The War On Photography Part III And Some Quick Ones:

Last May Jeremy Dear, the general secretary of the National Union of journalists wrote a letter to the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, to protest against police serveilling journalists and photographers. In the letter Dear stated that "journalists and photographers are being monitored and recorded by the Metropolitan Police's Forward Intelligence Team (FIT), adding that this surveillance amounts to virtual harassment and is a serious threat to the journalists' right to carry out their work."

On June 26 the Union secretary general responded. So what is the official stance of the Home Secretary? Simple, you have the right to take pictures in public spaces. There is no law prohibiting that, however, local restrictions may be enforced. "Decisions may be make locally to restrict or monitor photography in reasonable circumstances. That is an operational decision for the officers involved based on the individual circumstances of each situation.

It is for the local Chief Constable, in the case of your letter the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Force, to decide how his or her Officers and employees should best balance the rights to freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the need for public protection."

So basically you have the right to take pictures and we have the right to harass you about it.

* Over on boing boing they discuss the draft bill proposed by members of the Iranian Parliament that seeks to "toughen punishment for disturbing mental security in society." This bill would add, "establishing websites and weblogs promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy," to the list of crimes punishable by death.

How does one "disturb mental security in society"? Would exposing to some new thought process qualify? What if I open your mind to some greater understanding of the world around you, would that qualify? And how many people would it have to effect? This blog may disturb mental security, but my readership is so low could it be considered disturbing the mental security of the society at large?

*I decided to put my proverbial money where my mouth is and try and do what little I can to stop my Senators from voting for Telecom Immunity. Do your part too, go here for details. Remember this Union was created by the people for the people, let our Representatives know what the people want-then hold them accountable when they don't.

*And finally: under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves. Matt Fraction sets the record straight.


Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas