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.

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Comments on “Spanish Gov't Wants To Make It A Crime To Photograph Cops”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Anonymous Coward says:

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….

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