Seems that the “fundamental and virtually self-evident nature of the First Amendment’s protections in this area” is obvious to the court. (it has been obvious to most of the rest of us for a long time….) Case stems from a Boston man who was arrested for videotaping police during an arrest in Boston in 2007 with a cell phone. In plain view. On the sidewalk. Yet they arrested him under the wiretapping statutes.
Read the article on the case.
This is a big deal. A really BFD. And the best part is that the cops cannot claim “qualified immunity”. An even bigger BFD. While I generally support the police, I do NOT think that they have any right to privacy while on the street (neither, by the way, do you). And their actions should stand up to being videotaped. They should act as if everyone is watching, and their actions should stand up to being videotaped. They have no right to special treatment just because they are police. They should, in fact, expect to be held to a higher standard that the rest of us. They are, after all, the guardians of our society. No citizen should ever fear watching the police, and the police should never act as if their actions are not being watched. If their conduct cannot stand being examined by others, and if they fear being videotaped, then there is something wrong.
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” Every citizen with a cell phone!