Take Picture Of Your 4-Year-Old Daughter Eating Ice Cream... Get Investigated Under Terrorism Act [Updated]

from the the-new-face-of-terror dept

We've covered plenty of ridiculous stories concerning police going after photographers lately, but this one is a bit different. As a whole bunch of you have sent in, at a mall in Scotland, Chris White took a photograph of his 4-year-old daughter eating ice cream at an ice cream stand.
However, the mall apparently has a "no photographs" law, and workers at the ice cream stand were supposedly "suspicious," and called security... who called the police, after White refused to delete the photos on his phone (and noted that they'd already been uploaded to Facebook). The police then questioned him under the UK Terrorism Act, saying that they could confiscate his mobile phone. To everyone's credit, the situation didn't escalate and he was left alone (and not made to turn over the phone). But, just the fact that it went that far seems crazy. How difficult is it to recognize a common scene of a father taking a photo of his daughter eating ice cream?

Of course, the attention that this has received resulted in the mall changing its official policy

Update: Important update to this story. While the mall has apologized, the police are hinting very strongly that White's account is not accurate, and that there was some other (unnamed) activity that was the reason he was investigated...
It is because Mr White chose to seek publicity for his account of events and because of the planned demonstration that we feel compelled to take the unusual step of making our findings public.

“In reaching our conclusions, officers took statements from a number of independent witnesses and viewed the substantial amount of CCTV that was available in the centre.

“On reviewing all of this objective evidence, I have to tell you that we can find no basis to support the complaint which MrWhite has elected to make.

“The members of the public who asked for the security staff to become involved have told us that they did so for reasons which had absolutely nothing to do with him taking photographs of his daughter. They had a very specific concern, which I am not in a position to discuss publicly, that they felt the need to report. It was because of this very specific concern that security staff became involved. They were right to raise their concern and we are glad that they did so.

“The security staff were the ones who asked for police involvement. Again, this was not because Mr White said he had been photographing his daughter, but was due to the concerns that they themselves had regarding this particular incident.


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    Rikuo (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Oh for fuck sake...I was planning on spending a couple days in the UK and the police are still bothering photographers with stupid reasons like this?
    So I can cross the UK and the US off my list of places I want to travel to. The US is there because of the TSA, especially now that they're searching luggage if you just take a train or a bus.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

    Einstein?

    The difference between a genius and an idiot:

    A genius can freely admit when s/he is wrong; an idiot cannot.

    Note how the mall changed it's policy but the UK Terrorism Act will remain unchanged...

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    to recognize a common scene

    requires common sense, which is a scarce commodity these days.

     

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    Christopher (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    This is absolutely outrageous. Some of these laws are being taken way too damned far, one of the reasons why I say that these laws are extremely bad ideas and need repealed.

    The Patriot Act in America, this law in the U.K.... ALL of them need repealed or rewritten and their scopes severely limited.

     

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      Moose12 (profile), Oct 15th, 2011 @ 3:39am

      Re: take picture get investigated

      Terrorists are laughing. We are already their victims. Two powerful nation are chasing their own tails because of the word terrorism. The law(s) in the UK and the Patriot Act in the US are in place to control people......not to deter trrrorism. The world banking and finance systems want this control, sooo...having laws rewritten or repealed is out of the question!! Before his election Mr. Obama had indicated he would repeal the Patriot Act!!! Welllll.....DUHHHHHHHH!

       

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    Beta (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Wee image o' my bonie Betty

    It's to Braehead's credit that they changed the policy, and so quickly (although I foresee problems with "friends and family"). But I have to wonder... if they have the power to do away with the policy -- that is, it's not mandated by law -- then why did they enact it in the first place? To please the customers? Are Scottish shoppers as stupid about security as Americans, or just camera-shy?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

      Re: Wee image o' my bonie Betty

      Well, from one of the links, the quickness of the change got "motivated":

      Well, after Mr. White started a Facebook page called Boycott Braehead, the story was picked up by the BBC, and within hours the management of Braehead was apologizing and announcing a change in policy so that people will be able to take photos of friends and family. They are also saying they will implement the change at all 11 centers owned by the same company.

