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The Courts Privacy Your Rights Online

Facing 16 Years In Prison For Videotaping Police 878

Posted by kdawson
from the we-are-watching-you dept.
krou sends this snip from the Maine Civil Liberties Union: "The ACLU of Maryland is defending Anthony Graber, who faces as much as sixteen years in prison if found guilty of violating state wiretap laws because he recorded video of an officer drawing a gun during a traffic stop. ... Once [the Maryland State Police] learned of the video on YouTube, Graber's parents' house was raided, searched, and four of his computers were confiscated. Graber was arrested, booked, and jailed. Their actions are a calculated method of intimidation. Another person has since been similarly charged under the same statute. The wiretap law being used to charge Anthony Graber is intended to protect private communication between two parties. According to David Rocah, the ACLU attorney handling Mr. Graber's case, 'To charge Graber with violating the law, you would have to conclude that a police officer on a public road, wearing a badge and a uniform, performing his official duty, pulling someone over, somehow has a right to privacy when it comes to the conversation he has with the motorist.'" Here are a factsheet (PDF) on the case from the ACLU of Maryland, and the video at issue.
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Facing 16 Years In Prison For Videotaping Police

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  • Dashcams (Score:5, Informative)

    by david duncan scott (206421) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @02:49AM (#33041190)
    I can't speak for MD in particular (although I do live here) but beyond the pernicious "the public can't watch us do the public's work" aspect of this is those dashboard cameras we all love on America's Funniest Car Chases and whatever. I've certainly seen clips that include audio from the citizen as well as the police officer--are we to take it that these too are felonious wiretaps?
  • 16 years?! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @02:52AM (#33041194)

    You could kill someone and get less than that... (as long as the person you kill isn't a cop)

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @02:53AM (#33041196)

    First step would be to learn about the laws involved. This is not a US wide law, this is state by state and the majority of states are not like this. If your state is affected, then set about trying to change it. You might discover that your state representatives don't even know. This shit was drafted up a long time ago in most cases. You make them aware they are a two party state and the consequences, maybe they work to fix it. If not, you continue the quest along other avenues.

    However bitching about the USA being a "Police State" on a message board does no good.

    And before you shoot back at me, I live in a one party state, so this particular issue is not one I concern myself with. My legislature has already made the correct choice, and we can record if we like.

  • by droopus (33472) * on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:04AM (#33041220)

    What Graber filmed was called a Terry Stop [wikipedia.org] and the cop is able to search you without a warrant within your "wingspan" to check for weapons that may threaten him or other people. There are a lot of laws that cops often break on Terry Stops. My car was searched on my own property under the guise of a Terry Stop, which of course is wildly illegal, but I digress.

    What Graber is "facing" is a maximum..he will never serve it unless he decides to roll the dice with a jury, blows trial and the judge sentences him to the maximum. Since the ACLU is involved, you can bet that will never happen.

    But States and more often, the Feds will indict you for offenses that carry insane sentences in order to convince you to plead out, as the vast majority of people do. I did. I was facing five life sentences plus 105 years for an offense no one had ever been jailed a day on before. If I went to trial and lost on one single count, I would have done fifteen years, mandatory. (No parole in feds, BTW...you do 87.5%) I signed for five years, did 52 months.

    Now, would you have fought? Really? Many people say they would, but it's a lot different when you are considering giving your life to 12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty. When you realize that the whole system is set up to plead out 95+% of cases and do anything possible to convince you to not go in front of a jury, the average person has almost no chance in the system as it is set up. You didn't do it? That doesn't matter. It's what you can PROVE to a jury. And most of the time, the Government has much better lawyers and resources, so Graban is actually lucky...he won't serve a day, IMVHO.

    CSI, Law and Order are worse than misinformation..they are propaganda, brainwashing us into thinking the system is fair and equal. It isn't. Graber is lucky that his case has publicity value. He may be "facing" sixteen years, but he'll never serve any.

    But we aren't all lucky. We are indeed one Terry stop away from ruin. Be careful.

