Home / ACLU Petitioner Claims it’s Illegal to Photograph her in Public Without Consent

ACLU Petitioner Claims it’s Illegal to Photograph her in Public Without Consent

ACLU signing petition

The ACLU worker on the left told photojournalist Francis Vachon that it was illegal to photograph her in public without her consent.

Canadian photojournalist Francis Vachon was in Massachusetts earlier this month on assignment for a travel website when he came across a pair of ACLU workers asking people to sign some kind of petition in downtown Pittsfield.

Vachon lifted his camera and snapped a photo, only for the woman in the above picture to inform him that he was breaking the law.

But Vachon, having been a regular Photography is Not a Crime reader for years, knew better as he explained on his blog:

I tell her that I am in a public place and I can do whatever I want, but then she tells me with a straight face that in Massachusetts, a law prohibit you to take a photo without first having a consent. I don’t know if she really believed that or if she was lying to me, but either way it was really weird coming from a member of the The American Civil Liberties Union.

There is no such law in Massachusetts nor anywhere in the United States for that matter.

However, Massachusetts does have a unique eavesdropping/wiretapping law that forbids you from secretly audio recording another person in public, even if they have no expectation of privacy, but even that law has not been prosecuted in some cases.

In an email to Photography is Not a Crime, Vachon explained that the laws on public photography are the same in Canada as they are in the United States, but that Quebec has some restrictions about how you use that photo.

In Quebec, you can take a photo of anything and anyone in public space, but you need permission to PUBLISH IT if the 3 following conditions are met
- They are the main subject of your photo (they don’t just walk by accident in your landscape photo)
- They are recognizable
- It’s not newsworthy
It’s called “Droit à l’image” (could be roughly translated to Right to your selfness)

The incident with the ACLU petitioner took place on October 1, but the sheer irony of it left him shaking his head where he had to write about it on his blog today.

“It was kinda surreal to have the champion of liberties trying to stop me from taking photos using a nonexistent law,” he wrote in an email.

Perhaps she joined the ACLU after the civil liberties organization published its Know Your Rights: Photographers webpage along with the video below.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.
  • paschn

    Isn’t that one of the “benevolent” organizations in the process of suing Christian churches who refuse to embrace homosexuality into financial ruin? Seems rather mean spirited to penalize Christian churches trying to follow Christian dogma in a Christian nation. That’s pretty much what the Bolsheviks did in Russia….destroyed virtually all Muslim/Christian houses of worship but for some reason missed all the Synagogues.

    • http://IAmDanMarshall.com/ Dan Marshall

      “Isn’t that one of the “benevolent” organizations in the process of suing Christian churches who refuse to embrace homosexuality into financial ruin?”

      No, no it’s not. Unless you have some kind of proof, this is a standard claim made by “oh we’re so persecuted” christians who seem to feel the need to completely fabricate a narrative under which they’re some sort of highly persecuted minority in this country.

      This is also not a christian nation. Yes, the majority of people are christian, but the majority of people are also white and no one (no one who’s not crazy, anyway) is making the claim that this is a “white nation”. We are a secular nation where all citizens are free to practice (or not practive) whatever religion they see fit. This is basic middle school level civics.

      • Guest

        Well said, Dan!

        @Paschn – If anything, one could make the claim that this is a Viking nation, because Lief Erickson and his crew got here first.

        One nation, under Odin, with glory and plunder for all.

        • Happy_Tinfoil_Cat

          I think native americans would take issue with that. ;^) In fact, there is some archeological evidence to say they weren’t even the first people here.

      • Truth For Students

        You might want to check the FACTS about how many lawsuits and threats of lawsuits the ACLU files against Christians and Christian organizations.
        You want proof ? Why don’t you try using that thing called “google”.

        • http://IAmDanMarshall.com/ Dan Marshall

          Scumbag Christian: “Facts are EVERYWHERE!” *Then refuses to provide facts.*

          The ACLU also defends christians when their ~civil liberties~ are threatened. The ACLU has successfully helped many christians protect their first amendment rights. What they DON’T DO is support the illegal bullshit that many christians seem to want, such as forced prayer in school and religious idolatry in public places.

