
to inform the public.
*Secret science laws limit access to research records*

There’s a long track record of journalists
and watchdog groups
using public records laws
to expose wrongdoing
at public academic research programs. But as we recently highlighted
several states have passed laws or otherwise restricted public access to
research records from public institutions of higher learning. Most
recently, Connecticut considered (but thankfully didn’t pass) a “science
secrecy” bill
that would have excluded public colleges’ and universities’ research
records from the state’s public records law.

Supporters of science secrecy exemptions argue that freedom of information
laws have been weaponized to harass
and smear researchers. Concerns about abusive requests and their impact on
academic freedom are legitimate, but prohibiting public scrutiny of
academic research isn’t the right response. Other methods explained on our
would be effective while still preserving journalists’ and the public’s
ability to access newsworthy records.
*What we’re reading*

The courtroom conundrum
A federal judge denied media outlets’ request to allow cameras and barred
any personal electronic devices from a Miami courtroom where Donald Trump
was arraigned on Tuesday. As a result, journalists had to resort to
creative but slightly ridiculous methods to get the word out about what
happened at the start of one of the most newsworthy trials in American
history. There’s no reason
for these outdated bans. It’s beyond time to update courtroom policies for
the 21st century and allow cameras in courts.

One of the last bastions of digital privacy is under threat
Journalists often rely on encrypted services
<https://freedom.press/news/signal-beginners/> to communicate with sources
or protect their unpublished work. Despite the benefits of end-to-end
encryption to journalists, activists, businesses and regular people, the United
and other governments
have continued their efforts to undermine or destroy it. So far these
attempts have failed, but we must continue to demand that governments
worldwide keep their hands off end-to-end encryption.

The US is openly stockpiling dirt on all its citizens
According to a declassified government report, the U.S. government has
amassed a “large amount” of “sensitive and intimate information” about
Americans by buying data from data brokers, companies that sell information
about individuals collected from their web traffic, app use and other
sources. This surveillance can threaten journalists’ confidential
communications with sources by, for example, revealing their location data.
Congress must act to put an end to surveillance abuses. For tips on how to
protect yourself, check out
<https://mailchi.mp/freedom.press/digisec-digest-8128750?e=fe28d28019> this
week’s digital security digest and subscribe
*Subscribe to our digital security newsletter*

FPF has a new weekly newsletter on digital security and journalism! It’s a
short update on digital security news, what you can do about it, and other
news from our team. Subscribe here
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