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NH Man Arrested for Videotaping Police

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hold-still-for-your-interrogation dept.

1232

macinrack writes to mention a story about a New Hampshire man who was arrested for videotaping police on his doorstep, using a fairly standard security camera system. He was officially charged with 'two felony counts of violating state eavesdropping and wiretap law by using an electronic device.' From the article: "The security cameras record sound and audio directly to a videocassette recorder inside the house, and the Gannons posted warnings about the system, Janet Gannon said. On Tuesday night, Michael Gannon brought a videocassette to the police department, and asked to speak with someone in 'public relations,' his wife said and police reported. Gannon wanted to lodge a complaint against Karlis, who had come to the family's house while investigating their sons, Janet Gannon said. She said Karlis showed up late at night, was rude, and refused to leave when they asked him."

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1232 comments

Solution: A $5 Sign? (-1, Redundant)

TheRequiem13 (978749) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630316)

Wouldn't it solve the problem just to have a small sign in the front window saying "This Area Under Video Surveillance" ?

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (5, Informative)

dakryx (646923) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630333)

Is it seriously to hard to atleast read the article summary to see signs were posted?

D'oh. (3, Insightful)

TheRequiem13 (978749) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630389)

Well, I feel like a dolt.
:/ Live and learn to read.


I guess I assumed there wouldn't have been any issue with a sign.

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (3, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630397)

Yes, but the summary did not say a $5 sign ... I'm sure Gannon's signs were the cheap ones from WalMart ... for about $1 ... and you know those just don't hold up in court.

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (-1, Redundant)

Hack'n'Slash (3463) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630335)

In the article summary:

"and the Gannons posted warnings about the system"

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (1)

Hack'n'Slash (3463) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630384)

Damn, how long until I get modded -1 redundant. DOH! :)

(I swear, there was only one post on the front page when I pounced on him/her for not reading the summary!)

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (1)

bjpowers39 (768740) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630347)

If you would read the summary, it says that they did have it posted. This means that it SHOULD be legal. They can charge you for anything, convicting requires an overzealous prosecutor and a judge that wants to get home early that day.

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (-1, Redundant)

Politburo (640618) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630356)

Hey dumbass, "the Gannons posted warnings about the system, Janet Gannon said."

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630436)

hey dumbass, there's already been like 5 posts before you pointing that out.

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (-1, Redundant)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630375)

The article says that there are signs on the property. Where they are, how big, etc is not mentioned.

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (3, Interesting)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630411)

The security cameras record sound and audio directly to a videocassette recorder inside the house, and the Gannons posted warnings about the system, Janet Gannon said.

Looks like he had already done that. This kind of stuff is ridiculous, I can't believe Americans are putting up with this kind of shit from the people we pay to protect our cities. More and more rights being taken away. My only question is how having security cameras on your own private property is against wiretapping laws? I bet this family is going to make a killing after they get done with that PD.

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (5, Interesting)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630538)

OK, I've figured it all out now. The guy has a teenage punk for a son with no regard for the law, and he's not much help. The cops decide they're going to teach him a lesson when he kicks them out of his house. Seeing as he lives in the ghetto, he has no civil rights. Yes, that's correct, ask anyone who lives in a ghetto of any city and they'll tell you that civil rights don't exist there. They take this as an opportunity to walk all over him, using the cameras as an excuse to make a felony arrest just to get back at him. There's no legal basis for this at all, and even less basis for the charges against his wife. It will all get thrown out and he'll sue the cops since they've made it so easy for him to do. The losers will be the taxpayers as usual. Moral of the story, if you live in the ghetto and have a delinquent son, don't expect nice treatment from the cops. But if they're stupid enough to do what these cops did you'll likely get a nice payoff.

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630418)

Per the article, there was already a posted notice that the premises were under surveillance. Further, at one point, the owner somewhat snidely reminded the officer he was on camera with a, "smile for the camera".

