Center for Citizen Media Rotating Header Image

More Paranoia About Photography in Public Places SU student questions VA security actions. A Syracuse University graduate student taking photographs outside the VA Medical Center says she was questioned and ordered to delete several images by hospital security officers Thursday afternoon. Mariam Jukaku, 24, of Michigan, said the officers also photocopied her university ID and driver’s license and asked if she was a U.S. citizen. She wonders if her appearance played a part in how the incident was handled.

Let’s be clear: The security officers had no authority to order this woman to do anything of the kind. And if this incident occurred as described (there’s no reason to doubt it), it’s entirely probable that appearances were part of the reason.
These kinds of paranoid acts by officials do nothing to increase security — nothing. They only provide a demontration of what others have called “security theater” — the pretense of protection that does more harm than good.

2 Comments on “More Paranoia About Photography in Public Places”

  1. #1 Jon Garfunkel
    on Sep 9th, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Some other points worth excerpting:

    “Removing the images that she shot was inappropriate, so we apologize,” [Gordon] Sclar a medical center spokesman] said.
    Sclar said the policy and its enforcement would be discussed.

    Dan– this led me to an old idea I had about making it easier for people to find out laws which apply to their current behavior (disagreeable as those laws might be). See CodeZoner.

  2. #2 Dan Gillmor
    on Sep 10th, 2007 at 8:47 am

    The Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard Law School is working on a multi-state legal guide for citizen journalists, too.