Current TV on photo bans in UK

Here's a short documentary from Current about UK restrictions on photography in public places
Thousands of UK residents have signed a petition against a law preventing photography and filming in certain public places. Yet this all turned out to be a misunderstanding, and no such law was proposed. Rajesh investigates the way we view the lens and the way it views us.
Link (Thanks, Ernst Gruengast!)


  1. How ironic!

    Thousands gathering to protest a law that doesn’t exist?

    This means that thousands are routinely being lied to by the very people hired to enforce the law.

    What further evidence is necessary that “the authorities” must clean up their act?

  2. Wow, wow, wow. Thank god he knew the law and did not give over his ID. What a strong and smart individual.

  3. We need to start organizing photographic flash mobs – groups of maybe fifteen people who all enter, say, a mall, train station or park simultaneously, each take, say, three or four shots of different parts of it, then leave quickly and upload them to a flickr stream. The first targets should of course be the malls etc. that have already thrown people out for taking pictures…

  4. would it be over the line to wear a ludicrously large turban with an old telephoto lens sticking out of it?

  5. Well-produced, relevant, and thought-provoking. I particularly like the point about the gov’t wanting, in the event of a problem, the very photos that they sometimes are trying to prevent from being taken in the first place.

  6. Holy cow, that interaction with the policemen absolutely amazes me. Debating your rights with a US cop of pretty much any sort is very likely to end badly, and doing it in an even remotely confrontational way (as in the vid) is pretty certain to get you beaten to the ground, cuffed and tossed in the back of a cruiser quicker than you can say Terry Stop.

  7. that was not a policeman, it was a hobbie-bobbie. Who also knew he was being filmed and was surrounded by witnesses.

  8. Lyd-
    The two uniformed officers were actually PCSOs, Police Community Support Officers. They do not have the same powers of arrest, instead they are there to discourage anti-social behaviour by:

    Issuing of fixed penalty notices (e.g. riding on footpath; dog fouling; litter)
    Power to confiscate alcohol and tobacco
    Power to demand the name and address of a person acting in an anti-social manner
    Power of entry to save life or prevent damage
    Removal of abandoned vehicles

    Having been stopped myself by the police (for taking photos of the American Embassy in London – ) it’s awfully hard to maintain one’s sang-froid in the face of ID being demanded. I gave in but kept my photos.

  9. time for people with their own private property that has a good view of something like the US Embassy in London to set up web cams that are always on.

  10. A quick look at the journo’s picture reveals the problem. He’s obviously under the impression that it’s OK to parade around in public with brown skin and a beard. Shame on him for worrying the police like that!

    For that matter, why does he think it’s OK to have an obviously Islamic name like Singh post-9/11?

  11. #9 (Takuan): Even though he was being recorded and watched it didn’t stop him from telling the camera operator to “shut up” – coming from a Police officer, this would be bad. Coming from one of these “volunteer cops”… that’s just absolutely beyond the pale.

  12. @14: I think Boing Boing Gadgets has a feature on sarcasm detectors today. Maybe you should check it out….

  13. @#14:You’re wrong, of course: it’s actually a Rajput name adopted by, among others, Sikhs. Still, thanks for supplanting Paul’s affected display of ignorance for comic effect with the real thing.

  14. any London dweller care to comment on the racial subtext of the exchange? The quasi-cop appeared “Asian-Oriental”, the photographer “Indian” perhaps, the other volunteer cop “Caucasian”. Was there some primate tribal thing being acted out here? Oh, you humans!

  15. @17: To be fair to Cha0tic, I’d have said it was a Sikh name myself until you made your point.

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