Re:Solution: A $5 Sign? (2, Informative)

teklob (650327) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630429)

It appears as though he did have a sign stating exactly that. Bottom line in these sorts of scenarios is that the police are the ones with the guns. I applaud this guy, because the video tape will show exactly who was doing what and I have a strong suspicion that the cops are at fault.

Frist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630321)

Fristy past!!!one

Re:Frist (0, Offtopic)

MrNougat (927651) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630400)

Someone explain to me what the point of trying to get a first post is if you're posting AC?

Re:Frist (0, Offtopic)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630462)

I personally don't like all the emails, phone calls, love letters, death threats, package boms, letters of anthrax, etc. that I get when I successfully completed a First Post

sigh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630324)

And they wonder why people don't respect the police...

Ask the President (5, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630327)

Police instead arrested Gannon, charging him with two felony counts of violating state eavesdropping and wiretap law by using an electronic device to record Karlis without the detective's consent.

Doesn't he know that the President is the only personl legally allowed to wire tap?

Re:Ask the President (4, Insightful)

KaotiX (204043) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630415)

Doesn't he know that the President is the only person legally allowed to wire tap?

Don't you mean, illegally?

Re:Ask the President (0)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630540)

The courts have never made a decision on the legality of the wiretapping program. The constitutional says that actions are perfectly legal until made ilegeal, that is, innocent until proven guilty. One could even argue it was allowed by the "USA PATRIOT" act (the president has the authority to take whatever actions needed to combat terrorism), which has not (yet) been declared unconstitutional.

Our rights online? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630328)

So we have a story of a rogue police department intimidating anyone who gets in their way, and of course someone submits it to Slashdot hoping to get everyone worked up about our rights online being trampled? What's next, blaming it all on Bush? Have some perspective, please.

Re:Our rights online? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630458)

Yes, we have. And we should.

One of the processes that protects us from police bullying is the media, and ordinary people getting up in arms about this sort of thing.

Re:Our rights online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630532)

LOL.. stupid police.

wow.. they are going to be sued for so damn much. I wonder how many laws they are violating.

Basically what this comes down to is police harassment and a citizen fighting back. The police are scared and are not starting terrorism tactics against this man.

Ugh! (5, Interesting)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630337)

I live here in NH and am very upset by this. Many police cars here carry cameras on thier dashboards and tape you when they cops pull you over for a ticket! In addition, all the tollbooths on rt 93 around Manchester all have cameras .. I wonder if any felony acts are being commited there, where I've seen no signs warning me I was on camera?

Re:Ugh! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630427)

Well, when I was pulled over and asked to step out of the car, the cops (several of them, at least 2 squad cars and an unmarked car) made sure while I was out of my vehicle that I was out of the cameras' fields of view. They are happy to have you on video when it benefits them, but if it gives you any possibility of an advantage, they tell you where to stand, and it isn't always within camera view. This occured in Alabama.

Re:Ugh! (3, Informative)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630428)

New Hampshire law specifically allows law enforcement purposes. There's a link at the bottom of the article to New Hampshire's wiretapping laws.

Re:Ugh! (5, Insightful)

Onan (25162) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630467)

Which seems pretty backward. The government should be held to a higher standard than citizens, not a lower one.

George Bush (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630338)

George Bush is to blame for this.

Will the ACLU take this case? (0, Troll)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630340)

This is a clear cut violation of First Amendment rights. Not the free speach ones but the free press ones. I wonder if the ACLU will stand up for this man. The police are obviously wrong here.

Re:Will the ACLU take this case? (2, Interesting)

MasterShake (617668) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630502)

Actually, this isn't a free press issue either. IIRC, you are allowed to record whatever you want on your own private property. This includes phone conversations and video of whatever happens on the property.

Also, when on public property, there is no right to privacy (The right to privacy is also not explicitly stated in the constitution or any of the amendments as many people believe. It is, according to case law, implied however.) The dash cams are recording you while you and the officer are both on public property (the roads).

