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AMC movie theater calls FBI to arrest a Google Glass user (the-gadgeteer.com)
319 points by sounds on Jan 21, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 294 comments

This isn't really a story about the woes of being a google glass user, it's a story about how people don't know their rights and how to apply them.

This man is lucky that he didn't end up accidentally giving the authorities some tiny piece of information to make his life worse. You should absolutely never talk to the authorities even if you think you have nothing to hide and especially when they're actively trying to pin something on you. It is perfectly legal for them to threaten you with harsher legal penalties, and it is perfectly legal for you to say I need to speak with a lawyer before I make any decisions or say anything. This account is a CLEAR illustration of how they ONLY want you to confess to something and once they don't think they can they no longer care about you in the tiniest bit. It's not about justice, it's about catching people.

Also, don't wear a goddamn camera on your head to the movies. The man must certainly own a pair of regular prescription glasses and was being extremely naive.

Note that the authorities did tell him they were going to cause him more problems if he didn't cooperate.

So, that makes the choice of telling them nothing pretty hard.

No, this is what they rely on. It is the basic "If you have nothing to hide, why are you hiding" line of questioning. It's especially used to search cars at traffic stops.


"Am I being detained? Am I free to go?" (repeat until one gets an answer)

If free to go - leave If not free to go - don't say another word

Don't consent to a search. Don't try to be nice. Don't believe any bullshit you are told:

"Look, we're trying to be nice here, if you don't want to be nice, we can take you down to the station."

"You know what happens if we have to call to wake up a judge at this hour to get a search warrant?"

"Ok, then we'll just wait here until the dogs come"

or the almost always used -

"Am I being arrested?" "Do you want to be?"


It's all bullshit and used to get verbal consent to searches and verbal answers to questions. You may feel like an asshole, especially if you really do have "nothing to hide". The cops will do their best to make you feel scared of what they will do if you don't cooperate. You may have a ton of privilege (perhaps you are a cis-gendered white man) and you feel that cashing it in and talking man-to-man in a nice way with the cops will get you on your way quicker. And it may. But one time, it may not, and you'll wish you hadn't talked. And of the larger overarching issue of living a police state with nominal checks and balances on what the cops can and can't do, it behooves us all to limit their power to their legal minimum as much as possible.

The only thing I would add to this is don't be a dick, you don't want them to have an excuse to arrest you. Ask in a nice and polite voice "Am I under arrest?" If the verbal answer from the police is anything but a short and clear "Yes," tell the cop "I understand your answer to mean that No, I am not under arrest. I am terminating this conversation and I am going to leave now." This doesn't apply to traffic stops for speeding or something like that, in those cases being nice will get you far. But if you are suspected of a real crime, for god sakes, keep your mouth shot, and if you are not under arrest, leave ASAP.

Sorry, but it absolutely does also apply during traffic stops. Many a routine traffic stop for a broken taillight or some such other nonsense has turned into something else as soon as someone said "sure, no problem" when the cops asked, "You mind if I just take a quick look around?"

You are right. What I meant is don't be a dick to cops if they are pulling you over for speeding. If they ask you how fast you were going, don't start reciting the 5th amendment. If they ask you if they can look in your trunk, just say no, you have nothing to hide, but unless they have a warrant or probable cause, they can not look.

I say that because I had a friend who got arrested at one of those sobriety checkpoints. They stopped him and asked him if he has been drinking. He said no, and he hasn't. But then to prove his point he started yelling that he demands that they test him because they wasted his time, so now he wants them to breathalyze him. They arrested him on a suspicion of being high on drugs instead. He wasn't, but I still had to bail him out of prison in the middle of the night. The charges were dropped, of course.

The lesson is, be firm but polite and respectful. Know you rights, and exercise them, but don't be a dick about it.

Seems to me that it's the same in all cases, whether it's a traffic stop or you're being questioned in connection to a murder: be firm but polite. Don't give out any info you're not required to, but don't be an asshole. Clearly there will be some differences (i.e. you should insist on a lawyer if you're being questioned about a murder, but should not do this during a traffic stop) but my point is that we should not consider a polite insistence on your rights and polite refusal to give out information beyond what's required to be in and of itself being a dick.

"Am I being detained", not "am I under arrest"; there are plenty of forms of temporary detention which are not arrest but where walking off right then becomes PC to do more (and potentially a crime/beating/anal-rape-with-or-without-medical-personnel incident).

You want to do the "am I being detained" thing while at the same time being physically non-threatening -- keep your hands visible (in a traffic stop, on your steering while), etc.

Depending on the state, there's a requirement to ID (particularly in a motor vehicle, even as a non-driver). I generally am willing to comply with ID requests even when they're not mandatory, with a few exceptions (i.e. where it will prolong the interaction, like open carry in Oregon seems).

If a search happens anyway (either terry stop patdown or something more serious), the "I do not consent to search" should be repeated and very audible (ideally for any recording device), but don't physically resist.

OTOH, in NM, I'd probably not get out of my car even if demanded, but I'm currently boycotting the state.

A good solid understanding of NVC would beneficial as well. Don't allow them to make blaming statements or think for you.

It's no choice at all. Don't talk.

Look, I understand these guys have a job to do, and they have a certain toolset they're allowed to use to do it. I don't begrudge them that. But damned if I'm going to let a sense of civic duty lead to my self-incrimination.

A friend of mine spent some time at the Public Defenders office. The number of times she saw people send themselves up for long stretches in prison, under circumstances in which the authorities would /never/ have gotten a conviction otherwise, led her to give me the same advice you see every single lawyer on television offer their clients: don't say anything!

But the sample of people that your friend saw is biased. She only saw the people who talked to the police and ended up in prison, but doesn't know about the people who showed to the police that they are innocent, and who then left, without the interaction being recorded anywhere.

The same is true for lawyers who tell you to never talk to the police. They only see the cases that get to a court, and don't see the cases that never make it that far.

I'm not saying that you should always talk to the police, but it very much depends on the situation. In that particular case I'd have probably talked with them and insisted that they look at the actual data on the glass, if the alternative is to spend the night in jail, waiting for someone to look at the evidence.

This is a terrible advice! NEVER talk to the police. I have seen a lot of innocent people talk themselves into an arrest. Sure, none of them got convicted, but they spent a lot of time in the court system and thousands of dollars on attorney fees. This is my professional advise, and if you need more proof, here is a Detective giving the same advice on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1t3vtr0kxk

Repsilat, you are mistaken. There is never any benefit to talking to the police (as a suspect). If you are a witness to the crime, and want to do your civic duty, be my guest. But as a suspect the cops are not at all interested in what you have to say. They are not interested in the truth, they are interested in probable cause to arrest you. All they are looking for is probable cause. In their mind it's arrest first, find out the truth later.

Why do you think it took them that long to connect a laptop to the Google Glass and see if any video was recorded. They probably suspected it was empty. They tried to brake the guy first, to find any reason to arrest him, so they can go to his house and search all of his computers. They asked him a ton of questions, and I can guarantee you, they were looking for any unrelated excuse to arrest him.

There is a saying: "You can't talk yourself out of being arrested, but you can talk yourself into being arrested."

Sorry for accidentally downvoting you. I meant to upvote :(

Talking to the police is cooperating in the prisoners dilemma. It isn't in your personal interest to do it, but the world is a better place if everyone does. Encouraging people not to talk to the police is actively making society worse.

I talk to the police, even when it isn't in my personal interest, because I'm not a huge dickhead. I believe in a moral obligation to uphold the qualities that helped make my life livable in the first place.

This seems like not only a poor analogy and poor understanding of the prisoner's dilemma but probably the hugest amount of wishful thinking I've seen perpetrated.

You are guaranteed that some party is going to be a betrayer. A criminal and an innocent person aren't even playing the same game stakes-wise. In the prisoner's dilemma, both parties have to be guilty to begin with. More importantly, it requires knowledge of each party's existence by the other.

Edit: Sort of an aside (it seems you may be focused on the idea of talking for the purpose of snitching?), but I think Immortal Technique brought up a good point when he said that ordinary people (well, he said blacks and latinos) shouldn't snitch on each other until cops start doing it first. There are very obvious reasons why cops don't do it (along a scale from Adrian Schoolcraft to Frank Serpico) and maybe citizens are right not to do it either.

