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AMC Theaters Allegedly Calls FBI to Interrogate a Google Glass Wearer 1034

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the probable-russian-spy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Google Glass user was interrogated without legal counsel for a couple of hours under suspicion that he may have been recording a film in the AMC movie theater. Although the matter could have been cleared in minutes, federal agents insisted on interrogating the user for hours. So long for our constitutional freedoms." Hours of being detained that could have been avoided if they had just searched his devices (which he repeatedly suggested they do): "Eventually, after a long time somebody came with a laptop and an USB cable at which point he told me it was my last chance to come clean. I repeated for the hundredth time there is nothing to come clean about and this is a big misunderstanding so the FBI guy finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going though them one by one (although they are dated and it was obvious there was nothing on my Glass that was from the time period they accused me of recording). Then they went through my phone, and 5 minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong." Update: 01/21 21:41 GMT by U L : The Columbus Dispatch confirmed the story with the Department of Homeland Security. The ICE and not the FBI detained the Glass wearer, and there happened to be an MPAA task force at the theater that night, who then escalated the incident.
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AMC Theaters Allegedly Calls FBI to Interrogate a Google Glass Wearer

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  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:06AM (#46022651)

    He should have just explained that he wanted to read his texts without being shot.

    • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:39AM (#46022767)

      I think this is what you call getting Scroogled

    • Re: (Score:4, Interesting)

      by davide marney (231845) <davide.marney@ne ... g minus math_god> on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:54AM (#46023947) Journal

      According to the article, he was told it was a voluntary interrogation. At that point, he should have just taken down the names of all the officers and movie theater staff and left.

      AMC is a terrible movie theater franchise. I carry my laptop in a backpack and get asked all the time to open my bag before going into an AMC theater. I always refuse, and they always bluster and threaten, but they still let me in. I don't mind having my bag searched as long as everybody's bag is being searched. I do mind being singled out for special handling. Other movie theater chains don't do this at all.

      AMC, I hope you get a ton of well-deserved bad press from this latest episode.

      • Re: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:23AM (#46024205)

        If they're so terrible, why do you keep going back there and arguing with them about your bag?

        "You guys totally suck! You don't know how to run a business! Here, take my money!!"

        It's no wonder everything is going down the shitter in America these days. People just sit around on online forums and bitch and complain about stuff, but never actually do anything to force a change: they keep throwing their money at the same shitty companies, and keep voting for the same shitty politicians, and expecting things to improve somehow.

        • Re: (Score:4, Interesting)

          by davide marney (231845) <davide.marney@ne ... g minus math_god> on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:29AM (#46025147) Journal

          AMC is a de facto monopoly where I live, so I have little choice in the matter. There is still one independent movie theater operator, next to the local university, and that provides some relief.

          But, you know, you do have a point. Why SHOULD I pay $12.00 for a ticket + $8.00 for $0.25 worth of popcorn, when the entertainment experience lasts only a couple of hours? I go to the movies about 2-3 times a week, which is $2,080 per year on the low side. That is a lot of money to be sure. I do love the movies, but I don't have to necessarily fund these guys.

          Food for thought, food for thought.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:06AM (#46022657)

    Law enforcement and Government in general doesn't like when random citizens record things. It makes it harder to railroad people in courts afterwards if there is actual footage of an incident.

    So anyone using Google Glass can expect to be bullied and harassed whenever it can be done with a "reasonable cause". And yes, law enforcement is not happy that just wearing something like that isn't grounds for it. But hey, do it in the movies and those Hollywood-lobbied antipiracy laws give them perfect justification...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zwei2stein (782480)

      Oh come on.

      This is about someone who just could not put down recoding device in enviroment in which it is big issue. And tries to use novelty of said device to his advantage.

      Police, etc... they are used to being recorded on cellphones or dash cams or security cameras or by eyewitnesses. This is nothing new for them. They do dislike it - but everyone does.

      There is another side of coin: The more footage of every person there is, the more opportunities you have to find something incriminating or blackmail wort

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pantaril (1624521)

        That is future "glassholes" are working to bring and it is freaking nightmare.