Note, I do think that privacy should be explicitly protected and very probably in the constitution.

If you record your own property, you do not need to notify anyone that you are recording (think video surveilance of stores.)

IANAL, however I have had the benefit of 20+ years of hanging around police officers at home. The exact limits of where you do and do not have the right to privacy and what forms of surveilance are legal will probably vary somewhat by state. YMMV

Re:Will the ACLU take this case? (1)

SengirV (203400) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630518)

depends on what religion he is. Don't believe me, I can can point you to many pro ACLU posts that essentially say the same thing.

Re:Will the ACLU take this case? (4, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630549)

This is a clear cut violation of First Amendment rights. Not the free speach ones but the free press ones.

Huh? Free press? A guy video tapes somebody on his doorstep and suddenly that qualifies him as a member of the press?

Regardless of whether he's press or not, I think you need to read the Bill of Rights again because you obviously don't know what it says. You don't have to be a literalist to understand that this doesn't mean what you think it means:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I don't see how this case has anything whatsoever to do with congress abridging freedom of the press. This is about a guy who got arrested for superfluous reasons. It's obviously one of those situations where the cops got annoyed, so they looked for whatever law they could find that they might be able to charge him against. It should be looked at in that light; trying to turn it into some weird and inappropriate first amendment discussion is not going to help anyone.

This is absurd on so many levels (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630344)

  1. The police are public servants. Not only should it be legal to videotape them, it should be encouraged as part of citizen oversight!
  2. Police routinely videotape everything they do; they should expect to be treated the same way.
  3. Not only was this guy arrested, but the police tresspassed on his property and kicked his wife out for 5 hours while they tried to get a search warrant -- even though they were effectively already illegally searching the place!
  4. They complain that he was allegedly rude to them, but think it's okay to be rude to him. In reality it is exactly the opposite: he can call them whatever he damn well pleases because he has Free Speech, while they are restricted while on duty because they're representatives of the State.

By the way, isn't New Hampshire supposed to be the state all the Libertarians are moving to, and wasn't it chosen because it was the most Free to begin with? Jeez, if this kind of thing can happen there the rest of us are really screwed!

Re:This is absurd on so many levels (2, Insightful)

Politburo (640618) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630401)

I don't think this episode is representative of NH. It sounds like your typical cop abusing their power.

Re:This is absurd on so many levels (1, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630422)

This is one of the few instances that justify NO limits to damages awarded by courts. If even there was justification that heavy punitive damage be awarded this is it.

In many ways, this is worse than a beating by police. A beating can be said to be because of "the heat of the moment". In this example, the police simply think they get to make their own laws.

Heads must roll, from the top down, and a penalty MUST be levied that will wound the police force for years to come. THIS is not remotely tolorable.

Police State USA, here we come. (2, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630432)

All we need now are a few more of these incidents, a few FOX reports siding with the police and the conversion will be complete.

Sad but true.

Re:This is absurd on so many levels (5, Funny)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630438)

By the way, isn't New Hampshire supposed to be the state all the Libertarians are moving to
That's why the police are taking a hard line. God Damn hippies are movin' in.

Re:This is absurd on so many levels (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630503)

Libertarians are many things, but they are certainly not hippies! You must be thinking of Greens.

Re:This is absurd on so many levels (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630539)

This is what all those liberals get for encouraging big government (the biggest business of them all). Sounds paranoid, but it's true, how are we supposed to control the govt. once they get so big? Bush wire tapping suspected terrorists is, however, an entirely different situation. These things always occur during war, hell it even occurred with the Clinton administration. Lincoln was notoriously tough on those that opposed him during the civil war, and so should Bush regardless of political sides.

