Republicans try to legislate away use of cell phone cameras?

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  1. Credence2 profile image78
    Credence2posted 2 years ago

    Background: … 39758.html

    With the tyranny associated with today's right wing politics, it is not that I did not "tell you so" knowing the mental processes of right-wingers, that this was coming. The temerity of even proposing such a thing and the unaminous support of Republicans in its favor tells me a great deal about you. And, it's not good. It doesn't matter that it would not pass Constitutional muster under even a cursory examination, yetthat does not deter them from making the attempt, regardless. We know that among the Republicans and the Right this will not be an isolated attempt to silence the eyes and ears of the citizenry in regard to how police do their jobs.

    Yes, this pi$$es me off.....Another example of "cover up" rather than "clean up".

    Who wants to tell me the justification from the Right's point of view for such legislation?

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Can't speak as to exactly what their reasoning was, but just like you I can come up with possible guesses.

      The YMCA where I go has conspicuously posted signs banning cell phones from the locker rooms.  Want to guess why?

      Many people are flabbergasted when learning just how many times their picture is taken in a normal day, and how it is used.

      A lot of people are getting more and more concerned about computer facial recognition, and the more cameras the more it happens.

      I'm sure you can come up with more reasons to deny people the right to snap your photo whenever they wish to.  Why, if nothing else a left wing rioter may not wish a cell phone to record them as they loot a store or burn it down.

      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for your imput, Wilderness

        I just don't think that this a matter of privacy for public officials doing their jobs.

        The YMCA restriction is a part of modesty and privacy.

        Police have body cams to record everything that takes place in a confrontation, no issues of privacy there. I don't trust that police would record an unflattering video of events and make it available to the general public without burying it and covering it up.

        There is no law prohibiting a general photograph, except the kind associated with unlawful carnal knowledge.

        As I have said before, the citizen has every right to film an officer and that serves as protection for them and the cop. The only concern is that the citizen does not interfere in the arrest. Think of this, with such a law the video recording of the confrontation at the mall or even George Floyd would have been illegal, that is unacceptable. Then law officers would get away with behaving outside the bounds their authority with impunity, can't have that. The concept is designed to scare onlookers from recording confrontations, so that rogue behavior cannot be identified and therefor not punished.

        If you do your job the way you are supposed to there would be no need to be concerned about video cell phones.

        I hope that this is challenged in court and slapped down, hard.

    2. Sharlee01 profile image88
      Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I went ahead and tracked down the bill, and a bit of other info on why the bill was offered. I will say it's on shaky ground. One article claimed some police were complaining against some getting too close to the action, feeling a person could get hurt or interfere with police action that needed to be taken.

      I feel this law does border on one's freedom to pull out a cell and video at their pleasure. I think the 30 feet law to film makes sense that is in the bill.

      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks, Sharlee, what is too close? Interfering with an arrest is what I consider "too close". "Too close" could well apply to one not even having a cell phone camera.

        The gist of this seems to be to keep public recordings of police out of the hands of the public over their feigned complaint about people getting hurt. Thirty feet just as well be a mile. Then there is the psychological aspect of intimidation, when people are aware that they could be fined, who is out measuring how many feet they are from the possibly offending officer when they record? The real intent is to eliminate recording entirely, and that won't do.

        1. Sharlee01 profile image88
          Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          I must agree that it seems like this bill was written to stop police from being videoed.  I don't agree with the bill, I think these forms of video are safeguards and can show what a police officer did while making an arrest.

          I agree --- that won't do.

    3. GA Anderson profile image89
      GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      See, do you see now? I've been telling you for years about all the idiots among us. Your link is just one more example that I was right.

      The idiot bus isn't a team bus, idiots aren't restricted to the Right, every group has them. (buuuuttt . . . the Right might be ahead in the score)


      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, the Right is definitely ahead in the score, well ahead. Why is it only the Republicans that are so concerned about this? There is never any bipartisan consensus on this sort of thing.

        Why is this concern about safety and boundaries only directed to those that use cell phone cameras and not extended to others without them?

    4. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I think the intent of the law is obvious being not to have documentation of wrong doing by any police personnel as was seen with George Floyd. I am not for it . . . period. Since it is a state thing I looked into what is allowed or not in Calif finding a landing page of a law firm explaining it.