You've taken the analogy more literally than it was intended.

I didn't mean to say that "if everyone (including guilty people) is honest with the police then guilty people will be caught." That would have been naive. My point is that talking to the police is a prisoners dilemma when considered as a game played only between innocent people.

My point is that the police can't do their job without information, and almost all information given to the police is volunteered by innocent people. Far fewer crimes would be solved if everyone clammed up when the police knocked on their doors, and that'll inevitably lead to more crime.

But innocent people would have no obvious reason to know the existence of each other in relation to the investigation of a crime - in fact, investigators would tend to think that indicated some knowledge of the crime and make that person a viable suspect, in which case you are not suspected innocent and it's not in your interest to talk to the police.

The prisoner's dilemma is specific for a reason - nothing in its description is ambiguous. Please do not call this situation a prisoner's dilemma when it is not. The prisoner's dilemma implies a game with specific rules, and by applying that name to some other situation, you are changing the rules of the game and making it into something else entirely.

Information to help solve crimes can still be provided to police with a lawyer present, which is something that everyone should do when being questioned. Full stop. It's not about being moral or immoral, it's about basic self-preservation.

It's easy enough to ground this in game theory to make the analogy more explicit.

Say there's a street with two houses. In the event of a crime, people in the houses can volunteer information to the police. They don't know ahead of time whether their information is pertinent to the investigation or self-incriminating. Crime goes down by half if one house regularly snitches, and crime is eliminated if both do.

The expected cost of self-incrimination when volunteering information (with all probabilities worked out) is 3. The cost of unchecked crime in the neighbourhood is 4, applied to each house. The payoffs, then:

- If neither house snitches, payoffs are -4/-4.

- If one house snitches, payoffs are -2/-5 (against the snitch)

- If both houses snitch, payoffs are -3/-3.

This is classic prisoner's dilemma. I thought the general idea was clear enough in my initial post, but at this point the analogy I was making should be impossible to miss.

I don't disagree with your third paragraph. A lawyer will decrease your personal expected negative payoff without compromising the societal benefit of coming forward.

'My point is that the police can't do their job without information, and almost all information given to the police is volunteered by innocent people. Far fewer crimes would be solved if everyone clammed up when the police knocked on their doors, and that'll inevitably lead to more crime.'

Right. So let's just remove the need for a warrant, and revoke the fifth amendment. You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, citizen.

That isn't really fair. I took great care not to say that people should feel compelled to give information, only that we should feel obliged to provide it voluntarily under many situations. (Certainly not all situations, either -- information given in confidence should be inviolable without a warrant, for one thing.)

Where is that Immortal Technique quote from? Love IT, have you seen his documentary? (of course now I've asked that, it will turn out to be that the quote is from the documentary :)


From back when that "Stop Snitchin'" campaign had everyone all uptight.

And yes I have. IT is amazing!

Excuse the delay. Thanks I'll have a read of that. Agreed, he hertainly is an inspirational character, have seen him in concert twice now and both times were fantastic

I would argue the reverse. Talking to the cops in a nice way, letting them search your car because you have "nothing to hide" etc etc may help you in the short term, but it further erodes all of our rights in the long term, and makes us all less safe and more subject to the whims of a police-industrial complex that it out of control.

I love this objection because it uses my own argument against me. I think any argument from here goes away from moral principles and towards politics.

My personal view is that rights are most greatly abridged in crises, and that the voluntary cooperation is less likely to beget oppression than is the unrest and crime prevented by cooperation. Moreover, I think a culture of forcibly requiring information is more likely to arise in a culture of reticence.

You're right that it's a difficult line to walk, though -- defending a cultural value of openness and strong rights to silence and privacy is a subtle point.

> defending a cultural value of openness

'Openness' amongst a community or society and openness with regard to the government are not one in the same.


I think the more important distinction to make is between compelled testimony and voluntary testimony.

I think we should encourage people to come forward of their own free will, both by making it safer to do so and by educating them on the benefits to society. In a sense I think this because I have faith in my local police, and see them as a part of the community, not as an "other."

Same as you, though, I don't believe believe in expanding their powers to compel people to come forward, because that obviously has scary negative consequences.

Will you still have faith in your local police and see them as a part of your community after the conduct a triple anal probe on you or your children and hand you with the invoice for the procedure?

While I generally support unions, the police fraternity mindset is troubling. There are no good cops as long as the blue code of silence is the de facto mode of operation.

Yes, generally lawyers and people in legal support professions have biased interpretations on matters of law. They're supposed to.

It is completely accurate for a lawyer to say it cannot help you _in court_ to talk to police. It cannot as a matter of law. The Miranda warning makes this pretty plain in that: "Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law." and many now read "may" as "can and will".

The police officer does not make the decision to charge you; that is done by a district attorney. The district attorney's job is to decide if they can get a conviction. It's also their job to get as many convictions as possible.

You may have read recently that 97% of federal drug convictions are plea bargains; the tl;dr being that people are forced to weigh a short sentence vs a brutally long one with a costly defense.

So a district attorney isn't making the decision solely on whether they can convict you in court but on if they can get you to plea as well. When the severity of the charge is high, say for example a mandatory minimum 15 year prison sentence (even for first offenders or even if you're only tangentially responsible for the crime (not exactly the same but Ryan Holle's story is a good read here)) if you're convicted, it is a lot easier for them to get you people to plea and they are more likely to proceed with charges.

When you interview with police, you have absolutely no idea what they plan to charge you with. They could charge you with things after speaking to you that have absolutely no relation to what they initially intend to question you about.

This is why you should never, ever, ever, ever take an interview with an investigating officer without a lawyer present. The safest and most paranoid extension of that is not to talk to police at all (like for reporting crimes, etc) and honestly I cannot fault anyone for that logic.

There are four possible cases:

A) Somebody talked to the police, the police gave them no trouble, and they went about their lives.

B) Somebody talked to the police, they got themselves in trouble, and they went to prison unnecessarily.

C) Somebody didn't talk to the police, the police gave them no trouble, and they went about their lives.

D) Somebody didn't talk to the police, they got themselves in trouble, and they went to prison unnecessarily.

You're saying that lawyers and prosecutors and such will see B but not A. This is true! However, when you consider all four cases, you must consider that these people will also see case D. And yet I have never once heard of anyone involved in the system who said, man, that guy really screwed himself by not talking to the police, if only he had just cooperated with them. Not once have I ever heard this. If it happened, they would see it, so the only conclusion I can draw is that it does not happen.

It's not that lawyers think you should never talk to police, it's that you should wait until you have legal counsel to do so.

Never talk to the cops. Period. You can't help yourself by proving you have "nothing to hide." The only word emanating from your vocal cords should be "lawyer."

That is good legal advice. Not necessarily good advice for a person's well-being. Cops throw people in jail and let them die there, or even kill them directly, for less than this.

Please cite references if you're suggesting that people in the U.S. are routinely killed or jailed for life without trial for requesting legal council.

I never asked for references of police killing civilians, as I'm aware that this happens. I'm specifically interested in references of police killing civilians for requesting legal counsel, especially in the course of questioning.

If this isn't something that routinely happens, then it is not a significant danger to the life or liberty of the average citizen to request counsel while being interrogated.

I know, but it seemed such a ridiculous request. It's a really weak attack on their argument that it's in your personal interest to cooperate with police. It drew the attention to something that wasn't really up for debate and looked more like a troll than anything. Also, these events aren't something that everyone is aware of, so it's more for the public attention than your own.

Basically I was just asking for you to say what you just did.

The request was in my initial question.

If someone makes an argument that asking for legal counsel has a reasonable chance of leading to being killed or imprisoned for life, I would expect them to backup that assertion with some evidence upon request.

Stories about people being killed by police in other contexts don't provide any evidence to support the initial assertion.

Their point wasn't that asking for legal counsel caused folks to be killed, it was that they think cops are hotheads who will kill you if you don't do as they say. They're saying that someone being questioned by police doesn't have any power so best not to piss the cops off lest one be killed or jailed without trial.

They said "for less" in their statement and you acknowledge that it happens, so it doesn't attack their argument to ask for that, it just attacks how they worded it.

"citation needed" is just about the most useless thing to contribute to a discussion and based on the other comment I'm not the only one that feels this way. This isn't reddit.