Re:This is absurd on so many levels (1)

Moo Moo Cow of Death (778623) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630485)

#4 is the only one that is actually legal on the basis of "disturbing the peace" or some bullshit like that. It occasionaly gets held up in local courts but gets thrown out as soon as you move up a court or two. People usually only get them in connection with other charges like this one, but overall they're generally pretty grey laws, nothing that would be upheld in any real court. Overall it does sound like the area is pretty corrupt, I'd be moving out ASAP. Viva Canada

Re:This is absurd on so many levels (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630495)

Yes, on so many levels this is wrong. Every baby cam, nanny cam would be illegal according to the same logic.

Re:This is absurd on so many levels (5, Informative)

malchus842 (741252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630523)

Not only was this guy arrested, but the police tresspassed on his property and kicked his wife out for 5 hours while they tried to get a search warrant -- even though they were effectively already illegally searching the place!

Number one rule - never let the police in your house unless they have a search warrant. Never. No matter what. Step out on your porch to talk to them. Or on the driveway. Or sidewalk. And really, don't talk to them without a lawyer present unless YOU called them to report a crime.

This sounds paranoid, but the police are no longer the friends of the honest citizen - they view EVERYONE as a criminal these days.

Somebody seriously f'd up. (3, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630351)

Did these guys think that because they were the cops, they didn't have to answer to anybody? If the contents of the tape is what this family says it is, some hard lessons are going to be learned. Unfortunatly, the people who are going to pay are the taxpayers, and not the cops themselves.

Re:Somebody seriously f'd up. (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630398)

I bet the tape has already been accidentally erased now the this is getting national coverage. Just another instance of a corrupt police force that doesn't like being caught out.

Re:Somebody seriously f'd up. (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630446)

Hopefully he made a copy...

I would have... And I wouldn't have told anybody about it yet either.

Re:Somebody seriously f'd up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630452)

The police are ultimately accountable to the taxpayers through their elected representatives. If NH loses a big court case, it should trickle down. Something may have already trickled down... I hope.

Silly citizen! (1)

MrNougat (927651) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630357)

Don't you realize that whatever the authorities want to do is legal, and that your disagreeing with that is criminal? You must be a terrorist!

police state (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630358)

small price to pay for being able to summarily restrain terrorists...

Article text for the lazy (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630366)

Man charged after videotaping police

By ANDREW WOLFE, Telegraph Staff
awolfe@nashuatelegraph.com

Published: Thursday, Jun. 29, 2006

NASHUA - A city man is charged with violating state wiretap laws by recording a detective on his home security camera, while the detective was investigating the man's sons.

Michael Gannon, 49, of 26 Morgan St., was arrested Tuesday night, after he brought a video to the police station to try to file a complaint against Detective Andrew Karlis, according to Gannon's wife, Janet Gannon, and police reports filed in Nashua District Court.

Police instead arrested Gannon, charging him with two felony counts of violating state eavesdropping and wiretap law by using an electronic device to record Karlis without the detective's consent.

The Gannons' son, Shawn Gannon, 18, is charged with resisting detention and disorderly conduct, and his wife also was cited for disorderly conduct, she said.

Janet Gannon said the family plans to hire a lawyer, and expects to sue the police department.

The couple's 15-year-old son also was arrested, charged as a juvenile in unrelated cases of robbery and Internet trolling, according to police reports and Janet Gannon.

The Gannons installed a video and audio recording system at their home, a four-unit building at 22-28 Morgan St., to monitor the front door and parking areas, family members told police. They installed the cameras about two years ago, buying the system at Wal-Mart, Janet Gannon told the police, according to reports filed in court. The Gannons have owned the property, which is assessed at $382,700, for the past three years, city records show.

Janet Gannon spoke with The Telegraph by phone Wednesday afternoon, before going to bail out her husband. She said they installed the system in response to crime in the neighborhood, and at their house.

"We've had two break-ins. One guy came right up our stairs and started beating on my husband, and we called the cops," she said. Another time, after someone broke into a camper on their property, Janet Gannon said an officer suggested they were "too rich" for the neighborhood, and should move.

