Photographs like this may soon become illegal!

Sack Parliament Protest, London, 2006

Yep! According to some proposed legislation currently “going through the process” apparently I could get up to ten years in jail for taking a photograph like the above and publishing it in future!

Read Terror Law and Photography on photojournalist Marc Vallee’s blog.

Worrying implications indeed!

As an article on Indymedia so succinctly puts it:

“If a police officer behaves badly and oppressively we [activists] have been known to criticise them on the internet. Furthermore it has always been commonsense to jot down police collar numbers on demos and take photos a) for legal reasons to identify police breaking the law, to identify police behaving well, to help clarify matters in both criminal and civil courts. Intelligence on police gathered by activists has helped to acquit innocent activists, enabled activists to sue police and correctly identify the culprits. None of this has ever been used in order to use violence against the police let alone terrorism but we can hazard a guess that they might use this proposed legislation against us. What if MI5 infiltrate a group and that agent is discovered? Will it become an offence to warn other activists? Will it be an offence to after having suspicions raised about a fellow activist to make a few enquiries if the “activist” is an undercover cop?”

And there’s some related info on Indymedia here.

At the very least this proposed legislation will constitute yet another encroachment on individual freedoms in this country whilst at the same time giving even greater power and freedom from accountability to the cops, thereby edging us one step closer to becoming a true Police State.

As well as making the job of the photojournalist that much more difficult than it already is.

Also posted at yet another blog

About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
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4 Responses to Photographs like this may soon become illegal!

  1. Great action shot. Put it somewhere for ten years and then pull it back up, and it could go in a history book.
    That law doesn’t seem right. They take pictures of regular citizens rioting and publish those but they are calling publishing pictures of police officers committing wrong act wrong? Its hypocritical.

  2. forkboy says:

    Sounds like it has become time for all Britain’s to arm themselves with cameras and start photographing every copper they see. 24/7/365.

  3. fotdmike says:

    Maggie: Its actually a shot from 2006 which I took at the “Sack Parliament” demo in London, and its already been picked up by a coupla websites and (bizarrely) by an “alternative” rock group for an album cover.
    And you’re right, there’s definitely something adrift when the cops make free with taking photos of legitimate protesters (who, be it noted, for the most part haven’t committed any criminal act and have no intention of doing so) yet seek to curtail the rights of the public to “return the compliment” as it were.
    Most of the “troubles” or “incidents” that occur at demos, or at least most of the ones I’ve witnessed, happen as a direct result of police provocation or the confrontational tactics used by them!

    forkboy: Something along very similar lines is in fact already being discussed in… ah… “certain circles”.

  4. forkboy says:

    And that pleases me to no end.

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