Feeds

Police cuff citizens for videotaping arrests

Film a cop, go to jail

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Since the police beating of motorist Rodney King in 1991, men in blue have looked warily at the civilian videotaping of arrests and other police activities. Some cops are so opposed to the practice, they've begun arresting the amateur videographers and charging them criminally.

According to this article published by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, police in Boston and Pennsylvania have regularly arrested otherwise law-abiding citizens who videotape cops as they go about performing arrests on public streets. The charge: illegal electronic surveillance.

"The police apparently do not want witnesses to what they do in public," Sarah Wunsch, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, was quoted as saying.

Like 11 other states, Massachusetts is a two-party consent state, meaning that all parties to a conversation must agree to be recorded on telephones or other audio devices. Police in Boston and elsewhere have used the law to arrest videographers who use cameras with audio recording capabilities.

With the ubiquity of video cameras, just about every facet of public life - from fights on public transit to executions of megalomaniac world leaders - is regularly captured on tape. But if certain police get their way, the sole exception to that rule will be reserved for actions they carry out that they'd prefer remain secret.

The irony isn't lost on Jon Surmacz, who was arrested in December 2008 for videotaping police as they broke up a party he was attending.

"Had I recorded an officer saving someone’s life," he said. "I almost guarantee you that they wouldn’t have come up to me and say, 'Hey, you just recorded me saving that person’s life. You’re under arrest.'" ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.