In a post titled Criminalizing Photography New York Times Lens Blog co-editor James Estrin and Mickey H. Osterreicher, a lawyer for the National Press Photographers Association, discuss a troubling trend of arrests for photography in public spaces.
“Since 9/11, there’s been an incredible number of incidents where photographers are being interfered with and arrested for doing nothing other than taking pictures or recording video in public places.
It’s not just news photographers who should be concerned with this. I think every citizen should be concerned. Tourists taking pictures are being told by police, security guards and sometimes other citizens, “Sorry, you can’t take a picture here.” When asked why, they say, “Well, don’t you remember 9/11?”
I remember it quite well, but what does that have do to with taking a picture in public? It seems like the war on terrorism has somehow morphed into an assault on photography.
… I think it was very different 20 years ago. I think press photographers had more access, I think credentials were respected. Unfortunately, nowadays wearing a press credential is almost like wearing a scarlet ‘A’.”