mliu writes: Cellphones and other portable digital recording devices have revolutionized the ability of ordinary citizens to draw attention to policy misconduct. A police force is obviously a necessary part of a modern society, but by the very nature of the institution, power is concentrated into a few, and inevitably this results in abuses. The Roman poet Juvenal asked who will police the police? Technology has enabled society to shift the balance of power, at least a small amount, back to the people, so that every member of society can police the police. Unfortunately and predictably, the police have not taken kindly to this reduction of their power in every case, and Boston.com tells the story of a number of abusive arrests against people merely recording the public actions of police officers. Most disturbingly, towards the end of the article, a number of instances are highlighted where these arrests have resulted in successful convictions, on the misguided view that by concealing the act of recording, an unlawful secret wiretap was made.
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