"citation needed" is just about the most useless thing to contribute to a discussion and based on the other comment I'm not the only one that feels this way. This isn't reddit.

I though the same thing, until I actually needed the citation myself on a topic I cared about: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7043314

So at least "citation needed" is legitimate sometimes. (I totally agree that most of the time, it seems merely argumentative, not knowledge-seeking which is what is the good thing its being concealed behind).

I never suggested that requesting legal counsel is the specific reason for routine police misconduct. I only meant that cooperating with police might be a good idea, given what police often do when faced with an uncooperative person.

Hilarious. Bet you didn't expect all those references, aye? ;)

Oh, new term : "Cite Troll" Which Im defining as someone who doesnt like something written, so knee jerks in to demaing citations.

I didn't even bother to get to the "jailed without trial" half of his question yet, since that was very publicly signed into law only a couple of years ago and obvious enough to not need rigorous debate.

But yeah. http://www.alternet.org/16-year-old-jailed-rikers-3-years-wi...

And one case most of us are familiar with: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrett_Brown


I guess this general pattern of police misconduct is only now becoming mainstream, thanks to the Internet. There are probably still a lot of people either ignorant of the pattern or in denial of it. Remember, it took a while for the masses to learn and accept that cops in LA had a pattern for severe mistreatment of African Americans.

Clearly we should disarm the police for our own protection. Heh.

> Never talk to cops

Everyone says this, but how certain are you that it's the best plan in every circumstance?

Can requesting for a lawyer reduce the amount of time you're detained? The guy was held for about 3.5 hours. If he required access to a lawyer, how long would they have detained him?

And then how much would the lawyer charge? Are you sure it would have been worth it?

It's true that if he said nothing he might have been taken to jail for 8 hours instead of being detained for 3.5 hours. But it's also possible that he talked and talked until eventually, under stress, he said something stupid that led to a conviction with a 2 year prison sentence. It's basically just a gamble with your life.

There's nothing wrong with being polite, but insistent on having a lawyer with you when you speak to the police. Tell them that you will be happy to talk with your lawyer present.

If the police are questioning you then there's an excellent chance that what they are really trying to do is to build a case. The more you talk, the more things can be used to make you appear guilty in court - even if they don't seem significant to you. That is why you don't talk to the police - even if it means sitting in jail for a day.

The concern that you might extend the length of your detention in the short-term is inconsequential compared to the possibility that your cooperation can and will be used against you. You aren't trying to manipulate the police into letting you go home earlier; instead, you're trying to avoid doing anything that may increase the likelihood of your being found guilty of criminal charges.

There are plenty of interviews online where police officers, lawyers, and judges alike can't come up with even a single example of where someone was able to talk their way out of charges. The popular "Don't talk to the police" video is just one of them. Hell, Salinas v. Texas makes it abundantly clear that you can screw yourself right into jail even when you do remain silent but make the mistake of appearing uncomfortable during questioning.

In short, there are just too many opportunities for even an intelligent, innocent person to stumble straight into jail.

It's called common sense.

In support of jasonwocky's comment - this is always worth a watch if you haven't seen it: http://youtu.be/6wXkI4t7nuc

Yup. There's a great misconception by naive people that believe candor begets innocence. Unfortunately, an adversarial legal system instead looks at volunteered information as ammunition.

Nice video.

My opinion -- people who are smart often think that they know more than police. They may, possibly, but they definitely don't have the training necessary to predict how their statements (even if innocent) can be twisted to imply whatever the prosecutor wants.

Please, god, hackers, watch that video.

Without saying too much here, let's just say I wish I'd seen this video in, say, 2002 (well before it was made).

As an non-US citizen/resident this is pretty fasinating insight to the US justice system! One thing comes to mind though. If I'm to travel to US and enter US soil, am I covered by the Bill of Rights? Ofc I haven't had any problems while visiting US but just curious how these things pan out for non-citizen/resident.

The Bill of Rights ostensibly covers anyone under US jurisdiction, even a non-US citizen.

(The Bill of Rights is a specific set of rights enumerated to _limit_ the government, it is _not_ an enumeration of rights granted to a person. The Declaration of Independence and US Constitution are powers extended from the people to the government at the people's pleasure.)

Having said that, I said "ostensibly." I mean that US Code and jurisprudence are convoluted. Immigrants or tourists are especially at risk: deportation, or worse, a one way ticket to Guatanamo. This is absolutely in violation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but the US Government is currently trying to lie and deny and bluff its way around those founding documents.

In my opinion, the attack on immigrants/tourists/foreigners (hi, NSA) is an attempt to gain prima facie precedents that will then be extended to regular citizens. Case in point: wiretaps, drones, and US citizens held indefinitely without a trial. I am a US Citizen but I defend your rights because it's only a matter of time before it will come back to me.

didn't Scalia say regarding torture that the man wasn't legally a "person" and no rights applied or something like that?

Absolutely right: It is witty and extremely compelling viewing. EVERY citizen should watch it.

If you'd like to hear both a lawyer and a cop explain in explicit detail why you should never talk to the police, watch this video:


Regardless of what a cop threatens (or promises as the case may be), they are legally bound to arrest you if they believe a crime has been committed, and are not empowered to make deals with you. You will never talk yourself out of an arrest, but you can talk yourself into one. Therefore you should never talk to the police under any circumstances.

In this case, the guy actually cost himself time by talking to them. Had he refused, since a mere suspicion was not enough to book him, they would have had nothing to do other than connect the Glass and find out that there were no movies on it.

> they are legally bound to...

The problem is that cops routinely do things they aren't legally bound to do.

What if you are a witness to a crime? Do you still only communicate to the police through an attorney?

In general it's best to only communicate with police through an attorney - without regard to the circumstances. A greater than zero percentage of people start out as witnesses and wind up as suspects.

Woman calls police for help. Was tased and pepper sprayed.


"Authorities" will say almost anything to get suspects to cooperate. Cooperation is usually actually some form of self-incrimination. Unfortunately the average person doesn't understand the system as well as an officer/agent does, so they're susceptible to these kinds of tactics.

Yeah, if an authority ever tells me to cooperate I'm just going to say that I want to, that is what I need my lawyer for. To understand how we can best cooperate.

Just remember that police are allowed to lie to you, and will do so any time they think it's to their advantage.

And remember you're not allowed to lie to them. You'll be charged with obstructing justice or interfering with a police investigation. With such lopsided rules its foolish to "play the game". I really wish there were laws saying government officers and officials may not lie otherwise they too would be charged with obstructing the truth.

I think the point is that you generally have very little to lose by talking to a lawyer before talking to the police, even if you haven't done anything wrong.

The sad reality is that "looking guilty" by not talking is usually a lot better than genuinely trying to cooperate and saying something that can be used against you in court.

> Note that the authorities did tell him they were going to cause him more problems if he didn't cooperate.

"I would be happy to cooperate fully in the presence of my legal counsel."

I have heard this thousands of times, but a common man, a ordinary software engineer, does not have a lawyer on his speed dial. He/She may not even know how to go about finding one without spending at the least 10-15 mins on Google. So how does this work out? If one says "I will only talk in the presence of a lawyer", then the officers say ok, you get your one phone call, go call your lawyer....then what?? Who do I call? Say best thing is to call my wife/friend and have them find and bring a lawyer.....but what if neither my wife/friend is immediately reachable and I waste my one phone call away....then what?? Are the officers obligated to provide me a 'public' lawyer ?? It's easy to say "don't talk ever without lawyer being present" , but if I don't know what to do after saying that, and I do know there is nothing to be hidden (100% sure) and have reasonable belief that they will let me go once they are convinced of that, then which do you think is an easier choice for me, especially in that panic/stressful mode??

Call your wife and tell her "Honey, pick anyone at random out of the phone book for criminal defense attorney" then call them and say "John Smith, who is currently being held at $LOCATION, requests the presence of counsel. He will pay your usual hourly."

You know exactly what your lawyer is going to do? He's going to walk into $LOCATION, announce "I am the attorney for John Smith. Take me to him immediately.", greet you, then say "My client refuses to answer any further questions. Is he under arrest? If not, he is leaving. Here's my card if you have any further questions about this matter."

And that will, most likely, be your entire engagement with this attorney. If you need one in the near future, you can hire one after a more informed search, and have your existing attorney brief him on the procedural history -- to whit, that you were briefly detained and that he did exactly what every other attorney in the phone book would have done under those circumstances.

