Friday, 6 June 2008
The War on Photography
Bruce Schneier is a security expert, civil libertarian, and all-around interesting guy. I like his blog ("Schneier on Security"); he has a fresh, conversational writing style and isn't condescending to non-experts. His writings on "security theater" have brought him a lot of media attention since September 11. Lately, he's been writing a lot on what he calls The War on Photography.
This week brings two especially good posts. On Tuesday, he discussed a network news crew that was accosted by the security team at Union Station in Washington DC. The security guard instructed the crew to stop filming — interrupting an interview with an Amtrak spokesman who was explaining that the station has no policy against photography. Left hand, meet right hand. (Video here.)
On Thursday, he wrote a more general essay about the illogical ban on photography in public places. The whole post is worth reading. Here's a taste (links in the original):
Since 9/11, there has been an increasing war on photography. Photographers have been harrassed, questioned, detained, arrested or worse, and declared to be unwelcome. nbsp;We've been repeatedly told to watch out for photographers, especially suspicious ones. Clearly any terrorist is going to first photograph his target, so vigilance is required.