Tag Archive | Virginia

VA Becomes First State to Pass Drone Regulations

by Jason Koebler, US News & World Report, Feb 5, 2012

The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that will put a two-year moratorium on the use of drones by state and local law enforcement. If signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, Virginia will become the first state in the U.S. to enact drone regulations. Virginia House Bill 2012 easily passed Monday by a vote of 83-16 and its companion, Senate Bill 1331, passed Tuesday by a vote of 36-2.

For full text of the article, visit Virginia Becomes First State to Pass Drone Regulations – US News and World Report.

Warrantless use of GPS does not invalidate visual surveillance

Thank you to Anna Solmovic for passing this along:

A Virginia state court held that the warrantless use of a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s work van did not invalidate subsequent visual surveillance by police officers.

For a copy of the court opinion in Foltz v. Virginia, visit: http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opncavwp/0521094.pdf

Fourth Circuit Decides First Amendment Trumps Social Security Number Privacy

Fourth Circuit Decides First Amendment Trumps Social Security Number Privacy

By KASHMIR HILL, Above the Law Blog, 27 Jul 2010 at 4:59 PM 4TH

Court clerks in Virginia may be shaking their fists at the Fourth Circuit today. In an interesting ruling on free speech, privacy, and public records, the court ruled that an angry blogger has the right to publish public officials’ and court clerks’ Social Security numbers in order to protest the fact that Virginia puts records online that publish citizens’ social security numbers. We skimmed the opinion, but didn’t see a citation to Hammurabi.

B.J. Ostergren has been writing TheVirginiaWatchdog.com since 2003 to bring attention to the fact that state governments play fast and loose with people’s Social Security numbers when putting land records online. Her advocacy got many of them to actually start attempting to redact SSNs from the documents before putting them online, but the system was still imperfect.

For full text of the article, visit Fourth Circuit Decides First Amendment Trumps Social Security Number Privacy « Above the Law: A Legal Tabloid – News, Gossip, and Colorful Commentary on Law Firms and the Legal Profession.

Two Court Cases: Disclosure of Residential Addresses in Petition and SSN in Land Records

U.S. Supreme Court

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Government privacy invasions

Disclosure of personal information can be a safety issue, as in the case of stalking victims and those who work at nonprofits.

Source: Mark J. Fitzgibbons, Op-Ed, The National Law Journal, September 27, 2010

… In Doe v. Reed, Washington Secretary of State, 130 S. Ct. 2811 (2010), the plaintiffs sought the U.S. Supreme Court‘s protection against disclosure of residential addresses. … Ballot-initiative petitions are filed with the secretary of state, who determined under Washington law that those are records subject to review by the public. Opponents of a ballot initiative to repeal the state’s domestic partnership law stated they would publish on the Internet the names and addresses of petition signers. Petition organizers claimed such disclosure violated the First Amend­ment because it exposed petition signers to threats, harassment and reprisal, and therefore has a chilling effect on the right to sign the petition. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 8 – 1, that the First Amendment does not prohibit the secretary’s determination that the petitions are public records …

In Ostergren v. Cuccinelli, nos. 09-1723, 09-1796 (4th Cir. July 26, 2010) … decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit on Aug. 2, a privacy advocate … published online the Social Security numbers of Virginia public officials as a means to protest the commonwealth’s failure to redact that information from land records of citizens. Virginia sought to sanction her and enjoin publication, but the 4th Circuit held that the First Amendment protected such publication. …

 For full text of the article, click here.

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