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Iowa judge finds undercover farm investigations law violates First Amendment

January 10, 2019

Via: Jurist

A federal judge in Iowa held Wednesday that a 2012 Iowa law criminalizing undercover farm investigators was a violation of the First Amendment.

In 2012 lawmakers amended Iowa Code 717A to include a provision making it a crime for investigators to go undercover at farms and slaughterhouses for data collection and investigative journalism purposes. The state of Iowa is defending the 2012 legislation based on concerns over facility security and the negative reputation given to farmhouses. Farmers believed that their crops and livestock were susceptible to outside threats and security would be compromised if undercover investigators continue to make it onto their agricultural facilities.

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