Florida (and other states) mask law: a legal perspective I hate to continue opening this can of worms but it's an important issue that is worth confronting. For the TL;DR crowd: the Supreme Court of Florida has found laws banning the wearing of masks in public to be a violation of free expression and privacy. For the "O RLY" crowd: Robinson v. State (1980) is a Florida Supreme Court case in which a man was arrested for wearing a mask in public, in violation of the state's anti-mask law. He contested the constitutionality of the law in his county court; the court refused to rule on this, and so he pled no contest in order to retain his right to appeal. The Supreme Court decision (opinion written by Justice Boyd) was as follows (truncated to the important stuff): Section 876.16 is the "exemptions" section which permitted Gasparilla, Halloween, etc masks. In response, the Florida Legislature amended 876.15 with 876.155, an "applicability" rule: The U.S. Supreme Court has so far denied cert to cases dealing with anti-mask legislation. Thus the constitutionality of state laws remain under the decisions of those states' courts; California (Ghafari v. San Francisco) has a similar decision protecting the wearing of masks in public, but the only one that protects masks as a form of symbolic speech is Aryan v. Mackey in which the Texas SC found Iranian students wearing masks to protest (unimportant; they were protesting Iranian politics) were doing so as a form of symbolic speech. On the other hand, state courts in other jurisdictions have found anti-mask laws constitutional; among these are Virginia, Georgia, and Tennessee. I'm sure there are others, but I don't have the time to write a full brief on this issue. I am told that inquiries to the Clearwater police were met with responses that masks were illegal and those wearing them would be arrested. This would, from both my and the ACLU's perspective, be a severe violation of constitutionally-protected civil rights. I'm also fully aware that Anonymous is currently planning NOT to wear masks. That's fine. Anonymous is, under all circumstances, free to decide in what ways Anonymous wishes to exercise its constitutionally-protected civil rights. Yet if we feel this is an exercise of rights in order to promote a moral ideal -- and given the target of our protest, it most certainly is -- we ought to consider the gestalt of this massive worldwide action; in other words, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere (to quote Dr. King). I understand that antagonizing police is a very bad idea, and I don't encourage it. Yet we have a responsibility as those exercising our right to assemble and speak freely to ensure those rights are not illegally infringed upon; if we believe this goes above and beyond Anonymous, our actions thus set a precedent for those who would come after in whatever manner they plan to protest, and to whatever idea they aim to combat.