Judge Says NYPD Must Limit Routine Videotaping of Public


In a rebuke of a surveillance practice greatly expanded by the New York Police Department after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal judge ruled yesterday that the police must stop the routine videotaping of people at public gatherings unless there is an indication that unlawful activity may occur. The New York Times reports that the same judge, Charles S. Haight Jr., gave the police greater authority to investigate political, social and religious groups in a ruling four years ago.

In yesterday's ruling, Judge Haight, of United States District Court in Manhattan, found that by videotaping people who were exercising their right to free speech and breaking no laws, the Police Department had ignored the milder limits he had imposed on it in 2003. The restrictions on videotaping do not apply to bridges, tunnels, airports, subways or street traffic, Judge Haight noted, but are meant to control police surveillance at events where people gather to exercise their rights under the First Amendment.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/16/nyregion/16police.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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