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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Free Speech

Know Your Rights When Using Online Social Networks

Posted on in Privacy

The vast majority of young people living in the United States go online daily and use social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. With all this information-sharing, many questions about ownership of personal information and possible discipline for postings arise. The following guide will answer some of those questions so that you can better understand the rights you have when using social networking both in and out of school.

Social Networking, your privacy rights explained

ACLU-NCLF Legal Director Katy Parker authored a Feb. 22 op-ed in the Salisbury Post responding to several articles and statements about the ACLU urging the Rowan County Board of Commissioners to cease holding unconstitutional sectarian prayer at public meeting. "By continuing to hold government-sponsored sectarian prayer, the Commissioners are not only violating the law, but making Rowan County less welcoming to religious minorities and to the constitutional principle of religious freedom," Parker writes.

Read the full op-ed here.

RALEIGH – This morning, the Wake County District Attorney’s Office dropped criminal charges filed against a 57-year-old disabled Raleigh resident who was arrested Oct. 27, 2011, and charged with second-degree trespassing for refusing to move a chair she required because of back problems away from the Occupy Raleigh demonstration in which she was participating.

Margaret Schucker received legal representation from the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) and ACLU-NCLF Cooperating Attorney Scott Holmes, of the Durham law firm of Brock, Payne & Meece. The ACLU-NCLF argued that Schucker’s arrest violated her right to free speech.

“We’re very pleased that the charges against Ms. Schucker have been dropped,” said Katy Parker, ACLU-NCLF Legal Director. “Today’s news is a victory for the First Amendment and for the rights of the disabled.”

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The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) sent a letter to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 27 expressing concern that the Board’s recent decision to ban multimedia presentations during public comment period violates the First Amendment.

In October, Jodi Riddleberger, a Guilford County resident affiliated with a group called Conservatives for Guilford County (C4gc), played a video as part of her allowed three-minute public comment. After the presentation ended, Board Chairman Marvin L. Alston indicated his displeasure with the video as an “unpaid commercial for candidates” and remarked that from that point forward, the County should try to “screen videos” for content. The Board subsequently voted, without public input, to ban audio/visual presentations during public comment period, but later indicated that groups wishing to show videos during Board meetings could ask to be placed on the Board’s meeting agenda. However, Chairman Alston and staff later denied Riddleberger’s requests to be placed on the agenda.

“It appears that the County’s actions with regard to Ms. Riddleberger, as well as the passage of the ban on audio/visual presentations during public comment period, constitute violations of the First Amendment,” reads the letter from Katy Parker, ACLU-NCLF Legal Director. “First, we believe that the general requirement that individuals can show videos only if approved and placed on the agenda is an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech. Further, Chairman Alston’s specific comments and actions against Ms. Riddleberger suggest that these new rules, while they appear to be content neutral, are a thinly veiled disguise for impermissible content, or even viewpoint, discrimination.”

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