          Here’s a link from another comment: https://www.aclu.org/aclu-defense-religious-practice-and-expression

          Out of the first five listed, four of them are cases where the ACLU defended the rights of christians. You are either painfully stupid or woefully ignorant.

          • Voice-Of-Concern

            He’s just having a public tantrum for not getting his way.. Like a bratty child

    • watkinssr

      No, the ACLU does no such thing (nobody does). In fact, the ACLU regularly stands up for the rights of Christians.

    • Tony Loro

      Wow are you off the end. It is usually for priests who BF boys but not all, some do girls.

    • robeauch

      I know people sometimes seem to be addicted to their own ignorance. But, in case you are not one of those sorts, and are willing to look at facts even if they go against what you “know,” you can learn more here.
      https://www.aclu.org/aclu-defense-religious-practice-and-expression

      • paschn
        • http://IAmDanMarshall.com/ Dan Marshall

          Hey dumbfuck, the SPLC and ACLU are two separate orgs. Even if they WERE the same, please produce any sort of non-insane argument as to why a town should be able to deny a business license to someone based on their sexual orientation. Try to actually make sense when you make that argument, even though I don’t think that’s possible for you.

          • paschn

            What the hell is that you have hanging from your ear? could it be..?

            http://24ahead.com/aclu-seiu-splc-nilc-maldef-prldef-sue-south-carolina-over-ne
            Since there is supposed to be a separation of church and state, little girl, one would think a city or township could deny infiltration based simply on their biblical belief that homosexuality is a perversion. That in itself, Jane, doesn’t mean they want to do them bodily harm, they may simply want to keep perversion out of their town, schools etc. No one’s telling them they can’t practice their perverse life-style, This particular town is just announcing they don’t want to be exposed to it, Samantha. Please, calm down Priscilla, you’ll pop an artery or something!

          • http://IAmDanMarshall.com/ Dan Marshall

            LOL, I love how you are calling me female names in an attempt to insult me. Dr Cox on Scrubs beat you to that. Get your own schtick, unoriginal bastard.

            I hate to break it to you, but those of us who aren’t idiotic misogynists corrupted by religious stupidity don’t really care about being compared to the fairer sex. Says quite a bit about you that you would attempt to use it as an insult, you dipshit. Also, that would be my hand in the picture. I’m sorry that you seem to be so stupid as to not recognize human extremities. I’m sure life is very difficult for someone such as yourself.

            “Since there is supposed to be a separation of church and state, little girl, one would think a city or township could deny infiltration based simply on their biblical belief that homosexuality is a perversion.”

            So you are painfully stupid, then. Got it. Again, this is basic middle school level civics. You have a pathetically distorted understanding of the establishment clause. Please, for the sake of us all, read a fucking book or two.

            You have attempted to wage a battle of wits, but seem to have forgotten to bring your ammunition. Try harder next time, idiot.

          • Truth For Students

            There isn’t supposed to be a “separation of church and state”. The constitution simply states that “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.
            Religion, specifically Christianity, has played a major part in the founding of America and is one of the reasons America has been so much better than other countries.

          • http://IAmDanMarshall.com/ Dan Marshall

            Yes, there most certainly was an intention for church and state to be separate, as noted by Jefferson and other founding fathers in their writings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Establishment_Clause

            Again, this is middle school level civics. There is no excuse for adults to not know this.

            Religion had played (and continues to play) major roles in MANY countries, some of which are better off than us in some ways and others which are worse. The ability to *freely practice* (or not practice) religion is what was unique about what the founding fathers did, and their understanding of what happens when church and state intermingle is their true genius and foresight. Merely integrating christianity into a government does not automatically make it better, and in many cases makes it worse. Look at Uganda for a present-day example.

          • Fotaugrafee

            Yes, b/c Jesus wubbers worldwide are much more relaxed & civil people. Unless freedom of choice is brought into the equation.

          • Voice-Of-Concern

            How does the US compare to say.. Finland?

            The idea that “The US is the best ever, at everything”, is woefully ignorant & factually false. The US does many things well, but also, the US does many things poorly.

