EPIC Urges Court to Protect Speech of Privacy Advocate

Today, EPIC filed a "friend of the court" brief with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, urging the court to hold that the First Amendment protects the speech of Betty Ostergren, a privacy advocate. Ostergren runs a Website that republishes Social Security Numbers, collected from public records, to persuade Virginia lawmakers to stop releasing documents that reveal Social Security Numbers. Under Virginia law, Ostergren could be prosecuted for publishing SSNs, even though Virginia makes the numbers widely available. A lower court held that the law violated Ostergren's First Amendment rights. Virginia appealed. EPIC's brief urges the appeals court to uphold the lower court's ruling. For more information, see EPIC Ostergren v. McDonnell, EPIC Social Security Numbers, and EPIC Identity Theft.


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