Yet Another Story Of A Guy Arrested For Filming Police

from the when-will-they-learn dept

We've had a bunch of stories lately concerning people being arrested for filming or photographing the police while they're doing their job in public. This is pretty ridiculous, and thankfully courts have started to make it clear that this is a First Amendment violation. Of course, we also just had the story of the city of Boston having to pay $170,000 to one of the people it arrested for filming them. And yet, the message still hasn't reached the police, who seem to keep on arresting people for pointing a camera in their general direction.

JJ sent over a ridiculous story from Philadelphia where a Temple student was arrested for photographing the police, which he actually did as part of his photojournalism class, where he had a "night-photography" assignment. When he saw the police pull someone over near where he lived, he went over with his camera and started taking pictures. What happened next seems positively ridiculous:
As Van Kuyk tells it, he grabbed his camera and began taking photos of the occurrence. After being told to move away from the scene, Van Kuyk distanced himself but continued to take photos, he said. However, an officer soon after demanded Van Kuyk to stop taking photos, he said.

“He was pushing me, and I kept taking pictures and he didn’t like it, and he…got real aggressive and threw me to the ground,” Van Kuyk said.

When his girlfriend, Meghan Feighan, tried to pick up the camera, she was arrested and held for nearly 18 hours, he said. Van Kuyk was arrested and held for nearly 24 hours.
The National Press Photographers Association sent a letter to the police commissioner decrying this behavior, noting that just a few months ago, the commissioner, Charles Ramsey, had actually sent out a memo to police officers, reminding them that they can be "photographed, videotaped or audibly recorded" when in public.

Unfortunately, that hasn't stopped the prosecution of these two individuals from moving forward. The girlfriend agreed to "settle" her case, paying $200 and agreeing to 12 hours of community service, for daring to pick up her boyfriend's camera after he'd been shoved to the ground. However, Van Kuyk is still facing charges -- including one potential felony charge for "hindering apprehension." One hopes that the court here agrees with the appeals court in Boston. Either that, or the prosecutors in Philly learn about the $170,000 Boston just had to pay out...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 2:56pm

    It may be time to start a movement where everyone films the police when they are around. Perhaps then they would get the message.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Hopeful Solidarity

    Hey... yeah. We all have cameras on our phones nowadays anyhow.

    The only thing is--unless there's a high degree of solidarity & participation, I don't see it working.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Jan, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

    filming police

    Wow yeah, Same is happening here in The Netherlands.
    Several cases.
    Is the po-lice getting lowered their intake standards or, as I suspect, there is a quiet change in policy being pushed on an international scale. Just to move the boundaries so that maybe people start self-censoring their behavior.

    Interesting to see, to say the least.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    A Guy (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:08pm

    Our executive branch gives us warrantless wiretaps and constant surveillance, in violation of our Constitutional rights but cannot stand when citizens exercise similar behavior that is clearly allowed by the Constitution.

    Maybe when these cities can no longer afford as many police officers, they will start training them better.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    DCX2, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    What do you expect from PA?

    This is a state where the ACLU had to sue the state police in order to get them to recognize that giving the police the middle finger is not sufficient cause for arresting someone.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    FritzMuffknuckle, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:17pm

    Lt. Evers says he didn't arrest him for taking pictures.

    Philadelphia Police Lt. Raymond Evers says he didn't arrest the photojournalism student for taking pictures. He arrested him for obstruction, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but not photography...

    http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/student-charged-after-taking-cop-ph otos-

    This article has since been edited to substitute 'other offenses' for 'obstruction, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

    "You're under arrest."
    "What for?"
    "Resisting arrest."

     

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  8.  
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    PlagueSD (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:22pm

    The only thing I can see is if he was using a flash with his pictures. At night, a flash can temporarily blind you. If that was interfering with the police officer's duties, I can see charges being brought up for "hindering apprehension". Other than that, I see nothing wrong with taking pictures of "public figures"

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:25pm

    Re: filming police

    No it's always been there.

    It's just that...

