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Police Officers Seek Right Not To Be Recorded

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the ain't-nobody's-bidness-if-we-do dept.

Crime 1123

linzeal writes "When the police act as though cameras were the equivalent of guns pointed at them, there is a sense in which they are correct. Cameras have become the most effective weapon that ordinary people have to protect against and to expose police abuse. And the police want it to stop. Judges, juries, and legislatures support the police overwhelmingly on this issue, with only a few cases where those accused of 'shooting' the cops being vindicated through the courts."

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1123 comments

The steady slide to Police State continues (5, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446198)

and the general apathetic public sleeps soundly.

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (3, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446304)

Panem et circenses is far more effective than anything else at keep a population quiet and complacent. Now take away their American Idol and fast food....then would see an uprising.

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (1, Interesting)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446370)

Take away American Idol, fast food and cheap antidepressants and other entertainment psychoactives and you'll see an uprising. We're a prozac and adderal nation now. How tolerant would we be of this nonsense if that didn't exist?

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (5, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446412)

Now take away their American Idol

Can that really be done??? Please?? Can you do it??

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446472)

They'll just replace it with x-factor, dancing with the stars, farmville, WoW, etc...

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446640)

Panem et circenses is far more effective than anything else at keep a population quiet and complacent. Now take away their American Idol and fast food....then would see an uprising.

"My god, they could lobotomize the network. Without television, this city would be ungovernable!"

"We're going to have riots out there. We should distribute emergency video players immediately!"

- Max Headroom, Blanks, ca. 1987.

The show was set "20 minutes into the future" because it was 20 years ahead of its time.

If they don't want to be recorded they are hiding. (5, Insightful)

GarryFre (886347) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446396)

While I understand the idea of being made nervous when a camera is pointed at me, I think its hypocritical sp? of them to have cameras on the public but object if the reverse happens. I've seen a few obvious gross abuses of authority on the part of police. Its not all that common but it happens and to outlaw John Q. Victim's only defense against criminals in authority is a crime in itself. If they don't want to be recorded, they may be hiding something.

Re:If they don't want to be recorded they are hidi (4, Insightful)

frenchbedroom (936100) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446496)

If they don't want to be recorded, they may be hiding something.

Now now, be careful with that sword, it's double-edged.

Re:If they don't want to be recorded they are hidi (0)

logjon (1411219) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446682)

If they don't want to be recorded in situations that could spawn accusations that could potentially ruin someone's life, they may be hiding something. 'Serve and protect.' What a crock of shit.

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446428)

What could be more apathetic than merely posting on Slashdot about it? Or were you actually planning on getting off your ass and taking action?

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446552)

The only action that would have any effect is collective, armed revolution by a measurable amount of the populace. All I can do is live by my principles and do all I can to refrain from the bread and circuses offered by the King.

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446692)

Hmmmm . . . an armed revolution because the police don't want to be videotaped.

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (-1, Flamebait)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446466)

what slide? in each of those cases the person violated a law. the NYC one was by a bunch of idiots called Critical Mass who think it's OK to disrupt traffic. they deserve to get beat down for what they do. 99% of the people on bikes are always breaking traffic laws running red lights or going the wrong way.

i'm almost 40, i've only had a few traffic tickets and that's the extent of my contact with police officers. and i'm free to do whatever i want

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446578)

Gee, I guess because you have only had a few traffic tickets that spells A-O-K. Fucking idiot.

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (0, Troll)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446704)

and almost everyone i know and have ever met has never been in trouble with the law. some people always get in trouble because they are idiots and refuse to follow the law. things like participating in bike rides with hundreds of people and disrupting traffic is against the law. so is selling crap on the street with no license. some of these laws go back decades if not hundreds of years

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (5, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446468)

The end of the article mentions districts writing into law that recording on duty policemen is specifically legal as backlash against the courts interpretation of the existing laws. Fixing the laws is our check against the courts faulty interpretation and the police's enforcement. So we can whine on slashdot about the public being apathetic while some people are clearly trying to fix the problem or we can try to get similar laws passed in our states and districts.

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (5, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446518)

No kidding.

FTFA

In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.

[...]

Drew is being prosecuted for illegal recording, a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.

[...]

