UK: You Can't Photograph Sensitive Buildings; Photogs: Which Are Sensitive? UK: That's Classified
from the catch-22 dept
Boing Boing points to the rather ridiculous news that certain “sensitive” areas of the UK are banned to photographers, but when The British Journal of Photography tried to find out which “sensitive” sites to avoid, the request was rejected. Apparently even telling you what sites you can’t photograph is too sensitive. Of course, that leaves photographers in a bit of a Catch-22, as they don’t know whether or not a site is photographable until the police tell them they can’t photograph it and they may have violated some law in doing so. But… of course, with no list to check on, the police can simply claim any building is off-limits. On top of that, as Cory Doctorow points out:
There’s no evidence that terrorists use photographs to plan attacks. Indeed, if disclosing the visible features of notable, iconic buildings puts them in danger, we may as well tear them all down now and get it over with, since the whole point of a notable, iconic building is that everybody knows what they look like.
Blind paranoia with a healthy dosage of security theater doesn’t stop terrorism. Update: A good comment from Nigel (though, with unnecessary nastiness towards us) goes into more detail explaining what’s happening. It’s not specifically that photographing certain sites is barred, but that the police have extra powers for search and seizure in certain areas — and taking photographs is more likely to get police involved in those areas. It’s those areas that are considered classified. So, not quite the same thing as the original report, though close. Thanks for the clarification, Nigel!