      And, I discovered the article below on the Constitutionality of the video world today. Obviously quite lengthy and I only skimmed it and read the conclusion. Seems to be focused on the First Amendment. It also goes into private and public property. One thing that caught my attention was comparing it to taking notes or remembering it and then writing it down later. … video-age/

      But, kinda' on the same lines as Wilderness I have mixed feelings about people becoming the New Big Brother! An example is not long ago I got on elevator at my medical office saying hello to the young lady there. Immediately she raised her phone aiming it at me. I figured she either took a picture of me or was recording me, so I was on best behavior.

      As far as the proposed legislation frankly I am getting tired of both sides of the isle trying to legislate behavior with social engineering. I am reminded of 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, and Animal Farm.

      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        "The answer is YES in most cases. So long as law enforcement officers are engaged in performing their duties or are otherwise in a public place with no reasonable expectation of privacy, you are good to go.

        Police are public employees, paid with taxpayers’ money to enforce laws. They do not have the right to privacy while on duty. Therefore you can film them without their consent as your natural right, or under civil rights law.

        Even when they aren’t performing their duties, for example, if police conduct has attracted substantial public interest and is newsworthy, you can film off-duty police in California as well."
        California is always ahead, their interpretation of this matter is the correct one.

        The surveillance culture is an unfortunate part of life in the 21st century. In the interests of not compromising first amendment rights, I tolerate an aberration from time to time, such as the lady who confronted you with a cell phone camera.

        There is a line drawn between public and private. Police have no reasonable expectation for privacy while in public doing their jobs. But, It is reasonable as provided in your links to keep quiet and stay out of the way of an officer in the performance of his duties. 

        Arizona was not about safety of by standers or about the concept of privacy in the use of cameras. It was about silencing dissent and allowing a cover for misconduct, removing any possible oversight and subsequent accountability for police behavior. It is PURE REPUBLiCAN, unmatched by the "other side". I tend to like the cameras as a way to keep everyone honest. Trust but Verify.

        If I have to live with the "surveillance society", the cops are going to have to live with it as well, no exceptions. Do your job correctly then none of the men and women in blue should have anything to fear from video recordings.

        Thanks, TSmog....

  2. Nathanville profile image92
    Nathanvilleposted 2 years ago

    I find it an intriguing topic, in that (for a change the shoe is on the other foot) such legislation would be illegal in the UK because it would infringe basic rights!

    In the UK as long as you are standing on ‘public land’ then there is no restriction in filming or photography; it’s only if you are standing on ‘private land’ that you need to get the consent of the landowner to film or take photos.

    However, under the ‘Data Protection Act’ if private individuals object to images of them being published on the Internet they do have the legal right to request you to remove it.  So if there is any doubt it pays to ask permission before filming.  However, that privilege doesn’t apply to famous people.

    It’s because of the Data Protection Act that for any UK CCTV ‘Officially Released’ into the public ‘all personal data’ is blanked out e.g. car registrations and faces.

    Notwithstanding the above; the fact that in the UK there isn’t restrictions in filming from ‘public land’ is a constant irritation to secret establishments in the UK like GCHQ; GCHQ being one of the world’s leading ‘Intelligence’ (SPY) Agencies.

    •    This is What Happens When You Try Filming GCHQ from Public Land:

    •    Cornish Town Is a Centre for Spying (Snooping on private emails etc. from USA and around the world) by GCHQ:

    The one new thing I did learn, and which shocked me, in brushing up my knowledge to respond to this forum is that the USA now holds the number one spot in the world for the number of CCTV’s per capita!!!  A Question of 1984!!!!

    I thought Britain was one of the top holders (behind China) for most CCTV’s per capita, and it is, but I didn’t expect to see the USA at the top.

    In fact, per capita, the leading countries for most CCTVs are:-

    •    USA = 1 CCTV for every 6.6 people.
    •    China = 1 CCTV for every 7 people
    •    UK = 1 CCTV for every 11 people
    •    Germany = 1 CCTV for every 16 people

    On average you can expect to be caught on CCTV several times during the day in the UK, when you’re out and about, and it’s a great tool used by the police to track and trace criminals; especially with face recognition software and car registration recognition software. 

    So what is it like in the USA, with double the number of CCTVs per capita; even more than China?

    1. Credence2 profile image78
      Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Hello, Arthur

      We do have issues surrounding the concept of private property or trespassing. You can be asked to move if you are trespassing but what photos you get from on the property generally cannot be confiscated if they cannot be interpreted as an invasion of privacy, picture of a maple tree for instance.

