Ottawa joins the war on photography


Mekki sez, "The city of Ottawa has launched a security campaign funded by Transport Canada (federally) that asks people to report any 'suspicious behaviour', which includes photographers and sketchers. They explicitly list 'An individual taking photos or pictures [...], drawing maps or sketches' as things to report. My friend Sarah Gelbard teaches in the Architecture department at Carleton University in Ottawa. She had her students do a project on transit in the city last year. They all went to transit stations and took reference pictures to help plan out their projects. Security stopped and questioned several of them. And this was before this new campaign. I'm afraid what might happen now if people started calling in the "suspicious behaviour" of students taking photos of a transit station."

Good to see the Anglo-American stupid creeping up to Canada. I suppose if terrorists were precision bombers who had to place their charges to the millimetre in order to succeed, this would make sense, but given that no one's ever shown that terrorists attacks involve carefully photographing the attack-site (as opposed to simply walking up to it, finding a likely spot, and blowing up), this is simply a good way of absorbing police/security time that could be spent chasing actual bad guys.

Canadian transit photographers are trembling in their boots, I'm sure. Too bad they don't actually pose any risk to the Canadian transit system. Otherwise, Ottawa'd really be onto something.

The security of the transit systems

(Thanks, Mekki!)