Don’t “Shoot!”: Recording Police Behavior Doesn’t Qualify for First Amendment Protections (At Least in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania)

cldcBy Samuel Daheim

Our constitutional right to the freedom of expression under the First Amendment reaches a broad spectrum of wide-ranging activities. From flag burning to expenditures on campaigns for elected governmental office, the First Amendment protections of expression reach the lives of all U.S. citizens. However, on February 19th of this year, the federal district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that First Amendment protections of expression do not cover observing and recording police activity in a public forum where such observations and recordings are not accompanied by criticism or challenge to police conduct. Continue reading

Is Google the New Cookie Monster? Third Circuit Google Case Gives Californians Something to Complain About

cookie monsterBy Samuel Daheim

On Tuesday, November 10th, the Third Circuit vacated a district court’s dismissal of freestanding privacy claims against Google Inc. (Google) under California law. Plaintiffs alleged that Google’s actions constituted a breach of privacy, under both California Tort law and the California State constitution, when it deceitfully bypassed internet privacy settings in order to track internet usage. The Third Circuit rejected the district court’s ruling that the alleged intrusive practices of the company did not amount to an “egregious breach of social norms” – the standard under the California constitution. Continue reading