Photographers And Terrorists

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As the fear mongering campaigns expand, hobbyist photographers are caught in the web of the well-oiled Orwellian machinery.

[A] 49-year-old [man] started by firing off a few shots of the warm-up act on stage. But before the main attraction showed up, Mr Smith was challenged by a police officer who asked if he had a licence for the camera.

After explaining he didn’t need one, he was taken down a side-street for a formal “stop and search”, then asked to delete the photos and ordered not take any more. So he slunk home with his camera.

“People were still taking photos with mobile phones and pocket cameras, so maybe it was because mine looked like a professional camera with a flash on top,” he says.

So let’s see. We have the UK government installing tens of thousands of cameras (particularly in London) that can easily keep track of the average citizen throughout the day. Yet if an ordinary person aims a camera at the wrong time (police brutality, demonstrations) or the wrong thing (government buildings and even normal tourist attractions), a government crackdown becomes necessary.The London Metropolitan police has launched an anti-terrorist campaign aimed at photographers, asking people to report suspicious behavior.

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I love the “we need to know” part.

6:08 am on April 23, 2008
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