Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Some photographers are terrorists...

Some photographers are terrorists... apparently.

Campaigns like this from the authorities make me want to puke. Like the US color-coded "alert" levels after 9/11, they do nothing except foster fresh paranoia.

A response.

Related: BBC show The Power of Nightmares.


Hangar said...

Is "seeming odd" soon to be a criminal offence? Uh oh!

What about wandering around with a GPS and a notepad? I admit I did take a break from mapping this area:

OpenStreetMap High Wycombe

while the police had Horns Lane closed to search the surrounding woods following the "liquid bomb" scare. Reminds me, must get round to finishing off the roads on the common.

Bert said...

Scenario 1: An amateur photographer, fascinated by some finely crafted cobweb sets up his camera on a tripod and patiently records the progress of Charlotte's cousin, as she webs around the gently heat dispensing traffic camera.

Scenario 2: In a seemingly very romantic scene, the terrorist waltzes around an accomplice posing as his girlfriend while taking snapshots of her, revealing every angle of the train station in the process.

Now for the trick question: which photographer is the most likely to be reported to the authorities?

Final Identity said...

If you can get sufficient details to ruin everyone's day by taking pictures of your girlfriend there's already a problem with security, problems which likely aren't going to be solved by arresting a few random nature photographers.

And what are we supposed to do on "high alert" days anyway? Not go to work? Wear rubber-soled shoes? Call home more often? Or, as Bill Maher famously puts it, "Oh, alert is Orange today. Umm. What do I do? Take a sweater?"

ttl said...

To understand how this madness came to be, watch the excellent BBC documentary: The Power of Nightmares Part 3: The Shadows in the Cave - by Adam Curtis

This documentary, even though from year 2004, is currently under some heavy digging.

Every American and Brit needs to see it.

eolake said...

Even if a terrorist is dumb enough to be obvious about reconnoissance, what are the odds that the public or even the average constable will be able to tell him from other photographers?

Kenneth said...

I can tell you exactly what will happen: The nature photographer will be nabbed by a SWAT team, his camera smashed, and they will throw the book at him, especially since he's a bit of a loner and has trouble getting character witnesses. Also, he's freaked out by the panic over him, which is interpreted as an obvious sign of guilt.

Meanwhile, a new strain of genetically-engeineered smallpox (unaffected by the vaccine) has killed at least 50% of the country's population. The new disease was eventually traced back to a train station...

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

TTL, thanks for the lead to a great series.

As to the question at hand... welcome to Stasi World.