September 8, 2011 | Digital Rights


There have been a number of disturbing cases of police arresting people for recording the police all over the US. HotAir approvingly mentions Glenn Reynolds’ takedown of the police in the Examiner.

The thing that always amused me about these arrests was the “wiretapping” charges. Funny like crazy. If you’re holding a cell phone recording someone across the street, where’s the wire that you’re tapping?

And at the same time, no one’s been arrested for the whole AT&T/NSA wiretapping thing?

A brief rundown of why you should be able to videotape the police:

  • Who says you can’t? You’re free to do what you want in the first instance, in the lack of a specific law to the contrary, right?
  • People have always had the right to photograph in public. The Supreme Court has held the police can observe and record things happening in “plain view“. So what’s the problem? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
  • The police are public servants doing their job. It would really be weird for you not to be able to record your employees. Companies do it all the time.
  • If you’re not in the wrong, you should have nothing to be afraid of. Isn’t that what we’re told by governments all the time? Payback time.

Anyway, HotAir agrees you have the right to record the police. What do you think?

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