The security cameras record sound and audio directly to a videocassette recorder inside the house, and the Gannons posted warnings about the system, Janet Gannon said.

On Tuesday night, Michael Gannon brought a videocassette to the police department, and asked to speak with someone in "public relations," his wife said and police reported.

Gannon wanted to lodge a complaint against Karlis, who had come to the family's house while investigating their sons, Janet Gannon said. She said Karlis showed up late at night, was rude, and refused to leave when they asked him.

"He was just very smart-mouthed. He put his foot in the door, and my husband said, 'Excuse me, I did not invite you in, please leave,' and he wouldn't," Janet Gannon said. "We did not invite him in, we asked him to leave, and he wouldn't."

After the police arrested the Gannons' sons, Janet Gannon said, they "secured" the house, and told her and her sister-in-law they had to stay out of it from around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday until about 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Police said they were waiting to get a warrant to search the house, Janet Gannon said.

"They were waiting for a warrant to seize the cameras and the tapes in my house . . . because they said having these cameras was against the law. They're security cameras," she said, adding, "They said they could do that. They could seize my apartment."

Karlis went to the Gannons' home at about 11:30 p.m. Friday night and again at about 7 p.m. Tuesday, police reported. Karlis was investigating the Gannons' 15-year-old son in connection with a June 21 mugging outside Margaritas restaurant, for which two other teens already have been charged, according to police reports. The boy also is charged with possessing a handgun stolen three years ago in Vermont, killing Albus Dumbledore at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and resisting detention, police said.

The boy wasn't home when Karlis went there, and the Gannons were "uncooperative" regarding his whereabouts, police reported.

The Gannons felt police were harassing the family, Janet Gannon said.

"There were six cops in my yard," the first time police came, she said. "My husband was very upset. How many cops does it take to talk to a 15-year-old."

Karlis didn't know about the security camera until his second visit, when Michael Gannon told him to "smile" for the camera, police reported.

Janet Gannon said her husband explicitly warned officers of the camera, later adding "smile," as a joke.

"I heard him say it," she said. "He said, 'Gentlemen, there's a camera right there.'"

According to police, however, Janet Gannon told officers she didn't remember her husband warning police about the security camera.

Police reported that Gannon "has a history of being verbally abusive" toward police, and that after his arrest, he remarked that the officers "were a bunch of corrupt (expletives)."

That sad part is (5, Insightful)

Serapth (643581) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630368)

Most people will look at this and see a corrupt police force and yet another sign of our times. Yes, I see the irony that a citizen is getting charged under a wiretapping law in this day and age.

Problem is, most people don't see these stories for what they truly generally are. Stupidity. You know, there are stupid cops and even stupid judges. Most of the time, when cases like this make it out into the world people think that the system is to blame. Normally thats not the case, the stupidity of the officers involved are to blame. Well, either that or some queer powertrip, which is far too common with law enforcement aswell.

In the end, this will all get thrown out in court. Thing is, nobody knows at what cost it will be to the guy involved. Thats truly the greatest flaw of all in the system. IMHO, there should almost be a pre-court judge that can take a look at cases in advance as a checksum against stupidity, and throw them out right away if they are as dumb as this one. I suppose that would be rife for abusing too though.

Re:That sad part is (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630421)

> IMHO, there should almost be a pre-court judge that can take a look at cases in advance as a checksum against stupidity, and throw them out right away if they are as dumb as this one. I suppose that would be rife for abusing too though.

Those are called DA's. And damn skippy it's ripe for abuse.

