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Federal Appeals Court Holds Individuals Have a Right to Record Public Officials

In a case concerning the arrest of a person who used a cell phone camera to film a police officer, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has held in Glik v. City of Boston that the First Amendment protects "the filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place." The Court found that members of the public enjoy the same rights as credentialed members of the press, stating that "the public's right of access to information is coextensive with the press." The Court further held that, in arresting Glik, the City of Boston violated the Fourth Amendment probable cause requirement as there was no reason to believe that Gilk had violated any state law. EPIC agreed that the Massachusetts state wiretap law was not intended to limit the ability of the public to record police activity, but did not file an amicus brief in the case. For more information, see EPIC: EPIC Amicus Curiae Briefs.

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