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A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

It is very dangerous to whip out your smartphone and video a police takedown from your front yard. If the cops see you, then they could arrest you for "obstructing justice" when all you are doing is watching the police.

In Canada, legal advice has it that it is illegal to take a picture of a person who may be identified in it and subject to slander, libel and similar injustices.

However, there is also a 50-foot exception since beyond this point, you need an expensive DSL camera to refine details in a picture.

Yet the state of technology of a camera depends on the resolution of a photo. If you choose a picture resolution of under 2048x1536, then picture quality will suffer for subjects 50 feet away from the camera lens.

E.g. the camera in my smartphone has a 8 megapixel (mp) resolution, which means a resolution of 3264x2448, which allows for more detail.

However at 50 feet, a 8 mp resolution still isn't so clear that a person is identifiable, considering that without anti-jitter and at low light levels, the image will still be blurry.

Cameras do the best with detail with portraits, up close.

At 50 feet, picture detail is compromised by low resolution and jitter.

Thus, taking pictures of State action with a smartphone at a distance of 50 feet of more isn't actually illegal. Given the quality of the image, it's possible to create reasonable doubt about anyone identified in the picture.

Therefore, it is imperative for social activists to enforce a 50-foot rule for known agents of the State. However, this means ponying up money to pay for this right.

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