Cutting Edge Privacy Case Argued before NH's High Court

Today, Ted Lothstein presented oral argument to the New Hampshire Supreme Court in a case that implicates several cutting edge issues, including the scope of a new and potentially far-reaching amendment to the State Constitution that safeguards people's right to privacy in their personal information. N.H. Constitution, Part I, Article 2-b.

The Case

The Wolfeboro, NH Police got a search warrant to search a private home for evidence of animal neglect. The sworn affidavit in support of the search warrant didn't inform the magistrate that the police intended to bring a national animal rights advocacy organization into the home (Humane Society of the United States, or HSUS). The affidavit didn't inform the magistrate that HSUS would take pictures and videos throughout a private citizen's home, under cover of judicial authorization. Most significantly, the affidavit didn't inform the magistrate that the police chief made a deal with HSUS: they would provide their (very costly) services for free, in exchange for the police giving them license to broadcast imagery from inside this private citizen's home all around the world on social media in an extensive fundraising and propaganda campaign.

Can your local police chief sell your most private and personal information to the highest bidder, under the cover of judicial "authorization" where the judge had no idea that any such deal had been made? Stay tuned.

You can read coverage in WMUR here.