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:19AM (#33041284) Homepage

    Support House Concurrent Resolution 298 [loc.gov], "Expressing the sense of Congress that the videotaping or photographing of police engaged in potentially abusive activity in a public place should not be prosecuted in State or Federal courts." US citizens, click here to write your congressional representative. [house.gov]

  • Re:Whistleblower? (Score:3, Informative)

    by cappp (1822388) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:24AM (#33041304)
    Nope - whistleblower laws protect employees from their employers' retaliatory actions [findlaw.com]. As there was no employment relationship the whistleblower laws are inapplicable.
  • by Splab (574204) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:36AM (#33041330)

    Anything you say, can and will be used against you - it's that simple. Spend an hour on this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc [youtube.com]

  • Re:Dashcams (Score:2, Informative)

    by GWRedDragon (1340961) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:42AM (#33041362)

    From TFC (the freaking code):

    10-402. Interception of communications generally; divulging contents of communications; violations of subtitle.

    ...
    (4) (i) It is lawful under this subtitle for a law enforcement officer in the course of the officer's regular duty to intercept an oral communication if:

    1. The law enforcement officer initially lawfully detained a vehicle during a criminal investigation or for a traffic violation;

    2. The law enforcement officer is a party to the oral communication;

    3. The law enforcement officer has been identified as a law enforcement officer to the other parties to the oral communication prior to any interception;

    4. The law enforcement officer informs all other parties to the communication of the interception at the beginning of the communication; and

    5. The oral interception is being made as part of a video tape recording.

    (ii) If all of the requirements of subparagraph (i) of this paragraph are met, an interception is lawful even if a person becomes a party to the communication following:

    1. The identification required under subparagraph (i)3 of this paragraph; or

    2. The informing of the parties required under subparagraph (i)4 of this paragraph.

    So apparently, they are supposed to tell you you are being recorded by the dashcam.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:48AM (#33041404)

    The judges are not ignoring the public area exemption in cases like this. The ACLU factsheet indicates that they have not found a single court that says an officer has an expectation of privacy in a traffic stop. And indeed, considering that any aspect of the conversation is liable to end up introduced as evidence in court, it's hard to imagine how there could possibly be such an expectation of privacy!

    dom

  • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:57AM (#33041434) Journal

    I live in an actual police state. If I went to city hall with a group of people waving signs, we'd have the People's Armed Police up in our grill faster than you can say "Jiminy Cricket".

    Peaceful protesters in the US are routinely hit with tear-gas, clubbed by the police, tazed, shot in the face with rubber bullets, etc.

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @03:59AM (#33041448)

    Just imagine if LAPD pulled that on the person who filmed the Rodney King incident.

    The police would have got away with it and those same police would be beating citizens to this day.

    Rodney King is the reason police hate anyone to film them. The only films they want are ones that can 'get lost' in their evidence room if they turn out to be inconvenient.

    There is a reason they are called 'filth'.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @04:02AM (#33041466)

    First thing you learn in a lawsuit (not criminal in my case, but same idea applies), is that the truth doesn't matter. Once you are in a lawsuit you are now playing a game and you have to do whatever it takes to win the game, whether that means maintaining your innocence when you are guilty or admitting guilt when you are innocent.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @04:03AM (#33041470)

    I find it extremely hard to believe that you were charged with five life sentences for doing nothing. Not a whole lot of crimes carry a life sentence. What's more, to be charged with a federal crime, special circumstances have to apply.

    Also there is the simple thing that I heard from a friend of mine who interns with the public defender's office "I've never met a guilty man in jail." What he means by that is that EVERYONE claims they didn't do anything wrong. It is rare almost to the point of non existence to find someone who says "Ya I did what they said, I should be here." They all think they are innocent and come up with justifications.

    He, of course, sees the other side of that with people who are clearly guilty as hell that he helps represent.

    Plus there's your disdain for jurors. This "people too stupid to get out of jury duty," thing is very tiring. I've twice been called for jury duty, neither time chosen to serve, but not because I tried to get out of it. I'd gladly serve on a jury, it is my duty. The people that did get to serve were actually roughly as educated as the public, which is to say several had university degrees. Hell look at the recent Terry Childs case where all the geeks cried about how "stupid" the jury was... Only to find out that a CCIE sat on the jury and had extremely good reasons for why they voted how they did.

