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Monday, March 23, 2009

It's the Law

I think this works better in B&W than it did in colour (see Saturday)?

I think it looks quite poignant with Dad walking away and the shape of the path with the Rotunda in the background.

Anyway the UK government has introduced the 2008 Counter-Terrorism Act section 76 thereof makes it an offence to to take a photograph of a police office, military personnel or member of the intelligence services—or a photograph which 'may be of use for terrorism.

This is rather vague don't you think? Does this mean we can no longer take a photo of Buckingham Palace because there'll be a soldier in it? A photo of the Horseguards? Well they are soldiers!

Yes I'm sure that isn't the intention but there is a point here.

Vernon Coaker, the minister for policing, crime and security, told the NUJ last year that photography could be limited
on the grounds of national security
situations in which the taking of photographs may cause or lead to public order situations or inflame an already tense situation or raise security considerations
, or
to prevent a breach of the peace

Val Swain, a member of Fitwatch, a collective which photographs police intelligence teams taking pictures of protesters, said:
I took a picture of an officer on my camera phone and he walked over and said, 'you are going to delete that'. We're in a public place, he's in a public role and he knew that. They've been gearing up for it but so far they've stopped short of arresting people. Now they will have the power to do it.

Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the NUJ, said:
Police officers ... believe they have the power to delete images or to take editorial decisions about what can and can't be photographed. The right to take photos in a public place is a precious freedom. It is what enables the press to show the wider world what is going on.

I've no idea what that all this means but I expect that the Police will use it as they see fit.

As much as we have to protect ourselves from terrorists I don't believe that curbing our civil liberties still further is the way to do it.

If you object to this law and are a British Citizen then this petition may interest you.

For my part I've emailed my MP and told him that alas I won't be voting for him next year. 1) he's a government minister and 2) he has a 92 majority.

I regret this because I think he is a decent consitituency MP but I think I've had enough of being "protected" by New Labour.


Tricia said...

P - Firstly, the B&W works really well

Secondly!!Oh for goodness sake whatever next!

When I was in the RN Reserve (several decades ago), I was “advised” (on going on a holiday trip to what was then Yugoslavia), not to take any pictures of (their) government buildings, “sensitive” areas etc. No-one could define “sensitive” then, any more than the ambiguity that obviously exists now!

Sounds as though this is going to make solicitors and lawyers a bundle of money in the courts if, for no other reason, to set a precedent to establish definition of anything that could suggest the picture was taken for reasons of terrorism.

I'd add that words fail me – except that they so obviously haven't! And thanks for the link to the petition.

Anonymous said...

That was my favorite but I liked it better in color. The path, the building fuzzy color, the shadow, the whispy branches. If you love black and white now, try to overexpose and then lay on the contrast/lightness button afterwards.

Pete said...

anony - thats what I did with the two I posted in mucking about. check the earlier versions on the ickworth post. They are overexposed, i think. and then I played with them.

if i'm honest I like both versions.

ta for the feedback

oldcrow61 said...

Re: taking pictures of police, etc. We've been hearing about this over here and friends and ourselves are wondering why the British aren't out in the streets protesting this. It's good to hear that there is a petition on the go.

I like this picture. It's wonderful when enlarged.

leazwell said...

I like the picture especially in B/W. If reshot your father and the dome would be less centered. Interesting movement, yes.

digibirder said...

I've signed the petition. It's all getting rather silly now with these new laws, and it was bad enough before.

diddums said...

I'm worried about such laws too... makes me want to not take my camera out and about, and that would be a sad thing. :-(