PetaPixel

How Photographers’ Rights Have Eroded Since September 11th

Here’s a startling video on how 9/11 turned using a camera in public into a “suspicious activity”:

After 9/11, the government began encouraging local police, private security and everyday Americans to report so-called “suspicious activity” that may indicate a security threat. Taking photos of landmarks, walking “nervously” and writing in a notebook are all activities that have led to people being stopped and questioned.

A disconcerting fact from the video: more than 15,000 “suspicious activity” reports are currently being stored — perhaps indefinitely — in a national law enforcement database.


 
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  • http://twitter.com/therealmattymoo Matty

    People need to stop living in so much fear. For goodness sakes, someone is just taking a picture of the grand canyon. You dont need to pin him down and lock him. 

  • http://twitter.com/Mch1978 Mike

    Instead of designated photography as “suspicious activity”  the government should have deport all muslims out of USA and wipeout countries in the middle east with nukes, but the later would never happen because of civil rights and human rights activists. So photographers should blame those activists as well.

  • fd

    so this is the democracy and freedom that america advocates… 

  • fd

    so this is the democracy and freedom that america advocates… 

  • http://www.ddw.ca DDW Calgary Web Designer

    America likes to claim they are the most free country in the world, but that is no longer the case. Americans have allowed their freedoms to erode little by little. It’s nice to see someone standing up for the rights and freedoms. People need to be much more vocal about these issues and let their governments and lawmakers know that they’ll not allow basic rights and freedoms to be trampled on in the name of ‘security’.

  • Johnny

    I was taking some shots of the trees and the sky in Irondequoit NY last week with my wide angle lens (Sigma 10-20mm F3.5), after i finished and started walking home, a Border Patrol Tahoe rolled up on me and the officer started asking me why i was photographing their headquarters (it was about 300 yards from me when i was shooting) i explained i was just shooting the sky, the officers looked at me like i was on crack very awkwardly and then asked what kind of zoom i have on that lens, then i told them the capabilities of the lens and showed them the shots i took, they then said “oh cool, well have a nice night and be safe walking)  I just thought the whole thing was bizarre, the area i was in very populated and well lit.  I guess I’m just a suspicious person for walking around with my camera at night.

  • Johnny

    I was taking some shots of the trees and the sky in Irondequoit NY last week with my wide angle lens (Sigma 10-20mm F3.5), after i finished and started walking home, a Border Patrol Tahoe rolled up on me and the officer started asking me why i was photographing their headquarters (it was about 300 yards from me when i was shooting) i explained i was just shooting the sky, the officers looked at me like i was on crack very awkwardly and then asked what kind of zoom i have on that lens, then i told them the capabilities of the lens and showed them the shots i took, they then said “oh cool, well have a nice night and be safe walking)  I just thought the whole thing was bizarre, the area i was in very populated and well lit.  I guess I’m just a suspicious person for walking around with my camera at night.

  • http://www.ptsuksuncannyworld.com ptsuk

    Security Guard? Sorry no “Security Guard” has the authority to request my information and I’m not legally obligated to give a “security guard” or anything for that matter if I’m in a public place.  I think this video is a bit misleading.  Instead of these “scare tactics” videos you should be pointing people to your own posts on photography rights such as http://www.petapixel.com/2010/08/24/introducing-the-photographers-rights-gray-card-set/ 

  • http://www.ptsuksuncannyworld.com ptsuk

    Security Guard? Sorry no “Security Guard” has the authority to request my information and I’m not legally obligated to give a “security guard” or anything for that matter if I’m in a public place.  I think this video is a bit misleading.  Instead of these “scare tactics” videos you should be pointing people to your own posts on photography rights such as http://www.petapixel.com/2010/08/24/introducing-the-photographers-rights-gray-card-set/ 

  • http://www.ptsuksuncannyworld.com ptsuk

    Security Guard? Sorry no “Security Guard” has the authority to request my information and I’m not legally obligated to give a “security guard” or anything for that matter if I’m in a public place.  I think this video is a bit misleading.  Instead of these “scare tactics” videos you should be pointing people to your own posts on photography rights such as http://www.petapixel.com/2010/08/24/introducing-the-photographers-rights-gray-card-set/ 

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.jinks Lee Jinks

    A law enforcement officer or even security guard asking me questions is not a violation of my freedom, even if he asks to see the photos I’ve taken.  In fact, it makes me feel good that the government is taking the threat seriously enough to check out “suspicious activity.”  Not implementing these measures after knowing that such threats exist would be foolish.  I just don’t understand the hysteria, unless one has something to hide.

  • Travis

    Disgusting

  • Christopher Swearingen

    The “security guard” would have no right, or authority, to confiscate your SD card.  That’s an act of unlawful search and seizure for law enforcement and just plain not an option for security forces.

  • Christopher Swearingen

    The “security guard” would have no right, or authority, to confiscate your SD card.  That’s an act of unlawful search and seizure for law enforcement and just plain not an option for security forces.

  • Alan Dove

    My objection is that even when evaluated strictly from a security standpoint, most of this Orwellian crap is a complete waste of time and money. The 9/11 hijackers took no photos of their targets, or of the airplanes they planned to use as missiles. They didn’t stand around in public updating their notebooks, either. They didn’t, in other words, engage in the “suspicious activities” that all these agencies now seem to be obsessed with. Harassing photographers is window dressing, not real security.

  • Alan Dove

    My objection is that even when evaluated strictly from a security standpoint, most of this Orwellian crap is a complete waste of time and money. The 9/11 hijackers took no photos of their targets, or of the airplanes they planned to use as missiles. They didn’t stand around in public updating their notebooks, either. They didn’t, in other words, engage in the “suspicious activities” that all these agencies now seem to be obsessed with. Harassing photographers is window dressing, not real security.

  • Zachary Fam

    But… Isn’t creating this video also a suspicious activity?? :P

  • Zachary Fam

    But… Isn’t creating this video also a suspicious activity?? :P

  • PepsiAddict

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety…Benjamin Franklin

  • guido

    I got an iPhone application for that, called Photographers Rights. It includes also your rights in USA for any situation. Just in case a police officer stops you, at least you have your rights in your hand…