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Sometimes, Watching Them Watching You Gets You Arrested

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 23 2011

Today comes news that video has been posted to YouTube this week that Emily Good, a Rochester, N.Y. woman, went to jail to capture.

Good was videotaping police from her own front yard. In New York, videotaping police is perfectly legal — but she was still charged with obstructing governmental administration for taking her camera out in May to document a traffic stop in front of her home. Her case, and an internal investigation by the Rochester Police Department, are both ongoing, Matt Sledge writes at HuffPo. The video captures a version of events slightly different from what was documented in a police report, Sledge writes.

Yesterday, I wrote about OpenWatch, software for surreptitiously recording audio or video of your interactions with law enforcement and then anonymously uploading it to the Internet. In these kinds of encounters, law enforcement officials put the dispute in terms of officer safety. Advocates like Good, or OpenWatch's Rich Jones, on the other hand, say the issue is that video or audio in the hands of a citizen is something that civilians rarely had before — evidence that the version of events in an official report may not be the version that actually happened. In contexts ranging from Rodney King to "Collateral Murder", that changes the dynamics of power in a fundamental way.

(Via Rebecca Baker)

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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