In today’s earth shattering news, the mainstream media is reporting that citizens with digital cameras have proven to be an annoyance to police officers.

Maybe they should tell us something we don’t already know.

On Tuesday, the St. Petersburg Times and the British Broadcasting Company published two distinct articles on the subject.

From the BBC:

“This has totally changed the landscape in terms of police accountability,” says Prof Stenning. “There is nothing they can do which isn’t recorded.”

The fallout from the proliferation of the cameras is particularly obvious on demonstrations. A battle is being waged.

For some time police have filmed and photographed demonstrations and other public events to spot potential trouble-makers and to pre-emptively gather evidence.

At the same time protesters have taken to monitoring events in order to deter police officers from excessive use of force and to provide evidence for legal action against the authorities or in defence of protesters.

From the St. Petersburg Times:

People see a car accident and slow down to rubberneck.

But what happens when those same people, now equipped with cell phone cameras and text messaging, decide to snap photos? Or release the identity of the victim before a family is notified?

Those are some of the new challenges that emergency and law enforcement personnel say they are encountering more often these days as technology evolves.

“Sometimes it can hamper our investigation,” said Lt. Joel Granata of St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue. “A lot of times we find the crowd growing substantially before we’re even finished with the scene.”