FC: Washington state senate moves to ban publishing info on police

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Feb 11 2002 - 09:11:33 PST

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    Lawyers for the city of Kirkland threaten Politech:
    Background on Kirkland suing JusticeFiles.org:
    Monday, February 11, 2002
    Measure would give police more privacy on Web
    By Michael Ko
    Seattle Times staff reporter
    A Web site that gives personal information on hundreds of police officers
    and is already the subject of a lawsuit pitting the First Amendment against
    personal privacy now is the target of legislation aimed at shutting it down.
    The bill, which passed out of the state Senate Judiciary Committee on
    Thursday, would allow a judge to shut down any source that sells, lists or
    distributes the home phone numbers, home addresses, birthdates or Social
    Security numbers of police officers or court employees and shows "an intent
    to harm or intimidate."
    Those named could seek damages in civil court.
    "Police officers are in some pretty difficult situations, (and) to have
    their professional business spill over into their personal lives, it's
    terrible," said state Sen. Bill Finkbeiner, R-Kirkland, the primary sponsor.
    "You don't have a First Amendment right to harass and intimidate."
    Finkbeiner said the legislation was prompted by a Web site created last year
    by Bill Sheehan and Aaron Rosenstein, two local network engineers. The site
    posted rosters of 16 local law-enforcement agencies, along with salaries,
    addresses, phone numbers and, in some cases, Social Security numbers.
    Sheehan and Rosenstein said they wanted to hold police accountable,
    contending that departments were secretive and inaccessible. Officers were
    furious and said the site could lead to harassment, identity theft or worse.
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