       

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    Duke (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Two sides to each story

    While it seems likely this account of the story is accurate (particularly given previous cases along these lines), it may be worth reading this article which includes both sides of the story. It seems that the police claim they did not question him under any of the various Terrorism Acts, nor was the initial incident to do with taking the photo.

    Anyways, of course the shopping centre is perfectly within its rights to stop people from taking photographs inside, and throw people out for not doing so - however, I can't see how the Terrorism Act could have got involved... certainly not to a degree that would stand up in court.

     

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      P, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

      Re: Two sides to each story

      Photos in the mall not allowed due to possible terrorist planning????
      All mall floor plans can be found online.

       

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        Duke (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

        Re: Re: Two sides to each story

        There's more to planning a terrorist attack (or, more likely, a burglary) than simply having a floor plan, but anyway...

        The shopping centre can have any reason it wants to for not allowing people to take photographs, unless they're a public authority they don't need to justify their actions to the public or demonstrate them to be proportionate.

        There also doesn't seem to be any suggestion that this rule was to prevent terrorism, iirc it is usually to "protect" staff from being photographed excessively while at work (iirc there's actually a law against CCTV being pointed at staff workstations).

         

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          hothmonster, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Two sides to each story

          "iirc there's actually a law against CCTV being pointed at staff workstations)"

          I highly doubt that as most cameras are aimed at cash registers and usually someone works in front of that cash register, depending on the business, all day.

           

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            Duke (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Two sides to each story

            Ah, good point... it must be in one of the Home Office's or ICO's guidance documents (but I haven't found it yet...); something about not having CCTV focussed on an individual as it might disproportionately interfere with their privacy etc. Of course, like most of the guidance (and law) regarding CCTV etc. it's blatantly ignored by most people.

             

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          The Devil's Coachman (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: Two sides to each story

          So if the CCTV isn't pointed at the staff workstations, they can't be caught spitting and pissing in your smoothies? Is that the purpose. Sure looks that way to me. If anything, most of the food concessions at most malls should be under extreme video surveillance, given that the average employee has the IQ of a fencepost, and is extremely bitter over the fact that they have to serve those goddamned annoying customers instead of smoking reefer in the back.

           

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            hmm (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Two sides to each story

            Sorry you're totally wrong..its spitting OR pissing in your smoothies, they never do both at once.....

            Also I resent the fencepost/IQ comment as you can now get electronic fenceposts with the ability to turn a light on when you pass by.

            Also you'll notice they're called food "concessions" for a good reason. Yes, its food, but you have to concede that a least a SMALL amount of mucus will end up in your burger.

             

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 4:14pm

      Re: Two sides to each story

      Interesting stuff. Added to the post!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

      Re: Two sides to each story

      I disagree strongly with the part "of course the shopping centre is perfectly within its rights to stop people from taking photographs inside, and throw people out for not doing so" nobody should be kicked out of anywhere because of a photograph unless the guy is in the ladies bathroom or taking photos of women in skirts, which by the way the guy could be compelled to leave by the threat of other laws in the books.

       

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        Duke (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 6:26pm

        Re: Re: Two sides to each story

        nobody should be kicked out of anywhere because of a photograph
        Even if (and I'm not saying this is necessarily the case here) they've been invited into that place and expressly told not to take photographs? Most shopping centres (at least, in the UK) are private property, so are free to kick out anyone for any reason, unless there's a legal reason not to.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 9:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: Two sides to each story

          Even in that case.
          Just to make it clear technology is advancing and augmented reality is already here, video diaries are a reality not something that is in the future, it is happening now.
          Vicon camera logs your life.
          http://www.switched.com/2009/10/18/wearable-vicon-camera-lets-you-log-every-moment-of-your-li fe/

          Cool goggles that could record your life one day.
          http://www.gizmag.com/zeal-recon-transcend-gps-head-mounted-display-goggles/16605/

          Sexy earphones that would change how people see those things in public.
          http://www.gizmag.com/the-orb-bluetooth-headset/12313/

          Helmets that are approaching the SciFi level already.
          http://www.gizmag.com/go/2430/

          AsianWolf sport glasses that record your life. Up to 2gigas of data, not much yet.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOoRejofVfY

          YouVision glasses that record your life.
          http://dvice.com/archives/2009/12/you-vision-glas.php
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOoRejo fVfY

          Layar, tag the world and see it on your phone today, could they throughout people for tagging them?
          http://www.youtube.com/layarmobile

          TagWhat, tag the world and show it to others.
          http://www.tagwhat.com/

          You see, why look to a small screen when you can have a 50" screen in front of you just by using glasses that can record everything you do and show an overlay on top of what you see?

          Everyone in the future will use glasses. Maybe even full masks that can record, overlay information, filter sounds and smells or create local environments on a personal level.
          http://www.frogdesign.com/news/frogconcept-a-digital-escape-05162008.html

          Are those going to be outlawed?
          There is a camera in every corner today, people eventually will start hiding their faces, I doubt they will want to use makeup to to keep their privacy.

          Anti Facial Recognition Makeup
          http://www.geekosystem.com/anti-facial-recognition/

          Those technologies will change some laws and how people think of privacy in coming years.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Two sides to each story

            I think you make some good points; however, I think there are some valid counterarguments that people can make as well. For instance, just because you have recording goggles on and intend to record your entire life doesn't mean you should record everything in the dressing/locker room or the showers when other people are there getting dressed and whatnot. Other people's privacy is also important and there are some instances where your desire to record your entire life may interfere with someone else's privacy. If you're a doctor, for instance, there are doctor patient confidentiality rules. Heck, I'm sure there are many personal family issues that people discuss that they would rather not be recorded for various reasons. If you're staying at a friends house maybe your friend doesn't want you recording everything that happens at his house.

            Now, I'm not saying that you're entirely wrong here either. I understand that there is a difference between private property closed to the public (like your personal house) and private property open to the public (like a shopping mall). But, and Mike has talked about this before in various posts, there are serious issues to consider here. Whether or not a property owner, who owns private property open to the public, can kick someone out based on their use of a recording device and to what extent is a question I think open to debate. One could argue, however, that it's bad business practice. If such a property owner doesn't wish to allow cameras on his property, instead of patronizing his property, you can choose someone elses property to give your money to. If enough people boycott such property then property owners will eventually learn to allow cameras on their property.

             

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        Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 8:36pm

        Re: nobody should be kicked out of anywhere because of a photograph

        If it’s private property, they can impose pretty much whatever conditions they like on people entering. Equally, they can’t prosecute you for disobeying those conditions, all they can do is throw you out.

        Those are, in theory, their rights. In practice, if they want lots of people to visit their shops and buy things, they have to be reasonable about things.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 9:07pm

          Re: Re: nobody should be kicked out of anywhere because of a photograph

          Can they make a rule that forbids someone from some religion to enter the premises? Could they negate service to people based on color?

           

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          Christopher (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

          Re: Re: nobody should be kicked out of anywhere because of a photograph

          Personally, I disagree with that point of view. It may be private property, but they should STILL have to adhere to human rights, of which one of your rights is to?

          Photographically document your life and the places you go should you wish to.

          Now, if they find someone taking pictures up women's skirts or something like that? That is punishable by OTHER laws and they should only intervene when something like that is happening.

           

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      btr1701 (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 6:37pm

      Re: Two sides to each story

      > "They had a very specific concern, which I am not in a position
      > to discuss publicly, that they felt the need to report."

      So he was doing something else, but they won't say what he was doing, but we should just trust them that they had a real good reason.

      Riiighhht...

       

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      hmm (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

      Re: Two sides to each story

      Yeah they questioned him under the "lets be annoying cunts because we can get away with it" Act.

      Not technically an Act of Parliament, more an Act of a bored/racist police officer (i.e. most of them).

       

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    anonymous, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    'the police claim he wasn't questioned under any of the various Terrorism Acts' and the police wouldn't lie, would they!

     

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    Rich Kulawiec, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    And this is how the terrorists win.

    I'm sure that none of the "authorities" involved in this debacle are intelligent enough to grasp this -- or they wouldn't be involved -- but this is a double victory for terrorists.

