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article imageLaw May Require Cellphone Cameras to Click When Taking Picture

By Michael Billy     Jan 26, 2009 in Crime
H.R. 414 , cleverly named the Camera Phone Predator Alert Act, is sponsored by Peter T. King who is the representative for New York's third district. The law would ensure every cellphone makes a sound when the camera function is being used.
If passed, the law will require "any mobile phone containing a digital camera to sound a tone whenever a photograph is taken with the camera's phone. Prohibits such a phone from being equipped with a means of disabling or silencing the tone. Treats the requirement as a consumer product safety standard and requires enforcement by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)."
In other words, the tone would be considered, by the government, as a safety feature and disabling it would violate safety standards set up by the CPSC.
Judging by the name of the law, it may have been proposed as a measure to combat the recent trend of taking "upskirting" pictures with camera phones.
Looking at recent cases of police brutality, however, might reveal a more sinister side effect that could occur if the proposed law is passed.
Take, for instance, the San Fransisco Bay Area BART incident (video above) where a police officer shot a man, who was on the ground and possibly handcuffed, in the back. The officer's excuse is that he meant to pull out his taser, but grabbed and fired his handgun instead. A gun, however, is much heavier than a taser, and he should have realized the difference.
Later news came out revealing that the cops at the BART station were confiscating the phones of people whom were using them to take pictures of and video record the incident. Luckily, many of the people who were recording the incident were on the train and it left before the officers could collect their phones.
If all of these cellphones were making clicking noises as they recorded it would have been much easier for the police to identify those that were being used to obtain evidence of the incident.
Whatever the reason behind the proposed law it is clear that the House of Representatives should be focusing on more pressing issues like the state of the US economy.
More about Law, Camera cell phones, Liberty bart
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