Hyde used his recording to file a harassment complaint against the police. After doing so, he was criminally charged.

And their defense is

The police are basing this claim on a ridiculous reading of the two-party consent surveillance law - requiring all parties to consent to being taped.

Does that mean you can break in and rob a store - and if there is security footage, whoever owns the camera is going to jail for 4 years?

Can I write a legal disclaimer that simply by looking at my face you agree to allow me to record footage of you, and post this disclaimer on my T-shirt?

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (5, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446600)

One last tidbit from the article worth reading

For the second time in less than a month, a police officer was convicted from evidence obtained from a videotape. The first officer to be convicted was New York City Police Officer Patrick Pogan, who would never have stood trial had it not been for a video posted on Youtube showing him body slamming a bicyclist before charging him with assault on an officer. The second officer to be convicted was Ottawa Hills (Ohio) Police Officer Thomas White, who shot a motorcyclist in the back after a traffic stop, permanently paralyzing the 24-year-old man."

Re:The steady slide to Police State continues (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446662)

Usually it's only voice recording that will get you in trouble. Most (all?) store surveillance cameras do not record sound for that very reason.

We need Gamers on this! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446722)

Like hordes of other Slashdotters, I learned logic from Richard Garfield's MTG.

"Your honor, I'd like to call Douglas Hofstadter to the stand."
Judge: "Why is he relevant?"
"He's an expert witness on Self-Referential paradoxes." ...

Douglas starts thinking:
"... Hm. If someone starts recording a site, they don't yet know if a police officer is going to enter that site for an incident that has not yet happened. Therefore are we getting into unmanned camera law?"

This reminds me of... (5, Funny)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446232)

When teachers didn't want to be tested as they claimed that testing was a poor indicator of someone ability. Go Figure.

Exactly. It's not like law enforcement can be (5, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446382)

held accountable for "violating" the same laws when they record citizens behavior without their consent for use as evidence. But somehow when it's a cop being taped, it's an illegal "unconsented" recording and people are going to jail.

This will be fair when those doing surveillance recording for law enforcement can also be sent to prison for recording in public places without individual consent. Until then, it's one more example of the way in which cops are increasingly generally subpar people, recruited from the less educated and less successful demographics of society, eager to hold a gun, and drawn to the profession precisely because they feel powerless in other areas of their life as a result of their general lack of merit, and thus need to abuse citizens in order to compensate for this lack.

Re:Exactly. It's not like law enforcement can be (2, Funny)

DevConcepts (1194347) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446698)

Couldn't you just have said they have tiny genitals?

Until then, it's one more example of the way in which cops are increasingly generally subpar people, recruited from the less educated and less successful demographics of society, eager to hold a gun, and drawn to the profession precisely because they feel powerless in other areas of their life as a result of their general lack of merit, and thus need to abuse citizens in order to compensate for this lack.

Let Them (5, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446240)

Record anyways. Even if it gets to the point where video evidence a flagrant abuse of power becomes inadmissible, it's potential value in stirring public outcry far outstrips any consequences associated with the establishment seeking to restrict the publics use of video recording and their public servants.

Re:Let Them (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446596)

Theres nos suchs words as "anyways."

Re:Let Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446656)

You missed the second "s" on "as", ass.

Re:Let Them (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446598)

It's all well and fine for you to type this while sitting comfortably at your computer sipping a hot beverage, but in the reality of a moment out on the street, you will find yourself facing a cop (or several) with a baton who takes your recording device away, smashes it into pieces, then proceeds to deliver you a series of injuries consistent with "resisting arrest."

Re:Let Them (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446624)

Aren't these the same people who often say: "Well if you don't want us to know what you're doing, or are ashamed of it, then perhaps you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

Goose & Gander (5, Insightful)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446648)

If it's okay for them to videotape me in public, then it's okay for me to videotape them.

But... (5, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446244)

But I thought that people with nothing to hide had no reason to worry about surveillance? Does that mean that this statement is wrong, or does it mean the police have something to hide?

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446426)

Yes.

Re:But... (2, Insightful)

Biggseye (1520195) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446554)

Basically this goes to two points, one in favor of the police and one not. In favor is that, lets be honest, it is never or rare that a police office does not have to use some force to arrest a criminal suspect. They are caught between doing the duty as a police officer and what might be considered excessive force.Taking some one down is never pretty and is often extremely physical in nature. The second point, and this is not in favor of the police is that many law enforcement people, not a majority, but enough, have the opinion that the law does not apply to them. I fall on the side of those that think this is a stupid law. There is a whole body of law that says that what happens in a public place is open to all to see.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446622)

Yes. It does.

Re: A police officer's view (5, Interesting)

prakslash (681585) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446672)

Here is how a police officer relative of mine explained this:
(Please dont mod me down, I am just a messenger)

When you point a camera, it is not just a passive device recording events. Instead, it can actually influence the events that it is recording. A witness at a crime scene may be hesitant to say exactly what he or she thinks because he knows the neighbors may see it. People may run away or refuse to come forward because they are afraid that they will be identified later on television and thus could become the victims of a crime. A lot of things happen in police encounters and sometimes a camera can have a chilling effect on the proceedings. Sometimes the influence of camera presence can benefit society by keeping police abuses in check. Sometimes it can be a harm.

Personally, I think the police officers only have their own benefit in mind when they ask for a ban on cameras.

Your camera has been deactivated due to (5, Insightful)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446268)

nearby police action. Thanks for your cooperation citizen, now pick up that can!

Re:Your camera has been deactivated due to (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446670)

What's most amusing about your post is that I finished a Pepsi and tossed the can in the garbage literally a half second before reading your post... :)

Obvious abuse of power (3, Interesting)

dward90 (1813520) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446282)

While I'm sure some(most) of this sentiment is created by media exaggeration and selective reporting, cops have the persona of themselves being above the law.

A movement to remove recording them will only serve to propagate that idea, and remove one of the only tools that civilians have to combat any police abuse.

Re:Obvious abuse of power (4, Insightful)

DiademBedfordshire (1662223) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446434)

Most cop cars have dash mounted cameras. It's not the idea that a cop does not want to be recorded, they want a system that the end user does not have the ability to alter. The individual cop can't get to the video, I am sure only internal affairs and their superiors have access.

The problem with these cell videos is they don't capture the whole event. A group of cops beating up a person looks extreme until you find out that person was resisting arrest and put both the cop and civilians in danger.

No doubt power can corrupt but most cops, and I know from personal and familial experience, took the job to "protect and serve".

Re:Obvious abuse of power (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446686)

If the beating looks 'extreme', it's going too far. Period. They should only be using enough force to subdue the person. 'Beating' is never an option.

Re:Obvious abuse of power (3, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446740)

Then the cops should record the whole event to vindicate themselves.

Re:Obvious abuse of power (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446476)

Most people don't consider the whole "above the law" thing to be a problem and actually help perpetuate it.

I am not sure if it really matters if people that are already inclined to mistrust the police just have another reason to do so.

Re:Obvious abuse of power (3, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446558)

There should be a constitutional amendment that makes recording of public servants a protected right.

Other than nuking it from orbit its the only way.

FTA (5, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446294)

1) Graber was not arrested immediately. Ten days after the encounter, he posted some of he material to YouTube, and it embarrassed Trooper J. D. Uhler. The trooper, who was in plainclothes and an unmarked car, jumped out waving a gun and screaming. Only later did Uhler identify himself as a police officer. When the YouTube video was discovered the police got a warrant against Graber, searched his parents' house (where he presumably lives), seized equipment, and charged him with a violation of wiretapping law.

Bureaucratic mother fuckers.

Sure (5, Interesting)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446302)

And I'm sure getting rid of probable cause makes their jobs easier too. I guess I don't want their jobs to be easy. I want their jobs to be really fucking hard. That's what you get along with a badge and a gun... scrutiny. At least, that's what should happen but rarely does.

After all, if you have nothing to hide Mr. Office Sir, what's the big deal?

Re:Sure (5, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446498)

With great power comes great responsibility; for both the people who give the power and the those who receive it. It's our duty to keep a close eye on them.

I would also suggest (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446308)

Police should also not wear uniforms, but black hoodies so they can blend in with the street-ninjas. Also, they should not carry any ID in case some troublemaker asks for their badge number. Damn tofu-eating hippies...always asking "civil rights" questions. I think they're always askin' for a beatin'...that's what I always say. Just let us do our jobs... move along citizen, move along.

