Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Spy-Eyes Downtown

As I’ve mentioned before at this blog I’ve been questioned a number of times for taking photographs in public. And on occasion the questioners were police officers.

I wasn’t doing anything suspicious, just out in plain sight, photographing objects like an American flag. I wasn’t peering into window late at night with my camera.

But even in broad daylight I get questions. Sometimes people see a photographer and they suspect his intentions. I don’t mind answering questions but some people believe they can maintain privacy in public, even thought a photographer is shooting a reflection or object, not them.

The law doesn’t work that way. Generally speaking, if it’s in public view, one may take a photograph. And as long as someone isn’t interfering with their work, a photographer can also record police activity
It doesn’t bother me that it’s been announced in the local media recently that the City of Plattsburgh Police Department will be adding more surveillance cameras downtown. I know when I walk into a bank or supermarket that I’m being recorded by cameras. That’s the way it is.

I have no problem with the police recording me as long as they have no problem with me recording them. When it comes to citizens and law-enforcement, publicness has to be a two-way street.

Unless you want to live in a dictatorship.

The Taliban prohibited photography when they controlled Afghanistan. Don’t let this country get Talibanized.

No comments: