A few readers tell me that they’re having problems finding my Thursday post on alleged surveillance at NYU Law School. I’m not sure what software bug is responsible [or, perhaps more likely, where I messed up along the way], but the direct link is here.
UPDATE: If you’re still having trouble, here’s the post with the update (the only comments were links to the materials):
Brian Leiter copies an e-mail sent by NYU Law’s Dean Richard Revesz about government surveillance of student groups at NYU. Does anyone know the details of the alleged surveillance? When I looked into a similar incident a few months ago, it turned out that there was substantially less to the story than there first appeared. (To be clear, I realize that there are a number of news stories claiming that “surveillance” allegedly occurred, but I’m interested in understanding exactly what kind of surveillance occurred, and how we know that it occurred.) I’m not sure if this case is different from the incident I looked into a few months ago, but I think it would be helpful to everyone if we had a better understanding of the facts. If you know the details, please consider leaving a comment or writing me at okerr [at] law.gwu.edu. Thanks.
UPDATE: As best I can tell, the evidence for the charge is this document, which was produced pursuant to a FOIA request. As I read the document, in particular page 11 (the upside down page) through 13 of the .pdf file, someone in the government saw a web posting announcing that an NYU student group was planning a protest of military recruiters. Some person in the government wrote a short memo about the web posting, discussing whether the protest might be violent. The uttlerly clueless author of the memo initially thinks that the name of the group, OUTLAW, might signal that the group is dedicated to breaking the law. The document then notes that further research suggests that it may just be the name of a gay law students group (Out + Law, get it? Sheesh, it’s not that difficult.).
In any event, as I read the document, the “government surveillance” at issue was viewing a posted notice on the web. Am I missing something? I would be particularly interested in evidence that government agents actually visited NYU; as best I can tell, no one is claiming that this occurred.