Tuesday, December 7, 2010

When making video of the cops is a crime

I'm not a libertarian -- yet! -- but I'm glad we have the libertarian weirdos at Reason to chase down stories like this:

As citizens increase their scrutiny of law enforcement officials through technologies such as cell phones, miniature cameras, and devices that wirelessly connect to video-sharing sites such as YouTube and LiveLeak, the cops are increasingly fighting back with force and even jail time—and not just in Illinois. Police across the country are using decades-old wiretapping statutes that did not anticipate iPhones or Droids, combined with broadly written laws against obstructing or interfering with law enforcement, to arrest people who point microphones or video cameras at them.

When the police have the power to be beyond public scrutiny in a public setting, we're all in trouble. Liberals might have good reason to be suspicious of The Koch Brothers, who fund a lot of political efforts we don't like. But their money also goes to fund work like this. I don't like most of what they stand for, but I don't think they're that easily demonized.

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