    1. There are more people with readily available cameras now.
    2. Due to Social Networking, YouTube, and Flickr, the ability to spread the content on a wide scale is much easier.
    3. First Amendment issues are a hot topic due to SOPA/PIPA

    Because of these things it happens more frequently and news of it spreads quicker and farther.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    Agreed. Capturing photons = okay. Emitting photons = not okay.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Lt. Evers says he didn't arrest him for taking pictures.

    Obstruction of Justice is what they usually claim. Claiming that by doing what you were doing you were somehow hindering them from performing their duties.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    [citation needed or GTFO], Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    Night photography assignments

    It's not necessarily about using flash. Some photo professors that assign "night-photography" absolutely abhor using flash. They tell their students to use natural lighting (i.e. streetlamps and neon signs), increase their shutter speed and light sensitivity.

    If he were taking stationary photos, then flash isn't necessary. But in this case, you might be right that he used flash, especially is he was constantly moving.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Watchit (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Re: Hopeful Solidarity

    couldn't be too hard to organize. Though I'd be careful with the police, they can get pretty antsy when people are watching them sometimes, and you know what happens when the police feel threatened by a nonthreatening crowd...

    Pepper Spray Cop

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Watchit (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Night photography assignments

    No, you'd decrease shutter speed and/or increase aperture size to let in more light ;D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    ChimpObama McBinLadenBurton, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Flash?

    Yeah, I'm sure the flash from a camera at a distance is soooooo much more blinding than the blue and reds coming from the cop's cruiser 10 feet away...

    Tev.

    COMBB

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:17pm

    Sue the pigs, the city and the government. Oh wait, they're all corrupted... Oh well. God bless the United-States, Land of the (not) free (anymore)!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Vic B (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:18pm

    Re:

    At the risk of being the devil's advocate, your point isn't logical... The police has the burden of having to get warrrants to tape/record individuals who are often thugs yet individuals are free to record/tape police in their line of work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re: Hopeful Solidarity

    They'd call anti-riot and arrest everyone. I can't see it working, at all;. Not in Nazi America.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

    Shoot the cops

    I think we should start shooting the pigs with real guns then!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    A Guy (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re:

    The police don't have to get warrants to photograph you in public, and do so on a regular basis.

    The executive should have to get a warrant to monitor your communications in and out of your home, but they don't.

    Citizens have the same right to photograph police in public. However, if a random private citizen were tapping an officers phone calls or internet usage, how quickly do you think he would be arrested once caught?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    simple simon, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Shoot the cops

    Can't. The muzzle "flash" would be illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Hopeful Solidarity

    Does our first ammendment right allow us to film / photo / audio record the military? With the most recent NDAA, weren't those bitches told they have the authority to police the citizenry? Send in the army, these terroristic fine artists are threating our national securethegreen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Lt. Evers says he didn't arrest him for taking pictures.

    Kind of like a doughnut shop running out of the glazed. A lot of justice is being obstructed as they wait around for a fresh batch...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re:

    They have to get warrants to invade your personal property. This is in public. BIG DIFFERENCE. Anyone can film anything they see in public.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

    This is getting to be a regular occurrence where the police are seeking to cover up their possible misdeeds.

    An incidental recording taken while a Florida woman was on the phone with her insurance company shows that the police who arrested her and charged her with a felony for resisting arrest lied in their reports, and then again under questioning.


    Source

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hopeful Solidarity

    we've been doing that for years. copwatch programs are all over the country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Lt. Evers says he didn't arrest him for taking pictures.

    Where again is that sad but true button?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Shoot the cops

    Jackass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 5:50pm

    Re:

    Not likely. Toledo, my current city of residence, boasts the lowest number of police per capita of any city in the state. The cops are still pretty much dicks about some of the stupidest things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

    A simpler solution...

    Rather than let these jackbooted thugs (its a nicer term) foist the bill for this onto the city, demand the union pony up half the cash.
    You'd be AMAZED how when the direct impact of actions is put directly on those responsible you can alter behavior.

    It should be abundantly clear to police that they are being watched more than ever, and even after Tony Bologna and Pike they are still doing things they don't want others to see. So the simple solution would seem to be do your job as it should be done, because then it doesn't matter who films what... your within the law. You want the respect of the people your supposed to "protect & serve" then start following the law yourselves.

