Maryland Police Confiscate Biker's Computers After He Catches Questionable Activity On Helmet Cam
from the that's-not-how-this-is-supposed-to-work dept
"A motorcyclist was showboating and recording himself doing it using a helmet cam. While stopped at a stop light, an off duty police officer stepped out of his (unmarked) car with his gun drawn. The rider received a citation and posted the whole episode on YouTube. 4 days later MD state police seized his computers and helmet cam and threatened to arrest him because it is illegal to record someone without their consent."You can see a long version of the events (without any sound) which shows the 3 minutes leading up to the incident here:
Or if you want to just see the part where the off duty cop pulls the gun (with sound), it's here:
The laws against audibly recording someone without their permission are not designed for situations like this one. They're designed for eavesdropping or things like recording phone calls. Using such a law to crack down on a guy showing an off-duty police officer totally overreacting to a traffic stop by drawing his weapon seems like a clear abuse of this sort of law.
However, now that we're reaching an age when everything anyone sees will soon be able to be recorded -- and for years, various research groups have been working on tools to make that easier -- these kinds of laws may need to be revisited. If many people are wearing devices that record everything they see and hear, suddenly such laws become a bit ridiculous -- even outside of the clear abuse above when such laws are being used to punish a whistleblower.