A New York activist who helped bring down ACORN and who was arrested for breaking into a US senator's office in Louisiana wants a US judge to strike down the Massachusetts law that prohibits audio recordings without a person's consent.
In a lawsuit filed this week in US District Court against Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, James O'Keefe's Project Veritas Action Fund says the Massachusetts wiretapping law violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments and is preventing his group from investigating "the recently reported instances of landlords taking advantage of housing shortages in Boston where students may live in unsafe and dilapidated conditions" as well as general malfeasance involving public officials.
The lawsuit does not allege that Conley's office has actually taken any action against the group.
Although a federal appeals court held that people could record Boston police officers in public without asking their permission, Project Veritas says that doesn't go far enough when it comes to "public officials in places with no expectation of privacy and private individuals in places with no expectation of privacy."
Based on past experience, PVA has not uncovered newsworthy matters to report by publicly announcing its recording efforts and seeking the consent of all parties to be recorded. Rather, PVA has uncovered newsworthy matters to report through secretive recording of discussions, often in areas held open to the public such as voting places, sidewalks, and hotel lobbies. Without utilizing such techniques, PVA is unable to exercise its First Amendment rights to engage in undercover newsgathering and journalism in Massachusetts.