            The fact that the US does some things poorly, is part of what motivates many of us to urge our city, our state & our nation to do be better & be better. We can be so much better.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Actually, that is not true. Many of the founding fathers were Deists, and John Adams expressly stated that the U.S. was not founded as a “Christian” nation.

          • http://IAmDanMarshall.com/ Dan Marshall

            Oh, and thanks for your concern about my health and well-being. I assure you I am in no danger of popping any arteries. The most extreme emotion I’ve had during our exchange has involved laughing at you, nothing more.

          • Kaemaril

            “Since there is supposed to be a separation of church and state, [stupidity deleted], one would think a city or township could deny infiltration based simply on their biblical belief that homosexuality is a perversion.”

            It does, in the BIZARRO universe. Real world, it means the exact opposite. Nice use of “infiltration”, by the way. Real insightful.

          • SteveDK

            Too late. Gay and lesbian couples are already in EVERY jurisdiction in the USA, according to the 2000 census.

    • Jim Holmes

      The United States of America is not now and has not ever been a nation founded on the Christial Religion. This was stated clearly in the Treaty of Tripoli.

      • Truth For Students

        Here are some FACTS about the founding fathers (and sisters) of America…
        # 1 – None were Muslims
        # 2 – None were Jewish
        # 3 – None were Buddhist
        # 4 – None were Asian
        # 5 – None were Hispanic
        # 6 – None were Black
        # 7 – None were Atheists

        • http://IAmDanMarshall.com/ Dan Marshall

          #8 – Not all of them were christian

          Also love how you brought race into it. Gotta love that thinly veiled bigotry! You believe this is a white, christian nation then, yeah? Quit being such a wimp and just state it outright.

          • Truth For Students

            When you have no argument just resort to cries of bigotry.
            America today is a different country than it was in 1776.
            I was simply stating facts about the founders of this country, not its current makeup.

          • http://IAmDanMarshall.com/ Dan Marshall

            OK, but what relevance does it have to this discussion? Yeah, none.

            And again, regardless of the makeup of the founding fathers, most of those same people ratified the treaty of tripoli, which as Jim noted above *directly and clearly* states that our country was not founded on the christian religion.

          • Fotaugrafee

            Dan, I think we’ve found who at least of these tards is in real life:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMmZwkD2hdc (warning: NSFW)

        • Voice-Of-Concern

          Who cares? This is not remotely relevant to PINAC.

        • Kaemaril

          You forgot ‘None were Klingon’.

          Were any Norwegian? I bet none of them were Norwegian, either.

        • Flashing Scotsman

          But, what did they write? THAT’S what matters.

        • Fotaugrafee

          Did you get those “facts” from Faux News, too? Cite your source, unless of course, you knew them personally & went to church with them???

        • http://www.facebook.com/grahamshevlin Graham Shevlin

          What does this collection of twittery prove? What is your point?

        • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

          So what you are saying here is that America was founded on bigotry, misogyny, racism, and oppression wherein ‘rights’ are something possessed only by white male landowners?

          In which case, yes, you are speaking accurately. Fortunately, the US has grown up quite a bit since then, in spite of people like you that are determined to live in the past, clinging desperately to your privilege because you cannot compete based solely on your merits.

      • paschn

        Correct. The separation of church and state was to prevent any laws/legislation which would favor one religion over another. Since the vast majority of denizens in this dying republic are “Christian” it is a Christian nation by virtue of the numbers only. Therefor, “in God we trust”, would have to have,”….. unless he doesn’t like queers, then we hate him!” added to it. Our “Christian” god would be guilty of a hate crime and would then be tried, (in absentia?), convicted and, umm, imprisoned or fined into poverty? Was it the ACLU or SPLC that filed suit in various state/federal courts to ban prayers in schools? Rather an arrogant reach from a simple phrase that meant nothing more than protection for “a” religion from a larger, more influential religion. That being the case, shouldn’t the pledge of allegiance be banned as well or at least have “under God” deleted?

        http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/buckner_tripoli.html

        In closing, as the man said,

        Who cares? This is not remotely relevant to PINAC.

        So, in an attempt to get back on topic….

