Undercover Videos Are Fine, Except When They’re About Animal Abuse. Then They’re Terrorism.
The case involves an undercover officer who entered a suspect’s home under false pretenses (claiming to be an interested buyer of contraband bald eagle feathers and pelts), carrying a concealed video camera. The footage from that camera was used as evidence in the suspect’s prosecution.
The suspect claimed that the method for gathering the footage constituted a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights and that the evidence should have been suppressed. The court ruled that because what was revealed to the undercover officer during his visit was in plain sight, the fact that he was secretly recording it is irrelevant.
Earlier this year, Iowa and Utah became the latest states to approve “Ag Gag laws” that criminalize undercover investigations of animal abuse on factory farms. When activists enter a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation under false pretenses (usually by getting hired) for the purpose of secretly videotaping the daily gratuitous atrocities committed against pigs, cows, chickens and other livestock, their conduct in states with Ag Gag laws is criminal. The FBI has recommended they be prosecuted as terrorists.
Cops lying about their identities and shooting undercover videos in your house = no problem.
Animal rights activists lying about their identities and shooting undercover videos of animal abuse on factory farms = terrorism.
That is all.
Photo by pursuethepassion under Creative Commons license.