Spanish Gov't Wants To Make It A Crime To Photograph Cops

from the freedom-isn't-free dept

We've had plenty of stories (mainly in the US) of police overreacting to the public photographing or videotaping them. Thankfully, US courts have been recognizing that recording police on duty is not a crime (and can actually be beneficial in preventing abuse). While we still see frequent reports of police harassing photographers, it does appear that US officials and judges widely support allowing the photography of police, except in extreme circumstances. However, Spain may be going in a different direction. Francisco George points us to the news that the Department of the Interior is proposing a regulation that would make the dissemination of photographs of law enforcement a possible crime. The new rules would prohibit
"the recruitment, reproduction or processing of images, sounds or information of members of the security forces in the exercise of its functions as may endanger life or risk the operation they are developing."
In other words, they don't want you to notice them, even if you notice them. This seems ridiculous and clearly goes way too far. If police are out in public, it should be fair game to photograph or videotape them. It may not be smart or particularly helpful in solving crimes, but to claim that such photographs could be illegal seems like a clear attack on free speech.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:47am

    Ripe for abuse

    Who wants to bet how long will it take for such law to be abused to hide law enforcement abuses? I'll bet within a week.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    RichS (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Ripe for abuse

    I'll take the under on that. I say it will happen within 36 hours.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Christopher Best (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Ripe for abuse

    I'd say if it's anything like the US, an imaginary version of the law is already being used in such a way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    no. in other words, you are not wanted to have any sort of audio or video proof of when the police, as always happens, oversteps the mark and someone else needlessly suffers. if the police were not so incensed in being as heavy handed and 'right' all the time, there wouldn't be a problem. what needs to happen is for one of the dopes that is proposing or in favour of the new law to be a victim. perhaps then they would see sense!

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Nest step the governments restrict stories about them to those that they approve of.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

    I'm sure this has nothing to do with the recent coverage of police beating up people protesting Spain's austerity measures.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Lord Binky, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    Invisible to the electronic eye.

    So if I want to get away with any crime in Spain, I just have to wear a security officer's uniform?

    'Pictures or it didn't happen'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    NOTICE - Thank You For Noticing This Notice...Your Noting It Has Been Noted...And It Has Been Reported To The Authorities

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Ripe for abuse

    I'm going to say 12 minutes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Re:

    Well, so long as a you lay down and take it like a Boy Scout, we won't make you join the Boy Scouts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Franco is dead. Long live Franco!

    I suppose they miss the good old days of Franco and his abusive police force.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    DannyB (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ripe for abuse

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the Plank Time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plank_time

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    mc hammerthrow, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    free speech, so?

    "seems like a clear attack on free speech."

    This is the same Spain that fined two cartoonists 3000 Euros each for a tasteless/silly magazine cover of the prince and princess "trying to create new royalty".

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7092866.stm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    I thought it was already against the law to photograph police officers ("la Guarda") in Spain; I know that when I visited there in the 70s and 80s, police would stop you from taking their picture. I think in very rare circumstances, they actually confiscated cameras.

    In other words, this may be easier for them because they already have a long history of it....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    If they have nothing to hide

    then they should not care if they are photographed.

    What are they hiding?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    This should never be a crime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    cosmicrat (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

    Off to the Gulag with you!

    Secret Police: tool of totalitarian regimes everywhere and forever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Vidiot (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Invisible to the electronic eye.

    True! But you don't need no stinkin' badges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Thomas (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 5:04pm

    Tourists...

    could then be arrested for taking a picture where a police of security officer just happens to be in the photo. jeez...It's bad enough that cops arrest you in the U.S., including my home area, Boston, but at least it's not supposed to be illegal. Making it illegal would certainly make it very difficult to take any photograph.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 6:29pm

    Corporations are police my friend.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

    It seems that Francisco Franco y Bahamonde's facist ideas are still alive and kicking in the Spanish Department of Interior.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Weekend Update, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:05pm

    Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Tex Arcana (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 7:25pm

    Re:

    Omni Consumer Products, to the rescue!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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