Sunday, January 18, 2009

Is Close-in Pictures of Passer-By Legal?

YouTube - Clearwater Anonymous Protest – January 17th – Bullbaiting Failtroll Angle 1

This video shows an incident where a passer-by objects to being photographed and filmed. He smashes the camera, not the people. Unfortunately, what happens before the incident is not shown.

I don't know whether the guy is a Scientologist or not. Jeff Jacobsen seems to think he is not.

But anyway, would you like if masked people would take your picture and film you a few inches away from your face as you are walking the street? They were probably hurling offensive statements as well, as they usually do.

I do not know the legality of taking pictures of people against their will, and much less publishing them on the Internet. I believe in Europe that would be illegal.

However, I really do think that there ought to be some ordinance restricting people at least from coming that close in taking pictures.

Independently from any Scientology issue, do you think it is not harassment doing so to passer-by in the street? It seems to me it is.

On the whole, Scientologists have been remarkably cool in face of such behavior. I don't know if this guy is a Scientologist or not, but I can perfectly understand why he would think that this is harassment and even illegal.

I know Scientology handlers have also been doing this towards protesters. I think it also is wrong and harassment, but then we are also in a different situation here. They are filming people who are in front of their own building and who are directly addressing them. Whereas it seems to me that this guy was just a passer-by, Scientologist or not.

Requiring the protesters to be on the other side of the sidewalk in such circumstances seems to be a reasonable request, and would avoid this kind of incidents. The line between peaceful protests and stalking is easily crossed, as we have seen before. Turning this line into a street seems to make sense.

Update Feb. 1: The same video is show on this other youtube channel. However, it claims that the Scientologist was "detained by the police". This simply is not true.

It also calls the Scientologist a "bull-baiting" Scientologist (like the initial channel above). In fact, it is just the reverse. The Scientologists (if he is a Scientologist in the first place) is only trying to defend himself from in-your-face cameras. The masked anons surrounding him are the one doing the bull-baiting. Ask yourself if you would like to be surrounded by a flock of masked anons waving signs insulting your religion and holding camera to your face to film you against your will while trying to provoke a reaction as you peacefully walk in the street.

I am sorry but this has nothing to do with "peaceful protests". To me is simply is stalking and religious hate.


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6 comments:

Kenny said...

"I do not know the legality of taking pictures of people against their will, and much less publishing them on the Internet. I believe in Europe that would be illegal.
"

In the US it is legal to take pictures of people, who are on public property,as long as the pictures are not taken for a for-profit cause, i.e. sold.
In Germany it would be illegal to take and publish pictures of a person, if this person explicitly stated that it doesn't want to be photographed.

I do not know if i would consider the behaviour of the protestors in this case as harassement. I can't imagine that they would stop their march just to stick their cameras directly in the face of a random passer-by for no reason. It seems to me like the protest was moving and then the passer-by came along and started insulting the protestors, which resulted in them filming his insults directly in his face.
That's however just speculation, because we don't see what exactly precedented the incident.

Bernie said...

"It seems to me like the protest was moving and then the passer-by came along and started insulting the protestors, which resulted in them filming his insults directly in his face. That's however just speculation, because we don't see what exactly precedented the incident."

It certainly is speculation, but also I don't see on what basis you would say that. More likely they thought for some reasons he was a Scientlogist and started filming him in the face and insulting his faith as they usually do.

Kenny said...

"It certainly is speculation, but also I don't see on what basis you would say that."

The basis for this speculation is, that the protestors, who were there, told it this way.
It also makes more sense to me, than your own assumption, that the random person did not in any way provoke them.
Why would they think that he is a Scientologist, if he didn't do or say anything?
There are a lot of people passing by a protest and not everyone gets automatically accused of being a Scientologist or filmed. Something must have provoked them to film him.

Bernie said...

Did they maybe see him go out of the CoS building?

Besides, if he was a Scientologist, that would automatically make the protesters film him, wouldn't it?

Kenny said...

Bernie said: "Did they maybe see him go out of the CoS building?"

Answer:
No, they didn't.
This is what the YouTuber
'Hammurabanon', who posted the video writes in the comments of the video:

Hammurabanon:"Point taken. Consider this: he walked against us like a normal pedestrian, then suddenly lashed out at SPForces and the rest of the group for a full 5-10 seconds before any of us got our cameras up. Protest was quiet up until then.

We are well aware of what is allowed during the protest. CWPD come and brief us before each protest and send a couple officers on bikes and on foot to just be out and about.

We've cooperated and this video shows we're doing just fine, tyvm.
"

Bernie said: "Besides, if he was a Scientologist, that would automatically make the protesters film him, wouldn't it?"

Answer: No, i don't think so. At least not right into his face. Just filming someone from a distance isn't harassement in my opinion.

Bernie said...

5-10 seconds? How much "lashing out" can you do in 5-10 seconds? Adding "a full" to 5-10 seconds" may lead one to think that this is a lot of time, when in fact it isn't.

And if that's the time it took for other anons to redirect their camera, 5-10 seconds, and since we see that right at the start of the video the anon was already in the face of the guy with his camera, then we can safely assume that this was pretty much the position at the start.

So, frankly, I think anons indict themselves with such a statement. Think of it: 5-10 seconds!