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Police Stop Journalists From Photographing Metrorail System 601

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-cloud-this-issue-with-facts dept.
schwit1 writes with this excerpt from Reason.com: "Carlos Miller, who runs the Photography Is Not a Crime blog, and veteran photojournalist Stretch Leford decided to test the photography rules in Miami-Dade's metrorail system. Before embarking on their test, they obtained written assurance from Metro Safety and Security Chief Eric Muntan that there's no law against non-commercial photography on the system. The two didn't make it past the first station before they were stopped. Employees of 50 State Security, the private firm contracted to provide the metro's security, stopped the pair first. They then called in local police. The private firm and the police then threatened the two with arrest, demanded their identification (to check them against a terrorist watch list), demanded multiple times that they stop filming, and eventually 'banned' Miller and Ledford from the metro system 'for life' (though it's doubtful they had the authority to do so)."
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Police Stop Journalists From Photographing Metrorail System

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  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by warGod3 (198094) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:00AM (#32798548)
    So a private security firm AND the police have the right to try and sentence people without so much as a trial? NICE! I bet Miami-Dade PD is going to have to throw up some decent PR on this one... Oh wait, it's in the name of anti-terrorism and public safety...
    • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:14AM (#32798634) Homepage Journal

      Unfortunately, the only way to really fix this is to go ahead and get arrested. That's what it's going to take to turn this crap around; a lot of journalists getting arrested and writing passionate articles about the experience while hopefully being exonerated.

      • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ceoyoyo (59147) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:24AM (#32798692)

        I'm a little surprised he didn't. I'm not an American, but if the cops arrest you with no reason don't you then turn around and sue them for false arrest? A few expensive lawsuits would probably convince whoever is in charge to train their police officers a little better.

        • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by blackchiney (556583) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:29AM (#32798748)
          They would try and get you with resisting arrest. So the entire pretense for arresting you is resisting arrest. Doesn't matter what the resistance is; vocal, thought, physical.

          There are other crazy laws on the books like this, like being drunk...in public.
          • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Joce640k (829181) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:37AM (#32798784) Homepage

            They would try and get you with resisting arrest. So the entire pretense for arresting you is resisting arrest. Doesn't matter what the resistance is; vocal, thought, physical..

            Just ask politely if you're under arrest. If not, carry right on doing whatever it is you were doing. .

            There are other crazy laws on the books like this, like being drunk...in public.

            Um, yes, but there's written laws for that. So far there's no law against photography and a cop really ought to know that.

            • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by causality (777677) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:11AM (#32799062)

              Just ask politely if you're under arrest. If not, carry right on doing whatever it is you were doing. .

              IANAL. Having said that ... Be careful about that. You can be detained without actually being under arrest. An example is when you are pulled over for a traffic ticket. You are not free to leave until the officer is done with you, yet you are usually not actually arrested. Yet if you tried to leave while still being detained, you're guaranteed to get arrested.

            • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

              by stephanruby (542433) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:51AM (#32799394)

              Just ask politely if you're under arrest.

              You should ask politely if you are free to go. It's a better question to ask. It assumes goodwill. It assumes a positive outcome. And it doesn't give him any idea about arresting you, because for all you know, the cop does not know about the body in your trunk yet, he was only interested in helping you push your car out of the ditch.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by fractoid (1076465)
            This is starting to sound eerily reminiscent of Heinlein's assertion that "in the end, all forms of death can be attributed to heart failure." Well, that, and The Great Escape's "shot while escaping".
          • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by causality (777677) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:08AM (#32799050)

            They would try and get you with resisting arrest. So the entire pretense for arresting you is resisting arrest. Doesn't matter what the resistance is; vocal, thought, physical.

            Worse: if a cop uses physical force against you, like mace, a taser, all the way up to a baton or a gun, and then does not charge you with resisting arrest, that cop is effectively admitting that he used force for no reason. That's aka excessive force or police brutality. There's not a cop on Earth who wants to admit he unnecessarily used force, as it would open up his department to liability and effectively end his career.

            It's unfortunate that you generally cannot sue the officer personally. They have some sort of sovereign immunity as they are noncivilian government agents conducting government business. You can sue the department or the city/locality/state that runs the department but not the officer himself. Most of the time the very worst thing that can happen to the cop himself is that he loses his job, though it's more typical for him to receive a free paid vacation for misconduct (paid suspension).

            The irony is that cops seem honestly puzzled about why so many people don't like them.

            • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

              by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:43AM (#32799338) Journal

              Most of the time the very worst thing that can happen to the cop himself is that he loses his job, though it's more typical for him to receive a free paid vacation for misconduct (paid suspension).

              Bah. Everyone knows that the really big cases are solved only after the hero turns in his badge.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Svartalf (2997)

              In truth, they only have qualified immunity with respects to their doing their job. Within the confines of their work and so long as they don't willfully violate the Bill of Rights protections (Typically Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth, as applied by the Fourteenth...) they have a large amount of civil immunity to their conduct. Their organization might have to face the music if they used excessive force within that- keep in mind, though, that's IF they're found doing their jobs like they're supposed to and have

            • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Monday July 05, 2010 @12:09PM (#32800206)

              Oh, dear. Like sexual harassment policies, the policies on the use of physical force are sufficiently vage, confusing, and even contradictory that the officer on the spot can interpret them with tremendous flexibility. There are actually some good reasons for this: a very strict set of guidelines can be used by a "street lawyer" to manipulate the officer into very serious danger, and an officer does need some flexibility to escalate the situation beyond the detainee's ability to threaten the officer or the public.

              The result, however, is sometimes a serious nightmare for reasonable people trying to record or passively demonstrate at a public event, or for very reasonable people who do not understand the rules. Arguing with a policeman is potentially awward: they have to deal with some nasty situations for which a nightstick, or handcuffs, or a taser, is the right response and may be needed in milliseconds.

              And by the way, "paid suspension" hurts them surprisingly. They can't do the "officer on site" details that make up a large piece of a normal policeman's salary, and they can't do overtime. For many police, these are a big chunk of their take-home pay, so it can be a surprisingly harge hit in the pocketbook. Like tips for a waitress, it's factored into their salary negotiations, even if the city isn't paying it. And it doesn't count towards a pension, but it sure helps pay the rent and the bills for families of police.

              Most cops, in my experience, work their tails off at often boring, often confusing, and sometimes very dangerous work. It's unfair to those police to tar them with the brush of those who are jerks or who are confused by the mixed messages from different layers of management (such as this event seems to show).

          • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:56AM (#32799440) Journal

            >>>They would try and get you with resisting arrest

            Then don't resist. If you voluntarily hold out your arms and say, "Here you may cuff me," the police can't claim you resisted can they? You cooperated fully. As for the actual crime of photography, if police said I'm not allowed to take photos my immediate reply would be: "Oh I'm sorry - I didn't know," and whip out a sketchpad instead. That's how reporters produced newspaper pictures in the past.

            If the police then claim "It's illegal to draw the metrotrain," you know they are full of shit. And you would later win the court case (if it went that far). The police would end-up looking like fools and that would please me to no end. It would be like Christmas.

            • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by radtea (464814) on Monday July 05, 2010 @11:58AM (#32800082)

              If you voluntarily hold out your arms and say, "Here you may cuff me," the police can't claim you resisted can they?

              Sure they can. It's called "lying". All humans have the capacity, and the last time I looked cops were still human.

            • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Informative)

              by Faluzeer (583626) on Monday July 05, 2010 @12:08PM (#32800194)

              Hmmm

              That all sounds wonderful, except that you do not have to actually be resisting arrest for you to be charged and convicted with resisting arrest. You merely need the police to state that you were doing so...

              Unless the event is recorded, or there are a substantial number of witnesses to the event willing to back your story, the word of the Police is almost always believed by the courts. One reason so many police officers want it to be illegal to record them, though obviously they claim it is for security or privacy concerns and never for accountability reasons...

            • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

              by causality (777677) on Monday July 05, 2010 @12:12PM (#32800238)

              Then don't resist. If you voluntarily hold out your arms and say, "Here you may cuff me," the police can't claim you resisted can they?

              Be careful how you go about that. If you raise your hands out beyond a certain level, they will call that "flailing" and assume you are moving your hands in preparation for striking the officer. Then you're in for a world of hurt, both physically and legally. It's one of the bullshit tricks they use against people who give them a hard time, like questioning them too much. Right here, in the "land of the free."

              If the police then claim "It's illegal to draw the metrotrain," you know they are full of shit. And you would later win the court case (if it went that far). The police would end-up looking like fools and that would please me to no end. It would be like Christmas.

              An arrest record that might haunt you the rest of your life plus legal expenses is a rather Pyrrhic victory, to be sure.

              If you want to do something about the police having excessive power, becoming a test case has to be one of the worst ways to do it. The best way is to take it up with your local/state legislators. Unlike the federal level, you actually have a chance of finding one who really does want to represent your interests. That, by the way, is one of many reasons why the Founding Fathers wanted most government that citizens experience to come from the local and state levels.

      • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by openfrog (897716) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:26AM (#32798710)

        Spot on! This is exactly the way to deal with this. Test it, get arrested, document the whole process and manage to be professional enough about it so you arise the interest of main media journalists, PBS, BBC, etc. Expose, just like they do here, underlying causes, like top security acknowledging of the rights, and private security and local police involved in arbitrary and erratic behavior.

        The result: big public embarrassment for those involved, instigating fear of the same for like-minded small-time tyrants doing this everywhere.

        This is a job of public education and the two photographers involved here are doing the right, appropriate and efficient thing about it. My hat to them!

        • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by causality (777677) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:19AM (#32799130)

          Spot on! This is exactly the way to deal with this. Test it, get arrested, document the whole process and manage to be professional enough about it so you arise the interest of main media journalists, PBS, BBC, etc. Expose, just like they do here, underlying causes, like top security acknowledging of the rights, and private security and local police involved in arbitrary and erratic behavior.

          The result: big public embarrassment for those involved, instigating fear of the same for like-minded small-time tyrants doing this everywhere.

          This is a job of public education and the two photographers involved here are doing the right, appropriate and efficient thing about it. My hat to them!

          The only bullshit part of it is that the fact you were arrested shows up on any criminal background check. It's the kind of thing that could deny you employment in the future. Sure, you can explain why the arrest happened, and most management types will listen to your explanation and decide "he's an activist troublemaker who might rock the boat, a loose cannon" and throw your application in the trash. Of course it's unjust.

          It's bullshit because a criminal background check should never show arrests. It should show convictions only. To do otherwise is a rejection of "innocent until proven guilty", as anyone can make an accusation. It doesn't mean you actually did anything. Why then should you bear a stigma that has to be explained to all future employers merely because a false accusation was made?

          We like to say we believe in things like justice but we, collectively, don't act like it.

          • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:56AM (#32799442) Homepage Journal

            Spot on! This is exactly the way to deal with this. Test it, get arrested, document the whole process and manage to be professional enough about it so you arise the interest of main media journalists, PBS, BBC, etc. Expose, just like they do here, underlying causes, like top security acknowledging of the rights, and private security and local police involved in arbitrary and erratic behavior.

            The result: big public embarrassment for those involved, instigating fear of the same for like-minded small-time tyrants doing this everywhere.

            This is a job of public education and the two photographers involved here are doing the right, appropriate and efficient thing about it. My hat to them!

            The only bullshit part of it is that the fact you were arrested shows up on any criminal background check. It's the kind of thing that could deny you employment in the future. Sure, you can explain why the arrest happened, and most management types will listen to your explanation and decide "he's an activist troublemaker who might rock the boat, a loose cannon" and throw your application in the trash. Of course it's unjust.

            It's bullshit because a criminal background check should never show arrests. It should show convictions only.

            You can get your record purged of non-conviction arrests after a few months. I'm no law-talking-guy, but if you're ever arrested for bullshit charges that later get thrown out, remember that you can get the arrest record wiped clean.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              Back when I was a county investigator I pulled peoples records on a regular basis. The records showed all arrests and the results of the arrests. After you turn 18 nothing is removed. IANAL, this is just based on my observations of the reports I pulled.
          • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by nedlohs (1335013) on Monday July 05, 2010 @11:13AM (#32799626)

            Having an arrest on your background check (for something like trespassing, resisting arrest, etc as opposed to child abuse, etc, or if it is unspecified) is a bad thing for most people, I'm thinking for a journalist it might be considered a good thing. Assuming you are going for an actual journalism job not as a talking head on fox or msnbc.

      • Re:Hmmm... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:34AM (#32799256)

        Unfortunately, the only way to really fix this is to go ahead and get arrested. That's what it's going to take to turn this crap around; a lot of journalists getting arrested and writing passionate articles about the experience while hopefully being exonerated.

        Yep. The key to this is to behave calmly and rationally (although one might argue that telling the cops to fuck off is the rational thing to do), and to have someone document the incident on video with a hidden camera from a distance, then post that video on Youtube and other places ASAP. A perfectly reasonable response by the photographers, along with the written assurance, the video and a decent lawyer should go a long way towards getting this shit fixed.

        Something similar happend to a good friend of mine in Canada of all places. He was taking pictures of some properties that were for sale to review with his business partner, and the local police pulled him over and general police fuckery ensued, and the harassment continued after he idintified himself and explained his business and what he was doing. He had to call a lawyer.

