Security is running rampant today. Compared to ten years ago, there are plenty of things we can’t do, supposedly for our own safety.

Knowing me, you can guess that the increasing restrictions on photography are an annoyance. This is not so much because I’ve been inconvenienced by new restrictions, because I haven’t. It’s more because it’s a pointless restriction on my rights. Have terrorists ever used the type of photography that these new rules restrict? If so, I haven’t heard about it.

I fully support fixing problems, but measures designed to fix problems that do not exist are ridiculous. These same measures move well into ‘annoying’ territory when they stop me from an innocuous activity I enjoy.

The silliness of these restrictions are highlighted in an article called “Thomas Hawk versus rent-a-cops” on 10 Zen Monkeys about Thomas Hawks fight against these ridiculous rules. The article quotes a spokesperson for the owners of a building with rules against people taking photographs of it:

Tim Gallen, a spokesperson for the building’s owner, makes the same argument. “We all learned a lot of lessons after 9/11 and one of the ways you keep it safer is to try to discourage people taking pictures of the security installations that you’ve made to make it safer.” Though the confrontation occurred in April of 2006, “There’s still a very big fear today that people come around and snap pictures of buildings that have been securitized.”

I’d suggest that Gallen learned little from 9/11. He simply swallowed what he was told and did not question or even think about any of it.

  • How does discouraging photography keep anything safer?
  • He says discouraging photography keeps it safer. What is it?
  • What the hell does “security installations that you’ve made to keep it safer” even mean?
  • Yea, and the building he’s talking about is in the financial district. Calling it a ‘security installation’ doesn’t mean it really is any sort of security installation.
  • The fear of photos he talks about is the problem, not the photos himself.

For goodness sakes, Hawk was on the street photographing a building. This is an entirely legal practise. Just because you make up words like “securitized,” it doesn’t change my rights.

Look for reasons and all you find is fear. How about we use all the money we’re spending on security for real security rather than make-work projects and appearances?