Why? (4, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446318)

Judges, juries and legislatures support the police overwhelmingly on this issue

Honestly, why? What possible legitimate reason do the police have for wanting to keep things (at least things outside the station) off camera?

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446688)

Because discretion works both ways.

Every time they let someone off lightly, every little thing they ever ignored, could be recorded. They could let the teenager with the dimebag off with a warning before, but if they're on camera all the time now, discretion goes out the window.

It's worth it, though. Besides, I figure it would only take a year or two of full on enforcement of all the stupid malum prohibitum [wikipedia.org] crap before some effort was made to ensure that the only things that are against the law are things that effing should be.

and now (1)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446338)

And now only the criminals will have video cameras

Re:and now (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446504)

Well, the starting position from the POV of cops is that we, the riff-raff, are criminals, but just haven't been caught and convicted. And that they are there to remedy the situation.

One Fundamental difference: (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446348)

There's a lot of reasons why you can't point a gun at a cop.
There isn't a lot of drawback for a cop pointing his gun at you. (Filling out some paperwork)

While most people have become fine with that for weapons, the fundamental difference is that a Camera is not lethal. There is absolutely NO reason why Cops shouldn't be under the same scrutiny as the general public, and if they are allowed to use dashboard cameras, security surveilance, and whatever else at their disposal to help convict a criminal - then the populace should have the same ability at their disposal to defend themselves. Think of it as the right to bear arms.

Re:One Fundamental difference: (3, Insightful)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446484)

There is absolutely NO reason why Cops shouldn't be under the same scrutiny as the general public

Absolutely, I would go so far as to say there are several reasons why they should expect *more* scrutiny then
the general public. Every one of the cases cited in TFA are good reasons IMO.

Re:One Fundamental difference: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446606)

I'd agree except for one thing... Cops should be under *more* scrutiny than the general public.

Just recently in S. Florida a couple ex-cops were arrested for attempting to frame a suspected drunk driver in order to protect one of their own:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/06/02/1660786/2-ex-cops-arrested-in-video-frame.html [miamiherald.com]

If it weren't for the cameras, the driver would have gotten an undeserved penalty.

There is an argument that some people parrot: The bad guys deserve it.

But cops are there to enforce the law, not to make the law or judge the law. Once they step over those bounds we are in trouble.

Re:One Fundamental difference: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446710)

It's really more about the first amendment, but you're absolutely right that it's similar to the second.

These are rights because we have the right to choose our government. We may choose by force (2nd), or through the sharing of our ideas (1st).

We either defend our rights through our muskets and 9mm, or through our written word and recorded pictures and sound.

Make it obvious (3, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446350)

From TFA:

...the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway.

So it seem one can avoid prosecution (persecution?) by setting up a tripod and a few lights and making it real clear they are recording?

Re:Make it obvious (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446422)

Sure, then you just get it confiscated and the footage mysteriously disappears.

Re:Make it obvious (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446520)

There are apps now that will stream your video live from your phone to their website, so even if the camera gets pulled/trashed, the recording is still there.

Re:Make it obvious (2, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446528)


Sure, then you just get it confiscated and the footage mysteriously disappears.

I've been thinking that it'd be neat to have a wireless camera which streams wireless and encrypted to the actual recording device. One person could have the camera while a friend nearby has the recordings save in his pocket.

Re:Make it obvious (1)

OhPlz (168413) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446678)

Speaking of disappearing footage:

http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/29/188221&tid=172 [slashdot.org]

A guy was harassed at his home by police. He had cameras in his home and they recorded the incident. When he took the recording to the police to file a complaint, they confiscated it and arrested him. He had signs warning of the surveillance equipment just as any business catering to the public does.

The guy has a questionable history with the law, but even so, the actions of the police were totally uncalled for. This relatively quiet town in New Hampshire started getting attention from all around the world as the story grew legs. I believe that's the only reason why they eventually dropped the case.

I see the incident mentioned on local news sites on occasion, and last I read, the police have still refused to give back the tape even after stating that the complaint had merit.

