Sadly, the post 9/11 world is one that the framers of the American Constitution, and especially of the Bill of Rights, simply wouldn't recognize. And this noble achievement was done to make Americans "safe". Safe from knowledge of everything. Now you can only "trust" that public officials are doing the right thing and keeping the public good uppermost in their mind. You no longer have the right to observe or question authority. Your job is simply to ask "how high" when they say "jump!".
From the annotation attached to this YouTube video:
This was the end of a police chase and the Sgt. doesn't want video coverage from a credentialed member of the press. The photog asks how far to move back but the sgt. says no you can't shoot it at all. Notice the road is open to traffic, there are people without a camera that are standing there and even some kids walk straight through the scene. The photog moves a block away and shoots from the next street over and that's when he's arrested and charged with Obstruction of Governmental Administration....how can you obstruct from a block away.
Update 2011aug31: And here is a fellow who faces 75 years in jail for using a camera to observe the public servants, the police, in action...
Clearly, the only reason for such draconian punishment is because the police want the cloak of "security" to hide their crimes.
Update 2011sep09: Here is technology to enable police recording while disguising the fact that you are recording and hiding your identity when you upload. It is part of a citizen-based initiative, OpenWatch, to enable transparency in government:
For a discussion of your rights to record the police, go read this article in the Washington Examiner written by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee, and is best known for his weblog, Instapundit, one of the most widely read American political weblogs.