Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting “the free discussion of governmental affairs.” Moreover, as the Court has noted, “[f]reedom of expression has particular significance with respect to government because ‘[i]t is here that the state has a special incentive to repress opposition and often wields a more effective power of suppression.’” This is particularly true of law enforcement officials, who are granted substantial discretion that may be misused to deprive individuals of their liberties. Ensuring the public’s right to gather information about their officials not only aids in the uncovering of abuses but also may have a salutary effect on the functioning of government…
I view this issue as circling the importance of balance. At all times, the people are up against their government, to hold them responsible for the decisions that they make. In turn, the government is there to keep the public in order. Without equal checks on both sides, the freedoms of groups and individuals can be stepped on.
In this most recent case, I believe the court is correct in noting that the gathering of information is a huge part of this balance. The citizens and their government should be looked upon.
To be more specific, I am also in favor of a separation between public and private spaces. Also, in the case of police making arrests, any video taping that takes place should not hold up their activities. The police should have the right to do their jobs without infringement. The public should have the right to take in their surroundings without censorship by those who feel they have immunity toward being observed.
Even further analysis can be found at the Citizen Media Law Project.