If you happen by 3701 N. Fairfax Drive in Arlington and decide you have a sudden craving for a photograph of a generic suburban office building, and you point your camera at said structure, you will rather quickly be greeted by uniformed security folks who will demand that you delete the image and require that you give up various personal information.
When Keith McCammon unwittingly took a picture of that building, he was launched on an odyssey that has so far involved an Arlington police officer, the chief of police and the defense of the United States of America.
The bottom line is that McCammon was caught in a classic logical trap. If he had only known the building was off-limits to photographers, he would have avoided it. But he was not allowed to know that fact. “Reasonable, law-abiding people tend to avoid these types of things when it can be helped,” McCammon wrote. “Thus, my request for a list of locations within Arlington County that are unmarked, but at which photography is either prohibited or discouraged according to some (public or private) policy. Of course, such a list does not exist. Catch-22.”
The only antidote to this security mania is sunshine. Only when more and more Americans do as McCammon has done and take the time and effort to chronicle these excesses and insist on answers from authorities will we stand a chance of restoring balance and sanity to the blend of liberty and security that we are madly remixing in these confused times.
And here is Officer Malara, Arlington County Police Department, who tried to stop McCammon.
There is an entire Flickr group dedicated to these kind of places…
The US government is turning the USA into a Kafka police state by acting like a three-year old hiding behind a blankie. The “if you can’t seem me I don’t exist” defense.
Apollo 11: East Crater Panorama
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first to walk on the Moon. This panorama of their landing site sweeps across the magnificent desolation of the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility, with their Lunar Module, the Eagle, in the background at the far left. East Crater, about 30 meters wide and 4 meters deep, is on the right (scroll right), and was so named because it is about 60 meters east of the Lunar Module. Armstrong had piloted the Eagle safely over the crater. Near the end of his stay on the lunar surface Armstrong strayed far enough from the Lunar Module to take the pictures used to construct this wide-angle view, his shadow appearing at the panorama’s left edge. The object near the middle foreground is a stereo close-up camera.
An URL can say a lot:
While subpoenas and ex parte discovery have worked well for the RIAA in its legal fight against suspected file-sharers, the music industry in Europe looks to be facing a tougher battle. Today, an advocate general for the European Court of Justice, the highest court in the EU, released an opinion saying that ISPs are not required to disclose information that could identify subscribers in civil copyright infringement cases.
The case could have far-ranging implications for the music industry’s legal fight against file-sharers in the European Union, as it would make it much more difficult for the labels to obtain identifying information for the users its investigators discover on file-sharing networks. This would then force the music industry to rely on criminal copyright investigations to finger those on P2P networks, but it must rely on its ability to find law enforcement officials with the resources to devote to tracking down P2P users.