Re:That sad part is (1)

leed_25 (156309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630520)

,----
| IMHO, there should almost be a pre-court judge that can take a look at
| cases in advance as a checksum against stupidity, and throw them out
| right away if they are as dumb as this one. I suppose that would be
| rife for abusing too though.
`----

I could be wrong here (IANAL) but isn't that what a municipal court
judge is supposed to do?

you CAN have a judge throw out a case.... (2, Insightful)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630521)

What you do is make a motion for dismissal based on prejudice. Show the judge what you got before your court-date and write up the motion. You'll find most judges/upper people in the COURTS to be cool. Just don't go to the PD to try and get anything done. It's how I got rid of my speeding ticket :D (IANAL)

Unlawful to record your home? (5, Informative)

konigstein (966024) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630388)

according to wcusurveillance [wecusurveillance.com] on surveillance:

"The laws of 13 states expressly prohibit the unauthorized installation or use of cameras in private places. In Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire , South Dakota, and Utah, installation or use of any device for photographing, observing or overhearing events or sounds in a private place without permission of the people photographed or observed is against the law. A private place is one where a person may reasonably expect to be safe from unauthorized surveillance. Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michagin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Utah also prohibit trespassing on private property to conduct surveillance of people there. In most of these states, unauthorized installation or use of hidden cameras is a felony, punishable by a 2000.00 fine and up to 2 years in prison."

Odd. bolding and italics are mine.

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (2, Informative)

Nukenbar2 (591848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630481)

This is for activities such as installing cameras in the women's bathroom. I doubt much will come of this except a dismissal.

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630486)

so is the front step of someones house a private place? could he nail his wife on the front step and not be charged?

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630489)

photographing, observing or overhearing events or sounds in a private place

I hardly think the front door is a private place. It's viewable from the street.

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630498)

Sorry, but key part is, "without permission of the people photographed or observed." If there was a clearly posted sign (which I believe the article mentioned) and they continued to stand there, come on to the property, whatever, consent is implied.

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630505)

"Private place" has a different definition than "private property." As horrifying as this situation is, I don't think you're interpreting this correctly.

I beleive the statute you are quoting more concerns you placing a camera in the ladies room of your restauruant and then defending it as it was on your property. Front stoop is private property, but not a private space.

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (2, Insightful)

Politburo (640618) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630507)

Since this happened on the doorstep, I don't think it qualifies. However, I don't know NH case law on this aspect. Furthermore, if there was a clear sign and the officer maintained their presence in the area, they were giving implicit permission.

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630508)

I'd think that the due-dilliagnce of sticking a "CCTV Recording In Progress" sticker on your front door would probably take care of the notification part.

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (4, Insightful)

MooseTick (895855) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630510)

"The laws of 13 states expressly prohibit the unauthorized installation or use of cameras in private places"

If the camera was on the man's property, then you couldn't hardly say that the installation was unauthorized.

My front yard is private too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630512)

You would think that someone's FRONT FRICKING YARD would be public enough. So does that mean the guy on the street videotaping IN the house is OK but they can't do it on their own property, OUTSIDE, in PUBLIC?

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (1)

rhavyn (12490) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630514)

A "private place" is normally defined as restrooms and changing rooms and the like. Those laws are to prevent people from setting up "surveillance" in the Victoria Secret fitting rooms. You have no expectation of unauthorized surveillance in someone else's home, however, so the law doesn't apply.

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (1)

Jett (135113) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630516)

Note that it says "in a private place". It is not clear from the article where the camera was recording - if it was the front entrance or in an entryway the public has access to then it may not be covered by this law.

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (1)

itsnotthenetwork (634970) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630519)

It was his home. He authorized it. The police can't reasonably expect to not be taped if he has signs showing that it is there.

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630528)

". A private place is one where a person may reasonably expect to be safe from unauthorized surveillance."

Can you reasonably expect to be safe from unauthorize survaliance if there is a sign saying you are under surveaillance?

Is a porch private?

Re:Unlawful to record your home? (1)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630543)

I'm not a lawyer, but since he had told the cops that they were being filmed, and they did not protest, doesn't their silence mean that they implicitly accept being filmed ?

There are situations where when you don't protest it implicitly means that you're fine with it (such as being filmed in a mall, I supppose).