        Sometime the authorities can be stupid beyond belief. Do the think that there isn't any imagery [google.com] of their precious system? Or perhaps that detailed satellite imagery [google.com] doesn't exist with convient, detailed maps of all potential routes of escape and schedules even? Holy shit, look at that! [google.com] Better go arrest Google.

        Bunch of fucking retards.

    • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by thijsh (910751) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:16AM (#32798642) Journal
      Yeah, you just can't let any terrorist photograph public places... Before you know it he might even snap a picture with YOUR KID! Won't somebody please think of the children!!!

      Everyone knows that real (non-mobile phone) camera's are only used by terrorists and pedophiles, duhhh.
    • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Culture20 (968837) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:50AM (#32798900)

      So a private security firm AND the police have the right to try and sentence people without so much as a trial? NICE! I bet Miami-Dade PD is going to have to throw up some decent PR on this one... Oh wait, it's in the name of anti-terrorism and public safety...

      No, the police have the power to arrest someone without so much as a trial. It's the DA's job to tell the police "FTW!? Let them go! They didn't do anything illegal. Get a lawyer, they're going to sue you for false arrest."

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:12AM (#32798624)

    The free world isn't so free anymore... ... Because we've all been stupid enough to demand 100% safety and security from our nations (I'm European myself). Problem however is that terrorists are the perfect guerilla fighters. They are just a member of the general public, until they strike. So, the only way to work on this increased safety and security is to treat the entire population of the world as a suspect.

    I'm not surprised that the world is turning out the way it is... And, there is no way that we can blame anyone but ourselves for it.

    Hardly ever have I encountered anyone arguing that we could do with less security. Nobody says that it's not worth the money... But, actually, we can... Which is why I think we've all been stupid. On the other hand, demanding for less security practically brands you as a terrorist, so asking for it is not exactly smart either :-)

    • by zippthorne (748122) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:21AM (#32798680) Journal

      It's definitely not worth the money. For one thing, 9/11 changed the rules of plane hijackings: no longer can you expect that the terrorists will just land and ransom you if you just keep your head down. It was over on the same freakin' day, before the fourth plane ever reached its target.

      It's always about costs vs. benefits [townhall.com], and it's about time we did some economic analysis of our security measures on top of the general effectiveness analysis we're also not doing enough of. Especially since all wars are economic: it doesn't matter what resource you cause your enemy to drain; if you can do it disproportionately, you can eventually win.

      • by Jason Levine (196982) on Monday July 05, 2010 @12:01PM (#32800108)

        While I agree, a real economic analysis won't be done. If any serious politician proposes this, his opponents will allege that he is:

        1) Soft on terrorism. After all, he wants to "weaken" our security. Why does he love the terrorists and hate America?

        2) Trying to place a dollar amount on human life. After all, the security saves lives so how can he say that X lives are only worth Y dollars? Is he an inhuman monster?

        Yes, both arguments are completely baseless. Someone can love America, think human life can't have a dollar value affixed to it and still want to cut security measures that he sees as ineffective. However, those two above arguments will make for better political sound bites and any politician finding himself in this situation will have to fight for his political life. Therefore, politicians will just go with the flow and, at most, just tweak things as little as possible.

    • by trout007 (975317) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:28AM (#32798734)
      I've been arguing for years that we can do with less security. Go back to 9/11 and what was the real cause that they were able to pull off the attack? It was the FAA position that we should cooperate with hijackers. Once the people on the 4th plane learned what was going to happen they tried to take the plane back. I'm sure the whole time on those planes the fight attendants were telling everyone to stay seated and be calm and it would be over soon like they were trained to do. So to prevent this in the future you don't need the TSA and flight marshal's and no fly lists. All you needed was a change in attitude that passengers no longer will comply with hijackers. Done. Just let the regular airport security do their job of keeping guns off the plane.Reinforcing the cockpit door wasn't a bad move either. But besides that nothing more needed to be done. Notice all of the near misses prevented by passengers since then. What is great too is that passengers are allowed to profile. While the TSA is frisking Mexican Abuelas every passenger is keeping their eye on Ahkmed. Now Ahkmed may be a fine upstanding man but passengers will watch him the whole flight and if he does something out of the ordinary will do something about it for self preservation.
    • by OzPeter (195038) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:41AM (#32798832)

      The free world isn't so free anymore... ...