P.S. In the United States, if you're under arrest, you are entitled to a public defender. Heck, you can even say "I won't speak to you except under advise of counsel. I don't have a lawyer at present, so until I find one, I'll accept the services of a public defender." If they refuse a public defender, you're not under arrest, and if you're not under arrest, you should probably leave.

This sounds like a potentially useful service, if it doesn't exist already. Preferably with a memorable phone number like 1-800-LAYWERS, but that's taken.

If you're in a room being questioned by police, they already want to arrest you. If they're still talking to you and have not charged you yet, there's a good chance they don't feel they have a slam dunk case, and they need to extract more information to get a conviction and not get reamed out by the prosecutor.

Just ask for a lawyer. Don't worry about having to sit there in awkward silence for hours if it comes to that. There's no law that says if you can't find a lawyer in X amount of time after asking, you don't get one. You don't have to schedule a time for a lawyer to come in to get you.

Once you ask for a lawyer (which should effectively terminate the questioning, or at least it should), one of three things may happen:

(1) you will be arrested and charged. You gave them no new evidence to use against you, so you're in the best possible position.

(2) you will be "detained" for some amount of time while they go about sketchy, quasi-legal moves to gather more evidence against you (applying for search warrants for saliva/blood sample, your vehicle, home, etc. and they want to keep an eye on you until these are approved and executed). Depending on how their fishing expedition goes, either #1 or #3 will follow.

(3) they will release you.

Regardless of what happens, DO NOT TALK TO THEM.

The one thing that no one ever mentions is that the police usually don't follow the rules, and the courts usually don't penalize them for it. The only way to protect yourself is to shut up. Don't even make small talk. It's a chess game and there's no move you can make where you don't lose. Do and say nothing.

you get your one phone call

Is that actually how it works in the US? A judge in Canada recently lamented this as a "misconception brought on by watching too many Hollywood movies", and pointed out that (at least in Canada) you can make as many phone calls as you need in order to get a lawyer.

This worry about "waste my one phone call" makes no sense.

You're not obligated to talk without a lawyer. The police won't give you what you need to find a lawyer? Fine, just don't talk. If they're stupid enough to say, "you wasted your one phone call, no lawyer for you" then just sit there.

The legal system is run by humans and doesn't generally have silly gotchas like these. There's no such thing as, "you couldn't find a lawyer in ten minutes with one phone call, so you don't get to have one, gotcha!"

If they want to question you, it is in their best interest to get you a lawyer. You have the right not to answer questions until a lawyer is present (and after, but that's not my point).

Remove the word "my" and you remove the how foolish you'll look when they ask you who your legal counsel is.

No, no it doesn't because you have no proof they won't cause you problems if you do cooperate. If they tell him he is free to go, but he stays and gives them information. It is much harder to claim the fifth latter on.

> Note that the authorities did tell him they were going to cause him more problems if he didn't cooperate.

Because it can't hurt to try, can it?. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKiYpsQhZsI for a bunch of highly fascinating examples of cops outright lying and people not falling for it. Not entirely the same situation, but this line from the article sure "smells" similar:

> I asked why didn’t they just take those five minutes at the beginning of the interrogation and they just left the room.

This is just a classic example of not knowing your rights. Of course they will make you think it will be worse if you don't cooperate. The opposite is always true - the only thing that will happen by talking is that you will make things worse.

If you did nothing wrong, then you absolutely no reason to talk or say anything except "am I under arrest and am I free to go?"

Are you serious? You never talk to police. I thought everyone knew that..

The only correct response to these threats: "I am innocent, and my lawyer will absolutely investigate you and your group, and we will prosecute you for any law-breaking he finds - including denying me my rights, stealing my property, immitating a law officer."

No. The correct response is. "I exercise my right to be silent. I do not consent to a search. Am I being detained or am I free to go?" And if you are arrested, "I demand to speak to an attorney."

See for example https://www.aclu.org/drug-law-reform-immigrants-rights-racia... .

What you listed here might make you feel better at the moment, but it doesn't express that you want to exercise your rights. If you don't express that you want to use those rights then the police can keep on doing what they want.

Do not claim you are innocent. You don't know all of the things they are investigating, and lying to an officer is illegal. The rest of what you said is easily interpreted as bluster.

The moment citizens decide that rent-a-cops have greater rights than they do, civilized society ends. Either you keep these people in check by reminding them of your rights to investigate them to the full extent of the law, or you live in a vassal state.

Yes, "bluster" was the right term.

According to your suggested phrasing above, if your lawyer does not investigate and then prosecute any apparent law-breaking, then you have just lied to a police officer. That can be an expensive phrase to follow up on.

If you are arrested, and convicted wrongly (which we know does happen), then your assertion of innocence is, to the courts, another lie.

According to the Supreme Court, you must say that you are going to remain silent in order to exercise that constitutional right. Your suggested phrasing shows that the citizen saying that is ignorant of the law, and is more likely that the "rent-a-cops" will use intimidation and other forms of persuasion to extract information in hopes of making an arrest.

You don't care, since you don't recognize the laws as being just. But it is bad manners to suggest your course of action to anyone who is not aware of what their legal rights are under this unjust regime. A martyr without reason is just another arrest statistic.

>According to your suggested phrasing above, if your lawyer does not investigate and then prosecute any apparent law-breaking, then you have just lied to a police officer. That can be an expensive phrase to follow up on.

Where's the lie? In my case - it would be true. I'd investigate every single one of these rent-a-cops, and any laws they broke - they'd be prosecuted for it.

Look - I agree, don't talk to cops. But these are rent-a-cops we're talking about (private cops on the private property of the movie theatre). I see no reason why civil society should just bend over and take it, just because 'the law will get you because it is harder than you'. Such conditions bely the fact that you are living in a tyrannical state, yo ..

I said "if your lawyer does not investigate".

You then said "I'd investigate ...", when you earlier asserted that you would have your lawyer do it.

A lawyer's time costs money. Especially if, as was the case here, it doesn't seem like there was anything illegal. According to the account the Google Glass wearer was informed that he was not being detained. According the the account, the Google Glass wearer not only consented to a search but insisted upon a search. (There's also good odds that they training in ways to apply psychological pressure without breaking the law.)

Nothing here is illegal, and you would have no case, so it's not like your lawyer would even have the possibility of taking it on contingency.

But you are right. Assuming they were all "rent-a-cops" then there's no law against lying to them, and you could make whatever threats you want about lawyers, true or false. According to the report, it wasn't clear if they were or were not police officers.

Which is why knowing one's rights is important.

There's tyranny of oppression. There's also tyranny of ignorance.

For the record, it wasn't all "rent-a-cops." Homeland Security's ICE division was there. See http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140121/15234325942/mpaa-i... .

Incorrect, for the reasons the video linked numerous times throughout this stated. By proclaiming your innocence, even if true, you could be found liable for an increased sentence for lying to an officer if dodgy evidence incorrectly 'proves' you guilty later down the track. This exact circumstance is covered.

Your 1 and only word is always 'lawyer'. Nothing else.

Whether wearing a camera to the movies is non-consequential. Only if one is actively taping that one is breaking the law.

Possessing the potential doesn't break the law. Otherwise, the theater male management should be charged with rape since they are well equipped with the potential to rape.

Are you sure?

Do you mean that you know the law of the relevant jurisdictions and can confidently interpret it, or do you just mean that it shouldn't be illegal?

There are plenty of crimes that exist on the books as preventative measures against serious wrongs being done. Sometimes it's worth prohibiting harmless but easily enforced activities if they're corellated the right way with harmful ones.

Please, sir, go through my private photos. I've got nothing to hide!

Shame that he did that.

Must be horrible to live in a country where police can and do abuse you like this. 3rd world. Are you all out to get each other?

Another thing 'we' here in the EU don't really get; if you watched even ONE cop show from the US, you know that you ONLY utter ONE thing when you get arrested/detained/whatever: 'lawyer'. And nothing else. So why, in the same cop shows and real life, do people start blabbing?

In cop shows, because it serves the plot better; in real life, because humans are not very rational creatures and the intuitive need to try to explain yourself is strong, especially if you're in the company of people who know a couple of psychological tricks on how to make people talk.