      As I understand it here, if a photo is taken in the public domain, the subject of the photo has no reasonable expectation of  privacy. If that were challenged, how do all the spy cams that overwhelm our lives be allowed to exist?

      I am surprised to hear that the USA had more of these cameras than Britain, the documentaries I had seen had said otherwise. But, obviously we had caught up.

      I watch all these crime dramas where the cops can, through facial recognition and ubiquitous cameras, trace the bad guys back to their hideouts.

      Regardless of the cameras being everywhere, they appear to be nowhere at the same with the exception being retail markets where patrons are reminded that they are always on candid camera, as a policy to discourage shoplifting.

      That video of the man being detained, the police never really gave him a reason as to why and what he doing to merit the detention.

      But, your cops are so polite, with ours, in such a confrontation, this may well result in being pistol whipping or even shot!!

      1. Nathanville profile image92
        Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Taking your first point first:  Yep if you’re standing on private land when you took a photo of a maple tree for example, I doubt there would be any comeback; but in the UK if while standing on private land you took photos or video of something like an ancient moment, castle ruin, old sailing ship, or an open air event etc. that was on the private land, and if you didn’t have permission to take photos or video then the landowner/organisers can get any photos or video you post on the web taken down.   If at a place of interest e.g. a museum (on private land) there are clear ‘no photography’ warnings, and you proceed to take photos anyway, the museum will ask you to stop, and are likely to ask you to leave (with force if need be) if you persisted.

        In the UK most events will state on their website what their policy is e.g. sometimes they welcome you to take photos/videos (free publicity for them), sometimes it’s a strict no photography/film policy, or a notice that you can only use your photo/image for personal use, and sometimes they ask you to seek their permission.

        Some examples include:
        1.    We periodically visit Berkeley Castle, which is just 18 miles from us, when they have re-enactments of the English civil war. 

        As a private person they welcome me taking photos and videos, and publishing to YouTube (for no financial gain); and interestingly, just last month Berkeley Castle sought my permission to use some of my footage on YouTube as part of their ‘Promo’ videos. 

        Whereas, my son, as a professional photographer, can’t sell any of the photos he takes at Berkeley Castle without their consent.

        2.    Conversely, Beamish (an open air living museum in Northern England), gave their permission to our son gladly, and even asked his permission to use some of his published images on their website.

        If on the other hand you’re standing on public land to take photos/video of an event or monument etc. that’s standing on private land, then there are no restrictions.  For example, the annual Bristol Balloon Fiesta, which attracts crowds of up to 400,000 over four days each year, is held on private land, and the Organisers, although they welcome photos/videos for your own personal use, they are rather strict about you posting anything in the public domain on the Internet; therefore a lot of people will do their photography and filming of the Balloons taking flight from just above the Clifton Suspension Bridge, in Bristol, which is on Public Land. … oon_Fiesta

        In this respect, I learnt a lot of what I didn’t already know from our son in that, as part of our son’s university degree in ‘Creative Media Practice’ he had to learn all about this himself.

        With regards to your second point; videos taken on public land by CCTV isn’t the issue, the issue is if/when CCTV footage is subsequently published to the Public Domain e.g. on YouTube. 

        In the UK, although you can’t stop CCTV (spy cams) on public land from filming you, as a private citizen you have the right for that footage not to be shown in the Public Domain e.g. on YouTube.

        That’s why Official CCTV shown on the Internet will have people faces and car registrations blanked out.  A good example of that is the CCTV footage I requested from our local Supermarket’s carpark, showing an incident involving our car; when I received the footage, all the car registrations were blank, as can be seen below:-

        The first part of the footage is from our car cam, the second part of the footage is from the CCTV in the carpark:

        Also, in the UK, as a member of the Public, you can sign-up to a free website to view traffic using the UK’s Motorway CCTV cameras (web link below). 

        However, if you do use the above website, you’ll never be able to view a camera that the Motorway Staff or Police are using to zoom in, simply because that risks private people being able to be identified in the Public Domain, contrary to the ‘Data Protection Act:  It was something I became fully aware of about 15 years ago, when for a couple of years (as a civil servant) I was responsible for the CCTV cameras on the English motorways, and responsible for teaching the police how to use them.

        When the Data Protection Act came into force in the UK in 1998, at the time I was a Trade Union Rep, and as such had to have a crash course on what the Act meant to my Union Members.

