As widespread at this sort of nonsense seems to be, one can only assume that the officers on the beat are simply not getting adequate training in these issues. They can't all be that ignorant--I hope.
I hope someone here chimes in with an explanation of what the law actually states; it should not surprise anyone if the clowns in Congress haven't indeed passed a law to prohibit photographing certain federal buildings. After all, they regularly pass laws for the rest of us from which they are exempt (Social Security tax, for instance....)
I guess somebody should turn me in, then... I took a photo of a federal building in Wilmington, NC last weekend.
I think the Federal Reserve Bank buildings do receive some extra security considerations, however I used to walk past the one in Charlotte everyday, almost always with a camera, and I am certain I've photographed that building (not that the photos were very impressive, it's just a big modern brick building...). Nobody ever approached me but this was before 9/11. I've checked online and so far I haven't found anything specific prohibiting photography of federal buildings.
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson
She was 100% wrong, but unfortunately it's often the rule around Federal areas in DC. It's completely arbitrary and every officer and security guard is a law unto themselves. Sometimes they wrongly restrict you and sometimes they don't. After 9/11, laws and due process got thrown out the window. Gives em something for their incident logs, I guess.
She was polite and did not give the guy a hard time at all. She was informative and told him over and over again what he had to do.
Polite and informative, but 100% wrong. Of course you can take all the pictures you want with any sort of equipment you want. The man was on a public sidewalk on Constitution Avenue, for cryin' out loud. The Fed is not a Federal building anyway. It would have been different if he had been on private property rather than on a public sidewalk.
The National Academy of Sciences next door to the Fed has much more interesting grounds, by the way, and they won't hassle you.
Last edited by c6h6o3; 02-25-2009 at 08:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.