New York Judge: The 4th Amendment Doesn’t Pertain to Online Storage

4773457853_04f0baee64_o

US Magistrate James Francis, a New York judge, recently made a controversial ruling two months ago that you may want to know about. The decision, made in a case against Microsoft, declared that US search warrants apply to digital information even if its stored overseas.

The ruling was given after Microsoft was ordered to hand over the email account of a user under investigation for drug trafficking – the company’s information was stored overseas in Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft then challenged the authority of the government to seize it from outside United States borders. The US Government responded, stating that (according to the Stored Communications Act) online storage isn’t protected by the fourth amendment.

[Read more...]

Woman Who Assaulted Boy With a Quadcopter Gets Probation

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 8.49.58 AM

Last month, a video was uploaded online by 17 year-old Austin Haughwout, showing the assault carried out on him by 23 year-old Andrea Mears after she saw him using a quadcopter at a beach. After assaulting him, she lies to the police that arrive on the scene by claiming that he attacked her. Police chose not to arrest Austin only when he showed them that he has video evidence.

Andrea faced up to one year in jail with the charges brought against her. Last Wednesday, she was instead granted Accelerated Rehabilitation, and put two years of probation.

[Read more...]

Recording Shows, NYC Drone Incident Was Not Risky To The Helicopter

drone-nypd-heli

Yesterday we shared a story about a couple of drones flying at an NYPD helicopter and putting it at severe risk. Well guess what, A recording from LaGuardia airport Air Traffic Control tells a different story all together.

Yesterday’s story was about two individuals, Remy Castro and Wilkins Mendoza, who were flying their quadcopters  over George Washington Bridge in New York while a police helicopter was patrolling the area. Yesterday, the story was about how the helicopter had to take evasive action to avoid a hit. Remy and Wilkins were arrested.

Today, Motherboard shares that a recording of the air traffic control from LaGuardia airport was posted by the website liveatc.net. Hear below. [Read more...]

Two Drones Nearly Hit a Helicopter, and the Men Responsible React in the Most Immature Manner Possible

040904bridge7DR

At about 12:15 midnight, Remy Castro and Wilkins Mendoza were flying their two quadcopters over George Washington Bridge in New York; at the same time, an New York Police Department chopper was present and patrolling the area – the two remote controlled quadcopters were headed straight for it. Luckily, the NYPD officers present noticed the two of them, and had to divert the chopper’s direction to avoid hitting the two of them.

Had one of the quadcopters hit the propeller of the chopper, things could have gotten ugly. There were a number of ways things could have gone wrong in this situation, and it shouldn’t be happening in the first place if we expect to be able to keep our right to freely use quadcopters in the US. If you follow this website at all, you know our stance on photography and how it relates to the law; but as supportive as we are of the right to use these devices, we can’t be surprised when regulations get put up because of things like this.

The two men that manned the quadcopters were immediately arrested after the NYPD traced the flying devices back to them. And even after they were taken in, they spewed out dialogue that was nothing short of immature and inexcusable. One of them told the Criminal Court that it was “just a toy” and that they “were just playing with it“. [Read more...]

NSFW: Woman Assaults Man on a Beach for Using a Quadcopter

Warning: Strong Language in the video above.

We’ve been covering stories over photography and it’s run-ins with the law for a while now. Most of the time, it’s the same frustrating types of events happening in different situations; a cop might tell someone to turn their camera off in a public area, someone might get a verbal harassment – whatever it is, it tends to make its way across social media everywhere each time it happens. People get frustrated to see things like that happen to them by the very force that should be upholding the law.

But this is something entirely different, and on an entirely different level of sickening.

Shot at Hammonasset Beach in Madison, CT, this video started recording after the cameraman had finished his last round of quadcopter photography around the park. At that point, a woman named Andrea Mears, 23, approached him and proceeded to call the police, apparently not liking the fact that he was using the device in a public area. This is where the video starts, after the guy realizes just how aggressive the woman is being.

[Read more...]

Kyoto Moves To Make Upskirting a Painful Offence

4602219260_1aeb6ebe9d_b

Earlier today, The Japan Times released that officials in Kyoto, Japan, had revised ordinance in order to crack down on the practice of upskirt photography (making unauthorized photographs under a woman’s skirt). The highly popular tourist destination in Japan is flooded with tourists every spring, mostly high school students, and “upskirting” had reached disturbing levels, with even “a whole subgenre of magazines” existing for individuals to sell their images.

This perverted practice has always been outlawed in Japan, but only in public places such as shopping centers, railway stations, and public transport. Individuals taking these photographs had found a loophole which made them untouchable by police by taking their photos in places not covered under the definition of a “public place.” The change in ordinance has seen the expansion of the “scope of protection” to include places such as schools, workplaces and hospitals, and has increased penalties for the use of hidden cameras in areas such as hot spring baths, changing rooms and public restrooms. Penalties can now be as high as ¥1 million (about $9815) or a year in jail. [Read more...]

Photographers and Their Constitutional Rights: A Few Words from an NPPA Attorney

Video available at PDN Pulse.

Video available at PDN Pulse.

With cameras becoming more accessible and easier to use, we have more of an incentive to film anything interesting that’s happening within our view. It’s not just CCTV or a security camera that’s catching crimes happening on the street, and it’s not just LiveLeak that’s giving us videos of people acting out of line. And for every good cop out there, there’s a cop that feels threatened by the fact that his actions are more likely to be put on record.

Right now, it’s more important than ever that people know their rights when photographing anything; NPPA Attorney (National Press Photographer’s Association) Mickey H. Osterreicher recently sat down with PDN Pulse last thursday to give a few tips on the matter.

[Read more...]