Woman Attacks Camera Man on Camelback

Cholla Trail Landmark - Camelback Mountain by Dru Bloomfield - At Home in Scottsdale

Cholla Trail Landmark – Camelback Mountain by Dru Bloomfield – At Home in Scottsdale

Last week Pete Kosednar was hiking on Camelback Mountain when he saw a woman on the trail who didn’t have her dog on a leash. He turned on his video camera and asked her is she knew that her dog was supposed to be leashed. She didn’t appreciate being filmed and reacted by swearing at him and hitting him. Check out the video for yourself.

Was Pete Kosednar wrong to film this woman? No! She was in a public place where she had no expectation of privacy. As long as he wasn’t filming her to commercialize her image or filming her in a way that constituted any type of harassment, there’s nothing she could do to stop him from filming her. And now the video is on YouTube where everyone can see her behaving badly.

I understand that privacy is a hot-button topic for a lot of people. It is for me. However, you have no expectation of privacy for anything you do in view of the public so there’s nothing you can do to stop someone from filming you in most situations. Pete could probably strap a video camera to his head and tape most of his day-to-day activities without risk of penalty.

There are some places where you can expect to not be filmed like public bathrooms, tanning beds,  locker rooms, and retail businesses that don’t allow you to take pictures or shoot video in the store. This woman was on Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain. There are no special restrictions on shooting photos on video there.

It also amuses me when people make a scene about being filmed in public. We have surveillance cameras everywhere – in the stores and shopping centers, on courthouses, monitoring freeway traffic, etc. It’s funny when people accept those cameras as a part of every day life but freak out when someone turns on the camera in their phone when they’re standing on the sidewalk or in a public park.

The take-away lesson here is if you’re going to behave badly in public, whether you’re breaking the law, violating a social norm, or making an ass of yourself, don’t be surprised when you find out that someone videotaped it and posted it online.

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Hat tips to Phoenix New Times for running the story and Jeff Moriarty for telling me about it.

Call Your Representative to Oppose CISPA

Laptop Stickers by YayAdrian

The U.S. House of Representatives could be voting this Friday on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). It’s important that you call your representatives today and let them know that you oppose CISPA, and they should too.

CISPA is the government’s latest attempt to invade our privacy. They say the law’s purpose is to prevent and counteract cyberattacks. This law will let private companies and the government ignore every privacy law and share your personal information. All they need to have is a “good faith” belief that they’re doing it for cybersecurity purposes, which sounds like they’re allowed to manipulate the way they describe a situation  to manufacture a good faith belief.

The proposed law has had a few amendments aimed at protecting our civil liberties, but I’m not convinced. The amendments will still let agencies like the National Security Agency have “unfettered access to information about Americans’ internet activities and allow those agencies to use that information for virtually any purpose.”

CISPA - The Solution is the Problem by DonkeyHotey

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a great resource that gives you your representative’s phone number and a script you can use when you call them to urge them to vote against CISPA. I called my representative, Ben Quayle, and I was shocked to learn that he’s a co-sponsor of the bill. I told his office that he should stay out of my computer (and my vagina for that matter).

Here’s your to-do list:

The government will always try to overstep the limits and invade our privacy. It’s our job, as the people who hired them, to keep them in check and tell them what to do.