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.
"Curse those security guards! How will we ever find the Federal Courthouse in Tacoma now?"
"Maybe we could just look it up on Google Maps?"
"No, that'll never work...we need a photo. A really good photo, taken with at least a medium-format camera. Preferably using a tripod to reduce vibration. You don't know how important it is to have a good, sharp image of your target."
"Maybe the 'architectural interest' story isn't working. We can't just send a guy with a cellphone?"
"Too blurry. Although the new iPhone has a sweet camera."
"Too bad about that antenna problem."
"I know. But I heard our operative was going to the Apple store Thursday to get the bumpers."
I was just thinking more of the classic, face-to-face confrontation of a security guard walking up to a person and demanding that he "erase" those photos. By that time it would be too late.
You're dead on about that. We should be fighting this "war" (and despite my skepticism about some of what we've done, we do face legitimate threats) with more brains and less harassment of our own populace (I refer to the US populace here), but instead we get this kind of silliness that wastes time and money and doesn't achieve anything real.
I heard the terroristas can only use photos if made by medium format cameras... so I should be good using my 5x7 to take pictures of the state capitol...
* Just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean the lights in the darkroom are off. *
* When the film you put in the camera is worth more than the camera you put the film in... *
* When I started using 8x10, it amazed me how many shots were close to the car. *
I was photographing with my 8x10 up on a viaduct one day and a very friendly cop drove up, got out of his car and said, "Just wanted to let you know we got a call that someone was up here with a bazooka. I would have just drove on by you once I checked it out, but I thought you might find that as funny as I did. What kind of camera is that anyway?"
In the conversation that followed this cop (deputy sheriff) made no secret of his disdain for security guards. Apparently they are some of the biggest time wasters that legitimate LE faces. His advice on what to do when hassled illegitimately? Call the cops. A security guard hassling you on public property (at least in the US) is simply an everyday schmuck harassing you. They have no more rights than you. If you are on private property they can ask you to leave and/or call the cops. They can't touch you or your stuff unless someone or something is in real danger.
Let's assume that there is some military installation that the government doesn't want to be photographed. Any idiot could simply walk up and snap off a few frames of the supply trucks rolling in and out of the front gates then LET the guards catch him. By that time, the information has already been "zapped" to enemy headquarters. There is nothing that General Patton, himself, could do to stop it.
We already have suicide bombers. Why wouldn't the Taliban have "suicide photographers" who are willing to sacrifice the loss of their digicams and do a few days behind bars in order to get information back to their bosses?
When you come right down to it, cameras are the LEAST of their threat even IF they are somehow able to photograph some deep, dark secret that our government wants to keep away from prying eyes. Even the technology poses little threat. It's not about the photos. It's not about the cameras. It's not about the internet. None of that matters.
The problem is about PEOPLE and the ideologies they spread. This war (if you want to still call it a "war) is not a war of soldiers and territories. This war is about ideas. Winning the war means getting your message out to more people so they will understand and believe it.
This is a war of COMMUNICATION.
So far, THEY are doing a much better idea communicating their message than our government is.
A security guard hassling you on public property (at least in the US) is simply an everyday schmuck harassing you. They have no more rights than you. If you are on private property they can ask you to leave and/or call the cops. They can't touch you or your stuff unless someone or something is in real danger.
Same in the U.K. You can be asked to leave. If you refuse you are then trespassing.
A security guard cannot physically remove you unless he has reason to believe that you are a danger to people or property.
Even the police cannot have you removed for trespassing as this needs a court order. However, they will usually use a public order offence to get you removed. In the U.K. public order offences are not arrestable, you will just be cautioned.
"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.