European Court of Human Rights Rules UK Surveillance Violated Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the UK’s surveillance regime, revealed by Edward Snowden, violates human rights set out in the European Convention. In consolidated cases Big Brother Watch v. UK, Bureau of Investigative Journalism v. UK, and 10 Human Rights Organizations…

Court: California Donor Disclosure Requirement Doesn’t Violate First Amendment

A federal appeals court has ruled that a California law requiring nonprofit organizations to provide the state with an annual list of donors and donations does not violate the First Amendment. The Ninth Circuit concluded that the law does not significantly burden the free speech…

Appeals Court Finds Smart Meters Trigger Constitutional Scrutiny, But Data Logging is Reasonable

A federal appeals court has ruled that smart meters perform a “search” under the Fourth Amendment but found that their collection of household energy data is “reasonable.” Smart meters periodically transmit information to public utilities about home energy consumption, which can reveal personal behavior patterns…

Legal Challenge to Citizenship Question on Census Moves Forward

A federal judge ruled that lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s decision to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 census could move forward. The court rejected the administration’s claim that the plaintiffs lacked standing and ruled that it was “plausible” that the decision…

Federal Court Upholds Regulations for Drone Hobbyists

In a companion case to EPIC v. FAA, the D.C. Circuit ruled in Taylor v. FAA that the regulations for drones operated by hobbyists are within the agency’s statutory authority. The D.C. Circuit previously ruled that EPIC lacked standing to compel the FAA to establish…

Court Orders Defunct Presidential Election Commission to Release Records

A federal court in Washington, DC has ruled that the Presidential Election Commission must release a large volume of records detailing its activities from last year. The ruling, in a case brought by Maine Secretary of State and EPIC Champion of Freedom Matthew Dunlap, requires…

DC Circuit Denies EPIC’s Petition, Will Not Mandate Privacy Rules for Drones

The D.C. Circuit ruled today in EPIC v. FAA that EPIC lacked standing to compel the FAA to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. In 2012 EPIC, backed by more than one hundred organizations and privacy experts, petitioned the agency to establish privacy safeguards for…

The Supreme Court Says Your Expectation of Privacy Probably Shouldn’t Depend on Fine Print

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday in Byrd v. United States that the driver of a rental car could have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the car even though the rental agreement did not authorize him to drive it. We’re pleased that that the…

French Dark Web Drug Defendant Losses Evidence over Border Inspection

A judge in the Florida federal court has ruled to suppress and hold cyber and electronic evidence in court linked to a criminal case against a French national Vallerius. The suspect is accused of presiding over several dark web illegal drug marketplaces. He reportedly gained…

Supreme Court: Fourth Amendment for Lawful Driver of Vehicle Regardless of Rental Agreement

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a driver in lawful possession of a rental car has a reasonable expectation of privacy regardless of a rental car agreement. The Court held in Byrd v. United States that, “the mere fact that a driver in lawful…