    This is not to say every cop is a bad cop, but the lack of any officer/union calling out these obviously illegal tactics says more about how they are just a gang with better toys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Torg (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Lt. Evers says he didn't arrest him for taking pictures.

    Being arrested for resisting arrest seems like circular logic to me. Disorderly conduct and obstruction can be just about anything an authority figure doesn't like. Those sound like explanations, but if they were real explanations they'd provide more than a general sense of badness and explanation-ness.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:08pm

    "and he…got real aggressive and threw me to the ground,"


    Sounds like roid rage, all too common these days.

    Not only should law enforcement be subject to periodic psych evals, they also should be routinely drug tested.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Re: Lt. Evers says he didn't arrest him for taking pictures.

    Don't forget to turn iterations on... it helps with the circulars

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:21pm

    Re:

    That is a novel idea... drug tested instead of drugged (with misinformation and a false sense of purpose, among other things) and tested (put out in the streets to harrass and murder) to see how the force is doing with their steady molding into the gestapo

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    gorehound (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:27pm

    Make sure to sue them for Millions over this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Torg (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Lt. Evers says he didn't arrest him for taking pictures.

    The only one that really matters is the first iteration. The guy may have eventually been arrested for resisting arrest, but the arresting was not initiated by his resistance, so it's not useful in determining what the cop took issue with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:51pm

    Re:

    "We need guns to keep the government in check!"

    "The TSA is raping us and there's nothing we can do about it..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    ...unless it happens to have a police officer in the frame, in which case it's a felony!.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 7:54pm

    Re:

    Better idea: assuming it even sees the inside of a courtroom, and the judge is in the mood to actually punish the police for gross misconduct, ask for maybe 50K or so, with it to be deducted from the paycheck of the offending police officer in question.

    A huge fine means nothing if they can just pass the buck right back to the taxpayers, and get off scott-free themselves, but if they actually get penalized themselves, it might cut down on repeat offenders.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    [citation needed or GTFO], Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re: Night photography assignments

    Oh yeah. I knew that it was either together or opposite. Just couldn't remember which. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2012 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Night photography assignments

    Four attributes control exposure. Amount of light, ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture. With a flash, Shutter speed (as long as it is slow enough to sync) is irrelevant. If you are not then Amount of light is usually a constant that you can't control. However, every other attribute has another aspect to be considered. ISO (on film) controls the grain (high ISOs digitally result can result in "noise"). Shutter speed also controls how much (if at all) a moving subject is blurred by the motion. Aperture also controls the depth of field.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
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    wijnands (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 3:43am

    Netherlands?

    I'd be really curious to see any kind of cases like this in the Netherlands

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 4:26am

    An evolving thought...

    I've suggested before that giving people power seems to result in a kind of brain damage. It is the only way you can explain some of what Congress, CEO's, etc do.
    I think the corollary to go along with this is, if it isn't their money, they will never care.

    Imagine if a Congresscritter managed to slip in an amendment that was WAY over the top (take your pick there have been some doozys) and it resulted in a lawsuit. If the Congresscritter had to pony up and pay the legal bills out of his own money, do you think he'd make better laws? As it stands now they sit back and let everyone else pay for the problems. Tax dollars are wasted fighting these cases in courtrooms and the damages come from tax dollars. The Congresscritter at worst gets an OpEd calling him an idiot.

    Imagine if we set X% of the damages for a cop going over the line as debt he owed. Just like student loans, you can't escape them. If there was financial "incentive" to not violate peoples rights, would that be enough to offset the "brain damage" power causes?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 5:12am

    Re: Re: Lt. Evers says he didn't arrest him for taking pictures.

    It's sad that I feel compelled to point out that "Obstruction of Justice" and "Obstruction of Police Action" are becoming more and more distinct.

