You're speaking pretty much what is fact today. Been several years since I did same but can tell you even in video footage and street or crowd shots, there are limits to how long people can appear in frame without getting a release. What some posters don't seem to be able to draw a connection to is the difference between doing dd and maybe getting some answers for themselves and others and crossing the line and using non-public information or non-publically disclosed information.
For example ... the president's picture is out in the public domain ... I can dd and obtain his home address phone number etc. but if I took the next step and dailed him up at home and said hey ... can you tell me when your next flight from the whitehouse is there be a knock on the door soon. The fact that it was mentioned tells me that someone took that next step and crossed the line from research to practical application. Because if you connected the dots and got a phone number doesn't make it okay then to call it and start asking questions. There will probably be those that say well how do you know that's what happened? Well, if all people did was dd and collect information to be better informed how would Scott and the people in the pictures even know it was being done?