Here is some pragmatic advice about when to talk with police from someone who has been stopped by police when they could have legitimately arrested him.

If you have done something wrong where someone got hurt - don't talk to them. Otherwise, it depends:


In his defense, we're never going to have nice things (like being able to wear tiny cameras on our heads all the time) without shit like this happening at some point in history. One day we could have computers in our contacts, and at some point between Google Glass and Google Contacts, the FBI is going to accuse people of doing illegal things with them.

Hi, does this apply to non US citizen residing in the United States? Those one without permanent resident but on visas such as H1B, F1 or J1?

Here is what you need to do if you are ever in this situation:

1. Ask "Am I under arrest?" 2. If the answer is anything other than "Yes" ask "Can I leave now?" 3. If the answer is anything other than "No," get up and leave! Don't ask for permission, don't say another word. Just leave. If anyone tries to stop you, say "Unless I am under arrest, I am going to leave NOW. If you prevent me from leaving than I am assuming I am under arrest. If so, please read me my miranda rights right now."

If they read you your rights, ask for a lawyer. Specifically say "I want to speak to a lawyer and I chose to remain silent and not answer any questions until I speak to a lawyer." If the cop tells you that your lawyer is on his/her way and then continues to talk to you, you should say "I see you continue to talk to me, I am going to assume that you are trying to elicit statements from me after I invoked my rights. I am going to relay this information to my lawyer."

If you are innocent, you have NOTHING to gain from talking to a cop. If you are guilty, you WILL hurt your case every time.

UPDATE: Spelling

It's quite true. My father is a lawyer, and the first thing I remember learning, even before "don't talk to strangers" was "never talk to police". After that it was "get everything in writing" and "act as if everyone is carrying a tape recorder", but that's neither here nor there.

I don't have "a lawyer" on call - won't they provide me with a shitty one?

Most public defenders (I only worked with San Diego and LA once) are pretty good, though overworked. Public defender positions in San Diego especially are very competitive, and you often get top notch lawyers. Federal Defender positions are VERY competitive, and you often get top graduates from prestigious law schools. This may not be true everywhere, I only practiced law in South California.

In any case, even a shitty attorney knows how to say "my client has no comments." But, a far more important question to ask is "Am I under arrest?" If the answer is anything other then "Yes," be nice, say goodbye, and walk away. Most people do not realize that they have this right. In most cases cops do not have the evidence sufficient to arrest you, but they will make you think you are under arrest, so they can fish out some "probable cause" out of you. You don't have the right to an attorney unless you are under arrest. This is why they will often also tell you that they are "just talking" because as long as they are "just talking" they do not have to provide you with a lawyer.

You will NEVER get a straight answer to the question "Am I under arrest?" Just listen to what they say, unless the very first word from their mouth is "YES", assume the answer is NO. They will say things like "we are just talking" or "you could be if you do not cooperate", or "we want to hear your side of the story before we decide to arrest you." All those answers translate to "we don't have the evidence to arrest you, but we would like to talk to you until you slip up, and we find an excuse to arrest you."

Do you even know what you're talking about? Miranda rights are for interrogations.

I agree with your advice, but I think in this case they would have arrested him. It's definitely a rock and hard place situation.

My guess is they would have held on to his Google Glass, verified that no movies were recorded, and returned it to him. They would not be able to arrest him without evidence. Could they falsify some evidence, like claiming that a "witness" saw him record the movie, for sure. But would they? Probably not. Some cops are dicks, but most are honest.

Cooperating with the police may engender good will.

Am I the only one who's pretty convinced by that story that they were not FBI? It seemed like the fellow who went through this has his doubts as well.

I feel doubly bad for him, that's a horrible experience and also that he was so intimidated that he just sat through all that, didn't get any badge numbers or names or even what organization these people were with, "would have been fine with “I’m sorry this happened, please accept our apologies”" and closing it with: "Again, I wish they would have listened when I told them how to verify I did nothing illegal, or at least apologize afterwards, but hey… this is the free country everybody praises. Somewhere else might be even worse."

Everyone isn't going to be one of those "know and exercise your rights" people in the face of authority, but the opposite is very depressing.

They certainly weren't, there is no way you can call and have a federal agent show up to a movie theatre in the space of a couple of minutes.

They are almost certainly former federal or other agents who now work for private security firms that contract to AMC / MPAA.

It wouldn't take much detective work to figure out which firm it is and who the people are.

It sounds like they broke the 'impersonating a federal officer' law, but a lot of private detectives do that in the USA and nobody ever does anything about it.

>can call and have a federal agent show up to a movie theatre in the space of a couple of minutes

He says it was about an hour into the movie. Given the cozy relationship the MPAA has with the government, is it really that far fetched? If they really thought he was part of the scene? Not saying you're wrong, but is it that simple?

Let's assume you're right. If he had asked "Am I under arrest?" what would they have said?

Probably something like "Not yet, we're trying to keep this easy. You really don't want to spend the night in jail, have to post bail tomorrow and ruin your plans. But hey, that's an option if that's what you want."

He makes that clear when he quotes 'federal service'. So, someone is masquerading around as FBI, using local police to harass innocent movie goers at the behest of AMC.

From what I recall post-9/11, the FBI do not carry badges, but written identification, like a large social security card.

"So let me get this straight. You are impersonating federal officers and also holding me here against my will. I want a lawyer--and you might consider getting one, too."

In the story, the author said that they identified themselves as being with the "federal service." Unless the author forgot to mention it, it would seem as though they never explicitly identified themselves as FBI at any point. In a situation like that, it's almost trivial to influence a subject's perception of what they're dealing with between the badges (whatever they were) and their demeanor. The subject expects you to be FBI agents based on the information available, and thus, you are FBI agents. At least to them.

If that's the case, then they were most likely trying to avoid falling afoul of 18 U.S. CODE § 912, but I don't think that'd work out to well for them in any case. In United States v. Lepowitch, the Court held that it only requires "that the defendants have, by artifice and deceit, sought to cause the deceived person to follow some course he would not have pursued but for the deceitful conduct."

> It helps if you dress like a detective, too. Detectives dress kind of square. People think this guy is a cop. They're going to think you're packing something. They don't fuck with you so much.

from Repo Man http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087995/

Yea, most certainly not FBI.

The lesson here is "Don't talk to the police". This has been posted here many times:


This should be required viewing especially given the quasi-police state the US is turning into and, more importantly, the arbitrariness of prosecutorial discretion.

As soon as they say it's a "voluntary interview", leave. The only thing you should say is "am I free to go?". If you are, go. If not, ask for a lawyer.

Watch the video for why. You can get yourself in trouble and you are basically strictly better off saying nothing.

For folks who really think it through, the OP's account is a perfect example of why people shouldn't talk to police.

The investigators work to make a confession before they even attempt to look at evidence; evidence that is already in their possession. Whether that means collecting/interpreting evidence is harder or if it means that investigators don't consider evidence to be important is an exercise I'll leave to the reader.

Make these people do their jobs so that when they actually do have to collect evidence to "catch a bad guy", they know how to. They clearly aren't used to doing so because if they did they'd know that evidence can make getting a confession easier or at least let them know they're wasting their time.

Lawyer up. Immediately.

I live that video a lot but then do you really have a choice ? For example on those numerous occasions when TSA takes you to a separate room and starts questioning do you really have any right to call a lawyer ?

The TSA screeners you interact with at the airport aren't police.

I'd have said, "The TSA aren't police", full stop, but at some point, the Federal Air Marshals were folded into the TSA umbrella, and they most definitely are police.

Yes, absolutely. Perhaps ESPECIALLY so.

Ask a lawyer for that. Borders are some weird stuff in the law. You can also read https://www.eff.org/wp/defending-privacy-us-border-guide-tra...

I believe that in airports your rights are significantly different from your rights in the US.

No, your rights still apply everywhere. Unfortunately you don't have a right to board an aircraft so that is the only thing they can use against you.

Am I the only one who is a bit skeptical of this? Seems incredibly hard to believe, with no hard sources. (Email from Friend of a Friend of a gadget blogger is not where I want to be getting my credible news of law enforcement overreaching)

Agreed. Not only is the source extremely questionable, but the details in the story seem odd.

Grabbing expensive hardware off someone's face? Grabbing glasses off someone who's paying attention to you is hard. They instinctively lean back and put their hands up to block. Anyway, police would just order the person to hand over the glasses.

