Remember though Surveillance is the prerogative of the Police State and Corporations, who hate the idea of a free press and investigative photography that might reveal among other things: Animal Abuse, Unsafe handling of foods (pesticide contamination etc), Police Abuse of citizens, Corporate Maleficence, industrial pollution, the senseless slaughter of fish and sea mammals etc.
Citizens who photograph such things can be prosecuted on a variety of charges.
By Glenn Greenwald
Friday, Aug 19, 2011
Several weeks ago, a New York Times article by Noam Cohen examined the case of Aaron Swartz, the 24-year-old copyright reform advocate who was arrested in July, after allegedly downloading academic articles that had been placed behind a paywall, thus making them available for free online. Swartz is now being prosecuted by the DOJ with obscene over-zealousness. Despite not profiting (or trying to profit) in any way — the motive was making academic discourse available to the world for free — he’s charged with “felony counts including wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer and recklessly damaging a protected computer” and “could face up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.”
The NYT article explored similarities between Swartz and Bradley Manning, another young activist being severely punished for alleged acts of freeing information without any profit to himself; the article quoted me as follows:
For Glenn Greenwald . . . it also makes sense that a young generation would view the Internet in political terms.
“How information is able to be distributed over the Internet, it is the free speech battle of our times,” he said in interview. “It can seem a technical, legalistic movement if you don’t think about it that way.”
He said that point was illustrated by his experience with WikiLeaks — and by how the Internet became a battleground as the site was attacked by hackers and as large companies tried to isolate WikiLeaks. Looking at that experience and the Swartz case, he said, “clearly the government knows that this is the prime battle, the front line for political control.“
Continue reading at: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/08/19/surveillance/index.html
From The Long Beach Post: http://www.lbpost.com/life/greggory/12188
Police Chief Confirms Detaining Photographers Within Departmental Policy
9:45am | Police Chief Jim McDonnell has confirmed that detaining photographers for taking pictures “with no apparent esthetic value” is within Long Beach Police Department policy.
McDonnell spoke for a follow-up story on a June 30 incidentin which Sander Roscoe Wolff, a Long Beach resident and regular contributor to Long Beach Post, was detained by Officer Asif Kahn for taking pictures of a North Long Beach refinery.1
“If an officer sees someone taking pictures of something like a refinery,” says McDonnell, “it is incumbent upon the officer to make contact with the individual.” McDonnell went on to say that whether said contact becomes detainment depends on the circumstances the officer encounters.
McDonnell says that while there is no police training specific to determining whether a photographer’s subject has “apparent esthetic value,” officers make such judgments “based on their overall training and experience” and will generally approach photographers not engaging in “regular tourist behavior.”
This policy apparently falls under the rubric of compiling Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) as outlined in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Order No. 11, a March 2008 statement of the LAPD’s “policy … to make every effort to accurately and appropriately gather, record and analyze information, of a criminal or non-criminal nature, that could indicate activity or intentions related to either foreign or domestic terrorism.”
Among the non-criminal behaviors “which shall be reported on a SAR” are the usage of binoculars and cameras (presumably when observing a building, although this is not specified), asking about an establishment’s hours of operation, taking pictures or video footage “with no apparent esthetic value,” and taking notes.
Continue reading at: http://www.lbpost.com/life/greggory/12188