        For some reason Israel trains our LEO’s, since that time violent acts, up to and including murder have skyrocketed. I for one think there is definitely a connection and feel the contracts should be given to U.S. corporations which would add jobs for our people and possibly get a few families out of their tent cities/storm drains and re-acquaint the Sycophants-in-Blue to a thing called our constitution as well as basic human rights.

        http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/09/27/press-tv-tragedy-of-us-police-training-by-israeli-companies/

    • Fotaugrafee

      No one is “forcing” anyone to “embrace” anything, you stunod. They’re telling them to RESPECT it, TOLERATE it, or leave it the fuck alone. There’s a huge difference, and one with which I totally agree.

      Oh, “Christian Nation” my ass. Take your “God” & stuff it.

      • Truth For Students

        I don’t think this type of hate speech should be tolerated on this forum.

        • Voice-Of-Concern

          “Hate speech”?

          Please show your work

        • Fotaugrafee

          I think you can suck my fat cock & vanilla salty balls, Jesus freak. How’s that for hate? :D

      • paschn

        Poor sap. Did you miss the quotes? Actually what they are saying is; accept it, let us shove it in the faces of your Christians on T.V., you GRADE school children, movies et al or we will twist the wording of your constitution into a pretzel and sue your ass into oblivion! Soon, as we did with the “theory” of evolution, it’ll be suddenly morphed into something it’s not and we’ll have you all walking around, wondering what species of ape you “evolved” from and believing you can pro-create by ramming your Johnson into some other sick fuk’s poop-shoot and call it “normal”. which, I guess it COULD be if they’re hoping to give birth to a steaming turd.

        • Kaemaril

          And this one gets the ten!

          • SteveDK

            I know, a real Puritan witch burner.

        • Fotaugrafee

          Wow, I’d say “a little much”, but this was on it’s own orbit of “off the deep end”. Jesus freaks…LULZ.

    • Kaemaril

      Well done, that man! I’m giving this one a 9/10 on the claptrap scale.

    • Flashing Scotsman

      I believe there’s a little thing in the Constitution about there NOT being a government established religion, isn’t there? This is NOT a Christian nation.

  • jimmarch

    Well that’s just embarrassing, that is. Look on the bright side – at least she didn’t point a gun at him for it…

  • StreyDawg

    Whoops.

    The word irony was invented for a reason.

  • tiny

    the ACLU has been doing this sort of thing for many years now, but in the darkness. its about time some light has been shed on the two faces ORG.! they pick the fights that they choose, and everyone is wondering why the dont fight the good fight, well let me tell you why. fact is the ACLU is in bed with the politicians for many years now! they are a total waste of anyones time trying to get them fight for anything worth while. fact is, the ACLU will not fight the fight PINAC is fighting. seems they made their choice though by what they now have been exposed doing! PINAC should or could contact the headquarters and perhaps attempt to get an answer to what their real position is. get them to make a “on the record” statement. i say go for it!

    • JDS

      Are you drunk? Nothing you just wrote is even remotely true.

      • Wandering_Bard

        I think he’s spending a little too much time listening to Alex Jones.

    • jcfromnj

      HOWARD: Spot on !!! Sounds like you might have been a past member like myself.LOL

      • Fotaugrafee

        Hahaha, me thinks you have a different idea of “rights” or “liberties”. What rights & liberties were you exercising that the ACLU denied you? LOL

    • Voice-Of-Concern

      EVERY organization picks it’s fights. Profit or nonprofit, management requires careful allocation of resources. Or the organization fails in short order.

  • Tony Loro

    No doubt she was a paid name collector, not an ACLU lawyer. Give her a pass.

    • Frodo

      This seems very doubtful to me. What if someone wanted to ask her some specific questions about civil liberties and the ACLU or even interview her and get it on record. It would be freaking embarrassing and discrediting if she simply replied by saying they just answered an ad in the newspaper and not only did they know nothing about civil liberties, but thinks the bill of rights should be repealed so governments can properly do their job to “protect” the people. She doesn’t need to be an ACLU lawyer to know simply facts like the freaking first amendment.