    So sorry, but I don't buy in to this "I didn't do anything wrong but somehow they managed to charge me with five life sentences!" thing. You have to go to something like committing a robbery using a gun minimum to qualify for a life sentence, and there has to be special circumstances that is a federal and not state matter.

  • by noidentity (188756) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @04:21AM (#33041554)

    Many people say they would, but it's a lot different when you are considering giving your life to 12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty.

    Why your contempt for juries? It's the last line of civil defense against unjust laws [fija.org].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @04:31AM (#33041598)

    Wooosh!

  • by AGMW (594303) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @04:38AM (#33041638) Homepage

    I like to know when I'm being recorded, thank you very much. The problem here is the ridiculous idea that a police officer in a public place has the same right to privacy as two people involved in a private telephone conversation. On a side note I can't figure out who is the biggest asshole involved in this: the motorcyclist himself for doing 127mph on a public road while weaving between cars and doing wheelies, the cop for briefly pulling a gun and immediately putting it back into the holster, or the Maryland State Police for going after the guy. I vote for the Maryland State Police, with the motorcyclist himself in close second and the cop in third place.

    The motorcyclist did touch 127 earlier (before the first, marked, cop car) but he hit 86 (or so) after passing the plain-clothes car, which is presumably why they decided to pull him. Watching the video I don't really see anything he did as particularly dangerous, though there was obviously some excessive speed and popping the (well controlled) wheelie was perhaps a bit foolish. The "weaving" thru the traffic is called filtering in the UK and is legal, so I really have no problem with that - indeed he seemed to be doing a pretty stand-up job of it!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @04:51AM (#33041716)

    I first read "They are authority to use force [...]". Hmm, bit odd way of saying things, but I guess it's okay.

    Then I go on, and it continues with "derives from". Two predicates? Uh oh, now it stops making sense.

    I stop for a moment, go several words back, and replace "they are" with "their" and re-read the whole thing. NOW it makes sense. It would have been more efficient though, if you had done it instead. Then every reader wouldn't have to go through this process.

  • by Splab (574204) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @06:02AM (#33041972)

    Bullshit. Complete and utterly uninformed bullshit.

    1. UK is part of the EU.
    2. Nowhere is it a requirement to be a citizen, nor a spouse of a citizen. There are rules for minimum wages you must earn in order to have permission to stay in some countries, but thats it.
    3. The 60%+ taxes are very very localized (specifically Denmark), and they only apply to the very highest paid citizens (you are taxed based on your income) - you should keep in mind that higher taxes equals higher wages.

    But having a mindset like yours you should stay where you are.

  • by jbssm (961115) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @06:03AM (#33041976)

    I've looked into it, not that the 60+% taxes really make it appealing.......but when you're unemployed, you look at all options.

    60% taxes, where? I would say, that the most taxing countries (France for instance), get at most 50%. But look at it in another way, yes, you pay 50% taxes, but that comes with UNIVERSAL health care, real rights to the ones that get unemployed, children support, practically FREE education all the way until the end of college (ok, in some countries you have to pay like €1000 per year when you are in the University, but in some other, they actually pay you to go to University, although it's just something like €300 per month).

    And beside, what really kills me, is how you Americans just care about the money. Man, quality of life is much more than the money. It's support when you need it. It's knowing that you are protected in case something goes wrong and it's not entirely your fault, it's good climate (well, this only applies to Souther Europe), it's culture for free, it's really good food (once again ... only in southern Europe :D), it's living in a city where you don't have to drive every morning to work cause the public mass transport system is really effective or because the centre of the city is also occupied by it's citizens ... well, it's a very big bunch of many other things.

    I might not be rich ... but then again, I have everything I need to be happy, so what's the problem?

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @06:49AM (#33042198) Homepage Journal

    AFAIU it's not the motor cyclist who's facing 16 years.

