I'll put on my tinfoil hat on and say that it probably has more to do with maintaining a general level of fear in the population.
I would believe that if police harassment of harmless amateur photographers was commonplace in the whole western hemisphere. Fact is I only hear these stories from the US, UK and possible Australia. I hope these stories are not an indication of things to come here but at the moment in Austria I can photograph whatever I want in public space.
Fact is I only hear these stories from the US, UK and possible Australia. I hope these stories are not an indication of things to come here but at the moment in Austria I can photograph whatever I want in public space.
As can most of us in the UK, the US and Australia. All we hear on the news is reports of the rare incidents where a photographer was wrongly harrassed or detained. We don't hear reports of the hundreds of thousands of times someone takes a picture in public including a government building, police officer, bridge, etc. with no problems encountered.
Obviously these events shouldn't happen at all but there is a certain amount of paranoa and hysteria involved to the extent that some US residents say they will not travel to the UK because of it and likewise for some UK residents to the US. This is complete nonesense and is blowing the problem up out of all proportion.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
I want the Constitution on paper so I can roll it up like a newspaper and slap those bad little doggies on the behind with it!
If you're reasonable with the cops, you probably won't find much trouble. However, I'm sure at least one photographer has tried the "show them the Constitution" trick and been accused of being a terrorist/Communist/smartass for "waving that piece of paper around".
Not only that, the iPhone can instantly transmit that photograph across the internet. Even if the Rent-a-Cops demanded that you erase the photo and you were stupid enough to do it, the damage could already be done. By that time the photo has already been sent to Afghanistan... PLUS photos of the Rent-a-Cops, themselves, as they run out to harass you, could be just a second behind.
By the time Sheriff Roscoe P. Coletrane and Deputy Barney Phife even figured out what had happened, let alone do anything about it, ole' Osama Bin Laden already has the information he wants.