A couple days ago on Liberty News, I wrote about an Austin man who is facing ten years for photographing a police officer. This kind of thing happens far too often and sometimes, the police will actually go this far:
As police were giving the restaurant’s owner, Loy Bouaphaypengerprachan, a ticket for parking illegally, Monroe went to see what was going on and started taking pictures of the parking ticket fiasco.
The owner told abc24.com, “I think he was doing what a regular citizen would do if they see a situation that’s happening they’re trying to evidence.”
Monroe said he was “just trying to document the situation going on.”
Although he was on public property, Monroe said he was told by police, “‘you can’t be taking pictures of us.’”
Monroe was put in the back of the squad car. When he was released, he said he realized one of the officers had deleted all the video and photos he took.
Because of instances like this, an app for the iPhone has been created that prevents police officers or anyone besides you from destroying photos and videos. It’s called TapIn, and every citizen journalist with an iPhone needs to own it.
The way it works is simple. When you take video or photos, the data is stored in the cloud, not on the phone, and cannot be deleted via the phone. You have to delete it with a computer interface.
It’s brilliant in its simplicity.
Here’s how you get the app:
To obtain the app, send an email to Tylor at firstname.lastname@example.org with your UDID, which is not a birth control device, but a number assigned to your iPhone that can be obtained by connecting your phone to iTunes, then placing your cursor on the serial number, which turns it into a longer number.
That longer number is your UDID. I made a screenshot of it and sent to him because I was unable to cut and paste and I didn’t feel like typing in each number individually.
It also helps if you send him your phone number in case there are updates before this weekend, but that is not necessary.
You know I have been a strong advocate always having your cell phone camera at the ready, but what good is that if John Law simply takes your phone and deletes everything?
As soon as there is an Android version of this, I’m owning it. If you have an iPhone, get the app. Better to have it and never need it than to need it and not have it.