First Amendment win in Massachusetts — US Court of Appeals ruled press not subject to anti-recording laws

Tonda Rush

Jan 5, 2021

The National Newspaper Association and a broad alliance of media organizations won one for the First Amendment in Massachusetts in December as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled the state’s anti-recording laws did not apply to the press and the public when it videotapes police in action.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed an amicus brief for more than a dozen journalism groups arguing that Massachusetts’ law making it a crime to record someone without the person’s consent did not apply to “the secret, nonconsensual audio recording of police officers discharging their official duties in public spaces.”