        You are shooting the messanger. The progress in our technologies will bring the lack of privacy you describe regardless of google or any other group.
        Our only option is to deal with it. First step would be to abolish stupid laws which force us to do many things in secret like criminalisation of drug consumption and production.

      • by geekmux (1040042) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @07:49AM (#46023099)

        Oh come on.

        This is about someone who just could not put down recoding device in enviroment in which it is big issue. And tries to use novelty of said device to his advantage.

        Police, etc... they are used to being recorded on cellphones or dash cams or security cameras or by eyewitnesses. This is nothing new for them. They do dislike it - but everyone does.

        There is another side of coin: The more footage of every person there is, the more opportunities you have to find something incriminating or blackmail worthy. I am not afraid of cops getting free pass on some assaults.

        I am afraid of future where anyones life is easily pieced together from footage gathered from hundreds/thousands walking cameras, analyzed for weaknesses and exploited. Anytime you run afoul of little pointless law, anytime you do something that can easily be taken out of context to villify you, any secret you might want to keep secret.

        That is future "glassholes" are working to bring and it is freaking nightmare.

        I am not afraid of cop dropping "resisted" or "was unccoperative" on me, I am afraid of some nice man visiting me with dosier on my life and explaining dozen different ways they can easily ruin various parts of it if I will not cooperate or if I will resist.

        I don't see how your example of blaming specifically Google/Glass for this problem has anything to do with the current cache of thousands of walking cameras under government control. The nightmare of surveillance is already upon us. If Google Glass were pulled as a product tomorrow, the absence of "glassholes" will not guarantee an absence of abuse. The dossier man you fear can still come regardless.

        Ironically, the person wearing Glass in a movie theater is being watched by several cameras at that time. Like I said, the abuse mechanisms are already in place, and you don't control any of them.

      • by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @08:26AM (#46023287)

        I am not afraid of cops getting free pass on some assaults.

        I'm very sorry to hear that and to see it moderated +5 Insightful. I hope you change your viewpoint on this topic and I also hope nothing too drastic has to occur for you to realize how terrible what you just said is.

        I am afraid of future where anyones life is easily pieced together from footage gathered from hundreds/thousands walking cameras, analyzed for weaknesses and exploited. Anytime you run afoul of little pointless law, anytime you do something that can easily be taken out of context to villify you, any secret you might want to keep secret.

        Yes, that sucks, too. But government servants, especially those that have our sanction to act violently, must be watched as closely as you describe.

      • by Clint Jaysiyel (2872249) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @08:49AM (#46023437)
        Police ABSOLUTELY ARE NOT "used" to it. Please follow the PhotographyIsNotACrime blog for a year or so and come back when your attitudes have been adjusted to reality.
      • by ray-auch (454705) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:30AM (#46023731)

        Oh come on.

        This is about someone who just could not put down recoding device in enviroment in which it is big issue.

        He could not put the "recording device" down because it is also his glasses, which he needed to see the screen from his seat.

        This is going to happen more and more - wearable tech which augments is going to merge with prosthetic tech which enables / replaces. In future people who are currently blind may see via retinal implants coupled to electronic glasses with cameras (which may or may not record - how would you know ?).

        What are you going to say to such people in your environment "in which it is a big issue" ? What do you suggest - deny the disabled prothetics for fear of the cyberman ?

        I am afraid of future where anyones life is easily pieced together from footage gathered from hundreds/thousands walking cameras

        Newsflash - most of your life is already recorded by hundreds/thousands of (organic) walking cameras and always has been. Recording is imperfect and reading out the data is a bit tricky currently (organic interface...) - but we'll probably fix that soon (find that scary?). You can currently avoid these cameras though - just avoid any other people. More scary to me is the possibility of billions of flying crawling insect sized cameras so small they can essentially never be avoided - but each to their own.

        I am afraid of some nice man visiting me with dosier on my life and explaining dozen different ways they can easily ruin various parts of it if I will not cooperate or if I will resist.

        I fear that far less - in pretty much any area, as create and capture tech improves so does faking-it tech. By the time they have thousands of hours of footage of every part of everyone's life, it will also be trivial to get a few images of you and insert "you" into any video scenario they want. Most peoples' lives are way to boring to spend the time reviewing all that footage - far more likely they'll just turn up with some very convincing footage of you doing interesting things with children and/or animals and/or recreational chemicals. Who cares if it's real ? In fact, with sufficient investment, they could pretty much do that now. The future will just make it cheaper and easier. No google glasses required.

