Yesterday, October 18th, the government decided that shutterbugs can take pictures and video “outside” of federal courthouses, reports the Brooklyn Eagle. Prior to yesterday, filming around the Theodore Roosevelt Federal Courthouse would have gotten you in deep stew with the Feds. Filming “inside” the courthouse is still out.
The Theodore Roosevelt, for those unfamiliar with the new name, is downtown’s courthouse at Cadman Plaza.
The new ruling stems from a shutterbug’s battle for his First Amendment rights after the Feds arrested and allegedly harassed him for trying to photograph protesters in front of downtown Manhattan’s courthouse.
The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) sued the government on the premise that, “”The courthouse plaza is public property paid for by taxpayers, and the public should not be prohibited from using video cameras there.” The government agreed that “there are no federal laws or regulations that prohibit photography outside federal courthouses,” reports the Eagle.
Now, we are all free to film around all federal buildings, not only courthouses.
This is a win for individual freedom, no doubt about that, which is always good in my book.
However, the reason for the ban on filming was national security. Now, Islamic terrorists and other brainstorming bombers are able to take pictures as freely as harmless people.
My book won’t be much good to me, or yours to you, if blown to bits.
Press Release, “Photography Now Officially Permitted Outside Federal Court,” The Brooklyn Eagle