Protest Surveillance: Police Transparency or Doxxing?


Publish Date:
May 9, 2022
The Crime Report
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Tyler Valeska, a lecturer in law at Stanford Law School, argues in the Columbia Law Review that the “wholesale dumps of unedited footage likely violate the First Amendment in at least some circumstances, including those of last summer’s Black Lives Matter Protests.”

“[P]ublic dissemination of such surveillance creates a cognizable injury that avoids standing obstacles,” Valeska continued. “That injury is inflicted by governmental distribution of protest surveillance despite the public nature of protests, as protesters retain certain privacy interests in the public square.”

Valeska notes that the First Amendment was created to protect people in public discourse, and to allow individuals to engage, associate, and communicate with others for purposes of political expression.

But, when someone’s right to protest turns into a “paradox of public privacy,” advocates and policy makers must take a deeper look at the impact this has, and the constitutionality of surveilling, recording, and publishing information.

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