Recording isn't the real issue... (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446360)

If the entire, unedited video is posted I don't have a problem with recording. But if only selected portions are shown with the intention of embarrassing someone, it seems like a either libel or harassment (IANAL, so I don't know for sure). In general I believe that you can't record audio, because there is an expectation of privacy there.

Re:Recording isn't the real issue... (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446444)

But if only selected portions are shown with the intention of embarrassing someone, it seems like a either libel or harassment

If this were the case we could yank all mainstream news off of the air.

Re:Recording isn't the real issue... (-1, Flamebait)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446540)

except when the news reported about the dumb ass getting beat down in times square they said he disobeyed police orders. the video on youtube didn't mention it. only that some innocent person was knocked off his bike for no reason

Re:Recording isn't the real issue... (3, Informative)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446702)

Except he didn't disobey orders -- he was on a bicycle down the street and couldn't have heard orders from a foot officer up the block -- nor was he doing anything different than all the other cyclists -- and Officer Patrick Hogan was convicted of assault for what he did. He also lied about it until the video came out. Nice of you to leave out the facts, apologist bootlicking shill. And oh, he was a jock in high school. Figures. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/02/19/2009-02-19_nypd_fires_rookie_cop_caught_on_youtube_.html [nydailynews.com]

Re:Recording isn't the real issue... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446582)

In general you don’t know the least bit about what you’re talking about.

But if only selected portions are shown with the intention of embarrassing someone, it seems like a either libel or harassment (IANAL, so I don't know for sure).

It’s not libel by definition; libel is deliberately spreading false information. It may or may not be harassing; that would depend on the intent of the person who taped it, edited it, and distributed it.

In general I believe that you can't record audio, because there is an expectation of privacy there.

In general, wrong. It varies state-by-state [rcfp.org]; only 11 of the 50 states require all parties to know and consent to being taped. In general, if you can hear it, you can tape it as long as you’re not using the tape to commit a crime (e.g. blackmail).

Re:Recording isn't the real issue... (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446630)

You have no expectation of privacy when out in public. Really, it's not hard to comprehend.

Why I Left OpenBSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446372)

I was a long-time OpenBSD user since the 3.1 days, and cut my teeth on Unix development there. I was attracted by its focus on security and conscientious coding practices. I was happy through the early 4.x days, but the more I got involved in developing for OpenBSD the more I was dissuaded from doing so.

Part of the issue was this focus on security. After I began to use OpenBSD at home and at work in earnest, I realized that it was limited in hardware support compared to other operating systems. I purchased a new workstation and portable within a year of each other, and both times came to some unhappy realizations about OpenBSD support.

I began to seriously look at Linux and FreeBSD at this point, knowing hardware support was much more robust. (I had also looked at NetBSD, but even though it booted on nearly everything, driver support was anemic.) I started to dual-boot FreeBSD on my workstation, and spent more and more time there. But it wasn't only hardware support that pushed me away from OpenBSD.

The FreeBSD development model is, to say the least, more sensible. Like I said, the more I got involved with OpenBSD development the more I was turned away, and that was mostly due to the project leader's attitude. During the run-up to OpenBSD 4.2, Theo de Raadt had been in a couple highly-publicized arguments with Linux developers, rubbing a ton of people the wrong way.

What many don't understand is that this was not an isolated incident. Try being an OpenBSD developer! These kind of scathing verbal assaults happened all of the time on the mailing lists. I wasand still am, actuallyunsure whether Theo doesn't give a shit due to some philosophical stance, or can't help it due to something like Asperger syndrome. In either case, he typically drags anyone he disagrees with over the coals, all while telling them to stop taking it personally.

I wish Theo had taken some of his own advice. I believe he has hurt the OpenBSD platform more than he has helped it, and I also firmly believe that hardware support in OpenBSD sucks not because of code auditing practices or security focus, but because Theo has either scared or purposefully chased away developers.

Long-time OpenBSD developers might migrate to FreeBSD or Darwin; newbies might try for Linux instead. Those who taste the de Raadt wrath, however, always run in the end. One time, a friend of mine incurred his ire by asking the wrong question at the wrong time, and Theo de Raadt hacked his router and remotely remapped his keyboard!