        Then about 12 years ago, when part of my duties in the civil service was updating and maintaining our part of the UK Government’s website, I was tasked with taking portrait photos of all our Office Staff to publish on the web; and in taking the photos I had to ask each person whether under the Data Protection Act they gave consent; most did, but one didn’t, and that was his prerogative.

        I was surprised to see how many CCTV’s the USA now has, a lot more than when I last checked the data – I did check several different sources, and they all seemed consistent with each other.

        Yep, on to your third point; it was through facial recognition software, using CCTV, that the police were able to identify Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin (two Russian Intelligence Officers (spys) who were responsible for smearing military grade nerve agent Novichok on the handle of former GRU officer Sergei Skripal's front door, in Salisbury, England, in an assassination attempt in 2018.

        With regards to your next point, of “cameras being everywhere, yet they appear to be nowhere at the same”, except for in retail markets where their existence is published to discourage shoplifting.

        •    In the UK, CCTV that are used as speed cameras have by British Law to have prominent warnings; so that drivers know where the speed cameras are.  On the UK Motorways there are 1,800 CCTV, albeit not all are speed cameras.

        •    In cities and towns across Britain there are numerous CCTV cameras concealed on the streets e.g. in lampposts, on top of building etc.  You’ll find it difficult to spot them, but they are there, and have become an invaluable tool for the police.

        For example, as a professional photographer, my son frequently spends time in and around the Bristol city centre during the early hours of the morning taking ‘night-time’ photography of the city.  Consequently, he’s periodically stopped by the police to question what he’s doing at that time of night; one policeman, who’s now been sent to speak to our son on several occasions, apologised to our son last time because it wasn’t the first time the policeman had been sent to question him; but as the policeman explained, the police command centre monitoring the CCTVs covering the Bristol streets sent him out to investigate what our son is doing, and even though the policeman knows it’s a wasted visit, he’s just following orders!  They (the policeman and our son) had a laugh about it anyway, which is good!

        Yep, and in your last point, the reason the policewoman never gave the chap in the video any reason for ‘detaining’ him, is because there was no lawful reason.  In spite of the fact that the authorities did not like it that he was filming a top-secret Government Spy Centre, he was filming from public land, and therefore fully entitled to – There is nothing the police could do to stop him. 

        And yes, I do appreciate that our police don’t have guns, and are generally civil.

        1. Credence2 profile image78
          Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks, Arthur.

          I have been a bit indisposed lately and want tomthan you for sharing. Most of our legal phot issues are tied around privacy and reasonable expectations thereof. Copyright law comes to play in parts. We have a provision where on reality shows and such all license plates and such are rendered illegible to protect privacy. If I took a photo of a house even if it is on their property it is presumed that you could have taken the same photo 3 feet back in the clearly public domain, how do you discern the difference?

          The situation with the lady cop might be interpreted as harassment.

          So, it appears that we were both civil servants within our respective countries.

          You folks are a bit more rigid about these things than we are.

          1. Nathanville profile image92
            Nathanvilleposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, Britain is a very bureaucratic country; bureaucracy plagues us even to this day.  When first joined the civil service everything did have to be signed in triplicate (that was in the days before computers); these day’s it is just one signature (often electronically).

            Nevertheless bureaucracy still rules in the UK e.g. for a Ukrainian refugee to get into Britain, on the grounds that they already have relatives here, they had to correctly complete a 14 page document; but pressure from the opposition parties, the press and the public, the government has streamlined the documentation slightly!

            As bad as the bureaucracy is, thanks to the efforts of the ‘Plain English Society’ it’s not quite as bad as it was when I first joined the civil service; since the 1990’s Government Departments have been required by Government to follow the guidelines for Plain English by the Plain English Society; so forms are a lot easier to read and understand now than they used to be.


            Yes, as you say “the lady cop could be interpreted as harassment.”

            As regards your first question e.g. how would one know if a photo of a house was taken on their property or from the main road 3 feet further back:-

            If it’s not obvious from the photo where it was taken from then it falls back to ‘whether you get caught in the act of taking a photo while standing on private land’; which if the owner happen to have their own private CCTV you could be caught on camera!

            Ordinary people like us would probably not be that bothered if someone stood in our front garden to take a quick photo of our house; but to a celebrity who wants their privacy when on their private estate, they are likely to be more tetchy.

            Quick Tour of celebrity homes in Notting Hill, London; all legally filmed:


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