      The irony of this is that this occurs in a country that professes itself to be the "land of the free and the home of the brave", and its citizens seems to get a little angry when people suggest that it isn't in either case

    • by silentcoder (1241496) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:33AM (#32799248) Homepage

      It's funny how we keep ignoring the people who actually KNOW about this stuff.
      Bruce Schneier would call your entire post factually incorrect, this is roughly a summary of his blogposts over the past few years:

      The risk of dying in a terrorist attack is far, far lower than the risk of dying from one too many cheeseburgers. Heck you have a much higher risk of breaking your neck from slipping in the shower !
      But we don't DEMAND slip-free mats in every shower by law do we ?

      The reality is that terrorism is in fact an incredibly rare and unlikely event even at the worst of times an ANY money spent on preventative measures is a guaranteed waste anyway. Terrorists don't do movie plot threats. Secure against the obvious and crucial things - but don't do anything beyond that because your predictions are guaranteed to be wrong and all those excessive measures actually make you LESS safe as they encourage people not to care and to skip steps.

      What CAN we do to reduce the risk ? Only this: effective after-the-fact law enforcement with open trials and proper punishment... same thing as for any other crime. Effectively catching the perpetrators, bringing them to justice (with fair trials) and then punishing them is a very good deterrent - just as much so for terrorism, and the only one that has any chance of working.

      Banning me from taking a bottled water on an airplane does not make anybody any safer at all.

      We got the fear, we got the control - and the sad thing is, we didn't even GET the security for it, we got a farce.

      Benjamin Franklin had this right: a nation that would exchange essential liberty for a little temporary safety will lose both, and deserve neither.

      Well - now we have neither.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:17AM (#32798654) Homepage
    Don't they understand that just because there's no law against it doesn't mean that you're allowed to do it? That's exactly the kind of mistake that The Terrorists might make if they came to the Land of the Free and thought that you were allowed to actually exercise said Freedoms. See? That's why their behavior was suspicious.
  • by sizzzzlerz (714878) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:18AM (#32798658)

    The train gestapo must prevent passengers from writing down the names of the stops as well. If the terrorists ever get hold of such a list, they've won.

  • This isn't over (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MobyDisk (75490) * on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:19AM (#32798672) Homepage

    This is far from over.

    I'm glad to see that part of the article. They even presented to the security guards the very letter that granted the photographers permission, and they were still stopped. The next step is to follow-up on that letter and ask why their guards aren't following their own policies. This was a great experiment: there was no fighting, no harassing the security guards, etc. I really look forward to seeing the result. There is a part of me that hopes hundreds of photographers start going there to try and take photographs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BigSlowTarget (325940)

      Camera flashmob - now that would be something to see.

      Why not? Everyone has camera/phones now.

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:25AM (#32798708)
    When officers can enforce their will, irrespective of it's legality. Extra points are given for not punishing said officers after the fact and even more for banning or "disappearing" any reporting of the offence either outright or under the veil of "security interests"..

    So far most democracies are somewhere between steps #1 and #2 most of the time. although they make more and more frequent excursions past step #2 and are always trying for their ultimate step #3 (it makes their lives so much easier).

    • by SharpFang (651121) on Monday July 05, 2010 @11:05AM (#32799536) Homepage Journal

      Oh, not quite! This is perfectly legal!

      You must follow orders of the officer if special circumstances occur.
      Refusing to follow orders of the officer (in -any- circumstances) creates said special circumstances.

      Catch 22 we can make up laws on the spot.

      Note there is no restriction on requirement of the orders being physically possible, and the police is entitled to use force upon failure to perform to orders.

      Catch 22 we can beat you if we like.

      You are free to refuse identification unless you create reasonable suspicion. By the act of refusing identification you create reasonable suspicion. You lose most of your rights the moment you try to assert them in similar way.

      Catch 22 we have a way around those pesky citizens rights.

      The definition of police state is not when the police can do illegal things and get away with them. That is just plain anarchy, a broken system out of control.

      The police state is when whatever the police does is legal, no matter what they do, and any action (or inaction) you take can be declared illegal (and punished accordingly), at will.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jason Levine (196982)

      To be fair, I believe these were merely security guards. Does this mean we're living in a "Security Guard State"? Sheesh.... we can't even form a Police State without mucking it up and outsourcing!

  • Isn't that how it worked in this case? They revealed a camera, and all of the sudden they were terrorized by ignorant, arrogant, bullies pretending to "serve and protect" the public welfare of our citizens. I think its quite clear these cops are acting just like domestic terrorists - and paid for with our tax dollars! Who is in charge of our country anyway? Citizens or government bankrolled thugs without a clue?

