16 February, 2009

Photographers Protest at Scotland Yard

Wow, there was a protest outside Scotland Yard this morning (started at 11am) regarding photographer's rights (or increasing lack of them), specifically to noisily object to the horrifying new legislation (coming into force today) that states that taking a picture of "a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" of a member of Her Majesties Forces can result in the evil perpetrator spending the next ten years in prison (courtesy of the Counter Terrorism Act of 2008)...

From what I have heard the protest was going to take the form of lots of members of the NUJ (and friends) going along and taking as many pictures as possible of as many police officers (yes, police officers count as Her Majesties Forces) as possible (which is quite amusing), but the underlying message here is a serious one - as we already know some tiny minority elements of said "forces" are happy to curtail photographers (legitimate and "in the public interest") activities by loosely interpreting section 44 of the Terrorism Act of 2000 into a justification to stop individuals taking pictures in public locations, or worse demand they delete shots they have already exposed (an abuse of power and quite wrong)...this development is only going to make things worse, now there are hefty prison sentences involved it moves things to a completely different and rather more serious level...

It all seems far too Orwellian for my liking...I just wish I had heard about this before it happened, perhaps I could have helped to spread the word (I mean, I was never going to take a day off work to actually go along, but I would have liked to have helped out a little bit)...



Update update (oh dear) - "The Home Office added that anyone accused under the act could defend themselves by proving they had "a reasonable excuse" for taking the picture...

Update update update (Well done Chairman of the Met) - "As things stand, there is a real risk of photographers being hampered in carrying out their legitimate work and of police officers facing opprobrium for carrying out what they genuinely, if mistakenly, believe are duties imposed on them by the law".

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

A reasonable excuse for taking a photograph? What a bunch of twats!

¨°º©[ Fink ]©º°¨ said...

Hrm...well, yes, a good point well made perhaps - "Urm, sorry Mi'Lud, something interesting was happening?"...would that cut it? :S