Federal agents conducting a (probably unrecorded) private interview for hours in a mall? They'd have to arrest him before that.

Someone named Bob Hope from "the Movie Association"? Parents don't name their children after celebrities, and Bob Hope has been famous for three-quarters of a century.

And getting a non-apology and some lame movie passes after being wrongly detained for hours? This makes no sense.

> Grabbing expensive hardware off someone's face? Grabbing glasses off someone who's paying attention to you is hard. They instinctively lean back and put their hands up to block.

A crazy street dude once snatched my glasses off my face on a street corner. I had been firmly ignoring his ranting and personal space invasion, so I wasn't prepared to take action. It's not that improbable if the victim isn't expecting it and doesn't have excellent reflexes.

I told him very loudly to give them back, and he suddenly noticed that I had about 8 inches and 150 pounds on him and handed them back without a word.

So what you're saying is... he got your glasses because you weren't paying attention to him? :)

You could be right. Maybe he had poor reflexes or was startled by the badge or something. No single detail damns the story, but enough rub me the wrong way to make me suspicious.

No, the police don't have to arrest you to question you for hours. They have a time limit where they have to let you go or charge you, but a) it varies by state and b) it ranges from 48 to 72 hours.

You're mixing up a stop with an arrest. If the police have reasonable suspicion, they can detain you only as long as necessary to investigate that suspicion. Usually that means minutes, not hours. If they have probable cause, they can actually arrest you, search all your belongings, search your person, and hold you for days before charging you or letting you go. The story claims he was only detained, not arrested.

Actually, I'm not. Police can detain you for questioning for 48-72 hours, depending on jurisdiction. After that time, they must either arrest you or set you free. Things are much worse for people classified as "material witnesses". One such person was held in prison for 16 days. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_witness

What exactly do you find hard to believe? Is there something in the story that seems unlikely to happen? In my opinion, although of course I can't verify the source, the story itself sounds very plausible, due to details like him being separated from his wife in a room, the prescription glasses bit, four movie passes and the no-goodbyes bits.

I'm aware of the “many details” bias so I'm just saying, either this story is true, or somebody is very good at inventing fictional stories about problems with Google Glass. I don't really see the point of the second option, so I'm sticking with the former.

Now someone claims to be the person in the story. Now sure how much truthfulness going on... http://the-gadgeteer.com/2014/01/20/amc-movie-theater-calls-...

Your average Ohio gadget lover who likely doesn't actually want himself ID'd in the news, nor does he know who to reach out to in the mainstream media. Seems believable, but not yet credible, due to the lack of verification.

Is this a creative fiction short-story?


In case anyone is wondering, that's the us federal law. Most States have individual laws that change the punishment.

wow, thanks!

Theatre owners can detain any suspected filmers, and can't be held liable for criminal or civil action arising out of it!

I wonder who paid for that law...

Logical response from theater-goers:

_Never_ go to the theater.

Just pirate your films instead!

Oh wait...

Most def not the MPAA.

It doesn't look much different than the protections a retail store currently have. They can detain you until the police arrive and they are not liable for criminal or civil liabilities either (doesn't stop people from trying to sue).

But in this day and age a good thrashing on twitter and facebook usually ensues.

1. It's equally wrong for retail stores to have that protection. No particular class of business should be entitled to more protection than other types of businesses or ordinary citizens seeking to detain someone who committed a crime against them. I also highly doubt retail stores have a federal law giving them this legal protection.

2. This law doesn't just permit theaters to detain you until the cops arrive; they're permitted to detain you for the sole purpose of questioning you. I think it's extraordinarily problematic for private security forces to be given the power to do that. Such a detention could go on indefinitely, leaving it up to a lawsuit to hash out whether it was "reasonable" or not. If they're just detaining you until the cops arrive, at least the length of detention is upper-bounded by the response time of the cops, and there's no opportunity for shady or coercive questioning techniques.

What is the proper procedure to interact with law enforcement personnel?

- Get their identity? Their business cards? Copy down their name, ID, position, and contact info?

- Get their organization info? Local cop? FBI? Homeland Security officers? Contact info?

- Get their supervisor info?

- Check their jurisdiction? Their rights to detain you or interrogate you? Call the police to check?

- Ask for which laws are broken?

- Are you being detained? Are you free to go?

- Not consenting to search.

- Anything else?

I think this guy got tricked into thinking those people are FBI. "Bob Hope" is a dead giveaway BS. Impersonating FBI is a serious crime. This is same as the Apple case of recovering the iphone prototype, where the Apple people pretended to be cops when they invited the police along in the home intrusion.

I've seen bootlegged movies from camcorders in theaters. Those are bad enough. The thought of something recorded from some guy's headmounted camera, with thousands of tiny movements, breathing, twitching, slouching, eating and more makes me wonder who on earth would even think a recording made that way would be valuable.

It's all about the _cloud_, my friend: with superresolution techniques, each glass user can contribute pixel blocks that get re-synthesized into the original.

It would probably take less effort to just break into the theater and steal the film.

Theaters are pretty much all digital now and the actual files are encrypted so I doubt breaking and entering alone would get you very far.


The files are encrypted, but obviously the hardware to decrypt them is right there. Now I understand those DRM systems have advanced intrusion detection and whatnot, but still it'd be quite a good start to make off with all their hardware.

The hardware is useless, you need a key from the studio.

But at some point during the day, the key has to be loaded somewhere in order to decrypt and play.

Although it might be only in protected memory and must be requested online during playback. Maybe even uses multiple keys during playback.

This comment is such a mark of the times.

Not only that, but a recording that's been truncated at 25 minutes or so because either the battery ran out or the Glass device itself got too hot and went into thermal shutdown mode.

So if you break the law badly it's OK?

No, I just don't understand why you'd even bother 'breaking the law' at that point - I can't imagine the rewards would be all that compelling for a 'glass-copy' bootleg.

Well, I've seen several screeners of movies with equally bad technology -- especially when a movie first comes out in the theaters. Things that look like someone just put a compact camera on a tripod.

That there are high quality rips for most movies doesn't mean this doesn't also happen.

Something I keep noticing in all these stories is how the FBI seems to act during these "interrogations." They're like the big bully who runs into the room, barely stops to think, makes a few empty, irrational threats, then leaves the room feeling stupid but refusing to admit it.

It's nothing logical, but it's pretty frustrating that you can't just let them how dumb they are, simply because they have the bigger bureaucratic dicks in the room.

FWIW, I suspect very few of them are "dumb", and that their behaviour is almost certainly explained as them "doing what they've repeatedly proven works well". They (probably) aren't making "irrational threats", and they've almost certainly not got anything to "feel stupid about" or "refuse to admit" (and, I'll bet they care _very_ little about whether you think they're smart or not).

Their motivations have nothing to do with "appearing smart or logical (to suspects)" or even (with my cynical-hat on) finding out "the truth" or "enabling justice". They're employees using the most effective/efficient techniques they know to achieve their workplace performance indicators – either just enough to keep their managers off their backs, or trying to aggressively exceed those performance indicators for career-climbing purposes. Either way – every single thing they're attempting to achieve is likely to be something you'll end up unhappy about if they successfully achieve it. How much career boost do you suppose their report of "Investigated complaint, discovered misunderstanding. No action taken, apology delivered on behalf of the Bureau" gives them, compared to "During a voluntary interview suspect confessed to three unrelated misdemeanors, two crimes, and one probable felony. Referred crimes to local police, who arrested and charged suspect. No copyright infringement found, case now out of our jurisdiction. Local police will advise outcome of criminal charges through usual channels."

Good point. I guess all one can do is realize what you just wrote and go along with them...

Or if enough people knew and invoked their rights appropriately, they would have to resort to a different tactic than smooth-talking confessions out of people and this would stop.

Hey, slurs like "retarded" are offensive and you should reconsider your use of them.

edit: Thank you for editing your comment.

Out of interest, could you enlighten me as to why the word "retard" is a slur but "dumb" isn't?

Putting colloquial use aside, both are valid words that describe conditions, so if one is a slur, isn't the other? Where is the line?

Dumb isn't used to denote what its original meaning is (a person unable to speak - we would use the word "mute" today). Dumb just means stupid, as if one is culpable for their own stupidity.

