A visitor is testing the new Google Glasses at the international fair for digital economy 'NEXT Berlin 2013' in Berlin, Germany, 24 April 2013.  NEXT Berlin 2013 is an international trade for which serves as a platform of digital innovations from the worl

While there have been cases of Google Glass wearers being told they must remove them to enter anywhere from bars to workplaces, and even one ticketed by police for wearing them while driving, you wouldn’t generally expect wearing them on a night out to lead to being questioned by the Department of Homeland Security. But that’s exactly what happened to one man, who wore a pair of prescription Glass to a movie theatre, in an email to The Gadgeteer.

About an hour into the movie, a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says “follow me outside immediately”. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops … 

Movie Theater staff apparently called the authorities, believing that the Google Explorer was illegally recording the movie. He was eventually able to demonstrate that Glass had been switched off, but not before an apparently aggressive interview lasting an hour and eventual examination of the stored recordings – which did not include the movie.

I kept telling them that Glass has a USB port and not only did I allow them, I actually insist they connect to it and see that there was nothing but personal photos with my wife and my dog on it. I also insisted they look at my phone too and clear things out, but they wanted to talk first. They wanted to know who I am, where I live, where I work, how much I’m making, how many computers I have at home, why am I recording the movie, who am I going to give the recording to, why don’t I just give up the guy up the chain, ’cause they are not interested in me. Over and over and over again.

Khaalid Walls, a Public Affairs Officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), confirmed that the event took place, though suggests a rather different timescale.

On Jan. 18, special agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and local authorities briefly interviewed a man suspected of using an electronic recording device to record a film at an AMC theater in
Columbus.  The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been
inactive. No further action was taken.

We suspect this won’t be the last time Glass will lead to some interesting conversations with officials.

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8 Responses to “Man questioned by Homeland Security for wearing prescription Glass in a movie theater”

  1. Larz Ulrich says:

    I wish the police would get back to beating stupid people again. Maybe the police could smack him around a bit while wearing Glass and post it on Youtube. That would be both tech savvy and justice.

  2. Chad Zahner says:

    This story is Bull! the Gadgeteer website the so called author says it was the FBI who pulled him out of the theater. He then goes on to lie during the whole story he just wants attention.

  3. Duke Raoul says:

    Homeland security… the new Nazis. Bush did a good job brainwashing america and spark their fear of terrorism.

    • Larz Ulrich says:

      What a tool this guy is. The movie clerk knew Glass can record. Why else would he have called the police? The Glass owners are aware of all the issues with using them in places where camera’s are not welcome. He knew what he was doing. What next, is he going to wear his camcorder around his neck in a theater? Walk into a bathroom at the IRS office with Glass on? Seriously, if you can’t smell an attention getting move here, you need to check your nose…and brain.

  4. Google should throw down by offering to pay any legal fees to represent Glass users harassed by the cops. I’m stunned at how retarded and paranoid everyone is over these glasses.

  5. Andy Madeit says:

    Wow Homeland security doesn’t have the resources to stop 911 but they can take the time to question someone honestly watching a movie while wearing Glass? This is insane! And not to mention the ignorant movie theater clerk who was probably too stupid to even know what Glass was. This is why cutting edge technology doesn’t advance as fast as it could in the USA! And its laughable that they wanted to know the supply chain for pirated movies, like its a drug network from Mexican cartels. Just insane!

    • likearabbit says:

      Homeland Security “didn’t have the resources to stop 911″ because they weren’t formed until 2002, specifically they were formed in response to those very attacks. Not sure I’d call a movie theater clerk stupid for not knowing what Glass (a niche product still far from being available to the mass public) was if you don’t understand that fact…

      I do agree thought that the authorities reacted rather harshly in this instance though. Clearly checking the recorded files acted as more than enough proof and could have been provided within the first few minutes. Granted, it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t know how to access this info.

      There will certainly be many more instances such as this, which will surely lead to them being banned from movie theaters, driving, fitting rooms, court rooms, etc.