by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jan 27th 2009 5:24am
History is littered with examples of new technologies causing people to freak out. When automobiles were introduced, laws were passed forcing people to walk in front of the cars, waving red flags. Years ago, I read a great article about how when regular film cameras were first introduced, there were regulations against them, due to fears about privacy violations (I could have sworn I wrote about it on Techdirt, but now I can't find it...). It seems that a similar concept may be showing up with cameraphones, as John writes in to let us know of new legislation in Congress that would require all cameraphones to "click" when taking a photo. The idea, of course, is to "protect the children" so that predators can't secretly take photos. The law is similar to one found in South Korea, so it's hardly a new idea -- though it still doesn't make much sense. Someone looking to do something illegal with their cameraphone will easily figure out a way to take silent photos. All this law will actually do is annoy those who have perfectly legitimate reasons for wanting to take photos quietly. Hell, you could just as easily come up with some silly scenario how this law would be damaging to children... such as if someone wanted to photograph a predator stalking children without the guy knowing... Anyway, vote on what you think of the law below:
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