Dark Police

Years ago many were concerned that new computer and surveillance techs were driving a loss of privacy.  David Brin once thoughtfully argued that we were better off in a transparent society, as long as the light shined also on those in power, such as the police.  Sadly, it seems "privacy" laws now keep light off the police, even while it shines brightly on the rest of us.  From the Volokh Conspiracy

Last month, I linked to a story about someone who was "convicted of violating state wiretapping laws" for "conceal[ing] a camera to videotape a Boston University police sergeant … during a 2006 political protest." I wrote that this was outrageous, but entirely consistent with a 2001 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision in Commonwealth v. Hyde, which is based on Massachusetts’ extremely broad privacy law. The court there upheld a conviction of a person who had "secretly tape recording statements made by police officers during a routine traffic stop" of himself. … Now … the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports:

[Simon Glik] will stand trial on Jan. 29 in Boston Municipal Court on charges of wiretapping, aiding an escape and disturbing the peace for allegedly using his cell phone to record the arrest of a 16-year-old juvenile in a drug case….

Maybe we live in a police state, but thank God its a democratic police state …

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  • “aiding an escape”??

    They also claim that Glik’s presence at the scene nearly allowed the teen suspect to escape.

    So the escape didn’t happen, and unlike the guy who was stopped, he made no attempt at concealment.

    That should leave them with “disturbing the peace.”

    Oh, wait, this is Boston, where being smarter than an actor appears to be a disqualification for police employment (op. cit. Aqua Teen Hunger Force).

  • Biomed Tim

    David Brin doesn’t go far enough. Imagine a world where everyone knew EVERYTHING about everyone else. Would there still be crime?

  • A Juicio por filmar el arresto de un joven de 16 años con su celular

    Las aplicaciones de la tecnología que nos ayudarían a vivir mejor y su uso para crear un ¿estado policíaco o democrático?

  • Obbop

    The elite’s government FEARS you!!!!!!

    Their fear is manifested in the laws they pass. Here is a law banning what MANY of the Founders wrote is a RIGHT of citizens when a government no longer represents them:

    Section 2385. Advocating overthrow of Government

    Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or
    teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of
    overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or
    the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession
    thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by
    force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any
    such government; or
    Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any
    such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates,
    sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed
    matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity,
    desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any
    government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts
    to do so; or
    Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society,
    group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the
    overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or
    violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any
    such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes
    thereof –
    Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than
    twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by
    the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five
    years next following his conviction.
    If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in
    this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned
    not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for
    employment by the United States or any department or agency
    thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
    As used in this section, the terms ”organizes” and
    ”organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of
    persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new
    units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes,
    and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.

    The federal government is allowing MILLIONS of illegals to invade our country who are causing immense economic harm to America’s working poor. Corporate America is becoming increasingly more powerful and influential. Yet, according to the government of for and by the elites YOU, a citizen, have to accept whatever the government does with NO recourse other than voting…… and there is sufficient proof that shows to me voting is worthless since the entrenched power structure ensures that the emplaced elite class can not be removed.

    Several Founders specifically wrote of the people’s right to abolish a government when it no longer represents them.

    We are forced to live under an elite’s TYRANNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Julian Morrison

    I hereby advocate the destruction of the USA government by force, preferably involving cheese-graters. I consider this to be necessary, desirable, and proper, and so should you.

  • fuyk

    Everyone should take part or all of this so-called tax rebate, or whatever these goofy magicians called politicians call it, and give it to Ron Paul to further fund his campaign to clean out house and put all such goofy magicians out of office.

  • bshock

    I believe it was security expert Bruce Schneier who pointed out the flaw in Brin’s reasoning: equal transparency of both the public and the authorities only works if both sides also have equal power to use such transparency. Since the authorities control armed enforcement bodies — the police, the FBI, the ATF, the DEA, etc. — this is of course not the case.

  • xznofile

    Impeach them both now people, get on it: usalone.com

  • bshock,
    I’m skeptical of “the flaw” you describe as fatal to Brin’s argument. I see the world growing more niche based culture thanks to the internet and I suspect a large dose of tolerance will be needed as individuals become more open to holding diverse tastes.
    Part of this includes more of the public realizing and understanding people are far from infallible, stretching even to the police. The public in essence hires the police and thereby can fire them or reduce their purview by limiting the laws they enforce.

    To me, this kind of conversation belongs alongside the radical honesty ( http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/07/on-lying.html ) as Biomed Tim alluded.