The really interesting part is that we get thousands of the recordings send back to us. The app has been out for more than a year and we have collected thousands of recordings.
We need people to help process all of the data. If you have any experience with audio processing, trans-coding audio, or data visualization, please get in touch! - email@example.com
iPhone Version: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cop-recorder/id433040863?mt=8 )
We have a whoolllle lot of audio, to transcribe it all on MTurk with the resources we have (ie, none) - would be very cost prohibitive.
What we need is a system which can convert 3gp to something more usable, automatically remove noise, automatically remove silent parts, automatically adjust the levels for speech, and then automatically transcribe them. It's a challenge.
It's an official action. Instant dismissal if such recording is purposely incomplete, tampered with or "lost".
ps. that ACLU video is just not good on so many levels - they should replace it with something to reflect how serious this is
It's win win and helps make everyone honest.
I see that becoming less and less true… A couple of recent examples locally:
I'm basically just saying that the statistics could be misleading.
This is an excellent video to watch in its entirety, but at 45:30 you can see a police officer proudly explain that he destroys recordings after he gets what he wants from them:
This might help explain the reason to have your own recording.
And you expect that to work? Police policing police.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_buffalo_Buffalo_buffalo... (and can I just say that this is an awesome Wikipedia URL.)
I have every reason to believe that the law will develop in this direction around the country in the United States. In my state (Minnesota), recording conversations has been on the basis of consent of ONE party (as is also true of federal law for interstate conversations, as on long-distance telephone lines), and that will likely become the national norm in general.
In the particular case of police interactions with the public, the trend line is likely to be strongly in the direction of anyone in the public being permitted to record police interactions with the public (certainly in the citizen's own space or in public spaces). The trend is also likely to be strongly in the direction of state laws requiring police agencies to record their own interactions with the public, to preserve a more accurate record of the interactions. For years now here in Minnesota, it has been mandatory for all police interrogations to be videotaped, and those interrogation videotapes always have to be preserved to be part of the court record at trial. In-car cameras in police vehicles have helped exonerate several citizens here in Minnesota who were arrested by overzealous police officers (who were then formally reprimanded by their superiors). It helps everyone be more accountable and engage in best practice when police actions are recorded. Judges and legislators live in society with all the rest of us, and they like that kind of transparency.
P.S. I should probably point out that I used to be a judicial clerk for the Minnesota Supreme Court, and that some of my law school classmates are in the Minnesota Legislature or in Congress. I'm confident that the more useful technologies for looking after the police will first become generally permitted and eventually generally mandatory.
* undercover work will not be recorded at all times
* technological limitations. Two officers on foot. Where is the camera, for example. Also storage might be a bit of a problem.
* possibilities for abuse. for example, officer has concealed camera, visits your house, looks at the footage later to find a bong or something he didn't see the first time around, uses it to get a search warrant.
* what frequencies are recorded? Do we include near-IR for night vision? Do we include FLIR-type coverage? At what point does the video itself implicate the 4th per Kyllo?
I think the best we can hope for to start with is traffic stops. It might be possible eventually to require a cameraman on site when a search warrant is served. but there is a lot of police work where a lot of this may not work so well.
I think Billy Murphy (a high profile Baltimore defence attorney) suggested something like that with a sign in the cab one could motion to.
Does it upload while recording, or only after the recording ends? Streaming it during recording is the key feature.
Qik does this. If I'm recording you on my phone with Qik, by the time you remove the phone from my hands, it's already too late. The video has been streaming to my Qik account the whole time, and seamlessly transitions from a "live" video stream to a recorded video when the recording session ends.
How can you not agree with the existence of the damn app?! It just reminds you of, and helps you exercise, your rights.
All governments function on the basis of active citizen cooperation. If citizens don't cooperate, no government can stand.
Maybe what we call Stockholm Syndrome is just a more pronounced pattern that makes possible all of the social control structures that we take for granted all around us every day.
I don't know if that will apply everywhere, but the ACLU is of the opinion that recording police when they are making arrests is always legal and always ethical, and they've put their money where their mouth is by becoming involved in several of those cases. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know if it's always true, but I know where I stand on the ethics of the thing: it's always right to record a police officer making an arrest, and it's always wrong for a police officer to harass, assault, arrest, or threaten someone who is merely recording an arrest. Hopefully the law agrees with that, because any police officer doing his job ethically should have no fear of the public seeing him doing that job.
Where I am (Sydney, Australia), recording a police interaction is legal, but showing/playing it to other people may not be. You can't tender your recording as evidence in court without the consent of all the people in the recording, but you _can_ use the recording in court if it contradicts sworn evidence given by someone you've recorded.
The problem with that, is that you've still effectively recorded other people. That's okay in Australia, but not everywhere.
Deliberately not recording has a strong legal basis just about everywhere, though. Think of the example of an active microphone hooked up to an analog tape recorder on "pause." In that case, the signal exists in hardware, and is in fact being amplified. There would be no violation of the law, however. Now think of the same setup with a digital recorder that is on pause. There may be a DSP chip that is processing the input signal, but there is effectively no "recording" going on.
Given the realities of traffic stops, I think it is entirely to be expected that police will read bumper stickers when running plates etc. It gives fair notice. Every officer will read it. And one can verify at the beginning of the conversation.
The abuse of positions of power (especially in one-on-one situations where the word of one party is taken over another in the absence of contrary evidence) has been around since time immemorial. The only thing that's changed is the technology to record. Robin Hanson has some interesting speculation on why don't see more universal recording of interactions like police stops which are vulnerable to abuse:
However, it looks like Hanson may be wrong about whether or not video recording would end up being protected:
I could see this being used as a bystander to an arrest, but doing anything short of keeping your hands free and visible during a traffic stop is dangerous.
-Guy who makes tech for cops
I've read whole forum threads discussing how to inform a LEO that you have a concealed carry license and a firearm on your person at a traffic stop, without freaking them out. Once I made the stupidly embarrassing mistake of attempting to exit my vehicle during a stop; the LEOs got hostile very quickly and I ended up getting frisked.
Yah, don't do that! Best thing is to do after pulling over is turn on the interior lights, roll down the window, turn off the radio, and then wait.
Doing that will calm the cop since he can see you easily, which can only work in your favor.
Some cops will ask you to turn of the engine, or leave the car, but most won't.
There is no background support for recording, and Apple requires you to have a "conspicuous" recording indicator. I was initially rejected by displaying a black screen during recording.
P.s. to whoever voted me down, a response that I wasn't correct would have added to this discussion!
Here's a link to the pdf (you might need a developer account to access): http://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/iphone/...
If you can't or don't want to access the pdf, here's a link to a SO answer I gave on the subject:
Simply put, a straightforward reading of
the statute and case law cannot support
the suggestion that a recording made with
a device known to record audio and held in
plain view is "secret."
(not a lawyer)
I know this might limit the use-cases for an app, as well as require more effort to do, but that would be pretty slick.
Another way to protect the recordings is to live stream the audio to the internet (with location info). This way, the data is already stored online before the police have a chance to go poking around in a confiscated phone.
Maybe even make the streams available in real-time so people can listen in on live stops as they happen.
I am not even sure how many jurisdictions have clear case law on the subject yet.