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View Diary: Farm to Fork to First Amendment – Fighting Ag-Gag Laws (8 comments)

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  •  My question is this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In the absence of laws like this, is it presently legal to surreptitiously record or place concealed recording devices in one's workplace?  I imagine it varies from state to state, but I would have thought it was already illegal.  

    Perhaps one approach would be to propose amendments making the laws' provisions apply to every workplace, not just agricultural ones.  Seems fair, doesn't it?  And with that, maybe we'd hear the last of James O'Keefe.

    •  Recording laws (5+ / 0-)

      are typically constrained to two things:  

      1. Recording other people without their consent.  This applies to any situation not just places of employment.

      2. Recording anything that could be a legitimate "corporate secret" like how a company formulates a product to differentiate themselves from their competitor.

      In both areas the reason for the restrictions of legality are clear.  People should be able to object if they don't want to be recorded by you and you cant steal company secrets with impunity.

      Also, there are also already plenty of defamation laws on the books that would allow companies to take action if they were wrongly smeared.  If I go out and start broadcasting how you are cruelly abusing cows if you have proof that you are 100% in USDA/FDA compliance. In such an instance you can (and should) sue the shit out of me.

      However, Ag-Gag seeks to have a general blanket prohibition on ANY documentation of ANYTHING that relates to agriculture or livestock.  It doesn't matter what you do with it.  It doesn't matter what the activity is or whether it is related to recording other people or just pictures of animals, facilities, sanitation equipment or anything.  They seek to make it a crime immediately for taking pictures or recordings of anything without permission.

      And the employment restrictions are obviously left vague enough to engender claims that someone only got their job at an food facility in order to gain access to what they wanted to document.

      The idea of "if it relates to food, it should be kept secret" is something that is clearly hitting a stumbling block with the American people.   ....and rightly so.

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:01:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Civil damages are one thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo, RiveroftheWest

      Making it criminal is the problem.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:29:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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