  • by ((hristopher _-*-_-* (956823) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:40AM (#32798812) Journal

    Wake up lemmings.

    It's normal that government has a public friendly official policy line, yet in reality has a completely different mentality.

    I'm impressed with the response time. And I hope you Brits never have to go through the experience of terrorism again in your lifetime.

  • by dingen (958134) on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:40AM (#32798820)
    Here in the Netherlands, public transport isn't public at all. Trains, busses, subways etc. are run by private companies. Its up to them to decide what they allow on their terrain and I know for a fact that making photographes isn't something they allow. Not because of terrorist threats by the way, but to protect the privacy of travellers using their service.
  • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel.hedblom @ g m ail.com> on Monday July 05, 2010 @09:47AM (#32798880) Homepage Journal

    This is just another example of how the western world has shown just how effective terrorism is. Especially if your goal is to make your enemy into a police state and loose every human right they once had.

    Free travel, the right to privacy, free speech, innocent until proven guilty all of them are on the way out. It wont happen over night but we are going there much faster than i thought people would allow.

    This was the very goal of the 9/11 attacks and we have taken the bait, hook, line and sinker.

    Biggest winner are China and other suppressing states that nowadays seem pretty innocent. Its very hard for other countries to demonize them when they in many regards are just as bad, compared to China they are just a lighter shade of gray.

    In essense its like a criminal complaining when someone steals something from them.

  • by houghi (78078) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:09AM (#32799054)

    it could have been funny like this show in Australia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McB9tsabPn0 [youtube.com]

  • Power corrupts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:21AM (#32799150)

    ... and the police attracts the sort of people who need to validate themselves by intimidating other people. Private security and bouncers are the same kind of people, apart from the fact that they're too shit to qualify to join the police. These people are just the same kind of pissants who would steal lunch money and give wedgies in the locker room at school. Losers who are only winners in their own minds.

    You should be feeling sorry for these kinds of people. Cop/mallcop big-man-small-dick syndrome should be classified as a disease, and its sufferers should be pitied rather than be despised.

    That said, as an avid photographer myself, I'd like to see a bit of clarity on what my rights and obligation are when I'm out taking pictures; lest I run into an officious pindick looking to ruin my day.

  • by corsec67 (627446) on Monday July 05, 2010 @10:26AM (#32799192) Homepage Journal

    In Japan, I have traveled to every station on the Nagoya Subway, taking pictures. (3rd or 4th largest city in Japan, about 80 stations.)

    I stood out, being a giant white guy, carrying what is to American police an "Evil, Terrorist-style" DSLR, with a 10-20mm lens on it.

    Not a single security guard or police officer even tried to talk to me. (Actually, the only time in Japan security guards have talked to me is when I was taking pictures in a mall that had "No Photography" signs posted at all entrances)

    Why are DSLRs so "Evil", when small point and shoots are just fine? Sure the picture quality might be better, but you don't need Ansel Adams quality to plan something.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 05, 2010 @11:02AM (#32799508)

    On the "personal photography" (okay) vs. "commercial or terrorist photography" (not okay) question -- A couple years back I was taking pictures of an interesting fountain in the corridors linking a Chicago convention center with a Metra station when a cop came up and told me I couldn't take photographs of the interior of the building because "since 9/11" etc etc. I never did check to see if the city was trying to enforce such a rule, but I doubted it was her bright idea -- she was fairly apologetic about it, said she could see that I was just taking photos of the fountain, but had to ask me to stop anyway.

    While we were talking, she mentioned that it would have been okay if I had been taking pictures with my girlfriend (who was standing next to me while this was going on) in them, instead of specifically photographing the architecture. I suppose that could have been this particular officer's personal guiding philosophy, but it sounded like an institutionalized rule. Apparently if you're taking posed, touristy "look at us in [place]" pictures you're not doing it for terrorist plotting purposes, and it seems fairly obvious that you're not planning to sell the photos.

    tl;dr: To placate security, professional photographers should always drag along an assistant whose job is to stand around close to the shot and grin inanely at the camera.

  • Flash crowd fun (Score:3, Interesting)

    by John Jorsett (171560) on Monday July 05, 2010 @12:24PM (#32800348)

    This seems like a perfect venue for a flash crowd. Imagine hundreds of people showing up at once, snapping pictures of everything in sight. Just to liven things up, some percentage of them could just use their cell phones to text, which if held in the right position would look like they're taking pictures.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long

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