    First, it's a win because they've managed to manipulate the authorities into doing their work for them. It's always best to get an enemy to inflict damage on itself, as has happened in this case. It's even better -- from the terrorists' point of view -- when you can publicly announce your intention to do so and STILL get your enemy to fall for the ploy.

    Second, it's a win because every minute of time spent viciously harassing harmless people is a minute not spent actually doing something useful. Of course, it's easy to threaten a father with a child; tracking down terrorists is hard work. So it's much easier to do the former and pretend to do the latter.

    So not only is this incident infuriating (every law enforcement official involved should be fired and banned for life from serving) but it's depressing: it's yet another way that victory is being handed to terrorists on a silver platter. They need not concoct elaborate plots or build complex devices or anything like that; they can just sit back and watch the self-inflicted wounds accumulate until there are enough to be fatal.

     

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    Ed C., Oct 14th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    I could say it's comforting to know the US isn't the only country that's gone batshit crazy over terrorism...but it's not.

     

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    Scott Yates (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Damn Terrorists!

    Ice cream terrorists I tells ya!

     

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    Bushi, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

    law?

    A mall can make whatever rules it wants but it sure as hell can't make a 'law'.
    You break a mall rule they can cask you leave, but call the police for something not a crime? Wow... I'm not a sue happy kind of guy but that shit should be left to stand.

     

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    wifezilla, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    Apparently the mall released this initial response...
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:xJIS02fDiL8J:www.braehead.co.uk/Wh ats-on/News/Statement-from-Braehead+braehead+statement&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

    N ow there are hints and inferences that the dad may have done something wrong? Is this a case of CYA on the part of the police??

     

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    abc gum, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 6:16pm

    "They had a very specific concern, which I am not in a position to discuss publicly, that they felt the need to report. It was because of this very specific concern that security staff became involved. They were right to raise their concern and we are glad that they did so. "

    Sounds like BS

     

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    k-h, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 6:39pm

    no photos?

    So the mall has no cctv? Or are pictures only not allowed to be taken by the public?

     

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    kh (profile), Oct 14th, 2011 @ 6:48pm

    creepy

    A member of staff at the centre's ice cream stall is said to have told officers that Mr White took photographs of her with his trouser zip open.

    Making him look as creepy as possible?

    He added: “It is because Mr White chose to seek publicity for his account of events and because of the planned demonstration that we feel compelled to take the unusual step of making our findings public.

    “In reaching our conclusions, officers took statements from a number of independent witnesses and viewed the substantial amount of CCTV that was available in the centre.

    “On reviewing all of this objective evidence, I have to tell you that we can find no basis to support the complaint which Mr White has elected to make.

    So they reviewed their CCTV footage, which apparently was OK for them to take under their "no photographs" rule, and they somehow found that no-one mentioned terrorism? Did they have microphones as well?

     

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      Rekrul, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:08pm

      Re: creepy

      A member of staff at the centre's ice cream stall is said to have told officers that Mr White took photographs of her with his trouser zip open.

      A sure sign of a pervert! No decent adult male has ever forgotten to zip up, or had their zipper come undone due to normal movement...

       

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        Joe, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 6:30am

        Re: Re: creepy

        What law is on the books about forgetting to zip your fly? If thay is illegal I am surprised more kids aren't being sent to juvie.

        Granted that is assuming he want going commando

         

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        hmm (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

        Re: Re: creepy

        Also its terribly wrong to expose your penis in public near children...................

        Well, unless you're a premiership footballer or in Cameron's cabinet....

         

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      hmm (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

      Re: creepy

      A member of staff at the centre's ice cream stall is said to have told officers that Mr White took photographs of her with his trouser zip open.


      What was the member of staff doing wearing Mr Whites trousers?

       

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        Christopher (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

        Re: Re: creepy

        I'm more interested in "What does it matter that his trouser zip was open?"

