Summer 2017 Silha Bulletin

Volume 22, Number 3

Below is the Table of Contents for the Summer 2017 Silha Bulletin.  Click on the title to read the full article.

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Cover Story: Reporters and Leakers of Classified Documents Targeted by President Trump and the DOJ
In the first half of 2017, President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice (DOJ) sought to address leaks tied to the Trump administration. 

Endangered Journalists: Journalists Face Physical Restraints and Arrests; Trump Video Raises Further Concerns about Violence Against the Media
During the Summer of 2017, several journalists were physically restrained or arrested in the process of newsgathering duties. 

First Amendment: President Trump and His Administration Spark Debate Over Media Law Issues
In the summer of 2017, comments and actions by President Donald Trump and his administration raised First Amendment concerns, among other media law issues.  

Supreme Court News: U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Two Significant First Amendment Cases
On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two rulings concerning the First Amendment. 

Reporter’s Privilege: Vermont Governor Signs New Shield Law; U of M Board of Regents and a New York Appeals Court Address Reporter’s Privilege Issues
In the summer of 2017, the reporter’s privilege to protect confidential sources and information was the focus of a state legislature, a university’s board of regents, and a state appellate court. 

Defamation: Rolling Stone, Daily Mail, and ABC Settle High-Profile Defamation Lawsuits
In the spring and early summer of 2017, Rolling Stone magazine, the British tabloid Daily Mail, and American Broadcasting Company (ABC) each reached settlements in prominent defamation lawsuits.  

Privacy: Media Groups and Transparency Advocates Challenge Family’s Lawsuit, Judge’s Ruling Halting the Release of “Personal” Information
On June 2, 2017, multiple news organizations reported that Patty and Jerry Wetterling had filed a lawsuit to block the release of certain documents from the now-closed investigation into the 1989 abduction and murder of their son, Jacob. 

Law Enforcement: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Searches of Electronic Devices, Data at U.S. Borders Raise Privacy and Legal Concerns
In April 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released data indicating a significant increase between 2015 and early 2017 of warrantless searches by CBP agents of travelers’ person and work electronic devices, as well as demands for their passwords and social media information.  

Data Privacy: Ninth Circuit Addresses Spokeo after Supreme Court Remands Case; Circuit Courts Split on Article III Standing Bar Following Spokeo
On Aug. 14, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on remand that plaintiff Thomas Robins claimed a “sufficiently concrete” injury to establish Article III standing under the U.S. Constitution in order to bring a claim against Spokeo, Inc. the operator of an online “people search engine,” for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 

Data Privacy: Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Video Privacy Class Action; Legal Questions Remain
On April 27, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that downloading a mobile software application (“app”) and gaining access to “premium content” through a cable package did not make the plaintiff a “subscriber” allowing him to bring a claim under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). 

Data Privacy: Controversial Undercover Video Makers Face Legal Action and Ethical Concerns
During the summer of 2017, two undercover video makers faced legal action after recording individuals and organizations without consent, among other unethical and potentially unlawful methods. 

Law Enforcement: Third Circuit Declares a First Amendment Right to Record On-Duty Police Officers
On July 7, 2017, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that bystanders have a First Amendment right to record on-duty police officers in public places. 

Anti-SLAPP: Several State Courts and Legislatures Grapple with Anti-SLAPP Laws
During the summer of 2017, several states grappled with anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) laws meant to provide a remedy for defendants against meritless claims brought by plaintiffs involving publications regarding matters of public concern or the defendant’s right to free speech, right to petition the government, or right of association.  

Update: Google Hands Over Only One Record Following Expansive Search Warrant
On Feb. 1, 2017, Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson approved a search warrant request by the Edina Police Department seeking to force Google to reveal the name(s) and personal information of suspect(s) in a local identity fraud case.  

Silha Center Events: New York Times Deputy General Counsel to Deliver 2017 Silha Lecture, “Making Media Law Great Again: The First Amendment in the Time of Trump”
When the President of the United States has declared the news media “the enemy of the American people” and has threatened to “open up our libel laws” to make it easier for the powerful to sue, will the Constitution continue to protect freedom of the press?