Author Topic: War on Photography  (Read 6203 times)

Psidefect

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,633
  • Karma: +161/-155
    • Bizarre Confessions
War on Photography
« on: September 26, 2010, 03:49:53 AM »
Man's 'nerdy' hobby lands him in hot water after taking photos of Kentwood water tower

"You're never certain what the intention is," Root said. "I'm sure you'd find the Coast Guard very excited if somebody (was photographing) the Mackinac Bridge.

Um, ya mean like Google?

You are a bully and a moron, Richard Root. 

I think the worst thing about this is that none of these tactics would have done a damn thing if Heil actually had been a terrorist. Were they expecting the terrorists to throw their hands up, say 'damn, you got me' and hand over proper identification?
“You've got a lot to learn about screwing up your life, pal.” - mrcookieface
“How sad for a marriage to fail because it's not compatible with Windows 31!  But it'll happen.” - random axe
“Not my problem if they don't know how to make magic smoke out of it.” - Stormy
“Dude. That will get you out of TWO family holidaycausts.” - Stoatse
"It is my role in this drama to misunderstand things at top volume." - Hmof

mo

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,396
  • Karma: +133/-55
    • x
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2010, 07:55:55 AM »
I think they're hiding weapons of mass destruction in that water tower.
It's symbolic of our struggle against reality.

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,091
  • Karma: +92/-19
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2010, 09:47:09 AM »
Many many years ago, some of my relatives were at the beach in CT and took some Super 8 home movie footage.  When they got it back from the developer, they were surprised to find a card stating that some footage had been removed because apparently it showed a US submarine from Groton.  Naturally I heard this story later when my grandmother had her home movies transferred to VHS -- there's still a blank spot maybe thirty seconds long.

How the government stayed on top of that, I don't know.  Must've been a lot of trouble.  And probably a submarine of secret design wasn't supposed to be from Rocky Neck -- that one day alone, hundreds of people could've accidentally photographed it.  But that's not alarming censorship.  The feds didn't show up at my grandparents' house to hassle them.  There was just a brief apologetic card and some blank film.  And it was a freaking submarine.

Getting paranoid about people taking photographs of generic public structures is deeply, deeply stupid.  Especially since much better photographs of them are commonly available.  And the people poisoning the water supply in Kalamazoo aren't terrorists -- someone may have cut the fence, but the oil company just dumped a ton of oil into the river there . . . and waited way too long to tell anyone.

Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

  • I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,486
  • Karma: +200/-69
  • His BRAIN is gone
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2010, 11:25:13 AM »
And the people poisoning the water supply in Kalamazoo aren't terrorists --

Oh, really?

someone may have cut the fence, but the oil company just dumped a ton of oil into the river there . . . and waited way too long to tell anyone.

Sounds like terrorism to me. I'd love nothing more than to round up oil company executives wholesale and have them disappear in Guantanamó.
"Parasitic wasps laying eggs in other insects is a better love story than Twilight." - :bitzero:
"Anyhow, it was the best sentient food movie since Killer Tomatoes Eat France." - :flipper:
"lee marvin in drag is no way to spread the gospel, son." - TFJ
"Fortunately, I'm not into that sort of thing.  Not until they get sexier drones." - random axe
"*drags taint* Oh cool, I didn't know you could do that." - mo.d

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,091
  • Karma: +92/-19
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2010, 01:10:06 PM »
:lol: 

Well, I know what you mean, but they're really not terrorists, even if they routinely do a better job of causing damage.  Their goals related to the damage they cause are primarily financial rather than sociopolitical, though, and they try to minimize public outcry, not maximize it.

They certainly pose the greater threat, but the terrorists rarely make campaign contributions.  The real terrorists are bone-numbingly stupid.

Psidefect

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,633
  • Karma: +161/-155
    • Bizarre Confessions
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2010, 02:13:18 PM »
For me this also all ties into the seemingly recent trend of police and other authorities using their power to keep people from recording/photographing them.

I just don't see how an on-duty public servant can possibly be protected from documentation. If my camera and I can see it and you need it to remain secret, you have fucked up, not me.

Which is interesting to me because the whole "if you're not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about privacy" argument is total shit. I think the difference for me is the on-duty public servant part. I haven't fully wrapped my head around it, but the idea that a police officer can't be recorded doing his job is total bullshit to me. If you're serving the public, in public, shouldn't the public be allowed to document it?

Not to mention that I have yet to hear of someone being told to turn off their security cameras that may happen to catch this sort of thing. Total bullshit.

Fuck I hate bullies.
“You've got a lot to learn about screwing up your life, pal.” - mrcookieface
“How sad for a marriage to fail because it's not compatible with Windows 31!  But it'll happen.” - random axe
“Not my problem if they don't know how to make magic smoke out of it.” - Stormy
“Dude. That will get you out of TWO family holidaycausts.” - Stoatse
"It is my role in this drama to misunderstand things at top volume." - Hmof

Psidefect

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,633
  • Karma: +161/-155
    • Bizarre Confessions
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2010, 02:15:39 PM »
I have to admit, I kind of want to be arrested for this.
“You've got a lot to learn about screwing up your life, pal.” - mrcookieface
“How sad for a marriage to fail because it's not compatible with Windows 31!  But it'll happen.” - random axe
“Not my problem if they don't know how to make magic smoke out of it.” - Stormy
“Dude. That will get you out of TWO family holidaycausts.” - Stoatse
"It is my role in this drama to misunderstand things at top volume." - Hmof

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,091
  • Karma: +92/-19
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2010, 02:16:24 PM »
I understand why the cops don't want to be filmed, but filming the police while they're on duty in public should be an especially protected right, not a restricted activity.  Not being able to film the police not only invalidates their public authority but is tantamount to not being allowed to testify to their activities, and it goes against the very heart of US civil rights.