      • Flashing Scotsman

        It might be embarassing, but also most likely true. Ads are all over Craigslist for people to collect signatures. They’re paid per signature.

    • Nemo

      No, do not give HER a pass. Give the ACLU a pass on this one, sure, but not her. If ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law, then it’s even less an excuse for denying another their rights.

  • jcfromnj

    As I mentioned in an earlier post. this is par for course for the ACLU. They are self-serving dilettantes who only weigh in when there is a politically correct subject that fits into the mold. I was a member in New Jersey, couldn’t even get them to answer my emails for a video recording incident. Save your money and your time, they aren’t worth it…

    • Voice-Of-Concern

      Sour grapes much?

      • jcfromnj

        Nope…just a head’s up for anyone who thinks that the ACLU will come to YOUR rescue if you are in a legal jam. It’s not much more than a cash generating machine for the upper management lawyers and and A list hanger’s on. You dummies out there who believe the hype are the one’s that I feel the most for. I hate to introduce some reality to your world view, but somebody has to.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          I hate to introduce some reality to your world view, but somebody has to.

          And you’re the guy to do that?

          ROTFLMAO

          OK. How’s that working for you John? Did you ever think that the ACLU didn’t answer because they thought you were nuts?

          • jcfromnj

            Yo ExCop…What a country, you get a second chance to strike out in a new profession! Your psy”cop”athy is showing thru.

          • Fotaugrafee

            No shit, I’d like to see his complaint letter to them, probably sprinkled with bits that people like Alex Jones jerk off over.

    • Fotaugrafee

      Were you video recording from public property, for starters?

  • Vincent Vendetti

    WUT???? Am I the only one confused?

  • RonaldMcDonald69

    Honestly I wasn’t looking at the ACLU people. That woman in the hat is gorgeous.

  • Joe Schmoe

    The chick signing the petition is pretty hot. I’d hit it.

    • Dalek_1963

      Agreed! If it wasnt for this article, lets face it who would even notice the one on the left with the one on the right in the same pic. I didnt when I first saw the pic.

      • Rail Car Fan

        I’d love to take shots of both of them… and I wasn’t talking about including the second girl either! (Wink)

        Rail Car Fan

  • Name

    Wow, that’s a shitty cartoon.

  • Truth For Students

    The ACLU isn’t really a champion for constitutional rights in America. They are simply a liberal advocacy group that supports “liberties” for liberal groups.
    The ACLU does NOT support 2nd Amendment rights.
    The ACLU sues Christians and Christian groups almost everyday while at the same time representing and defending Muslims at every chance they get.
    Just so everyone knows, the ACLU has refused to represent some well known photography rights advocates in the PINAC community.

    • Voice-Of-Concern

      1) the ACLU does not take every case brought to it. That should be self-evident.
      2) The ACLU tends to represent those who do not otherwise have access to representation. The 2nd Amendment has a powerful & active advocacy group called the NRA.
      3) Your post is long on inflammatory, button-pushing accusations, yet remarkably short on any details, much less verifiable details.
      4) Christians are not entitled to any special preferences, nor are Muslims or any other faith, nor are any individual or groups of nonbelievers due any special consideration UNDER the LAW. Christians in the US are not being oppressed… They are mostly upset at not always getting their way. Grow up.

      • Flashing Scotsman

        Come on now, VoC. You’re not trying to say the ACLU doesn’t have a liberal agenda, are you? I don’t have a problem with an organization being biased, I’ve been a member of the NRA for over thirty years. I only have a problem with it being denied.

        • Voice-Of-Concern

          I would say that “Liberal vs Conservative” are not a definition I find useful, as what that means changes a lot, depending on to whom you talk & what the topic is.

          I would say the ACLU leans towards an inclusive approach. I would say, the ACLU favors more participation by more people, on a legally neutral, even playing field.

          But, I would also say, that contrary to popular opinion, that the ACLU is no more monolithic & lacking nuance to it’s various positions, than than say, the NRA.

