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Old Jan 3, 2005, 3:33 PM   #1
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While waiting for my son to get his drivers license, I was taking photos of him making his way through the line. I continued when he was at the counter. As I finished, a State Police officer made his way around the lines of people and approached me from behind. Taking hold of my arm, he asked what I was taking photos of. When I explained, he told me I could not take photos w/o getting permission from the people in the photos. He went on to say it was prohibited to take photos in a state building. This was news to me. Please chime in with comments. This irked me but if it is the law . . .
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 3:45 PM   #2
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Taking photos inside or outside ofany gov't building since 911is a bit dodgy at best. If someone in a uniform tells you "no," I think I'd take that to be the truth. I never argue with people that carry guns Terroristshave been caughtphotographing buildings and public placeswhile trying to look like innocenttourists.
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 4:01 PM   #3
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Excellent point and one I had not considered. Being froma rural and tranquil part of NH I did not even think of that. After reading what you wrote, it certainly made sense when consideration is given to all of the facts. I was in Concord and that is certainly not rural and tranquil. Their turf not mine (though my tax dollars go there). I did comply and the officer did not make more of an issue than he needed. He made his point and let me go.

Thanks.
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 5:12 PM   #4
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Brier-

Things are kinda touchy all over. Here in the Detroit area, we are experiencing a little more intense situation. We are a "Border town" in that we have a bridge and a tunnel that is heavily trafficed with international trucking between the U.S. and Canada.

Not a good idea to show up and start snapping pictures anywhere in the area, unless you enjoy long talks with strangers in uniform.

These are interesting times !
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 5:45 PM   #5
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I work in a federal courthouse, and cameras are prohibited inside of the building and photographers (still or video) are prohibited from shooting the outside, too. AndFirst Amendment considerations notwithstanding, I think such regulationsare probably constitutional and legal (balancingpublic's right to "speech" and "expression" against the safety of governmentalbuildings and employees).

I don't know about his comment that you needed to get the permission of the people in the photos (because public buildings, are, after all, public spaces, and as a general rule, you have few rights to privacy in a public space) but it just might have been his code way of saying we don't want you taking pictures of our structure. Or, there could be NH law on the subject (some states have stricter privacy laws than others, or perhaps there is a law regarding identities of people applying for public benefits or identities of government workers for their security, etc.).

Or, he could have just not known what he was talking about. Take, for example, the papparrazi... they rarely if ever have permission to take pictures, andthey rarely loseon "intrusion" lawsuits. And even ifwhat you weredoing is"intrusion,"it is HIGHLY unlikely that your actions of taking people's pictures would be a criminal violation (not amounting to stalking, harassment, or criminal trespass). Thus, while the people you took pictures of could sue you, you probably couldn't be arrested for it, and it's not the officer's job to enforce such a law. On the other hand, it IS the officer's job to prevent people from photographing inside public buildings, if such a law or regulation has been promulgated.

Although Steve is right not to argue with people who carry guns, it is my experience that theyregularly do not understand the nuances of many of the laws they're called to enforce.
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 6:37 PM   #6
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Yes. I agree with all of your points. There is no question I was naive and a little selfish when taking the photos. As I stated earlier, the tranquil area I reside is one you can still leave your keys in your vehicles and if you leave your house door unlocked over night everything will typically still be there in the morning.
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 7:48 PM   #7
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all of the above being said, taking your arm was a no-no. if you wanted to push that issue, you'd likely have some recourse - though since no harm was done, probably not worth pursuing.

BrierS wrote:
Quote:
Yes. I agree with all of your points. There is no question I was naive and a little selfish when taking the photos. As I stated earlier, the tranquil area I reside is one you can still leave your keys in your vehicles and if you leave your house door unlocked over night everything will typically still be there in the morning.
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 9:42 PM   #8
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Pushing the issue with a uniformed officer is probably not a good idea without legal council present. I suspect it could quickly escalate to a few bigger things like obstruction,trespassor possibly several other thingsthe government could decide to press against you if youannoyed them and they chose to pursue the issue.

I know of other media shooters who have had their film and CF cards seized for the crime of taking images of the White House from the street. Apparently that is also afrowned upon act since 9-11

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all of the above being said, taking your arm was a no-no. if you wanted to push that issue, you'd likely have some recourse - though since no harm was done, probably not worth pursuing.
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Old Jan 3, 2005, 11:20 PM   #9
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"I know of other media shooters who have had their film and CF cards seized for the crime of taking images of the White House from the street. Apparently that is also afrowned upon act since 9-11"

Thats a crime? Wow, it's a shame how many of our rights have been taken away since 9-11. Big Brother here we come, oh wait, it's alreadyhere.

Anyways, I'm wondering if someone could clear me up on thedo's anddon'ts of photography. Let me know if I'm correct. You can shoot in public places, iea park or a mountain.And you can't shoot in private property, ie a mall or an office building.

Me and my friends always hang out in the local Best Buy and bring our cards with us. Using the demos we take candid shots of people and make fun of them as soon as we get home. Are you trying to tell me that besides being morally wrong this is illegal too? Oh the humanity!
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 7:41 AM   #10
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yah...I guess that folks are a bit edgy these days since 911. But the thing is, the guy that tells you that you're not allowed to take photos should be polite and diplomatic. Otherwise you can get them charged for 'assault', because they grabbed you, or touched you without your permission.
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