A post-9/11 requirement that tourists and other casual photographers get a permit before taking pictures in New York City has the ACLU claiming a First Amendment violation.
The city’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcast proposed the new rules, which would “require City-issued permits and proof of insurance for any person using a handheld camera in any public area in a group of two or more and using the camera for more than thirty minutes,” according to the North Country Gazette.
The rules are expected to affect tourists more than any other group, as they tend to gather at places like Ground Zero with their cameras for long periods of time.
“NYC would require permit for casual photography”
North Country Gazette (NY), June 28, 2007
In Damascus, Syria, where I lived for a time, is a big mountain with military antennas all over it. If you point a camera at the mountain and one of the republican guard (affectionately called the “secret police” because they stand on streetcorners wearing black suits) sees it you are admonished not to take photos…even though the mountain is photographed a gazillion times a day by a gazillion spy satellites. I considered this amusing third-world paranoia, but now I see it’s been joined by amusing first-world paranoia. Now we’ll have to have “secret police” in NYC, but with different uniforms, or they’ll be mistaken for out-of-work stockbrokers.