The rights of “video activists”

The Christian Science Monitor , via Picturephoning, questions the use of digital cameras at both large and small demonstrations. Should police be able to record peaceful demonstrators? Are activists using cameras to antagonize police? As the technology becomes more pervasive, its limits are being tested in courts and questioned by civil libertarians.


“Video activists” believe cameras protect their rights and help spread their messages. It can lessen the possibility of police abuse and, if it occurs, the tape becomes evidence.

But police, too, are using video to protect their rights, investigate crimes after violent protests, and transmit images through wireless cameras to police command centers.

The rise in video activism is only one way technology is altering social movements. Cheap and accessible, digital technology – like text messaging through mobile phones – has enabled activists worldwide to organize on the Internet..