Government Monitoring

When governments put citizens under surveillance for engaging in political speech or debate about important issues, they are less likely to exercise their First Amendment rights. Tracking movements, relationships, donations and support of causes invades people’s privacy and chills their participation in public life.

New York Times: As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy Plummets

Mayor Bill de Blasio posted details on Twitter about a lawyer in Westchester County who was the second person in the state to test positive for the virus — including the name of the man’s seven-person law firm and the names of the schools attended by two of his children. A few hours later, The New York Post identified the lawyer by name and was soon referring to him as “patient zero” in the coronavirus outbreak in New Rochelle.

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Donor disclosure law blocked in New Jersey

Earlier this month, Judge Brian Martinotti of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey granted a permanent injunction that bars New Jersey from enforcing S. 150, a state law that would have required certain nonprofit organizations to disclose information about their donors.

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