A New York judge recently ordered the New York Police Department to allow the New York Times to look at records of city residents with gun permits, and to have access to an electronic database of reported hate crimes. The police department refused to release the records for fear of endangering those named on the list, such as retired police officers and goverment employees, and to protect the victims of hate crimes.

As a compromise, the judge stated that regarding the gun permits, the NYPD could redact the names and addresses of the relevant sensitive populations, and could partially obscure the address numbers for the victims of hate crimes. Since the Times reported that they merely sought to measure the frequency of hate crimes within the city, the exact numbers of the houses were irrelevant. Additionally, in order to allay the NYPD's concerns regarding the Times making the information public, such as by putting the information online, which the Times had stated they had no intention of doing, the judge effectively barred them from placing the information on the internet.

The New York Times employees had sued the NYPD for violating the State's Freedom of Information Law, which allows access to public records, such as the relevant lists.