U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup, Enemy of All Bloggers
Boing Boing has an update out on the case of Josh Wolf. Josh is a San Francisco citizen journalist and video blogger who is currently sitting in jail on contempt of court charges for refusing to turn over a videotape of vandalism to a police car to U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup. Josh took the video covering a G-8 political protest that took place here in San Francisco in 2005. Boing Boing says that this is the first time that a blogger has served jail time for not relinquishing content on demand.
Judge William Alsup is an enemy to all bloggers. His jailing of Josh strikes a serious blow against the concept of free speech and the protection that bloggers should have when reporting and covering news events. I take photographs each day around the streets of San Francisco and it worries me that as a photographer if I choose to cover a protest that I could be forced by the someone like Judge Alsup to turn over my pictures. This is bad for a free press and it is bad for a country that prides itself on it’s freedoms.
There will be a benefit to raise money for Josh’s legal expenses tomorrow night at the House of Shields. There is a wiki that follows Josh’s case here. There is a website here. And you can donate to Josh’s legal defense fund here.