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Photographing public places and people – including police

Comment 11th July 2010

Recent restrictions on individuals photographing public scenes, buildings and people which can be otherwise looked at legally should be repealed. 

If something can be seen in public it should be photographable!

Why does this matter?

New restrictions criminalise innocent citizens without effectively deterring 'terrorism'.

This increases resentment against authorities (police) unnecessarily, doing far more harm than good.

It makes no sense to attempt to prevent someone photographing something in public which they could easily otherwise sketch or describe in words for 'terrorist' purposes. Also pictures of most public places are already in the public domain via the Internet and print.  If something can be seen and looked at in public then it should be photographable for artistic, illustrative, archive or personal purposes, subject of course to existing decency and privacy laws.  

Seperatly, perhaps more importantly, particular restrictions on photographing potential misbehavior by police officers clearly gives them increased opportunity to abuse their power.

 

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