Judge: Project Veritas has no First Amendment right to Biden daughter's stolen diary

Originally published at: Judge: Project Veritas has no First Amendment right to Biden daughter's stolen diary - Boing Boing


You know you done fucked up when the Trump campaign says “hell no, that’s private information and we won’t dirty ourselves by being associated with it so you best just give it over to law enforcement.”


Project Veritas ... has said its activities were newsgathering and were ethical and legal.

OK, I think I see the problem right there. Because whether or not “receiving stolen property” is a crime in your jurisdiction, it’s unquestionably not ethical. And if Project Veritas is ready to believe that it is, that might just explain why they seem to struggle so much with identifying what is and isn’t an ethical course of action.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Star Wars owner Disney displeased by “Star Wash” car wash

I don’t believe that for a second. If PV was truly blind to ethics, then they wouldn’t be able to consistently and reliably make the most reprehensible possible choice, every time.


Oh my goodness this sentence is making my head hurt. The diary contains clothes and luggage? The digital storage card has clothes and luggage (hard to keep up with technology these days I guess)? The diary contains tax documents, or are those on the digital storage card, or are they a separate item? The clothes and luggage were for a trip to New York?


… don’t forget the password :wink:


For want of a comma, our case was lost.


What the Trump campaign meant was that they should go around to the back entrance and unofficially talk to Rudy, but they were too thick to pick up on the hints and thinly-veiled suggestions.


When are these guys going to be charged with, at least, receiving stolen goods? There is no way these items were found lying in the street. It’s highly unlikely that Ms. Biden gave them away.
And just what first amendment claims could they make on these items? Publishing people’s private writings that have no connection to the government without permission is not protected speech. Are there entries about “Daddy and Hunter laughed and laughed at how they did little favors for their Ukrainian friends and got loads of cash for it!”?


Ethically and morally reprehensible, which fits in with how the executive management for Project Veritas has behaved.


It was being stored by a friend when it got stolen, not that it makes a difference - it would have been theft even if they found it on the street (and didn’t know who it belonged to). The thieves and Veritas people don’t seem to understand they can’t sell/keep things that belong to someone else. I’m amazed that Americans seem to think expressions like “finders keepers” and “possession is 9/10 of the law” are how ownership actually works under the law.

Still, it’s rather fitting that Project Veritas wasted $40,000 on material they couldn’t as one of their last acts before shutting down.


Well…sometimes it is. It just depends, like most things in the law. Context is everything. If a restaurant finds a wallet in a booth, and the ID in the wallet corresponds to someone who ate there that day…the restaurant definitely can’t just keep it. They don’t have to try to find the owner, but they do have to hang on to it for a certain period of time in case the owner comes looking for it.

On the other hand, let’s say you buy a house and find a valuable painting in the attic, hidden under a blanket covered in 20 years worth of dust. That painting is now yours. Congratulations. Unless…it then is discovered that that painting is known to have been stolen. Then its ownership is going to probably have to be decided in court, but probably can be reclaimed by the last known legal owner it was stolen from. But if it wasn’t stolen, if it was just inadvertently left behind by a previous owner…then it’s yours. In that case, possession does determine ownership.

And let’s say you find a diamond ring in the middle of an abandoned lot, partially buried, with the help of a metal detector. That ring is yours, even though it almost certainly was lost, not abandoned.

Some countries have state run lost and found offices, and people are actually required to turn in found items to those offices, even if they did find them in an abandoned field. And then, if no one claims it after x amount of time, you can go back and claim it. I kind of like that approach, and I wish we did it here.

As far as this diary goes, that was just plain stolen, even though PV described it as abandoned. And we know it was stolen because two people pled guilty to stealing it and transporting it across state lines.


I mean, if there were newsworthy stuff contained in the diary? Like, actually-newsworthy, not right-wing-fever-dream newsworthy? Maybe whoever provided it to PV might be protected by whistleblower statutes. And PV themselves would be have legit protection under the 1st Amendment in publishing it.

This diary was… not exactly the Pentagon Papers.


i would think you’d have to have had permission to access it originally, known it contained information that was relevant beforehand, and not been seeking to profit off it

this seems more similar to the burglary at watergate…


Nothing that Project Veritas has ever done has been ethical, or reasonable, or good, or worth anything.


On the recurring theme of people in “highly moral” circles also sliding into immorality, I found an interesting study that showed such people to have an above-average affinity for immorality. When given the chance to secretly behave like their professed enemies (privacy violation, abuse of power, manipulation etc.), the study found such people would do just that, or at least express more of a desire to do so than people who did not also think the world is run by lizards from Pluto:

These results suggest that some people think “they conspired” because they think “I would conspire".

I have often also wondered why theists say their religion provides them with moral codes or guidence - is it that they have a limited capacity to construct such codes on their own? Why do you need a god to be good?


Project Veritas can say what it wants, but it’s been grounded in blatant fraud and theft since its beginning. Its real failure was not affiliating with and seeking the direct protection of the Republican Party, as have other prominent ratf*cking criminals at large like Roger Stone.


Maybe not now, but there will be by the time Project Veritas have finished ‘editing’ it.


If this were decreed to be a legit way to conduct journalism, it’d be a hell of a thing. “Journalists” could supplement earnings by the proceeds of their breaking and entering. Maybe newspaper syndicates could finally be financially viable.