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Thread: Are you in the Homeland Security database?

  1. #1

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    Are you in the Homeland Security database?

    I am now! Was "caught" taking photos of a wall of a building which turns out belongs to the New Jersey Transit system. The NJ Path police weren;t rude but they said there was a law of some sort that prohibited photography on/of NJ property without prior permits. They asked if my camera was digital - I showed them the RB67 Pro SD - with the tele lens -- and they didn't quite know what to make of it so I reassured them that it wasn' digital. They seemed to imply that if it was digital, then they would have erased the photos. Anyway, they took down my ID info and said it would go into their Homeland Security database. I'll have to look into the legal implications and options. Good thing I already had all the photos I wanted already.
    Funny thing is that the New York subway system and the NJ Transit system doesn't have such a policy but the PATH system does? Talk about self-glorification!
    Last edited by cyrus; 1-Sep-2007 at 14:40.

  2. #2

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    Re: Are you in the Homeland Security database?

    I remember as a kid that one of the signature outrages of the Soviet Union was that you could be detained just for taking pictures in the wrong place. Magazines routinely had to explain this when reporting on some incident or other because the very idea was so foreign.

    Thank god we won.

  3. #3

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    Re: Are you in the Homeland Security database?

    Quote Originally Posted by poco View Post
    I remember as a kid that one of the signature outrages of the Soviet Union was that you could be detained just for taking pictures in the wrong place. Magazines routinely had to explain this when reporting on some incident or other because the very idea was so foreign.

    Thank god we won.
    You don't have to tell me. I'm Iranian - and guess what? I was hassled just ONCE in Iran for taking photos - and even then it was minimal compared to this incident. Oh the irony.

  4. #4
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    Re: Are you in the Homeland Security database?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    Oh the irony.
    When all the citizens are in the database, what have you got? And how does it make anyone safer? Except the bureaucrats of course, who are safer in their jobs (of overseeing the database). After all, that's what's really important, yes? And that, I think, is the real irony here.

    And if it makes you feel any better, I'm sure I'm in dozens of government databases. You aren't alone.

    Bruce Watson

  5. #5

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    Re: Are you in the Homeland Security database?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    When all the citizens are in the database, what have you got? And how does it make anyone safer?.
    Twice when going to exhibitions at the Armory in NYC, I and all attendees had to show a picture ID. Why? The people checking didn't check anyone against a database. They didn't have a list of people to exclude. There was no age requirement (for alcohol purchase which wasn't an option). Zippo....except to go through the exercise. Since a low yield suicide bomber wearing a sport coat or a suit could probably have gotten in, what was the point? Officious idiots abound it seems.
    ----------------------------------------------------

    www.johnvossphotography.blogspot.com

  6. #6

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    Re: Are you in the Homeland Security database?

    The problem is that the idiocy doesn't end there - god only knows what these databases are used for, and what sort of quality control is being exercised over them

    Here, read the stories:

    Innocent people put on terrorist list to meet quotas

    American citizen is denied a mortgage because his middle name matches an alias of one of Saddam's sons, even though he was born 40 year earlier.

    Famous American senator singled out on secret government "no fly" list.

    Thousands of people are wrongly on secret "terrorist" lists

    Makes you feel real safe, don't it?

  7. #7

    Re: Are you in the Homeland Security database?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Voss View Post
    Twice when going to exhibitions at the Armory in NYC, I and all attendees had to show a picture ID. Why? The people checking didn't check anyone against a database. They didn't have a list of people to exclude. There was no age requirement (for alcohol purchase which wasn't an option). Zippo....except to go through the exercise. Since a low yield suicide bomber wearing a sport coat or a suit could probably have gotten in, what was the point? Officious idiots abound it seems.
    Why not just say no? Seriously. If it really upsets you (and it would me, in this case) refuse to comply. The worst that can happen is that you're refused entrance. If enough people stop meekly complying with BS like this, it'll stop.

    When people in stores ask me for phone numbers or addresses or zip codes, I refuse. When they ask me to look in my bag on the way out, I refuse. If you don't like it, don't do it.

  8. #8

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    Re: Are you in the Homeland Security database?

    Earlier thread, same subject: http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ad.php?t=26475
    In my case, police also said they had to file a report, didn't specifically say it would go into the Homeland Security database, but that's my guess where it ended up.

  9. #9

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    Re: Are you in the Homeland Security database?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lewin View Post
    Earlier thread, same subject: http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ad.php?t=26475
    In my case, police also said they had to file a report, didn't specifically say it would go into the Homeland Security database, but that's my guess where it ended up.
    Actually Peter, your experience is worse than mine. I was technically on the transit system's property - you seem to have been in a totally public place!

  10. #10

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    Re: Are you in the Homeland Security database?

    My money's on the possibility they were blowing smoke up your arse with the purpose of:

    1. either trying to scare you and/or everybody in general (for whatever purposes)
    and/or
    2. feeling powerful.

    I mean - think about it - WHY would any sane person go into law enforcement or security except for access to cheap and easy power...?

    I'll happily go on record to say that I think the whole Homeland Security/Patriot Act thing is just a huge cash scam.

    Think about this: if you were ACTUALLY trying to catch criminals/terrorists whatever - the very LAST thing you'd probably want to do is go announcing it all over that you're tapping the phones and monitoring everyone's e-mail. You'd say "no - we're NOT going to do that because we believe in liberty or freedom or whatever" and then you go and actually DO it. If they're actually OUT there... you'd be FAR more successful with a tactic like that - it seems to me. They just want to scare the public into submission IMO. That's the way I see it, anyway.

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