My opinion is that this guy is very illustrative of how screwed we are with regard to privacy, yet I'm having trouble deciding which side to be on, since I can't have it both ways.
If we could, for arguments sake, ignore the issue of different states having different laws on the audio aspect of recording. I believe the audio law I am referring to was designed to protect the public from being secretly recorded on the telephone. Unfortunately, it has been misappropriated with regards to changes in technology.
It is my understanding that you have the right to photograph/video ( again, gloss over audio issues for a moment ) anything you desire as long as you are on public property. You can even peer into private areas while being located on public property. This all comes down to what is referred to as a "reasonable expectation of privacy". Someone has already linked to explanations if these laws.
It's the very premise that allows the paparazzi to exist and be profitable at what they do. That and despite what the famous may say, it's a relationship that need exist or they would not be famous. If you are sitting inside an all glass Apple store and someone films you from outside, you had no expectation of privacy before you walked in, every passerby is seeing you with their own eyes just not recording it permanently.
I'm actually in support of this. I believe it's part of freedom of speech to be able to record or photograph things while in public.
Yet oddly, I'm very much against the rise in CCTV in every store I go into. I think perhaps this comes down to one key word for me. "Surveillance". I don't like automated surveillance becoming more and more commonplace. But a photographer or videographer is not performing such an act.
There's also part of me that feels all law enforcement should be recording everything all the time. For their protection as well as the publics.
I think the guy brings up some interesting points, as before thinking about this I was pro public ability to record, even into private spaces, asking as from a public location. But a CCTV is doing the same in many cases. I think most of you understand the internal debate in having with myself.
I think one interesting point is how the majority of people got immediately angry. Some felt they had a right to privacy while in public, for which they are wrong. And others, I believe mostly "security" took it as far as assault and either touched, shoved, or pushed the guy with a few hitting his camera.
He may be more effective if just before he left, he handed them a small flyer that brings to their attention all these issues. It's nice to see people have an opinion about something, and they very clearly have strong and loud opinions as these videos show. But they are very quiet as another 100 cameras are installed in their local pumpkin patch.
If LEO themselves record everything all the time, the cameraman will just pan or zoom away from police abuse, and if not, records will just disappear. They have no incentive to present an accurate picture and plenty of incentive not to do so, esprit de corps etc.
I was hoping they continue in the tradition they are now, which has both saved them and gotten them in trouble in the past.
Currently they use dash mounted cameras with mics and they can't turn them off on some models. I was hoping they would have something like a helmet mounted GoPro or best mounted one. Yes, it won't see everything, but since they call 50 officers to a car ticket, someone will capture it.
Loss of tape should come with fines. Leo should be held to the highest of standards. No off duty for mistakes, you are fired.
The other case I heard where it helped them was some spoiled brats were drunk in public and called in a attempted rape charge. Tapes probed otherwise and had the girls talking about making the false claim in tape. They got busted pretty hard from what I recall.