I'm sympathetic to the problems cops have, but no.  No way in hell, not in this country.

mo

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,396
  • Karma: +133/-55
    • x
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2010, 02:36:51 PM »
I read a good article on this several months ago... Daily Kos, I think.

The logic is... well, not logic at all. You cannot videotape an officer even while they are videotaping you. It applies to audio recordings as well, if I remember correctly - it somehow falls under the federal wiretap laws  :eyeroll:

It's symbolic of our struggle against reality.

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,091
  • Karma: +92/-19
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2010, 03:07:42 PM »
Yeah, they sneak the ban in by using laws meant to prevent you from secretly recording conversations, especially phone conversations.  It's clearly a misapplication of the law.

Frankly, it really should be legal to record a phone conversation you have with the police, too.

Psidefect

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,633
  • Karma: +161/-155
    • Bizarre Confessions
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2010, 03:18:17 PM »
Not being able to film the police not only invalidates their public authority but...

Would you mind expanding on that?

I agree, but I don't think I could articulate why exactly.

(:galm: can't believe I asked Axe to expand on something)
“You've got a lot to learn about screwing up your life, pal.” - mrcookieface
“How sad for a marriage to fail because it's not compatible with Windows 31!  But it'll happen.” - random axe
“Not my problem if they don't know how to make magic smoke out of it.” - Stormy
“Dude. That will get you out of TWO family holidaycausts.” - Stoatse
"It is my role in this drama to misunderstand things at top volume." - Hmof

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,091
  • Karma: +92/-19
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2010, 04:32:39 PM »
:lol:

This is a free society, right?  The police have special rights, including the ability to deprive citizens of their rights.  Those special police powers are granted by our society, and only conditionally.  If citizens can't monitor the police, then the police are no longer acting as social servants, and they're effectively outside their mandate, and hence criminals.

This society demands the greatest police transparency, in an If You Don't Like It, Move To China kind of way.  We're not a secret police sort of police state.  Even special federal police organizations need stringent oversight from the legislative and judicial branches and pretty severe regulation.  State and local cops, forget it.  They serve the public; they don't rule it.

/not making the Watchmen reference

Psidefect

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,633
  • Karma: +161/-155
    • Bizarre Confessions
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2010, 05:33:30 PM »
 :thumbsup: Thanks!
“You've got a lot to learn about screwing up your life, pal.” - mrcookieface
“How sad for a marriage to fail because it's not compatible with Windows 31!  But it'll happen.” - random axe
“Not my problem if they don't know how to make magic smoke out of it.” - Stormy
“Dude. That will get you out of TWO family holidaycausts.” - Stoatse
"It is my role in this drama to misunderstand things at top volume." - Hmof

Tripper

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 942
  • Karma: +84/-21
  • Go ahead, make my millennium
    • Benson-Photo
Re: War on Photography
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2010, 08:56:23 PM »
In Georgia it is legal for one party to record a phone conversation, so long as one of the two parties actually ON the phone know it.

And as far as your rights concerning photography, the prime law is called the First Amendment of the US Constitution.  Real laws that actually restrict your right to take a picture or video are extremely rare and mostly involve photography of certain government installations or a blatant invasion of someone's privacy.

http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm - PDF of your rights as a photographer.

The Photographer’s Right

A Downloadable Flyer Explaining Your Rights When Stopped or Confronted for Photography

The Photographer’s Right is a downloadable guide that is loosely based on the Bust Card and the Know Your Rights pamphlet that used to be available on the ACLU website. It may be downloaded and printed out using Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may make copies and carry them in your wallet, pocket, or camera bag to give you quick access to your rights and obligations concerning confrontations over photography. You may distribute the guide to others, provided that such distribution is not done for commercial gain and credit is given to the author.

Download The Photographer’s Right in PDF format



A Stand for Photographer’s Rights

The right to take photographs in the United States is being challenged more than ever. People are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples have included photographing industrial plants, bridges, buildings, trains, and bus stations. For the most part, attempts to restrict photography are based on misguided fears about the supposed dangers that unrestricted photography presents to society.

Ironically, unrestricted photography by private citizens has played an integral role in protecting the freedom, security, and well-being of all Americans. Photography in the United States has an established history of contributing to improvements in civil rights, curbing abusive child labor practices, and providing important information to crime investigators. Photography has not contributed to a decline in public safety or economic vitality in the United States. When people think back on the acts of domestic terrorism that have occurred over the last twenty years, none have depended on or even involved photography. Restrictions on photography would not have prevented any of these acts. Furthermore, the increase in people carrying small digital and cell phone cameras has resulted in the prevention of crimes and the apprehension of criminals.

As the flyer states, there are not very many legal restrictions on what can be photographed when in public view. Most attempts at restricting photography are done by lower-level security and law enforcement officials acting way beyond their authority. Note that neither the Patriot Act nor the Homeland Security Act have any provisions that restrict photography. Similarly, some businesses have a history of abusing the rights of photographers under the guise of protecting their trade secrets. These claims are almost always meritless because entities are required to keep trade secrets from public view if they want to protect them.


Tripper

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 942
  • Karma: +84/-21
  • Go ahead, make my millennium
    • Benson-Photo