Friday, May 27, 2011

The Government's War on Cameras!

Your traitors in the US Congress have just given us more government terrorism by extending the Orwellian named Patriot Act. The "evil"" Rand Paul, son of the "evil" Ron Paul (who are both worthless according to some pretend "liberals") opposed the Patriot Act and was accused by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of trying to "protect terrorists". Funny then how it's defenders of civil liberties such as the Pauls that get all the hate from some "liberals", while those same people don't write endless attacks against truly evil worthless scum like Harry Reid.

Your traitorous Senate (lead by worthless pond scum Harry Reid) even voted down an amendment that would have required greater congressional oversight of the Patriot Act's provisions.

So, your government has voted itself more power to spy on you, while it wages a war on ordinary citizens who try to keep an eye on what the government and its clown-costumed criminal goons are doing.

Who will watch the watchers? In a world of ubiquitous, hand-held digital cameras, that's not an abstract philosophical question. Police everywhere are cracking down on citizens using cameras to capture breaking news and law enforcement in action.

In 2009, police arrested blogger and freelance photographer Antonio Musumeci on the steps of a New York federal courthouse. His alleged crime? Unauthorized photography on federal property.

Police cuffed and arrested Musumeci, ultimately issuing him a citation. With the help of the New York Civil Liberties Union, he forced a settlement in which the federal government agreed to issue a memo acknowledging that it is totally legal to film or photograph on federal property.

Although the legal right to film on federal property now seems to be firmly established, many other questions about public photography still remain and place journalists and citizens in harm's way. Can you record a police encounter? Can you film on city or state property? What are a photographer's rights in so-called public spaces?

These questions will remain unanswered until a case reaches the Supreme Court, says UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh, founder of the popular law blog The Volokh Conspiracy. Until then, it's up to people to know their rights and test the limits of free speech, even at the risk of harassment and arrest.

Who will watch the watchers? All of us, it turns out, but only if we're willing to fight for our rights.

Michael Allison, a 41-year-old backyard mechanic from southeastern Illinois, faces up to 75 years in prison for an act most people don’t realize is a crime: recording public officials. Read more: The War on Cameras

How to Record the Cops

What’s the best way to record the cops? Here’s a quick run-down of the choices.

Cameras without wireless networking capabilities are the least attractive option. If they are destroyed or confiscated in the field, you probably have lost the damning video you just recorded, including any footage documenting how your camera was confiscated or destroyed. But provided you can hold on to your machine, digital video recorders today are inexpensive, small, and practical. The most popular easy-to-use brand right now is the Flip Video line of cameras, which start at $149. Even the cheapest Flips fit in your pocket, power up in about three seconds, and feature one-button recording. They include a built-in USB port and instant formatting for hosting sites such as LiveLeak and YouTube. Read more: How to Record the Cops: A guide to keeping law enforcement accountable

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