Retard in its noun form literally means a mentally handicapped person. So by using it to offend a non-mentally handicapped person (albeit, a stupid one), you are concurrently levelling an offence against the mentally handicapped in general and since the mentally handicapped are not deemed culpable for their situation, this is deemed socially unacceptable.

It literally means delayed in time, we use it in physics a lot, in the context of people and development it applies to those whose education (or cognitive ability) is delayed in time.

I think the word is typically pronounced slightly differently (more correctly?) when used that way. This clip from The Hangover uses the slight differences in pronounciation for comedic effect: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoendYt_ZJ0 (skip to 0:45, video contains mildly offensive humor).

Obviously the obsolete medical usage, now offensive usage, is just the regular word meaning delayed, but I think that somehow that specialized usage strayed from the generic usage over time.

Nope, never pronounced it different but clearly context is important :)

Which is why my comments said "Retard in its noun form" obviously retard has a verb form that means to slow. I used it in engineering a lot.

Well, no, a mentally "retarded" person is not expected to develop further. They're behind, but nobody thinks they'll catch up. "Stunted" would be a more accurate term than "retarded"; the latter is just a euphemism.

This is the way I use the word too.

In the US, "intellectual disabilities" used to be more commonly called "mentally retarded" and referring to someone as "retarded" or "a retard" became (or was always) offensive.

My own suspicion is that it's a matter of fashion. More specifically, there are lots of problems in the world, and someone is always going to be insulted when one of them is referenced lightly. Right now it's fashionable to treat the word "retard" as a politically incorrect slur, so those particular people have social permission to complain about it.

What I can't make up my mind about is whether or to what extent we should approve or disapprove of the use of these words.

"Retard" means somebody with a significant mental handicap, while "dumb" is a more usual sort of stupidity.

It's extremely strange. It is socially acceptable to criticize and make fun of the intelligence of someone with an IQ of 71, but not an IQ of 69. I can't explain it. But that's how it is.

Sorry, wasn't thinking. I changed it.

Hey, I find people being offended by the use of certain words offensive in and of itself. You should reconsider your reaction, so as to prevent me from being offended.

I'd appreciate it if you'd edit your comment to reflect this.

I disagree. I don't think "retarded" was used with the connotation that you thought it was used in.

Meanwhile everyone who obtained the movie illegally could watch it at home without being harassed by anyone. At times where less and less people actually go to movie theaters, harassing the people who do so, doesn't look like the best strategy.

Hmmm. On one hand, its OTT, but on the other hand, people walking about with an attached camera that may well be always recording is going to cause real problems.

These things are potentially a gross invasion of privacy. They might be very cool tech for the wearer, but frankly Im not prepared to have my privacy potentially compromised so that some one else can have some cool augmented reality. I don't understand how on one hand the NSA is all evil, but some geezer walking round with a camera that could be recording any of us without our knowledge or permission, with the potential to publish these videos on the internet for an entire world to see, is somehow perfectly fine. These things remind me of the hacked up kit pervert voyeurs use to film women in compromising positions. I couldn't care less about people potentially pirating films in cinemas, but if these people start film me going about my personal business, Im telling you, there will be trouble. Thing is, if I see some one possible filming me with one of these things, the law is no use. The person filming me is anonymous and can easily go, leaving me and a lawyer no one to prosecute. I have no choice, I have to grab the guy and his kit. I then want this guy forced to give up all his personal information so that I can be sure he has not uploaded the video somewhere. All of which, as we know is at least technically problematic. Wont be long until people wearing these things will become targets just for wearing them. Only takes 1 or 2 Fox News sensationalist, exaggerated stories, and wearers will become seen as threats. The stories dont even need to be true, just true enough, feasible enough.

I think people are displaying a hypocritical double standard here. Its Ok for the cool kids to invade our privacy, but not the NSA? These cool kids can actually cause normal people more humiliation and damage than the NSA. AFAIK, the NSA has not released a video of a private citizen walking in to a glass door in to the public for humiliating laughs. People wearing these things can, and will. Yes, this has been possible for years, but these google things will make it mainstream and vastly increase the potential for this.

Trust me, there is a whole lot of trouble waiting to burst out.

Im not suggesting banning these things, they clearly have huge value. What Im saying is that society needs to have a serious debate about use and there lines are drawn. What is criminal and what is reasonable.

The anti-google glass argument bears a striking resemblance to the anti-camera phone argument back in the 90's. The complaints were pretty much the same, "cameraphones" started to be banned in certain places, and there were even the local news stories to the effect of "Bathrooms will never be safe again - that phone could be a camera!" People got used to it, acceptable norms were established, and they became very much ubiquitous, and uncontroversial.

In the 19th century, the Kodak Brownie was banned from beaches and the Washington Monument over concern of camera fiends:

"The appearance of Eastman's cameras was so sudden and so pervasive that the reaction in some quarters was fear. A figure called the "camera fiend" began to appear at beach resorts, prowling the premises until he could catch female bathers unawares. One resort felt the trend so heavily that it posted a notice: "PEOPLE ARE FORBIDDEN TO USE THEIR KODAKS ON THE BEACH." Other locations were no safer. For a time, Kodak cameras were banned from the Washington Monument. "


Not uncontroversial. There regularly are problems with invasion of privacy, for example a few months ago there was trouble with an Argentinean blog with photos of girls in public transportation (can't find a link right now, but it was on TV, etc..).

Here's a link to news report regarding that case: http://www.argentinaindependent.com/life-style/thecity/chica....

Here's also an opinion piece, which gives a little more detail, including a translation of the tagline (namely, "without posing and without permission"): http://www.adiosbarbie.com/2012/05/21st-century-street-haras...

Thanks, that was the case I had in mind, and I hadn't read the opinion pieces :)

Perhaps it's because there's a major difference than tapping into private communication lines, and recording what your eyes are already seeing?

If you don't want to be filmed by private individuals in public, then don't go out in public. Why is that no reasonable? There's already laws to protect privacy when you're not in public, or when the recorder is harassing you.

The issue, if any, isn't "some geezer walking round with a camera", it's that if all these videos get uploaded to a central system, anyone with access gets a lot of power.

That's the same issue people have with state or large-org level recording. In mass, the recordings pose a major privacy issue. On an individual level, there's no real issue at all. Imagine everyone wore life recorders. A single person is unlikely to have privacy compromised by any one or two set of records. But everyone is likely to be completely compromised by all the records.

I have done my bit to put the MPAA and RIAA out of business: I don't watch movies, and I don't listen to music. Google Glass does seem--at least anecdotally--to elicit aggressive behavior. Prudence suggests waiting until the Borg has assimilated the homo sapien malcontents before wearing one.

> I don't listen to music.

As someone who loves and makes music, I find this _really_ interesting. Do you play an instrument? Listen to unsigned bands? Don't get me wrong: silence is nice, too. But I don't think I will ever have a life without music.

I use to be huge into listening to music in the 90s. Gradually at the turn of the century, I practically stopped and almost never listen to music these days.

I can't speak for others but for me it was a couple of things... When working, I zone out quite a bit to the point that it's like not hearing music anyway so what's the point. If anything music can be distracting. Unfortunately unlike others, I prefer absence of sound aside from stuff like keyboard typing when I'm working.

Outside of work related stuff, I gradually faded out listening to music altogether in the car or while running as well. I generally prefer instead to ride in silence thinking (zoning out again) or if I listen to stuff, stand up comedy somehow became a thing to replace music

Edit: It is worth noting most of my music exposure these days if at all (and if you can call it that) is coming across stuff on YouTube or while watching a movie and music enhances the film lol. It did a major 180 in my life.

I have tinnitus and don't derive much pleasure from listening to music, generally--especially not RIAA music. I can do without movies. There is more than enough to read, program and calculate.

And he lives in the town from Footloose.


>I have done my bit to put the MPAA and RIAA out of business: I don't watch movies, and I don't listen to music.

No try to stop eating food and taking drugs. There goes the food industry and big pharma too!

There is good evidence that a lot of drugs are overprescribed - see the latest statin controversy.

And agribusiness needs a lot of shakeup too.

With the crap Holywood and the Labels are churning out lately they won't be missed if they implode ...

It's easiest to engage with this at the google glass / privacy / media rights gone amok level, but it is most important to face it directly: We are headed towards a very real police state.