    YUIW:

    Anthony Graber was riding his motorcycle on Interstate 95, and was
    confronted by a plainclothes Maryland State Police trooper as he came to a stop at an
    exit. Graber had a video camera prominently mounted on his helmet to record his ride,
    and the camera recorded the officer's actions and statements at the outset of the
    encounter

    However it shouldn't make any difference. Just because someone is guilty of X doesn't make him guilty of Y - each case should be decided on its own merits. This is why many jurisdictions don't reveal a defendants previous offenses to the jury.

  • by stevegee58 (1179505) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @06:55AM (#33042228) Journal
    I've been following this case closely since it started since I live in MD.

    The key issue here is MD's law on recording audio without all parties' consent. The state is arguing that all parties of the private conversation (i.e. the trooper) did not consent, hence the violation.

    A key provision of the law is the idea of "reasonable expectation of privacy". This is what allows news crews to record street scenes audio/video without everyone's consent. In a public area, no one reasonably has an expectation privacy. The defense will argue this point and Graber will be found innocent.

    Next step is to work on getting this law overturned. MD is one of a handful of states with the unanimous consent provision where most other states are so-called "one consent".
  • by Beezlebub33 (1220368) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @08:05AM (#33042668)
    That's very much a jurisdiction-dependent issue. In California, it seems like it's commonplace and accepted. Here in Virginia it is not and will get you a ticket.
  • by stiggle (649614) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @08:13AM (#33042726)

    The undercover trooper threatened the rider twice "get off the bike", "get off the bike" and only identified himself (without showing any identification) as State Police when he'd got up to the bike.

    Surely in all the time they were following the bike, he'd be able to put his badge on somewhere visible, like on a lanyard around his neck, or clipped to his jacket.

    The first words out of the state troopers mouth when he exited the vehicle should have been "State Police, get off the bike".
    Identification first - to show jurisdiction - and then the orders.

    A sensible cop would have taken him down to the station, got a copy of the video footage and then used that to prosecute the guy.

    The police in the UK have used YouTube video as evidence before now on charging people for dangerous driving - the biker had a distinctive jacket which they traced. As it is, this idiot is likely to get off the charges due to incompetency by the cops.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @08:28AM (#33042858)

    So what if this guy had been exercising the second amendment, and happened to be an overconfident quick-draw artist, and got "lucky" enough to shoot first?

    In Maryland the chances of you legally having a conceal carry permit are less than the chances of you successfully outdrawing a police officer with gun already drawn.

  • by jbssm (961115) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @08:32AM (#33042894)

    Sounds like you are rich, it's just that 20-30% of your money doesn't appear on your budget since you're enjoying it through all these public services.

    No, that's the part most of the Americans constantly fail to understand. I'm not rich in here, and I wouldn't still be rich if I hadn't to pay those extra 20%-30% more to get these benefits. In fact I doubt that 30% over the wage I get (around €1000 per month) would actually allowed my to buy all that stuff. More, I'm completely certain that it would not allow the people that earn the minimum wage (which in here is around €500 and that's very little even with these benefits), would allow them to have this.

    But his is the great part about it. The 20%-30% that a very rich people also has to pay, it's enough to give the benefits to that rich one, and there is plenty of money left to get those same benefits to a bunch the ones that earn much less than them.

    A small example. The tax over fuel in here it's huge. It's really one of the highest in EU, but on the other side, public transportation works well and it's quite cheap (€18 per month to travel as many time as you want in the metro, or €25 to travel all you want in metro and BUS). And I'm happy, it's this way. The city works much better than if everyone takes their cars around, it's less polluted, and it's better for the environment.

    It's not Socialism, it's Social Democracy and when done really correctly it works beautifully, like you have to admit it works in Northern Europe ... not so good in the South, but it's still ok in here. And well, although, Northern Europe is better in this social aspect and has all those nice blondes, but bah, it's too cold for me and the food kind of stinks ... and all that contributes to your quality of life :)

  • by Splab (574204) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @08:35AM (#33042922)

    Well I happen to live in Denmark, so no offense, but I know a bit more about life in EU than you. And last round of hirings we did we looked at some foreigners (Chinese, not US), green cards where no problem as long as they made 300.000 DKR (about $50.000) a year.

