Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/05/21

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Subject: [Leica] Sheer Illogical Stupidity?
From: crgrbrts at (Craig Roberts)
Date: Fri May 21 10:35:55 2004
References: <> <00a601c43f52$85ea75e0$87d86c18@ted>

With regard to the NYC transit system ban on photography -- it would be
interesting to learn what one must do to earn "written authorization" to
take pictures.  It's not necessarily a totalitarian edict. It could be
simply an inconvenience, e.g. --

One evening about two years ago, I set up my Rollei on a tripod in front of
the U.S. Capitol building to catch a few moody night shots. In less than a
minute, two Capitol police officers approached and politely asked me to
desist my photographic activities immediately, explaining that tripods were
not permitted on the grounds without a "tripod permit". I was then invited
into the Capitol's basement security office to apply for said permit. Along
the way, I was given an interesting and enthusiastic private tour of the
building. Once in the security office, issuance of the permit required that
I complete a short application form and submit to an NCIC background check
via computer. The entire process took about fifteen minutes and, with permit
in hand, I was soon back to picture-taking.

If, perhaps, my name contained a few more consonants and my hue had been
duskier, my "harrassment" might have been more severe. I would hope not,
but --

If the Montreal incident is not being misrepresented by the subject and / or
misreported, it is truly shameful. However, finding a balance between
reasonable precaution and perceived infringement of rights and privileges --
or personal insult -- is nearly impossible.

We can, however, be certain that if lives are ever lost on the NYC or
Montreal subway system due to a terrorist attack, at least some of the
people now predicting the end of Western Civilization at the hands of the
"stupidly illogical" will cry the loudest in their demands to know why the
carnage was not forseen and prevented by whatever means necessary.  That
said, I also fear that the "precautions" of today will escalate into
permanent suppressions of personal freedom.

There are no easy answers.

Washington, DC

Replies: Reply from dorysrus at (Don Dory) ([Leica] Sheer Illogical Stupidity?)
In reply to: Message from mcintyre at ( ([Leica] Sheer Illogical Stupidity?)
Message from tedgrant at (Ted Grant) ([Leica] Sheer Illogical Stupidity?)