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Don’t Do That (But We Won’t Tell What “That” Is)

Another example of a government restricting the rights of it’s citizens in the name of keeping them safe.

In Britain, cops have the power to search you if you take a picture of a “sensitive” area, but they won’t tell you which areas are “sensitive,” because they’re so “sensitive.”

The British Journal of Photography is trying to use the UK Freedom of Information Act to find out which places in Britain have such precious photons that people who collect them without authorization can have their civil rights violated, but so far they’ve been unsuccessful.

Unfortunately, our own security agencies pull the same kind of Catch-22 on photographers in this country.

There are plenty of places around DC where you’ll be harassed for taking pictures but, in many cases, don’t expect to know in advance where they are.

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1 Comment

  1. Last year I was “apprehended” taking a picure of the Italian Embassy on Mass. Av. in DC by a uniformed cop or Secret Service foot soldier (never got his full ID), probably assigned to watch Hillary’s house up the block running off Mass. Av. beside the Embassy. When I asked what right he claimed to ask for my identity, things got really threatening and nasty. I eventually decided I was too lazy to make a (literal) federal case out of this clearly illegal cop behavior. Now what’s “sensitive” about the Italian Embassy? Zero. If for some weird reason I wanted to compile a photographic dossier on the Embassy, would I do it with a small camera from the sidewalk? Hardly. There are legitimae interests being protected by some of this police state behavior. There are also a lot of thuglike police officers (let’s face it, the job attracts some authoritarian personalities) who use 9/11 as an excuse to indulge their predilections in that direction.

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