    Also, traveling to EU is a lot different from wanting to live and work, so not sure how that applies. The taxes here are 40%, thats it, if you chose to spend your money on gasoline, then yes there are sales taxes and environment taxes, which is why it's frigging expensive to own a car here. If you decided to take public transport here in Denmark (we have 190% sales tax on cars), it's tax deductible, so are loans, unions, pensions etc.

    I earn enough to pay some of my wage at the 60% level, but with all the deductions I get I still only pay 40% (38% is lowest in my region) - and I don't own a car, so as I said, your statements are complete and utterly bullshit. But hey, lets not have facts come in the way of a good bashing...

  • by Senior Frac (110715) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @08:39AM (#33042970) Homepage

    Whoa... hold on there.

    "Point a gun in his face" and "wave a gun" is a long way from "draw a gun and keep it pointed at the ground". You are exaggerating.

  • Re:Wait, what? (Score:3, Informative)

    by iamhassi (659463) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @09:00AM (#33043192) Journal
    " Unidentified man, in unidentified car leaps out pointing a gun at you? YES, you are within your rights to SHOOT HIM IN THE FACE."

    At first I have to admit, I thought that sounded a bit nuts, but after watching the video where he jumps out of a old Malibu and gets out a gun yelling "GET OFF THE MOTORCYCLE!" [youtube.com] I'd have to agree with you, I think if I was that motorcycle driver I would have got out of there quick.

    Look at this photo and tell me you're not thinking "ROAD RAGE/CARJACK" [carlosmiller.com]
  • by 2obvious4u (871996) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @09:07AM (#33043306)
    Not only will I give you a citation, I'll one up the original posters assertion. He mentions rubber bullets and tear gas, the citation I'll give you the government shot and killed the protesters [wikipedia.org].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @09:44AM (#33043910)

    Whilst this stuff sounds unbelievable the economist [economist.com] agrees with him...

  • by paeanblack (191171) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @10:10AM (#33044304)

    People should also focus on how unnecessarily dangerous that traffic stop was.

    Why did off-duty officer feel it was necessary to endanger his own life, the motorcyclist and the life of the motorists in the nearby vehicles?

    The "victim" was driving 127mph on a public road with other traffic around. Who was placing whom in danger again?

    (and he wasn't driving a Toyota, either)

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @10:12AM (#33044342) Homepage Journal

    Cops and public officials are given greater lenience in violations of laws when they are performing their jobs. It's even worse with cops because you can't vote them out of office. Even you elected officials do not have the authority to directly fire them.

    A few links:

    Blagojevich judge, attorney clash; jury sent home [sj-r.com]
    Judge accused of fixing ticket steps down [sj-r.com]
    Brunton resigns as Macoupin County associate judge [sj-r.com]
    Chicago alderman pleads guilty in corruption case [sj-r.com]
    State trooper who caused deadly wreck resigns [sj-r.com]
    Assistant state's attorney resigns after mishandling case [sj-r.com]
    Our Opinion: Boone must resign as coroner [sj-r.com]
    Galesburg police officer facing felony charges [sj-r.com]
    Grandview leader plans to fire police chief [sj-r.com]

  • by Splab (574204) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @10:17AM (#33044438)

    I have indeed done my research on this since I have had to consider hiring foreigners.

    And as I wrote in reply to your sibling, you are by no means required to spend all your money, you can save it up, earn interest, invest them - at no point do you have to pay anything more.

    And please, please, please don't tell someone they are incompetent when you can't even work out what 17.5% VAT is in terms of total taxes. By the way (for both you and sibling) in the UK you don't pay VAT on everything, unless you only buy goods.

    Let me give you a nice example from Denmark where we in fact pay VAT "on every goddamn thing" at 25% - Lets say I earn 100.000 kr, I pay 40% taxes, that leaves me with 60.000 kr.

    At 25% VAT, it means 20% of everything I buy is tax, so lets say I spend all 60.000, that means 15.000 of that is an additional tax, which is 15% of the original, that means I pay 55% taxes total.

    I'm very much aware of how much I pay in taxes, and I do my share of gibbering about it every month when I get my paycheck, but then I remember, this pays for my medical bills, for the roads, my education, for safety on the streets (milage may vary here, I'll give you that) etc .

