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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    If you were not on government property, he can't tell you to do anything. Even if you were on USPS (which is only quasi-governmental, BTW) property I would question his jurisdiction unless he's part of the Federal Protective Service, which provides security for Federal Buildings.

    I work at a US Government facility. If we observe a breach of security we call the FPS. I'm a contractor, but not even the Fed employees can take any action on their own. Unless I'm challenged by a uniformed officer with a badge, I'm very uncooperative.

    I would've continued photographing and told the man to kindly bugger off.
    It could have been a postal inspector. They are plain clothed and are federal law enforcement agents with the authorty to arrest. I would think he would have shown a badge or federal ID.

    Postal employees are instructed to inform either the postal police or the inspectors if there is suspicious activity on or in federal property. They should not act on their own.

    It is too bad, it looks like a very nice building to photograph.

  2. #32
    bjorke's Avatar
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    There is no such law, and cop/inspector/security guard whatever, he was full of BS. He may have believed it -- training in such issues has been notoriously poor at all levels of government (including, I sometimes think, Capitol Hill). Next time refer such twits to this recent tidbit.

    When someone hassles you, ask their badge #, their agency, and specific citation of the law they claim you are violating.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  3. #33

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    ALso, Kevin has been too modest (unless I missed the post...) to point out the information and resources on his own site:

    www.PhotoPermit.ORG

    http://www.photopermit.org/forum/

    and also the photogorpahers rights sheet at

    http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by photomc
    Will approach the idea again later, and contact the manager of the PO to see if there should be any restrictions. In the meantime will continue to search for the facts, so that I can be better prepared the next time this happens.
    .
    Check out some of these threads

    http://www.photopermit.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=6

    Most such limitations only apply to Defence Department locations or Atomic Energy Commission sites or such - very few "ordinary" Federal buildings are otherwise restricted.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by photomc
    ...he was a postal employee...
    Did he have a gun? They can be quite bothersome when they have guns.

    Quote Originally Posted by photomc
    Reply for the USPS is already in, boy that was quick...
    Must've FedEx'd it....
    My Verito page

    Anyone can appreciate a fine print. But it takes a real photographer to appreciate a fine negative.

  6. #36

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    Thanks Kevin & Tim...That is exactly what I needed. Better to be informed than have to 2nd guess what is and isn't legal. That was one reason for walking away..I thought the employee was wrong, but the gov't does some pretty dumb stuff these days all in the name of security....reminds me of the camps set up is WWII for Japanese-Americans, that did not make sense either.
    Mike C

    Rambles

  7. #37

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    People are more wary of "suspicious" activities today than they used to be. People also have different perceptions of what activities are "suspicious". A group of tourists taking pictures around a well known landmark is unlikely to draw attention but one person photographing a relatively anonymous structure at an odd hour of the day is more likely to seem suspicious to a lot of people. Some people probably don't know the difference between a large format camera on a tripod and a rocket launcher.

    I can remember being detained by FBI agents at the local Federal Building parking lot once because of suspicious activity. This was around 1980 or so. I was doing a photo stake out for some local bigwig being tried on federal charges. I was suspicious. I was standing in a parking lot in the rain wearing a hat and raincoat with two cameras around my neck and a bag over my shoulder with a walkie-talkie attached. I looked suspicious even to myself.

  8. #38
    arigram's Avatar
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    So, let me get this straight:
    As long as you are polite, smile a lot and look like a harmless european tourist you are ok, but if you carry a big camera, wear "suspicious" clothing, are grumpy and look middle eastern or muslim you are in trouble?
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




  9. #39
    Shmoo's Avatar
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    I find that smiling innocently and saying "I didn't know that!" while continuing to focus. Then "Do you know the phone number of the security office/police in charge?" while setting your exposure and adding "I certainly don't want to get in trouble." while putting film holder in and saying "Thank you for that information." after hitting the shutter release usually works.

    I had a similar situation near a bridge in the port. Got stopped by port authority police, building maintenance/security manager (who shoots his cameras regularly around the area), and a security guard. I find that being calm and forthright (heck, I'll let them have my ID) calms them down as well. I don't mind being stopped, because it means they're doing their job. Is it a hassle? You bet. I'd be more worried if they didn't talk to me...

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by arigram
    So, let me get this straight:
    As long as you are polite, smile a lot and look like a harmless european tourist you are ok, but if you carry a big camera, wear "suspicious" clothing, are grumpy and look middle eastern or muslim you are in trouble?

    you do not need to look like anything. Remember we have had our own share of domestic terrorism. (Oklahoma City, Unibomber etc). Coupled with 9-11 anything can be considered suspicious. Couple with that a growing concern in the US over loss of privacy makes things difficult. Couple of years ago I interogated (well talked to) someone photographing homes in are area. He was just a real estate agent making a record of homes in the area to show the neighborhood to clients regarding a nearby listing.

    With private property concerns I have always found it to be best policy to talk to a property owner before even getting the gear out.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams



 

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