Fwd from Lawyer and Photographer Bert Krages:
> Last December, a photographer in Portland, Oregon was stopped and > detained > by security guards for taking photographs of the old federal courthouse. > Margie Boule, a columnist with the Oregonian, wrote yesterday about his > experience and her interviews with federal officials in the Office of > Homeland Security, Federal Protective Service, and U.S. > Attorney's Office. > It is a well written column and shows what can happen when photographers > voice their complaints about mistreatment.
(you have to do a little zipcode and age thing)
A couple of quotes:
"You'd think it would be easy to find out if something was against the law in the United States. Either there's a law on the books or there isn't, right? But this week it took a lot of phone calls to get a definitive answer on whether it's illegal to photograph federal buildings in America....
Garrison Courtney, with the Federal Protective Service in the capitol, was certain "there is a law" banning the photographs. "What it is offhand I can't say, but you can be charged for taking pictures of federal buildings. I have seen people charged with it since I came here." But Garrison could not cite the law...
Finally Ken Spitzer, regional director for the Federal Protective Service of Homeland Security -- in other words, the big boss of the security guards who hassled Jeffrey Thorns last month -- had the facts. "It's not true" that it's illegal to photograph federal buildings, he said this week. "They misspoke. It's certainly not illegal. But when we see people in front of buildings taking photos we try to be as vigilant as we can.""