          • Flashing Scotsman

            As I said, I have no problem with an organization being biased. I never claimed the NRA was unbiased. They absolutely ARE biased towards defending the 2nd Amendment. And they are honest about it. Therein lies the difference, in my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

        • http://421a.douglasavenue.com Erin Winking

          I find it humorous that you consider 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th amendment issues (what the ACLU by in large deals with) ‘liberal’ causes, and not American issues.

          Also, the ACLU had fought in support of, or defended Christians who have been wronged, as this link (with dozens of examples); http://www.aclufightsforchristians.com/ proves.

          edit: I replied to the wrong person, but my point still stands.

        • Fotaugrafee

          Equality amongst all is most definitely a liberal agenda, what’s wrong with that? Gay rights…religious freedom…those LIBERAL ideas are somehow a bad thing?

          • Flashing Scotsman

            Who said anything against equality? I looked at MY posts, and there was nothing THERE about that.

    • Name

      That’s not true at all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/grahamshevlin Graham Shevlin

      I am assuming that you have a compelling collection of evidence for all of these assertions?

      • Fotaugrafee

        Of course he does….Faux News. ;)

    • Phred

      Which Christians or Christian groups has the ACLU sued this week (since you say it happens almost every day)? For that matter, when was the last time it happened, and why?

      • Fotaugrafee

        Probably the Westboro Baptist Church if anyone, lol.

        But even they’re entitled to freedom of speech, IMO, as crazy as the shit they spew sounds. It’s almost entertainment.

    • Fotaugrafee

      Uhhhhhhhhh, you’re not too smart, are you?

      I think the so-called attacks against Christian groups are. Show me ONE area or incident where Chrisitianity has been denied of the people, and that has been brought to the ACLU. Most of what I’m seeing on a NATIONWIDE level is Christian do-gooders forcing people to say the pledge (b/c of the “god” thing), or saying that we should have prayer in public schools.

      On the “Moose-limb” front, again what you’re seeing is the opposite. People being persecuted or denied privileges for their beliefs. How many “good Christian folks” do you think would deny a man employment at their company b/c of his religious beliefs? I can think of many, something that shouldn’t even be figured into the hiring process.

      That is what the ACLU is supposed to be protecting, but as in ANY authority or collective, you’re going to have people who twist the message.

  • bzflagkilljoy

    Did anybody ask the ACLU for a comment? It might be interesting what they say.

    • americanexile

      How is this surprising? It’s the American Civil Liberal Union, not Liberties. They don’t know about rights.

      • Voice-Of-Concern

        wrong

      • Phred

        Why do you say that, Exile? Serious question. I’d really like to know.

        • Fotaugrafee

          He doesn’t know. Just like some dipshit rebel southerner that doesn’t like unions. Or worse yet, some Yankee flunky who doesn’t like unions b/c they couldn’t get him his job back for being a complete fuck-up.

          Ma deddy told me so, so it gots ya be true!!

          • Nemo

            As long as speculative slurs are allowed, you are, no doubt, someone who believes that Unions are so wonderful that everyone should be required to pay dues to one.

            Yo mama tol’ me dat, so iss gotta be da troot.

            Trolling the trolls trolling the trolls can be diverting… ;-)

      • Zos Xavius

        Do you know anything about what the ACLU does? Without them we would be much, much worse off.

      • $37915161

        Funny, the ACLU has defended Neo-Nazis and Tea Party groups. Maybe educate yourself before you spout nonsense.

      • geek.girl

        Am shocked at the blatant ignorance in the replies to this comment. I’d suggest you all read the actual cases you speak of (neo-nazi, tea party, mentioned without the actual case reference). Figure out what was actually ruled on as law and then jump on the ACLU. fp!

    • ScooterComputer

      Ken at PopeHat did. And he’s gotten a response on Twitter: http://twitter.com/popehat/status/396320754511249408

  • Fotaugrafee

    People in this country need some SERIOUS education on their rights & the rights of everyone else, too.

    I wish ol’ Ben would have come up to that cop & bitch slapped him in public, so people could take photos of it. :D

  • DocRambo

    Just another low information/no information voter. She’ll be voting for Killary, The Butcher of Benghazi in the next election.