        Personally, I have had the zipper to my shorts (don't wear trousers) come down and open all the time when I am walking around from the natural movement of my body, unless they are those 'locking' zippers.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 8:07pm

    This is great material for conspiracy theorists. First all those corrupt cops caught on camera, then that recent veto in California allowing mobile phones to still be searched without a warrant, and now the police showing up in response to innocuous photography.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 10:31pm

      Re:

      When what the conspiracy theorists claim is going to happen en masse is actually happening on a small scale, we are right to be worried. Canary in the coal mine?

       

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    Vincent Clement (profile), Oct 15th, 2011 @ 6:33am

    Nice backtracking by the police. Why wouldn't "members of the public" tell the guy his fly was undone?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 9:54am

    cameras

    “In reaching our conclusions, officers took statements from a number of independent witnesses and viewed the substantial amount of CCTV that was available in the centre.


    I hope they get whoever put up those CCTV cameras.

     

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    robert, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 8:49pm

    ice creem

    Oman you gotta be kidding. What kind of shit is this.what a fucken ass hole. Shoot that asshole somebody please.. I got some ice cream for him,and alot of white cream too....

     

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    Androgynous Cowherd, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    Misspelling in blog post

    I'd like to take a moment to point out a regrettable spelling error in the original blog post, in the interests of possibly having it fixed.

    Specifically, the tagline reads, "from the the-new-face-of-terror dept." when clearly it should be "from the the-new-farce-of-terror dept." instead.

    HTH; HAND.

     

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    mike allen (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    They had a very specific concern, which I am not in a position to discuss publicly,

    this line means one thing to me the police are making it up as they go along if they got something then say if not BUTT OUT

     

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    hmm (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    I know what it was

    The "specific concerns" (since its British Police) were

    Did he know where there were any:

    Skanks to have sex with on top of their car
    High-quality Cocaine for the Chief Constable
    Persons of ethnic origin to beat with nightsticks and accuse of being terrorists

     

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    Peter Matheson, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 5:28pm

    Clearly a pervert

    This guy obviously got done for taking lewd photos of other people in the mall and used the opportunity of a photo with his daughter to cover it up. Well done to all involved to exposing this scumbag.

     

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      Shawn, Oct 19th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

      Re: Clearly a pervert

      You may be right. But the lewd photos may have been OF his daughter-- She's cute enough for pedos to go gaga over... You never know!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 8:13am

    We are concerned... we can't tell you about what, but we are concerned

    I'm sure if they could tell us what they were concerned about, we would all understand and agree that the horrible tourist should be waterboarded.... Wait tourist and terrorist aren't the same??? Who knew.

    We think you are doing bad things, we can't tell you what those things are, but we think you are doing them. No if we told you what we thought you were doing, you would know what we think you are doing and you would be sure that you didn't do it anymore. Only by not telling you what we think you are doing, can we really tell if you are doing what we think you are doing, of course now that you know that we know that we think you are doing something, you won't do what we thought you were doing, and so all we are doing is wasting a bunch of everyone's time.

    What was it that we accused you of doing again? All this 'justification' thing kind of got in the way of me remembering what we were persecuting the tourist for....

     

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      Moose12 (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 8:53am

      Re: We are concerned... we can't tell you about what, but we are concerned

      I completely agree with everything you said........I think ...Well maybe!! What I didn't get was if the thing he did was not the reason for concern;....was it the other thing that might have been the threat to national secur....or ...no....did they mention the threat to...no, they didn't say that did they?? Oh damn!! Now I'm confused. This police work with kids and cameras and ice cream must be tougher than I thought.I think I"ll take my meds an have a nap, or something!!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

    This is just an other example of how the terrorists are "WINNING". Hidden camera anyone. Once suicide bombing cleans out the terrorist gene pool with natural selection. Terrorist will realize all they need to do is mess with our imaginations. Just get a backpack and fill it with fake bombs and fake bio-hazards materials, place it in a crowded mall or subway during Christmas. geesh my local sub way has giant backpacks advertising that's it not always this easy to spot a bomb. But stuff like this doesn't happen because they don't want to mes with us they want us dead, in the mean time kiss our freedoms good bye.

     

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

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    Anonymous, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 10:21pm

    We have very valid reasons to suspect him of being a terrorist, but we're not telling you because we're afraid you might laugh at us if we do.

     

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


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