21 August 2009

"I'm A Photographer Not a Terrorist"

In my daily web wandering I came across the web page of a new British outfit called Photographernotaterrorist.org; here is their statement of purpose:
Photography is under attack. Across the country it that seems anyone with a camera is being targeted as a potential terrorist, whether amateur or professional, whether landscape, architectural or street photographer.

Not only is it corrosive of press freedom but creation of the collective visual history of our country is extinguished by anti-terrorist legislation designed to protect the heritage it prevents us recording.

This campaign is for everyone who values visual imagery, not just photographers.

We must work together now to stop this before photography becomes a part of history rather than a way of recording it
I've commented on the increasing restrictions on photographers here before on numerous occasions. Earlier this summer Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made clear that there has been little progress on this front. In an interview with Fox News (who else?) she claimed that Americans have a duty to contact authorities "when they see something unusual, if they see, for example, somebody continually taking photographs of a piece of critical infrastructure that doesn't seem to make any sense.”

Secretary Napolitano seems to be living in a fantasy world where there is some established connection between photography and terrorism. That is not the world we actually inhabit though. Don't you feel safer knowing that the Obama administration is carrying on the paranoid fantasies of their predecessors?

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Blogger Anthony Martinez said...

This very topic was the subject of my own protest project last semester. I, like many in our government, took an oath to uphold the Constitution. Sadly, those serious about upholding such principles are in a dwindling minority. The current administration and Congress, as well as those before it, have well demonstrated such to be the case.

Janet Napolitano's position itself is crafted from the ashes of an increasingly meaningless Bill of Rights. Her assertion that citizens of the United States have some duty to report anything, draws attention to her detachment from reality. Do I feel safer knowing that the Obama administration is carrying on the paranoid fantasies of their predecessors? I feel no different at all, though I expected business as usual to remain the same.

Keeping our rights, all of them, safe from government overreach will be a challenge for the foreseeable future.

21 August, 2009 15:42  

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