Cory Doctorow over on BoingBoing points to Bruce Schneier’s latest Guardian column where he discusses just how gob-smackingly stupid it is to have security guards and policemen going around attempting to stop people from taking pictures of things in the name of “national security.”
The problem is:
“The 9/11 terrorists didn’t photograph anything. Nor did the London transport bombers, the Madrid subway bombers, or the liquid bombers arrested in 2006. Timothy McVeigh didn’t photograph the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The Unabomber didn’t photograph anything; neither did shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Photographs aren’t being found amongst the papers of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IRA wasn’t known for its photography. Even those manufactured terrorist plots that the US government likes to talk about — the Ft. Dix terrorists, the JFK airport bombers, the Miami 7, the Lackawanna 6 — no photography. ”
In our desire to feel safe we are too often convinced to give up rights and freedoms that end up doing nothing to make us safer and, in fact, open the door for further abuses from within our own government. Convincing people that taking pictures is a crime is a great way to keep people from snapping off pics of things the government doesn’t want you to see.