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May 23, 2005
Public Photography Becoming "Illegal"
Pull out your camera on a sidewalk today in America and you're likely to run afoul of self-appointed enforcers. So reports Susan Llewelyn Leach for The Christian Science Monitor. According to Leach, the National Press Photographers Association has been informally tracking incidents in which security officials, police officers, and others have taken an overbroad meaning of what constitutes "suspicious activity."
Traditional law still permits photojournalists the same rights as the general public - stand in a public place and you can take a picture of anything the naked eye can see. However, newer laws such as the Patriot Act, and agency regulations such as the TSA's regs, may give conflicting or confusing interpretations. With the proliferation of cameras in cellphones and PDAs, it seems likely that we're far from resolving the conflicting interests of artists, journalists, the general public, those who want privacy, and those who want more security.
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