  • Creepy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sosume (680416) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:10AM (#46022671) Journal

    This is really creepy. Imagine twenty years ago that the feds would be able to detain you in a private place and get to inspect all your private photo's, your call log, your agenda, friends, (snail) mail, basically all your private data, on suspicion of a copyright violation. What happened to 'presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law'?

    • Re:Creepy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:19AM (#46022709)
      They only got to see because he caved. If he had laid his head down on the table for a nap and told the interrogators "call me when my lawyer gets here", he'd be a hero. Instead, he's a glasshole who pointed a camera at a movie for the entire length of the movie (though it was "off"), and caved when the FBI asked him a few questions.
      • Re:Creepy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jareth-0205 (525594) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:25AM (#46022729) Homepage

        Your empathy with someone wrongly harassed and detained is impressive. Tell me, can you be so sure when faced with professional interrogators that you would do exactly the 'correct' thing that you claim? They know what they are doing, you know, they're not idiots. Wouldn't they just change their tack... can you anticipate their every move?

        Try to be annoyed at the right people, this stuff matters. Rights are not supposed to be just for the people who know how to play the system.

        • Re:Creepy (Score:5, Insightful)

          by nospam007 (722110) * on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:46AM (#46022799)

          "Tell me, can you be so sure when faced with professional interrogators that you would do exactly the 'correct' thing that you claim? They know what they are doing, you know, they're not idiots. Wouldn't they just change their tack... can you anticipate their every move?"

          Yes. There are only 3 easy rules to follow and they always work.

          1. Don't talk to the police.
          2. Don't talk to the police.
          3. Don't talk to the police.

          Ever!

        • Re:Creepy (Score:4, Insightful)

          by guevera (2796207) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @11:10AM (#46024873)

          Tell me, can you be so sure when faced with professional interrogators that you would do exactly the 'correct' thing that you claim?

          Actually, yes, from more experience than I'd like. However, this part isn't hard. You only have five things you EVER say to a pig.

          1) No (if a pig asks to come inside, if her or she may search something)
          2) Get off my property unless you have a warrant.
          3) Why? (If a pig starts to search/enter over your objections, it's important to try and nail down their excuse in the moment)
          4) Am I under arrest?
          5) I want to speak with my lawyer.

          Resist the urge to add pointless obscentity or insult. The pig is just doing its job. Rembember that the pig isn't so much an evil person as part of an evil system. Killing the pig is pointless unless it helps weaken the system. If the pig makes things personal, resist insult -- be polite, get the pigs name off the incident report, and then handle things later. Not hard to find out where a pig lives if you try.

          Wouldn't they just change their tack... can you anticipate their every mo

          So what. Every tactic involves the pig either manipulating your natural friendliness and standards of social behavoir to get you to talk or trying to intimidate you into talking. Just remember that the pig is not your friend and you should not treat a pig as if they were a regular member of society to which you have an obligation to behave courteously and with respect. And rember that no matter what a pig says, no matter what the situation, no matter how bad things look, there is never ANY benefit to talking to a pig until after you speak with your attorney.

          You think you're innocent and everything will get cleared up easily if only you can explain things? So what. Your attorney can do it better. And your attorney probably won't get scared and talk his way into a felony beef. Better to risk spending a couple of days locked up than to talk to a pig and risk spending years or decades.

          Rights are not supposed to be just for the people who know how to play the system.

          You'd think, right? The Supreme Court disagrees though. Look up Salinas v Texas.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:41AM (#46022771)

        They only got to see because he caved.

        From TFS (The Fuc... Fine Summary) :

        Hours of being detained that could have been avoided if they had just searched his devices (which he repeatedly suggested they do)

        Funny that the saying goes that "if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide", but when push-comes-to-shove and you obey that rule you get ignored. Almost as if they have too much fun with their "interrogation" and do not want to have it stopped short ...

        And pardon me, hours of interrogation for an allegation of having recorded something ? I shrudder to think of how many days of interrogation I can look forward to for having been seen jaywalking ...