Isn't a convenience store private? (1)

protocoldroid (633203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630559)

A convenience store is privately owned -- how can they get away with having a camera in there?

The double standard is unfair, if the government can do it, so should we.

-Signed, Concerned NH-ite (who'd -still- choose living here over any other state)

when do americans learn? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630390)

You've already lost your freedom of speech. USA is now police state. Do not fsck with police.

New Hampshire Wiretap laws (2, Informative)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630391)

There's a link at the bottom of the article to New Hampshire's wiretapping laws. I'm not a lawyer but the way it reads to me is that you must give permission in order to be audio taped. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. It could be that by posting signs then you give tacit approval if you choose to come on the property. Or, maybe posting signs isn't sufficient and you have to have someone agree to taping before starting. I did also note that the cops have exemptions that allow their patrol cars to tape as well as other law enforcement exemptions.

Re:New Hampshire Wiretap laws (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630424)

The question is, does that law apply to private property?

Re:New Hampshire Wiretap laws (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630513)

It specifically stated commercial. The house is a 4 unit building. That qualifies as commercial in most states.

Re:New Hampshire Wiretap laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630536)

It applies to private property. Same is true in Mass - explicit permission must be given, signs are not sufficient. Private property or public - makes no difference.

What's good for the goose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630394)

What about all those police cameras spying on us because, they say, it's in public where you don't have the expectation of privacy? And furthermore, this is on someone's private property, AND in plain sight from public property.

I read about a case a while back in which a man tape-recorded the police who pulled him over and then harassed him and/or beat him. They lied about it but he had proof, at which point they charged him with something similar, and IIRC the judge ruled against him (the victim!). What about the video recorders in police cars? Their whole justification is that it's all right out IN PUBLIC.

However, it seems that the law is applied selectively so as to favor the police in law-breaking and disfavor you even when behaving legally. There are so many cases where justice has not been served that it seems the system is set up that way on purpose.

Slow news day (4, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630395)

Being arrested, being charged, and being held guilty of a crime are three entirely different things. So far, I hear somebody got arrested.

As for the why, this article seems a little short on details. But one thing I've heard several times (though it's totally hearsay and it probably varies from state to state anyway) is that it is illegal to record both video and audio without prior consent. Most of the surveillance cameras you see in stores and the like only record video.

Similarly, it's illegal to record a telephone conversation without telling all parties on the line that it's being recorded. I think that's federal law.

In other words, yeah the cops probably had a right to arrest the guy. Did the cops it done as a form of harrassment? Yeah, probably. Well knock me over with a feather. Cops, harrassing people? Never!

Re:Slow news day (3, Interesting)

Moo Moo Cow of Death (778623) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630564)

In most states, no you do not need to have another parties consent to record their phone call. In ALL states that have those laws you can record if they say they are going to record. In ALL states you can record person(s) on your property both video and audio, no restrictions. So no, they (the police) were wrong on almost every count and can be sued. With a good lawyer, they'll probably get quite a bit of money.

Live Free or Die! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630396)

I'm just waiting for the founders of New Hampshire to rise from their graves and go on a cop killing rampage.

Unbelievable (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15630403)

Let's see. Someone comes on his property, stands in full view of the owner and anyone walking down the street, the owner videotapes him and then uses the tape to try to lodge a complaint and they charge the property owner with a crime? Worse yet they try to use eavesdropping and wiretapping laws when he filmed the cop in public view on his private property. If he's convicted then we are really living in a fascist state.

Police state! (0, Troll)

Karaman (873136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630409)

It seems to me like Fascist Country and Police state! That's what happens when you vote for security! You get beaten by the police! I hope more people act like this family and sue police, because they are abusive!

One other thing (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630426)

One interesting note, the police in Nashua (where this happened) boast/advertise that they are "nationally accredited" and recieve all kinds of awards for professionalism and such.

