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  #1  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 03:24 PM
Ivan Garcia Ivan Garcia is offline
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Thumbs down UK... Section 76

Section 76 is a new piece of moronic legislation that has just come in to force.
This badly worded law, is part of the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 and states:

"Anyone eliciting, publishing or communicating information on members of the armed forces, intelligence services and police officers which is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, could face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years".

Now, although the authorities insist that taking photographs of police officers would only be an offence "in exceptional circumstances" I fear that it may be used by individual policeman to prevent legitimate photography in public places (as has already been happening through he misuse of the4 Terrorist Act 2000).

Peter Smyth (chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation) said in a statement.. "My organisation shares photographers' concerns".

He supports calls for a photography code to be drawn up between the Home office and bodies representing both the police and photographers.
He added " Its aim should be to facilitate photography wherever possible, rather than seek reasons to bar it".

"As things stand, there is a real risk of photographers being hampered in carrying out their legitimate work and of police officers facing opprobrium for carrying out what they genuinely, if mistakenly, believe are duties imposed on them by the law"

I personally have taken it a step further and have written to my local MP with my concerns that this law could be used by the police to curtail photography of legitimate demonstrations and protest (among other types of public photography). I suggest you do the same.

In the mean time, mind what you take pictures of... a single bobby, soldier, spy, police station or barracks in the background of your image, could land you in jail.
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  #2  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 04:05 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Ivan,

Thanks for being alert to this. It's important for photographers to make their voices heard. If you have the name and address of the right person to send support letters, and if you think that might be helpful, let us know.

Asher
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  #3  
Old March 2nd, 2009, 04:13 PM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Yes, it's potentially very draconian. A further concern for me is the increasingly common approach that separates the 'rights' of press photographers from the rest of us. Somehow we are being encouraged to believe that if we do not carry an official press card then we are not allowed to photograph many official things, and the press photographers need to obtain permission first...

Unfortunately, we have lost faith in our government here and don't trust their execution of their powers (which they grant themselves).

Mike
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