Quite the use of police resources too, going so far out of their way to take on someone who might've been (but wasn't) making a copy (but not stealing an original) of something digital.


Conceding to law enforcement this way only motivates them to promote policy that allows for further rights violations.

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA

This is a pretty suspicious story, but if true:

I would have called 911 and gotten "real" police there, and ask for charges for false imprisonment, battery, assault. These were pretty clearly not real police. If they were representing themselves as police officers ("federal service" is pretty questionable), that's something local police would take very seriously, too.

Lucky they didn't encounter one of the presumably-reasonably-large cross section of tech people who are also libertarians and likely to be armed.

I did not find any point in his story where the author having a concealed weapon on his person would have improved his situation.

Absolutely (a hidden law degree or a second hidden camera, perhaps), but being in a dark room and someone reading for your head and grabbing stuff off of it is a fairly serious threat; it would be easily misinterpreted.

What the fuck USA? These gestapo goons are running amuck harassing innocent citizens.

Really? This is new to you? Really? I mean..... really?

You noticed the NSA thing where the USA harasses the ENTIRE WORLD on line, right? Did you miss that?


I stopped going to the cinema some years ago when they started putting threats on screen before the movie. I realized "hey, I'm literally paying people to threaten me; is that a logical, wise or sane thing to do? No. So stop doing it."

So it seems those threats are by no means idle. Think about it if you're considering going to the cinema: it's not like our society doesn't provide a zillion other forms of entertainment where you won't be financing thugs.

"hey, I'm literally paying people to threaten me; is that a logical, wise or sane thing to do? No. So stop doing it."

Did you also stop paying taxes?


Wow. What a gross misuse of a federal agency. I can't believe my tax dollars pay for this. What kind of reach does the movie industry have to make this happen?

> I kept telling them that Glass has a USB port and not only did I allow them, I actually insist they connect to it and see that there was nothing but personal photos with my wife and my dog on it. I also insisted they look at my phone too and clear things out, but they wanted to talk first.

The problem is, even if these are very technical people, they not experts in all technology, and there are 100s of ways of hiding this stuff. They can never be 100% sure that you weren't recording it, maybe someone else nearby had the hdd that everything was being sent to. So as much as you might like to try to prove your innocence, it is impossible to do so.

Even in court they will have expert witnesses try to explain to the layman what is going on, what is possible.

He was lucky they took this as evidence.

> I asked if they thought my Google Glass was such a big piracy machine, why didn’t they ask me not to wear them in the theater?

They weren't there at the beginning of the film.

Anyway, what an awful experience for this guy and his wife. I guess the solution is to wear a different pair of glasses next time.

>He was lucky they took this as evidence.

Versus what? Just saying "but there might be some super duper spy tech we're not aware of"? How would that be incriminating? I can buy cameras that fit into normal looking glasses and wouldn't be detected. Let's detain anyone not bald or wearing a scarf, as they might be hiding something.

>Anyway, what an awful experience for this guy and his wife. I guess the solution is to wear a different pair of glasses next time.

How is that a solution? A solution is to stay at a home theatre and watch your own copies. Or only go to high-end theatres where they won't have this kind of treatment. (Which really is the only worthwhile way to go out to see a movie.)

Do people still record movies in movie theaters? I'm getting 90s flashbacks here.

They do. But in Russia or China with tripod and proper camera. This was just bullshit.

Yup! Just last week I helped a friend clean up his computer after he tried to watch such a bootleg and downloaded some questionable software in the process.

I immediately thought of Seinfeld. The Bootleg.


I'd like to have my property back so that I could leave, please. If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them in the prescence of my attorney. Also, you will shortly be hearing from him about the battery. Have a nice day, gentlemen.

Also, you will shortly be hearing from him about the battery

Not a helpful addition. Don't further provoke a cop who has been violent with you. Another common piece of advice is not to ask about supervisors or for badge numbers if you already have a way to identify them.

Probably good advice -- I was mostly mentioning that I'd file the complaint afterwards rather than meaning "TELL the guy I'll be filing a complaint afterwards."

$600 prescription glasses? WTF? Just get a $30 pair and wear those rather than having a camera taped to the side of your head. This isn't surprising in the slightest.

$30 glasses suck. They hurt your face and don't have anti-reflective coatings. He may also have prisms, progressive bifocals, and so on, which don't cost $30.

when you pay $1500 for glass, you get $600 glasses on it :P

You couldn't pay me to watch an entire movie recorded off-screen on some dude's Glass.

> it may be my mistake for assuming that if I went and watched movies two times wearing Glass with no incident the third time there won’t be any incident either

> About an hour into the movie (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit)

The cinema could've been under obligation to more strictly enforce anti-IP-theft measures for that particular movie. It was released on the same day in many countries of the world so opening weekend attendance was important for their revenues. I saw it in mainland China before it opened in the US.

I don't think any extra IP protection measures will help revenues for that particular movie, though. It was the only time I've ever been the only person in a cinema hall in China watching a movie.

Why is there no mention of having a prescription medical device taken without consequence? I wonder if, had anything gone south, being deprived of a medical device during questioning could have been used to get evidence thrown out.

Don't think glasses are medical.

With only 701 copies of the movie on Usenet, they're sure doing a great job!

Every single person should watch this immediately.


It is a brilliant talk about your rights.

What does an inactive Glass look like under infrared light? It probably glinted a ton on some recording device, someone noticed, he was detained. And they did say, word for word: "You were caught recording the movie".

Advice: Don't point what's basically a cheap webcam at a theater screen for the duration of a movie and not expect to get yelled at.

The legal side of this that everyone is discussing is the result of a failure on the technical side which hasn't even been figured out yet.

I have a buddy that works HR at a theatre. The studios take bootlegging VERY seriously, and have spent millions updating their manufacturing processes so they can watermark every copy of every film so they can figure out which theatres bootleggers are operating out of. When they do a bust, they bring out all the big guns they can so as to make a huge spectacle so as to deter anyone else from even trying. That's why the FBI.

Seriously doubt this was really the FBI. They are better educated than this and more professional. Also, very unlikely to respond in the force described.

I'm curious, are you stating this based on your experience, or you just think it's unlikely?

I've met FBI agents in person in a professional context if that's what you mean. I obviously don't have any first hand knowledge of this scenario but the connection to the FBI seemed rather tenuous in the story.

I love the blog format. Article about a somewhat distressing abuse of power by authorities, followed by "Other articles that you will enjoy"...

You were wearing a camera on your head.

Guess what would happen..........

Yeah, think about all these sluts that get raped. clearly their fault for wearing provocative outfit. (just in case : sarcasm)

He was asking for it, look how he was dressed.

If I come into a building wearing a full ski mask, would you expect not to get shot?

Of course I would expect not to get shot. Is this a trick question?

Having been to that particular theatre many times (AMC Easton), there are usually Columbus Police around, especially on the weekends. They also have a fair amount of security there (Once they helped me get into my car after I locked myself out). That's who I would guess would be there. Sometimes there are even Columbus Police hanging out at the entrance of the theatre by the escalators.

At what point does Google Glass become an accessibility device? At some point, people with a hearing impairment will be able to read subtitles on Glass. Then it will be practically impossible to ban.

No, they can still ban it. If you want subtitles, you'll use a pre-approved device. http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/08/regal-outfits-almost-6000...

tl;dr: * Dude brings a camera to a movie theater, which is illegal and tbh a dumb move * Exaggerated response from some legal body excessively funded / lobbied by the movie industry

Why the FBI and not the local police? I understand that piracy goes through the FBI, but the if you catch someone "in the act" I am sure the police can handle it.

Hopefully the local police were called, and told whoever called them to buzz off and let them deal with more important things.

...and the top comment in the "fast Korean internet" thread is about how much Freedom(TM) Americans have.

This doesn't sound like a story about someone with much freedom.

It appears that UT is not educated on law, and you have to be. “Can I leave or am I under arrest” and “I don’t answer questions w/o a lawyer representing me”.

What did he expect to happen? He was pointing a video camera at the screen while the movie was playing!

Have they ever heard of the expression 'the customer is always right'? Well, there he was.. the customer.

That expression is a moronic one and very few companies have ever made it their policy.

I got that reference!

I am old. :(

without even reading the story, you just don't wear a video camera to movies.

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