Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

PSA: Charge Your Camera Pre-Flight; the TSA Could Take It if It Doesn’t Power On

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Yesterday, the TSA announced that those flying to the US from certain parts of the world may be asked to power on their electronics to make sure they are not hiding explosives as part of new security measures. If the gadget doesn’t turn on, you’ll have to leave it behind and could be subject to additional screening. Read more…

Interview with ‘Radical Camp’ photographer Tina Schula

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Born in Vienna and trained as a filmmaker in England, Tina Schula‘s photography combines cinematic techniques, portraiture, family stories and political history to create staged narratives of complex human drama. In 2009, she received her MFA in Photography from The School of Visual Arts in New York.

She was a finalist at Critical Mass 2013, Photoville 2012, The Print Center 86th International Photography Contest 2011, The Sixth Annual BamArt Silent Auction, Scope Basel 2010 and a winner of the  CCNY Darkroom Residency in 2010. Read more…

Paris Museum Criticized for Photo Exhibit That ‘Glorifies’ Suicide Bombers

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A state-funded museum in Paris is drawing widespread criticism for a new exhibit of photos that show sympathetic portrayals of Palestinian suicide bombers.
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Animated Documentary Explains The UK Terrorism Act and How it Affects Photogs

In response to September 11th and London Bombings, the UK drafted a series of Terrorism Acts, giving their officers certain rights they thought would help fight terrorism. This included a section (58a) added in 2008 that made it illegal to photograph or film a police officer if the footage was likely to be useful to a terrorist. The police’s interpretation of that section has since changed, but not before that “if” caused some newsworthy controversy.

This short animated documentary covers that controversy from the point of view of one of the act’s victims, Gemma Atkinson, who was assaulted by police in 2009 because she was filming them searching her boyfriend. It tells the story of the subsequent legal battle she went through trying to get the act changed and hold the police officers who were unnecessarily rough with her accountable. Read more…

National Counterterrorism Center: Urban Exploration Photos Pose Security Risk

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Urban exploration photography has gotten quite a bit of publicity in recent years, with more and more photographers taking their cameras to off-limits and/or abandoned parts of their city in order to see and capture what most people never get a chance to. While it may be a fun pastime of practitioners and one that leads to beautiful images, not everyone is a fan.

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCC) warns that photographs shot by urban explorers could pose a national security risk by aiding terrorists in their surveillance and planning.
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FBI Shows Up on Man’s Doorstep After He Shoots Photo of Clouds

The next time you’re photographing clouds, make sure those clouds aren’t hovering over a location that’s considered “sensitive”. National Weather Service volunteer Michael Galindo learned this lesson last month after pulling over to the side of the road near Houston to snap a photo of storm clouds brewing in the distance (shown above). Problem was, between Galindo and the clouds sat the Lyondell Refinery.
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LAPD Terror Policy Once Again Identifies Photogs as Potential Terrorists

Bad news for photographers in Southern California: the Los Angeles Police Department issued a notice regarding its official terrorism handling policy earlier this week, and the document still identifies photographers as potential terrorists. The intradepartmental correspondence, sent out by the Chief of Police, warns officers about the following:

Photography. Taking pictures or videos of facilities/buildings, infrastructures or protected sites in a manner that would arouse suspicion in a reasonable person. Examples include taking pictures or videos of ingress/egress, delivery locations, personnel performing security functions (e.g., patrol, badge/vehicle checking), security-related equipment (e.g., perimeter fencing, security cameras), etc.;

Observation/Surveillance. Demonstrating unusual interest in facilities/buildings, infrastructures or protected sites beyond mere casual or professional (e.g., engineers) interest, such that a reasonable person would consider the activity suspicious. Examples include observations through binoculars, taking notes, attempting to measure distances, etc. …

Dennis Romero of L.A. Weekly writes that “the LAPD is now poised to detain and question half the L.A. Weekly staff.”
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“The War on Terrorism Has Somehow Morphed into an Assault on Photography”

The New York Times has published a great interview with Michael H. Osterreicher, the general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association and the editor of the organization’s advocacy blog. In it, NYT Lens Blog co-editor James Estrin asks Osterreicher about photographers’ rights and the trend of people being stopped while shooting public locations.
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Terrorism Prevention Video Asks Public to Report Photographers to Police

One of the common reasons given for being wary of photographers is that terrorists commonly use cameras as part of their information gathering tactics prior to devastating attacks.

The disconcerting video above is a terrorist prevention video that was funded by the Department of Homeland security and uploaded to Houston’s city website back in January 2011. Starting at 1:42, it attempts to convince people that photographers may be potential terrorists, and that the police should be called if one appears to “hang around for no apparent reason.”
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Security Guards in UK Finally Taught that Photographers Not Always Terrorists

It looks like all the negative news stories about photographers’ rights in the UK is finally causing some positive change — private security guards across the nation are being instructed (for the first time) to exercise some common sense when stopping and questioning picture-takers:

Detective Sergeant David Parkes, a counter-terrorism advisor at the Metropolitan Police, has instructed private security staff to consider why a terrorist planning an attack would openly take photos in locations that can be readily viewed on the internet.

‘Why would a terrorist put himself at risk of being caught if he can get [the image] by logging onto Google,’ said DS Parkes […]

[…] Parkes replied that the type of equipment is of ‘no significance’ to the risk a person may be planning a terrorist attack, adding that he believed ‘the bigger the camera, the less likely they are going to do anything [suspicious] with it’.

Now they need to just teach the same thing about how people dress

Photographers Not All Terrorism Plotters, Security Staff Told [Amateur Photographer]


Image credit: The Photographer by jayRaz and Terrorist? by 1336