National Lab Briefs

A flap over photographs has made the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University the target of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The suit charges that staff photographer Terry Corbett was illegally fired in August 1987 after he refused to take pictures of demonstrators protesting the lab’s work on nuclear weapons. ACLU lawyer Charles Becker contends that the rights of demonstrators were violated when the Defense Department-funded lab gave pictures of the demonst

The Scientist Staff
Sep 4, 1988

A flap over photographs has made the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University the target of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The suit charges that staff photographer Terry Corbett was illegally fired in August 1987 after he refused to take pictures of demonstrators protesting the lab’s work on nuclear weapons. ACLU lawyer Charles Becker contends that the rights of demonstrators were violated when the Defense Department-funded lab gave pictures of the demonstration to state and federal law enforcement agencies, arid that Corbett’s actions were justified by that breach of law. The suit seeks damages of $1.1 million.

APL spokesperson Helen Worth confirms that the lab does photograph and identify protesters “for security purposes,” but lab lawyer Jeff Ayres maintains that no laws were broken. He cites a 1967 case that held a defense contractor’s decision to provide the government with information about demonstrators was not...

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