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NYC photo ban

In civil rights story that seems better reported abroad than at home, New York City’s proposal to ban photos in the subway is still moving forward, if Sunday’s photographer protest is an indication.

Under the proposed ban, photographers must obtain a permit to take still or video pictures on subways. In a NY Times article which ran when I was in NYC for WWW2004, officials said that tourists would not be exempt from paying fines under the proposal released 20 May.

According to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

The NYPD suggested this ban by reasoning that photographs could assist would-be terrorists in plotting attacks against the state’s public transportation system. The protesting photographers, both amateur and professional, rode the trains and took pictures for more than an hour to mock the idea that this kind of photography represents a national security threat.

Proposed new rule:

Staff Comments:
Section 1050.9(c) In order to further enhance passenger security and safety, photography and videotaping would be prohibited except for members of the press holding valid identification cards issued by the New York City Police Department or where written authorization has been provided by NYCT.

Existing language in brackets; new language underlined:
(c)  [Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods may not be used. Members of the press holding valid identification issued by the New York City Police Department are hereby authorized to use necessary ancillary equipment.] No photograph, film or video recording shall be made or taken on or in any conveyance or facility by any person, except members of the press holding valid press identification cards issued by the New York City Police Department or by others duly authorized in writing to engage in such activity by the authority.  All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

Have an opinion? MTA is using its stock comment form to accept comments on this proposal.

Links: NYT (6 May – free registration); NYT (21 May – $)

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

3 replies on “NYC photo ban”

This is hilarious. Stopping photography in such places is not going to stop terrorists! This is only punishing poor art students and many inspiring photographers.

I live in NYC. Over the summer i’ve been taking a photography course at my college and this is very timely for me. While photographing outside earlier this week, a passerby tells me that you’ll soon need a permit if you want to take pictures of an establishment or building for more than 30 minutes.

Photos won’t destroy New York. Neither will a ban stop would-be terrorists from sneaking a camera into the subway and take whatever photos they need. This is stupid in every regard. It smells more like the city wants to place a limitation on the public to perpetuate a false sense of being under a threat at all times. Easy, party-pooping way of making busy.

for years this country has been a champion of democracy, freedom and civil liberties until king gorge took the power and started to change almost everything and we were proud of.
this new challenge to our freedom of speech and assembly is something that we
can not permit. and i ask everyone to take our politicians a countable and remember them that on election day we well remember all their actions.

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