25 January 2010

Photography Not Terrorism ~ In Chicago Either!

Go figure! The Chicago Transit Authority reportedly has begun posting these ludicrous signs on their trains and stations. The signs are idiotic for several reasons. First, what is excessive? Second, the instruction to be suspicious contradicts the CTA's own policy which states:

"The general public is permitted to use hand-held cameras to take photographs, capture digital images, and videotape within public areas of CTA stations and transit vehicles for personal, non-commercial use.

Large cameras, photo or video equipment, or ancillary equipment such as lighting, tripods, cables, etc. are prohibited (except in instances where commercial and professional photographers enter into contractual agreements with CTA).

All photographers and videographers are prohibited from entering, photographing, or videotaping non-public areas of the CTA’s transit system.

All photographers and videographers are prohibited from impeding customer traffic flow, obstructing transit operations, interfering with customers, blocking doors or stairs, and affecting the safety of CTA, its employees, or customers. All photographers and videographers must fully and immediately comply with any requests, directions, or instructions of CTA personnel related to safety concerns."

Finally, as I've noted multiple times before, there is no particular reason to think photographers (as opposed to, say, drivers of small cargo vans) are terrorists. That closes the 'loophole' that some bureaucrat might exploit by suggesting that photography per se is a safety concern. Unfortunately, this is simply part of a broader pattern of muddled thinking.

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