    If you want someone to respect your "Authoritah" you need to earn their trust through professionalism and example. We're not children and "because I said so" is not an acceptable rationale.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    Walks-In-Storms (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 6:22am

    As the guy who first (Waterloo-CedarFalls, Iowa, 1978) bought video and movie cameras and outfitted any member of the public willing to film cops and public official caught in wrongdoing, I love it. My own case had to do with my investigation of police mendacity and prosecutor miss-conduct (faking evidence, for instance), and police retaliation. Caught on camera by persons paid to follow me and film what happened when police stopped me, the state was obliged to return my driving priveleges and license.

    It seems we've now come to bigger and better things....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    Walks-In-Storms (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 6:28am

    As the guy who first (Waterloo-CedarFalls, Iowa, 1978) bought video and movie cameras and outfitted any member of the public willing to film cops and public official caught in wrongdoing, I love it. My own case had to do with my investigation of police mendacity and prosecutor miss-conduct (faking evidence, for instance), and police retaliation. Caught on camera by persons paid to follow me and film what happened when police stopped me, the state was among other things obliged to return my driving privileges and license; and during the 23 years I was obliged to defend myself against continual war waged by the IRS when the same Iowa prosecutors instigated it, the fact of my never being without a voice recorder and (later) video surveillance coverage kept me out of jail. I wrote a book about it all.

    It seems we've now come to bigger and better things....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    Thomas (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 6:55am

    Just goes to show..

    that the cops don't give a rats tushie about civil rights. Anyone annoying the cops by filming them, photographing them, or probably even looking at them is considered a criminal and should be beaten and arrested. The cops really want to avoid another "Rodney King" incident, but they want to do it by making it illegal to film them beating someone nearly to death. I think the student is stupid to even go near the cops with a camera; it's more dangerous than a gun.

    Cops all over the country firmly believe they are above the law, and their superiors and district attorneys fully support this view. When you are on the street, you are totally at the mercy of any cop who decides to make your life miserable. You cannot resist, and you can only hope they do not beat you as well as arrest you. You will need a very expensive lawyer to get yourself out as well.

    Stay away from the cops and don't for the love of god trust them.

    It's funny that with all these stories, the cops still wonder why people don't trust them and won't help them solve crimes. Even if you are trying to help the cops, you run the risk of them thinking you are guilty of something and will promptly arrest you. Be safe and stay away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 6:59am

    Re: Lt. Evers says he didn't arrest him for taking pictures.

    In other words, the cops will do whatever they need to do in order to hide their own criminal behavior.

    They should warn the students in the school "Do not attempt to photograph any police officer at any time, whether with still camera or video. Do not attempt to take an audio recording of any police officer."

    The cops do not believe in civil rights anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 7:14am

    Re: Lt. Evers says he didn't arrest him for taking pictures.

    Standard corrupt cop arrest charges translation:
    obstruction of justice - he was doing something I didn't like and I do not have the mental capacity to ignore the harmless action and continue doing my job.
    resisting arrest - he pointed out that what he was doing wasn't illegal and I had no grounds to arrest him, which is itself an arrest-able offense.
    disorderly conduct - he didn't meekly and immediately obey my every command.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 8:31am

    It seems a useful technology would be instant uploading of stills and movies as recorded so when the police smash or confiscate your equipment the data isn't lost.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
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    Torg (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 8:57am

    Re:

    Livestream does that, but I don't think they have an app.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
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    Watchit (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Flash?

    I was thinking the same thing

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    Watchit (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re:

    There's an app that lets you instantly upload photo's from your phone, I forget what it was called though...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
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    BentFranklin (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It needs to be built into professional cameras and video equipment also.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
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    Torg (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you have Android, it apparently lets you automatically upload videos and pictures to your Google+ account as they're taken. iOS users just have to hope that someone with an Android is filming their arrest, I guess.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Miso Susanowa, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Ghandicam

    You might be interested in Ghandicam - "a free application which uses your phone's 3G or WiFi connection to automatically wirelessly upload images, sound and video recorded by your device."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It needs to be built into professional cameras and video equipment also.
    It is. Most pro still cameras at least have wireless connectivity and ftp upload built in these days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    sevenof9fl (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Warrentless Searches

    Don't forget the Warrentless searches under the new and improved terrorism laws.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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