Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jury Acquits Citizens of Illegally Filming Police - Slashdot

When I see these types of stories it really upsets me.

I am sorry but there shouldn't be anything illegal about making video recordings of public government activities. I can understand on the battle fields or in court hearings that they don't want information leaked to the press. Or in matters where personal privacy of innocent non celebrities are involved. I am happy that at least a jury peers with some common sense was involved.

Still I think there needs to be a downside for authorities who intimidate citizens by arresting and prosecuting them when they've done nothing wrong. If the individuals who made the video lacked financial and legal resources they'd be in jail now and a terrible legal precedent would be set for all of us.

We shouldn't be made afraid to record and transmit video!  Video is the best defense of the innocent.  I have had long discussions on making gear to record everything in your life 24/7.  I mean, if it goes in to my eyes and my ears, why shouldn't I be able to record it? At least for personal use, if nothing else to refresh my memory.  And if I should be accused of something then I would have hard unbiased proof of actual events. Time stamped with GPS location and my vitals, and stored in a secure third party cloud with security check sums and certificates proving authenticity at that time and place.

In a world where technology is making video cheap, easy and ubiquitous we will all be running a risk of recording the wrong things. Soon we could all be held accountable without any foreknowledge at some point.

Soon we will be living in Big Brother, and it could be just the government watching us, or it can be were we all get to watch everyone, government included. I think that one way transparency is a recipe for a nightmarish 1984 existence.
Equal transparency is what must be demanded. If they can see my data, then I want to be able to see theirs!  I may never look, but we need to have the right too.

I don't want  any "special people" that are above scrutiny.

If we are to loose some privacy it must be for all of us across the board. Not just the people outside the system or those less fortunate.

"The Springfield (MA) Republican reports two men accused of illegally filming the process as they bailed friends out of jail that last summer, were acquitted of all charges Tuesday. Pete Eyre and Adam Mueller initially were granted permission to film the bail process, but later were forbidden by jail officials from recording the procedure. When they continued to digitally recording their encounter with jail officials, they were arrested by police. Eyre and Mueller testified that they never attempted to hide the fact that they were recording at the jail. Not only did they ask permission to film the bail-out process — which initially was granted — but their recording devices were 'out in the open,' Eyre said. The Jury found the defendants not guilty of three criminal counts: Each was acquitted of unlawful wiretapping, while Mueller also was acquitted of a charge of resisting arrest."

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