    • Fotaugrafee

      Why all the negative votes here? If anything, y’all need to realize the LIBERAL LEFT is the one taking our freedoms so they can be “safe” & “secure”. We need to have PRIVACY “everywhere”. :(

  • ScooterComputer

    I know in Pennsylvania, the PA-ACLU is rather oddly anti-public photo/video/audio recording. I watched a PA Senate hearing about a year or so ago where the PA-ACLU testified about the usage of video recording technology on school buses. Their testimony, wrt “privacy” in public spaces, was quite troubling and contrary to established case law (and what is strived for here on PINAC). I think, overall, the ACLU’s positions on surveillance impact what position they can hold on public “privacy”, and they’re caught in between. Personally, I hold no such cognitive dissonance; I as I see these as two completely separate issues.

    • BitterB

      In 2004, I was told by some Pittsburgh “ACLU Volunteer Observers” that I was committing a crime for photographing a protest happening on public property. I told the representatives that they were not correct, but they insisted that if they felt I photographed them, they would report me to the police for taking photos.

      What I found particularly disturbing about the situation is that they only told this to people who they perceived to be in opposition to the content of the protest. The people in the protest taking photos of it were never threatened with police reports. So, yes, I’m not surprised to find out that there are some odd views on public photography out of the Pennsylvania chapter.

      • Fotaugrafee

        This appeared to be a similar problem during the OCCUPY movements in recent years. People didn’t want to be seen or photographed in public demonstrations.

        I admire their will to protest in the public, but they should also admire the fact that we’re there to document it. If you’re too chicken shit openly participate in said protects, sit at home with your thumb up your ass & behind a keyboard to bitch & complain on the web instead. :D

    • Fotaugrafee

      EXACTLY…and sadly, that is a liberal agenda I do NOT support. This “safety” & “security” bullshit has gotta stop. We’re in the hole by trillions of dollars, yet we’re spending more & more money on useless shit like traffic cams every 1-mile.

      All in the name of Big Brother. I need a hug. :D

  • BC MotoGuy

    another relevant story, they do photography every few months lately: https://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty-criminal-law-reform/what-are-memphis-police-hiding

  • Proud GrandPa

    The ACLU tried to censor our free speech rights in public schools for decades. Our Christian lawyers finally defeated them in federal courts on free speech rights and equality of viewpoint treatment and won big. Now Bible Clubs are legal in all public schools.
    .
    After much persuasion we even won over several key ACLU chapters and created a minor revolt in the ACLU in the 1980s. The ACLU has since come around.
    .
    I have found the ACLU to be somewhat selective in favoring leftwing socialist / communist causes while ignoring righteous, moral ones. Am not surpriseed the ACLU staff had a poor understanding of the first amendment.

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Are you talking about the so-called “right” of christian speakers to denigrate the faiths of others at commencements, etc.?

      You sound like you believe that this is a good thing.

      • Fotaugrafee

        Oh, HE DOES!!!…’cuz this here country is a Christian Nation. Yeee-haw!!

    • Fotaugrafee

      Wow, misguided & misinformed as usual. How is that Faux News stuff working out for you? And the traditional, over-used “left wing, socialist / communist causes” discredits you entirely. But, that comes as no surprise really.

      And yes, those SOCIAL CAUSES (not socialist, you twit) are the reason why the ACLU fights for people. A gay man should have no less rights than a straight man. A person of one faith should have no less right than something of a different faith. I’d chalk it up to your misuse of proper vocabulary, but since you’re an ignorant old white man who is concrete in his ways, there is really no point in arguing.

      No one has “tried to censor…” you, you’ve just been told that people are not going to be forced to say things like the pledge b/c it has “God” in it. Or that you will not be forced to say a prayer before class. Get rid of the “god” bullshit & we’ll talk.

      Now, if you are being RESTRICTED from saying a prayer before lunch or each class or whatever, than even I would have a problem with that. But somehow I doubt that’s the case.

      New Bible Clubs, like Math League or Academic Bowl, are strictly VOLUNTARY to attend. It’s kind of like going to school & being told you MUST play a sport b/c we need new arrogant jocks to sit on the bench. I don’t have to do shit, THAT is liberty.