Don’t Film Me Bro: Getting Arrested for Filming People in Public Places

-By Warner Todd Huston

The law has not caught up with cell phone cameras, Flip Cameras, compact video cameras, and the electronic age. Two stories being reported last weekend prove out how the ubiquity of video capture devices are often a gray area in the law.

In one case a woman in Rochester, New York, pulled out her video camera to record the actions of a local policeman as he arrested a neighbor. As it happens, this woman was standing on her own front lawn, no where near the policeman who was going about his duties, yet this cop got incensed and arrested her anyway. He claimed she was guilty of obstruction of justice.

How this woman’s actions was interfering with the police officer is impossible to figure, but she was detained nonetheless.
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Don’t Film Me Bro: Getting Arrested for Filming People in Public Places”

Big Brother Bubba’s Ministry of Internet Facts

-By Warner Todd Huston

Bill Clinton wants the government to “correct” what you say on the Internet, folks. Should the government listen to the former panderer-in-chief, we’ll go from Big Brother to Big Bubba on the ol’ Internet tubes.

Bubba is not happy with what he claims is the “misinformation” on the Internet and he wants the force of government to stop it all. Politico is reporting that Clinton makes the proposal in an upcoming CNBC interview saying, “It would be a legitimate thing to do.”

No, Bubba, it would not.
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Big Brother Bubba’s Ministry of Internet Facts”

Bait Shop Owner Under Attack By City over Fish Painting

-By Warner Todd Huston

The ACLU finally gets one right by taking the side of a beleaguered bait shop owner in Clearwater, Florida that is under attack by city officials over a mural of game fish painted on the outside walls of his bait shop.

City officials are claiming that the fish painting is an “advertisement sign” that falls under a beautification ordinance prohibiting large signs for businesses. The City has fined the shop’s owner Herb Quintero $700 and is warning that a further $500 a day fine can be imposed unless he paints over the fish.

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Bait Shop Owner Under Attack By City over Fish Painting”

King Uncorks Clunker: The Cell Phone Clicky Noise Act

-By Warner Todd Huston

In a what-was-he-thinking move, Representative Peter King (R-NY) has recently introduced H.R. 414, the Camera Phone Predator Alert Act which is aimed at preventing “predators” from taking illicit photos of others in public with cell phones. The bill will force cell phone manufacturers to make the camera feature of a cell phone emit a noise so that it will be audibly obvious when a picture is taken.

As the bill summary at states:

Requires any mobile phone containing a digital camera to sound a tone whenever a photograph is taken with the camera’s phone. Prohibits such a phone from being equipped with a means of disabling or silencing the tone. Treats the requirement as a consumer product safety standard and requires enforcement by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Really? So now we are mandating sounds here? Should we begin to make laws that devices of every kind emit some sort of sound to alert everyone in the vicinity that something has been used in their presence, and predicate it all on “public safety”? And, what if someone doesn’t like the particular sound chosen? Are we going to sue to get the sound we like? Will the government then make rules of what kind of sound is made, how loud, how long? Will there be great volumes of the sorts of sounds “allowed” for one thing or another? Clicks for cameras? Star Trek-like swooshing sounds when doors open?

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Why Google lost the formal debate over its ethics — And a compendium of Google’s ethical lapses

-By Scott Cleland

Google effectively lost its first formal debate over whether “Google violates its own ‘Don’t Be Evil’ motto” at the Rosenkranz Foundation’s Oxford-style debate in New York City, November 18. (Transcript here)

Before the debate the audience was polled and voted 21% against Google and 48% for Google; after gathering additional insight from the debate, 47% voted against Google and 47% voted for Google. Apparently, most all of the undecideds voted against Google — that Google violated their own ‘don’t be evil’ motto.

What does this mean?
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