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Photographers as Terrorists

Photographers are Now Terrorists in the U.K.:

The laws introduced today allow for the arrest and imprisonment of anyone who takes pictures of police officers that are likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

What is wrong with the people in the U.K. that they'd even let this law be passed?

And though I'd like to think that U.S. citizens wouldn't stand for this type of stupidity, I'm probably - and incredibly unfortunately - wrong about that.

WTF, UK? (Seriously - anyone in the U.K. care to shed some light on this for me?)

8 Responses to "Photographers as Terrorists"

  1. Yeah, this is crazy.

  2. Need no stinking laws

    Well, the transport authorities had to back down after protest. But still, there is a war on photographers in the US too.

    That's the old rule, make a connection between something you try to ban and child porn or terrorism. You might get the law passed.

    1. Tor said on February 18, 2009:

      Well, the transport authorities had to back down after protest. But still, there is a war on photographers in the US too.

      Yeah, that's not really the same at all. That's a nutjob police officer or two trying to enforce laws that don't exist. It's an example of a law enforcer over-stepping his bounds, not a lawmaker doing so.

      There's no war here. Some skirmishes, no doubt, but "war" is a stretch. Posts like this are part of the skirmishes.

  3. Probably for the same reasons you guys let the Patriot act in?

    Ignorance, apathy and kneejerkiness…

  4. The headline is misleading - it's not pictures of police officers that are banned, it's that police have the right to seize (but not destroy) pcitures taken in areas *where photography is already banned*, such as - I imagine - around an RAF base or similar.

    From a section 2.8 of a PDF on the national Police website:

    “The Terrorism Act 2000 does not prohibit people from taking photographs or digital images in an area where an authority under section 44 is in place. Officers should not prevent people taking photographs unless they are in an area where photography is prevented by other legislation. If officers reasonably suspect that photographs are being taken as part of hostile terrorist reconnaissance, a search under section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 or an arrest should be considered. Film and memory cards may be seized as part of the search, but officers do not have a legal power to delete images or destroy film."

    Also, the people of the UK didn't pass this law, a hundred or so democratically elected members of Parliament passed it, supposedly on the peoples' behalf. I'm not sure how this is different from any other government?

    1. Paul Donovan said on February 19, 2009:

      Also, the people of the UK didn't pass this law, a hundred or so democratically elected members of Parliament passed it, supposedly on the peoples' behalf.

      I said that they let the law be passed, not that they passed the law themselves.

    2. Erik J. Barzeski said on February 19, 2009:

      I said that they let the law be passed, not that they passed the law themselves.

      Erik, we do not have a direct democracy in the UK.

    3. Benjamin said on February 19, 2009:

      Erik, we do not have a direct democracy in the UK.

      Does that small change prevent the people from protesting, writing letters, and calling in to news shows? Does it prevent the U.K.'s talking heads from railing against this type of thing on TV, in newspapers, and on websites?

      That's what I mean by "let." Was much done outside of the rantings by a few photographers? Or was a large effort made to let your government know how much the law stinks only to have it go unheeded?


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