While most of the preceding comments have focused on law enforcement's access to the recordings, and how they may fiddle with them, I have a concern about the public, anyone in "the public" having access to a video of a naked woman who has just been raped, a naked man who is high on drugs, a dismembered corpse, and other things that will haunt the victims of crimes for ever. I would rather not let "the public" have access to those videos.
How do we determine who in "the public" should have access to all the video? As soon as we put someone in charge of deciding that issue, cries will go up that this person is hiding evidence of police misconduct.
This is not an open and shut case, as Perry Mason used to say.
The next thing will be signs on the doors of stores and banks saying that pressure cookers are not allowed in their establishments. That will certainly prevent anyone from attempting to use said device in a criminal enterprise.
Using the "beer finders" on the web sites of the respective breweries, it appears that the Long Trail beer is not sold west of Pennsylvania and that the Bent Paddle beer is not sold east of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and the city of Superior in Wisconsin.
Google Maps shows that it is approximately 850 miles from Erie, PA. to St. Paul, MN.
Even the most drunk and confused of beer purchasers would most likely sober up while driving from Erie to Superior (or to St. Paul) and realize that they were after the wrong product. That is unless they were purchasing more beer enroute.
That wasn't the point of my comment. The officer and his record of past thuggery (if there is one) should be open, just like any other citizen. But until that point, I don't think he should be considered guilty until proven innocent.
As a long-time libertarian, I do object mightily to the militarization of our local police. As I did not personally witness the alleged over-reaction of the city and county police to the demonstrations, I won't pass judgement... yet.
I do have one question. It is based on this quote:
"Here's one more, not that it should matter, but it does: Mike Brown had no criminal record.
Even if he was a criminal, his killing wouldn't be justified. But even the most die hard cop supporter has to wonder why a person with no criminal record would suddenly escalate a jaywalking beef to the point of trying to take an officer's gun."
Since we don't know if the officer involved has any history of abusing citizens, are we still going to assume that a police officer with no disciplinary background would suddenly escalate a jaywalking beef to the point where he would shoot an unarmed man who was not resisting?
Although other police officers have committed such crimes, that does not mean that this officer has done so.
Follow the link to his op-ed but this quote kind of sums it up:
"This mass spying is uniquely and profoundly un-American and will continue to undermine our freedoms. I am not arguing here that all spying is illegal -- just that spying on all of us is illegal.
Why bother with the formality of warrants when they permit all spying all the time? Spying on anyone not named in a warrant, or employing a warrant not based on probable cause, is the hallmark of those totalitarian regimes against which we have fought our just wars and our cold wars.
Yet today, the government in America seems more like the former enemies we vanquished than the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness the Framers established."
After all, it will be in the Congressional Record, and that document is available to everyone for free. It starts on page S6732 in the Congressional Record for Tuesday, 24 September. Here's a link to that PDF document:
What he's saying is that once the government (or any other organization or person for that matter) has information, there is the tendency to use it for purposes other than for what it was originally collected. This is human nature.
1 - Did they leave any back doors into the systems?
2 - Did they create some other accounts for later use?
3 - Did they already dump all the files they could find into a safe place?
4 - Who are they blackmailing already?
It sounds like a lot of these servers are UNIX or Linux based and the folks that administer those systems tend to be very creative.
Schmidt, 73, who headed one of the more infamous departments in the infamous Stasi, called himself appalled. The dark side to gathering such a broad, seemingly untargeted, amount of information is obvious, he said.
“It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won’t be used,” he said. “This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people’s privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.”
So then assuming that the military will not have a major role in future UAV usage in the US, the question really is, can federal law enforcement officers use UAVs to inflict bodily harm on a person that they suspect of a crime, and if so, will they be able to do so without judicial review?
This situation would be similar to one where a US Marshal, an FBI agent, or some other federal officer shoots someone because they thought that the person was about to harm them or someone else. Who reviews those actions before the agent pulls the trigger?
What we need to think about here is this: If law enforcement officers are sent to question or arrest someone, and that person is shot in the process, that's one thing. If the officers were sent to kill the person, that's something entirely else. That's what we are facing.
When people talk about "drones", we have to sort out whether the unmanned aerial vehicles / remotely piloted vehicles are being operated by the US military or by some US law enforcement agency, such as DHS or a local sheriff's department or police department.
The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (last updated in 1981) and the Insurrection Act of 1807 (last updated in 2008) govern the use of the US military within the borders of the US. They prohibit the use of military resources in a law enforcement role with certain exceptions. Operating UAVs/RPVs would fall under these laws and some of the exceptions would allow for the military to operate "drones" in the US.
When UAVs/RPVs become available to federal, state, and local law enforcement, it will be a whole new world.