Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Banning of Photography in Public Places

There has been quite a bit of fuss recently about the Government's online petitions. I must admit, I wasn't particularly interested in it, until I was sent an email from a photographer I worked with when I ran the children's gallery, urging me (and a trillion other people) to sign a petition to stop proposed restrictions regarding photography in public places.

"There are a number of moves promoting the requirement of 'ID' cards to allow photographers to operate in a public place. It is a fundamental right of a UK citizen to use a camera in a public place, indeed there is no right to privacy when in a public place. These moves have developed from paranoia and only promote suspicion towards genuine people following their hobby or profession."

Who on earth is trying to bring in these restrictions? Is it to protect celebs from the press? Or is it paranoia about terrorists taking photographs to assist in their plans? Either way, its all going a bit 1984 round here.

So I've signed the petition. I don't know how much good it will do - I don't have a huge amount of faith in politicians listening to public's opinion - but it is better to have at least tried to do something. And it might not be the most important issue in the world at the moment, but all of these little erosions of our personal freedoms add up.


M said...

Seems odd. Has some recent incident been cited as prompting the need for that? Usually that type of thing follows some unusual event.

I don't even know how one would enforce something like that. The camera police?

SandDancer said...

I've certainly not read anything and there isn't any further detail other than the paragraph I've quoted. Flash photography is banned on the underground and in museums/theatres etc anyway. The mention of paranoia made me think it might be to do with terrorism (terrorists taking photographs of the layout of target areas?) but I don't think it would prevent anything as maps are readily available.

It does sound unenforceable though, especially since most mobile phones now have cameras on them as well. It would be rather ironic if they needed to install lots of cameras to prevent photography!

Miss Forthright said...

I'm not sure the ID card idea will go through- it's like the poll tax, it'll probably start (if it even gets that far) and then will be gotten rid of due to public backlash.

Cameras: argh our Orwellian government make me so effing cross!