      • Re:Creepy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by geekmux (1040042) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @07:15AM (#46022935)

        They only got to see because he caved. If he had laid his head down on the table for a nap and told the interrogators "call me when my lawyer gets here", he'd be a hero. Instead, he's a glasshole who pointed a camera at a movie for the entire length of the movie (though it was "off"), and caved when the FBI asked him a few questions.

        Presumably after paying a vendor $15 to sit in a dark room for two hours, one would assume he would "point" his face at the very thing he paid for. Gee, can't wait for your argument here when Glass comes in prescription form. I suppose all those with bad eyesight will be assumed criminals.

        And standing your ground with your Rights is going to cost you at least $3000 in legal and courtroom fees, along with time off from work. If someone is truly innocent and they know this, and don't mind sharing their personal information to prove their innocence, then the person is not a "glasshole". It was wrong for what the Feds did. The problem with their brash arrogance is they know the average citizen can't afford to defend their Rights in court, so they abuse their own rights and manipulate citizens.

        Those who argue what he should or should not have done should remember what YOU would do in that situation, facing thousands in legal costs simply to stand your ground. Unless they fire up kickstarters to start funding those defense costs, the average citizen WILL cave. And LE and government WILL target the poor. They know what happens when they target the rich. Sad, but very true.

    • Re:Creepy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gnasher719 (869701) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @07:15AM (#46022929)

      This is really creepy. Imagine twenty years ago that the feds would be able to detain you in a private place and get to inspect all your private photo's, your call log, your agenda, friends, (snail) mail, basically all your private data, on suspicion of a copyright violation. What happened to 'presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law'?

      You are quite ignorant about what is going on there. While being under suspicion of having committed a crime, you can be investigated, there can be search warrants, and so on, all while you are "presumed innocent". Then you may go to court. And there the judge tells the jury "the fact that this man is here in court and accused of a crime, and the fact that these policemen spent many hours looking for evidence, doesn't mean he is guilty. You start looking at him as 'presumed innocent'. Then the prosecution will show evidence against him, and the defence will show evidence for him, and then you decide based on the evidence and nothing else".

      The situation that happened was one where someone who was actually guilty and not investigated immediately would easily be able to destroy all evidence against them. You will be denied the basic human right of taking a shower if you are found near a body who was stabbed, with blood on your hands, and quite rightfully so.

      • there can be search warrants,

        And if there had been search warrants issued, I'd probably be saying the FBI did their jobs and nothing more.

        Alas, that doesn't seem to be the case here....

        • Re:Creepy (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ceoyoyo (59147) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @10:16AM (#46024147)

          Using the GPs shower example, if you're covered in blood and refuse a search you'll be held until a search warrant can be obtained. If the FBI did anything wrong here it was holding him for so long without searching him, since he voluntarily submitted.

  • choice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Threni (635302) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:11AM (#46022673)

    > federal agents insisted on interrogating the user for hours. So long for our
    > constitutional freedoms."

    Didn't he have the choice of just getting up and leaving? Was he under arrest? If he's not been arrested, how's he lost a freedom. And if he has, challenge it in court. Sounds like he's missed a trick here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you RTFA he mentions that it was a "volentary interview" but if he did not cooperate "bad things" would happebnn to him.

    • Re:choice (Score:4, Insightful)

      by vilain (127070) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:43AM (#46022783)
      Yeah, first question would have been "Am I being detained?" followed by "I want to call my attorney and I don't consent to a search", all while recording audio at a minimum to his Google Drive. They have to stop questioning him until an attorney arrives or anything they get is inadmissible. Of course, "cooperating" with the FBI, while really stupid, won't necessarily stop the interview process. Why didn't he just invoke his rights and wait for an attorney. Yes, he did nothing wrong. But the FBI doesn't know that and would have held him anyway.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by msauve (701917)
        $1000 minimum, and even more time wasted, to get a lawyer to come down so he could be questioned vs. letting them look at the pictures and video to confirm he wasn't recording in the theater.

