NJ ACLU App “Stealth Mode” Secretly Records Police
The New Jersey state chapter of the ACLU’s has released an app that can secretly record police stops, prevent the recordings from being deleted and report the incidents:
The arrival of the app, called Police Tape, follows some high-profile cases in which police have clashed with citizens over their recording of officers. It also speaks to the notion that, anywhere, any time — whether it’s by a police department’s security camera or a motorist’s cell phone — everyone can be recorded.
Citizens have been hassled and even arrested after recording police officers in public places, said Alexander Shalom, ACLU New Jersey’s policy counsel. At times, their phones have been taken away and recordings deleted, he said.
“Police often videotape civilians and civilians have a constitutionally protected right to videotape police,” Shalom said. “When people know they’re being watched, they tend to behave well.”
The app, which debuts only for Android devices but will be available for iPhones later this month, is simple to use and can be downloaded at aclu-nj.org/app. It opens to a screen with three buttons: video recording, audio recording and a tutorial on knowing your rights.
The app’s signature feature is its ability to operate in “stealth mode” while recording. When you start video recording, the screen goes black, as if it’s off. When recording audio, the app automatically minimizes and disappears.