This is abuse, plain and simple, and Theo's relationship with his developers is abusive. I feel bad for anyone who has to engage him in real life, and fear something Reiser-like happening in the future. This controlling, manipulative attitude coupled with periodic violent outbursts indicates a deep-seated mental health issue that has gone unchecked for far too long. If you are an OpenBSD developer, watch your back!

After all this mess, I switched to FreeBSD 7.2 and never looked back. I upgraded to FreeBSD 7.3 and started using FreeBSD 8 as soon as it was in pre-release, and I am eagerly working on FreeBSD 8.1. I feel spoiled now, too, because of the throng of developers devoted to professionally working the FreeBSD platform into something spectacular instead of naggling over trivial matters or admonishing one another.

The thriving FreeBSD ecosystem contrasts sharply with the Jonestown-like atmosphere of OpenBSD. There is also the fact that no one person looms so largely over any other; ego is checked at the door in FreeBSD since the goal is to make a great operating system, not lord over others like David Karesh and a harem of 14-year-old girls.

Feel free to disagree with me or point out counter-examples; I would love to read them now that I have left OpenBSD. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the little secure operating system even though it leaves me with chills. I sometimes fondly load www.openbsd.org [openbsd.org] and read the latest release notes and smile wistfully.

It's okay to smile, now that I'm free from OpenBSD.

Time to start lobbying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446386)

I think it's time to start lobbying politicians, and start advertising and campaigning to reverse this trend. People can't fix what they don't know/haven't thought about.

How many cops (1)

Kagato (116051) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446390)

The old joke is "How many cops does it take to push a suspect down the stairs? None, he slipped."

With a video camera he wouldn't have gone down the stairs.

Re:How many cops (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446570)

With a video camera he wouldn't have gone down the stairs.

      Nah, with a video camera the officers involved in helping the suspect slip would receive a 1 month suspension with pay.

The good point is ... (1)

Sterops (1655353) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446398)

... that if a camera is like a gun, we can plead the 2nd amendment when things go wrong.

Re:The good point is ... (2)

WoRLoKKeD (1142351) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446576)

To quote the brilliance that is Spider Jerusalem (c/o his creator Warren Ellis, of course)

"Journalism is just a gun. It's only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that's all you need. Aim it right and you can blow a kneecap off the world"

Re:The good point is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446684)

I still say we retain the right to strong encryption as a 2nd amendment right as well.

Not surprising police don't know the law . . . (4, Insightful)

pacergh (882705) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446418)

And people complain about Miranda rights. Miranda rights exist because of abusive cops.

surriptitious recording is the way then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446420)

We use the ubiquity of increasingly miniaturized recording devices to capture their actions without making it obvious we are doing it.
Simply have a hidden switch in your vehicle or wherever to begin recording.
And then only live in states where it's legal to record without the knowledge of both parties.

If there are going to be government cameras pointed at us, we can all collectively point our cameras back at them.
What we need is reliable real-time uplinks to cloud storage which are available everywhere so that footage is not stored on the device alone.
That will make confiscating a device, once discovered, meaningless.

Land of the free (5, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446442)

But don't...

The police and the courts should bear the following in mind when considering the recordings:

"If the police are doing nothing wrong, then they have absolutely nothing to fear from being recorded".

Unfortunately the "recording" of police should not be left entirely to police owned CCTV systems. Because those systems can malfunction at the most inconvenient times, causing the images to disappear right when, for example, someone called Charles de Menezes [wikipedia.org] gets shot in the head for his crime of wearing a jacket on a warm day.

While the police have a job to do, and most of them do a damned good one at that; they are still human beings. And as such not infallible and not immune to all sorts of temptation - from wrongly kicking someone in the face who probably deserved it (but deserving has no place in law), to covering one's or one's buddy's ass in an ugly situation, these things can and DO happen. People should not be punished for recording something that is happening - especially in a public place or in the privacy of the recorder's own home. The Romans coined the saying: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" The government cannot be trusted blindly. There lies the path to tyranny.

FUCK THE POLICE! (-1, Flamebait)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446448)

I'm surprised it hadn't been said yet.

Re:FUCK THE POLICE! (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446726)

I'm not surprised. This is generally a group of people who understand things, not people who just scream and rant and pitch a fit when they don't get their way.

Police -are- there to protect us. It's what we pay them for. Some of them go bad. Some of them make major mistakes. We need to protect against that. But 'fuck the police' is not an answer to the problem.

"Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland" (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446458)

All states with heavy Democratic majorities in both Executive and Legislative branches. Still more Hope and Change...

first amendment test needed (4, Interesting)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446492)

Eventually such laws will end up before the supreme court in a first amendment (freedom of speech) test.
Then (hopefully) it will fail the constitutionality test.

Responsibility and Authority (2, Insightful)

karlandtanya (601084) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446522)

When somebody invokes the authority of law enforcement, they assume the responsibility, too.
This person has the potential to protect and serve those over whom he exercise authority.

When somebody invokes the authority, but denies the responsibility and accountability, this is a situation with a "high potential for abuse."
This person has no potential to protect or serve. Only to abuse.

And again I call BS on the police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446546)

They SHOULD be under intense public scrutiny... they carry a gun and can deprive you of your rights, property, and life. They do not usually have to PROVE anything, Just their word is often enough. They have great power, and thus great responsibility. Citizens should never forget, the police WORK FOR US... not the other way around. WE should take them to task every chance we get! If they don't like it, they can find another job. That should weed out the "bad" cops who are just in it for the power trip...

Core of the argument at the Supreme Court? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32446562)

From TFA: The legal justification for arresting the "shooter" rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited.

The 1st justification seems a somewhat convenient convergence of privacy laws with the intention of the police case, about the first time it's been argued in the police's favour. Given that they're usually opposed, how's that going to sit with the court? The second: Is that even an argument? If the objective is the truth, can addtional video evidence that hasn't been censored or tampered with in some way be argued to be a bad thing? There is a long record of cases being blown by the prosecution or law enforcement restricting the availability of evidence that is not the the benefit of the case they are making. How, if CCTV or police surveillance is to be admitted can we argue that similar evidence collected by a member of the public can not?

Consent? (1)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446580)

Wonder if it would work in court.

Your honer, I did not consent to the traffic camera taking my picture as I ran that red light and move that the evidence be thrown out.

Same for the camera footage in the cops car? Wonder if it is automatic consent if the cop has a camera in his car?

Rapists and Muggers (2, Insightful)

maliqua (1316471) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446642)

also prefer not to be on camera should we oblige them as well? as far as i'm concerned a camera in plain view in a public place can roll all it wants

wow. (2, Informative)

xandroid (680978) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446660)

The legal justification for arresting the "shooter" rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited. ... Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where "no expectation of privacy exists" (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.

A few weeks ago, an Illinois judge rejected a motion to dismiss an eavesdropping charge against Christopher Drew, who recorded his own arrest for selling one-dollar artwork on the streets of Chicago. Although the misdemeanor charges of not having a peddler's license and peddling in a prohibited area were dropped, Drew is being prosecuted for illegal recording, a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.

On March 5, 24-year-old Anthony John Graber III's motorcycle was pulled over for speeding. ... Graber was not arrested immediately. Ten days after the encounter, he posted some of he material to YouTube, and it embarrassed Trooper J. D. Uhler. The trooper, who was in plainclothes and an unmarked car, jumped out waving a gun and screaming. Only later did Uhler identify himself as a police officer. When the YouTube video was discovered the police got a warrant against Graber, searched his parents' house (where he presumably lives), seized equipment, and charged him with a violation of wiretapping law. ... Police spokesman Gregory M. Shipley is defending the pursuit of charges against Graber, denying that it is "some capricious retribution" and citing as justification the particularly egregious nature of Graber's traffic offenses. Oddly, however, the offenses were not so egregious as to cause his arrest before the video appeared.

This is one of the most ass-backwards things I've ever heard of.

The Court noted that there should be an exception (2, Interesting)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446690)

In the Mass. Supreme Court case, there was a conviction for a person recording a police stop. The finding that it was illegal under Mass. law was upheld, but one of the comments from the Supreme Court stated there should be an exception and recording of police on duty should be allowed to be recorded.

try this in Italy? (0, Troll)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#32446738)

in the 1990's when i lived in Italy i saw the police beating some people bloody on TV. Turned out they were farmers demonstrating against something. I asked an Italian why the police beat them, and he said that they demonstrated without a permit. I think we need the same thing here in the US. Especially against Critical Mass

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