        Sometimes, pragmatism wins over principle.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:17AM (#46022701)

    If this all really happened (really we just have a friend of a friend posting on some site) then it's a good example of why "I have nothing to hide, so what am I worried about?" type of argument is so stupid. Guy is completely innocent of any wrong doing, and they grill him for hours, and he's still shaking a day after. If you've ever been in a situation where you're being accused of wrongdoing, you know how infuriating/scary it can be, especially when you're completely innocent. Really, he should have said either charge me or I'm leaving, but how many of us would want a federal case against us, even if it would eventually get dismissed? What recourse would he have after the fact, to dissuade this sort of behavior from the police in the future? Instead, he tried to clear himself immediately, and they still grilled him for hours.

    Of course, people will just say you shouldn't bring a camera into a movie theater. Nevermind we're all guilty of this - it's likely your phone has a camera as well. This one just happens to be up on his face.

  • "So LONG FOR..."? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dialecticus (1433989) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @06:41AM (#46022773)
    Which did he mean? "So MUCH for our constitutional freedoms", or "So long TO our constitutional freedoms"?
  • What use... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @07:05AM (#46022893)
    ...is a phone call if you cant speak?

    Once you are in there they control your reality. If you try to wrest that control from them they will make you pay in some form. In my long experience (including family killed by police - unwarranted, and personally prison time), many to most cops are bullies, or grow to be so in the culture they work in. The ones that are not tend to get weeded out or self select out.

    This guy should have never spoken to them. Period. Arrest me, give me a lawyer or let me walk out the door. No other words should have escaped his lips.

    When you are innocent that is hard to fathom, especially without experience of this type of treatment, but unfortunately it is true. If yo notice, the cops involved slowly went through obviously non-related materials. What if he had his kids bath time photos/videos on there? An over zealous cop could have charges him with child porn charges. Oh, uploaded them to G+, that's distribution there sonny.

    I know some of those still caught in the fear and slow panic the government and media feed them will attack and say that would never happen. To them, all I can say is wait till it happens to you.

  • As a glass wearer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TomGreenhaw (929233) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @07:39AM (#46023047)
    Guys like this are what gives glass a bad name. Its about what you would expect a theater to do if you pointed a camera at the screen the whole time. That said, you couldn't really record the whole movie, and even if you could, it would be jittery and not great resolution. Yet another case of misunderstood technology being foolishly abused.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @07:45AM (#46023069) Homepage

    They are complete scum, they love the power trip they have and they enjoy feeling that they are in control over people.

    These FBI assholes faces need to be published on the internet so that people can know that they are scumbags and to be avoided at all costs.

  • by aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @08:22AM (#46023263)

    Throw away copyright laws ... at least as far as individual consumers are concerned. This is the future. Pretty soon we'd have recording gadgets so small and much more inconspicuous that only a TSA-style patdown/scanning will reveal them. So why bother imposing draconian copyright laws unless they're against those ripoff "artists" who try to sell other people's works for profit?

  • by EdgePenguin (2646733) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @08:36AM (#46023359) Homepage

    Assuming the story is true...

    1. The cinema guy is stupid for calling the FBI and escalating the situation way out of hand.

    2. The MPAA/FBI are stupid for actually putting time and resources into fighting cam-rips. Absolutely no threat to the industry, as anybody who has tried to watch one knows. Letting pirates have their cam-rips just makes authentic cinemagoing look better.

    3. The Glasshole was stupid for sitting in a cinema quite openly pointing a camera at the screen. Glass users appear to have their empathy surgically removed by Google, and are entirely oblivious to any kind of reaction anybody might have to a ubiquitous filming device. Repeating "but it isn't on" as a mantra does nothing to help. Having a face camera redefines your relations with other people and your environment, in an almost entirely negative way. You want to become a surveillance drone? Fine, deal with the social consequences.

    I'm normally on the side of the little guy, and against big media throwing its weight around. Glassholes are sufficiently selfish and idiotic for me to momentarily switch sides. I've already written about what a crappy society such people would create: http://edgepenguin.com/content... [edgepenguin.com]

  • by NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @08:41AM (#46023391)
    Because if you did and then the FBI downloaded everything(with your permission like the guy in the story) you might have some stuff to explain.
  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @09:49AM (#46023903)

    the popcorn kids don't have much training and the $500 bonus is a lot when you work at min wage.

    http://rt.com/usa/mpaa-camera-... [rt.com]

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