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August 12, 2009
Photographer, Not a Terrorist (UK)
Back in June of last year I suggested readers bookmark a link provided by Bruce Schneier that collected several items related to the false claims that anti-photography laws are a useful part of an anti-terrorism strategy.
Today a friend pointed me to a blog entry by Phil Coomes, a picture editor (and photographer in his own right) for the BBC. In this posting Coomes relates several stories of photographers in the UK who have been harrassed or worse for taking pictures of public buildings, of police officers, and so on. It appears that the British photographers and photojournalists have had enough and are forming an organization called, explicitly enough, "I'm a Photographer, Not A Terrorist".
The site invites people to upload their own photos, presumably posed with signs like the ones on the home page. In addition, they provide a "bust card" that people can print out and carry with them. The instructions are specific to the UK and relate to its "Section 44" law that had photographers protesting outside Scotland Yard not too long ago. I would be very interested in seeing examples of similar cards customized for other countries, such as the US and Canada.
(Full disclosure: I'm a hobbyist portrait photographer in the US and though I don't make any money from my photos I'd like not to get arrested for pointing my lens at a policeman somewhere.)
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