Raimondo v. FBI
On August 3, 2018, the Knight Institute filed an amicus brief with the Center for Constitutional Rights and Color of Change in Raimondo v. FBI, in which the Ninth Circuit is considering challenges brought by two internet journalists against the government's maintenance of records documenting their First Amendment activities without any apparent law enforcement purpose.
The Privacy Act prohibits the government from keeping records describing how individuals exercise their First Amendment rights, absent express statutory authority or individual consent to do so, and unless the records are "pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity." As the amicus brief explains, Congress put this protection into law in response to the government's long history of discriminatory surveillance of racial justice activists. This history is currently repeating itself in the government's online and on-the-ground monitoring of the Movement for Black Lives, as well as other activist organizations, making the Privacy Act's First Amendment protection all the more important.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison represented amici pro bono in the filing of the brief.
Status: Argued on June 12, 2019, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Case Information: Raimondo v. FBI, No. 13-cv-02295 (N.D. Cal.), No. 18-15416 (9th Cir.).