Corrupt cops (1)

boldtbanan (905468) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630447)

Police reported that Gannon "has a history of being verbally abusive" toward police, and that after his arrest, he remarked that the officers "were a bunch of corrupt (expletives)."
Yeah, sounds about right.

Civil Liberties (2, Insightful)

31415926535897 (702314) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630460)

Police reported that Gannon "has a history of being verbally abusive" toward police, and that after his arrest, he remarked that the officers "were a bunch of corrupt (expletives)."

Obviously this means that his civil liberties can be trampled on.

What an idiot (1)

jessemckinney (398160) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630474)

What was this guy thinking? I know the ideas of freedom and public accountability are all knoble and good, but what world does this guy live in. After having a Los Angeles police officer put his heel on the back of my neck and put his revolver to my head, the first thing that I always say to a cop is "how can I help you officer." I know that it is a cliched line but power comes out of the barrel of a gun. I am not condoning the abuse of power, but don't play with fire or you might get burned.

Too rich for the neighborhood (1)

portwojc (201398) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630501)

an officer suggested they were "too rich" for the neighborhood, and should move

Funny thing is they might end up even richer.

whoa whoa whoa there (1)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630517)

How can you eavesdrop on yourself? If it's your own property, how can it be eavesdropping? Do you need permission to record whenever others in the vicinity might incidentally be recorded as well?

How can it be wiretapping if there's no wire being tapped? Anti-wiretapping laws seem to be based on the idea that info transmitted by wire is "private" despite not being encrypted. If you're doing something right out in the open, albeit on private property, how does this apply? Is Wal*Mart also "wiretapping" by having security cameras?

Why is it a crime to monitor what our public servants are doing? How else can we guard against abuses of power? We're literally supposed to turn a blind eye and simply trust them without reservation?

Albuquerque doing this too (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630547)

Here in Albuquerque police did something similar recently. The police have been cracking down on drinking of any kind. Police were stopping all patrons leaving a particular bar and breath testing them. Even patrons taking a cab or a limo were harrassed. The bar owner had a friend come and videotape them. They said he was interfering with a police investigation, and since some of the officers also worked undercover, he was endangering the officers. So they arrested him. His friend started to videotape them arresting him, so they arrested the friend. Then the bar owner came out and started videotaping them arresting friend one and friend two, so they arrested the owner. Never mind these supposedly undercover cops were in full uniform on a busy street, they were endangered by these evil videotapers.

On the other hand, not all cops are bad. Once in college I got a flat tire while driving an unregistered uninsured hippy painted VW bus carrying a bag of weed. A nice officer stopped (in the rain no less) and helped me change the tire without even checking my license or registration, let alone whether a hippy painted VW bus might have contraband onboard.

On the third hand (yes, it's a Larry Niven reference) I've seen cops beat my friends for trying to feed homeless people on the street in San Francisco. Then they poured our soup down the drain and poured bleach over our bagels right in front of about 100 homeless folks.

So YMMV where police are concerned, some are cool, some are total dicks.

Not that this matters much... (1)

c_dog (219987) | more than 7 years ago | (#15630548)

I don't think that the video portion of the surveillance is what got this guy into trouble...it is the audio attached. It is perfectly alright under most circustances to record what someone _DOES_, but not necessarily what someone _SAYS_. From my understanding (limited though it is), this is because recording private (or assumed private) conversations is illegal in most states (this varies from state-to-state) unless you are law enforcement with a proper warrant. Video can also be considered illegal if it is considered a violation of privacy, but surveilling one's own property (or actions in the case of police videos) probably would not fall into this category. Also, in most of the police videos I've seen (on those cool "World's Greatest Chases" shows, etc.) _DO_NOT_ include audio...presumably for this very reason.

IANAL, but I doubt there will be much grounds for a defense (by the ACLU or otherwise) if the audio recording is a violation of state law. Sad, but probably true.
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