  • by kalirion (728907) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @10:47AM (#33044888)

    FTA

    According to David Rocah, the ACLU attorney handling Mr. Graber's case, 'To charge Graber with violating the law, you would have to conclude that a police officer on a public road, wearing a badge and a uniform, performing his official duty, pulling someone over, somehow has a right to privacy when it comes to the conversation he has with the motorist.'" (emphasis mine)

    If this David Rocah had even bothered to view the video in question, he'd know the officer was not wearing a uniform.

  • by cynyr (703126) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:09AM (#33045284)

    Still his badge should have been in his hand(the one without the gun, as he was out of uniform) and visible I had to have it pointed out to me that the guy in the car even had one(on his belt half under his shirt).

    The helmet cam was clearly visible, and there wasn't an order in the provided footage of an order to turn it off or disable it. http://carlosmiller.com/2010/04/16/maryland-motorcyclist-spends-26-hours-in-jail-on-wiretapping-charge-for-filming-cop-with-gun/ [carlosmiller.com] has a picture of the guys setup, it looks like a point and shoot camera on top of a helmet. That was definitely public space, where anyone could be recorded. I'm sorry but until he says "state police" and shows a badge or is in uniform he's acting as citizen. If you can find the additional footage it shows a unformed officer showing up at the scene as well. All of the search and arrest for 26 hours, and now the trial are simply uncalled for. public space == public space.

  • by xanadu113 (657977) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:25AM (#33045560) Homepage
    The police in Spokane, WA will file a lawsuit against any citizen who either files a lawsuit against them, or files a complaint against them, for defamation of characters. (Google this, it's true.)

    It's how police keep people from questioning what they do..

    (Wonder if they'll sue ME for even posting this...)
  • by BobMcD (601576) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:46AM (#33045966)

    I did both. I'm referring to the one behind the motorcycle, which you clearly saw when you did what you're assuming I didn't do. Honest mistake to make, no apology necessary. :)

  • by barbarai (935771) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @12:36PM (#33046772) Homepage
    This is not an isolated case. In Chicago, an artist/activist is facing felony charges for videoing his arrest for selling small sew-on patches for $1.00 without a peddler's license. They dropped the charges about the peddler license, but the felony case is in court. See http://www.c-drew.com/blog/ [c-drew.com] for his on-going saga. It is a case of dominated discourse when police and authorities can tape people, but people can't tape back.
  • by david_thornley (598059) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @02:15PM (#33048526)

    I remember that well. A large number, probably a majority, of Slashdotters won't remember it for the very simple reason that they hadn't been born yet. (That is a clue to its relevance.)

    At the time, it was clearly recognized as a situation gone very wrong, with attitudes in general regarding it as something between a horrible screw-up and an atrocity (with the usual caveats for those who think people deserve to be shot because they apparently chose to be in the bullet's trajectory). There was a great deal of discussion over what went wrong and how to make it not happen again.

    So, do you have any reference to such a thing happening after, say, Altair released their first home computer?

    If you want to convince me that something is routine, find an example that isn't forty years old, and wasn't decried at the time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @04:11PM (#33050054)

    A similar situation happened in the area where I live, also in Maryland. The wiretap law in Maryland is very sketchy and skewed against the rights of the public. A guy had a pocket audio recorder, and had it intentionally recording in his shirt pocket. He had a conversation with the mayor of the city just outside the front door of city hall on the steps, and recorded it. He was charged with felony wiretapping but plead out on an Alford plea to the misdemeanor of something along the lines of distributing a recording without consent of the recorded, another ridiculous Maryland law.

    The guy in this case is a bit of a wackjob but the argument is valid, with ridiculous two-party consent with EVERYTHING...
    http://www.wboc.com/Global/story.asp?S=10162408
    http://thepocomokepubliceye.blogspot.com/2010/01/local-blogger-wiretapping-trial.html

    I'd give better references but the local newspaper archives articles and makes you pay to access them.

  • by Bryansix (761547) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @05:10PM (#33050782) Homepage
    If YOU watched the video (RTFA) you would notice there is a marked police car behind him.

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