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01-04-2009, 05:02 AM   #151
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QuoteOriginally posted by duanekerzic Quote
None of us wanted you to leave.

Carlos does have a pair.
I was wrong in my post, I made mistake in identity. Total buffoonery on my part.

I'm sorry you are taken to task over your intentions in the event. We all want to believe the police are there to protect and serve, but we all fear they are simply the one's with the guns. I admire your courage and won't disparage your efforts, but hardly anyone can see themselves or their actions without bias and that is probably why people are asking. I always see myself as right, but thankfully I married a woman that always is, so now know I'm prone to wrong thinking.

I need to leave this thread, but like a moth am drawn to it. My leaving is an attempt not to be a PIA. The important thing isn't whether we agree or disagree on method, but whether we can protect ourselves from harassment.

I think this is a good read.
Schneier on Security: The War on Photography
QuoteQuote:
The 9/11 terrorists didn't photograph anything. Nor did the London transport bombers, the Madrid subway bombers, or the liquid bombers arrested in 2006. Timothy McVeigh didn't photograph the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The Unabomber didn't photograph anything; neither did shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Photographs aren't being found amongst the papers of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IRA wasn't known for its photography. Even those manufactured terrorist plots that the US government likes to talk about -- the Ft. Dix terrorists, the JFK airport bombers, the Miami 7, the Lackawanna 6 -- no photography.

Given that real terrorists, and even wannabe terrorists, don't seem to photograph anything, why is it such pervasive conventional wisdom that terrorists photograph their targets? Why are our fears so great that we have no choice but to be suspicious of any photographer?

Because it's a movie-plot threat.


01-04-2009, 05:05 AM   #152
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QuoteOriginally posted by navcom Quote
Interesting post. You are right about patriotism in the US. I think we are very energetic about this as a whole. I guess I never viewed Canadians as less patriotic. Any idea why this might be in your mind? Just curious.
Canada is a very socialist state. As such, we got used to so many programs to help one and another that we ended up thinking the government can (and will) do everything for us. It doesn't mean we don't like our country, it's just that our country are fundamentally different. One thing I don't like about the Canadian government is the fact that they can't do their own foreign policy, they (almost) always side with the American foreign policies. To such a point that Harper (our Prime minister) looks like Bush "yes man".
01-04-2009, 06:06 AM   #153
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Actually the really funny thing is there is no contest at present. it ended last july!

Additionally, why would the photographer in question telephone NJT to get permission to photograph amtrack trains. OOPS

This smells of a deliberate set-up.

Having said that, the reported response seems a little over the top also.

Edit note, But then again, I went back and looked at the rules

"Responsibility of Entrant and Liability Release
Entries will not be acknowledged or returned. Entrant agrees to stay away from moving trains, tracks, structures, and railroad property. Entrant agrees to release Amtrak from all liability for injury, damage to or loss of personal property, and all other losses, and expressly agrees to bear all responsibility for and to assume the risk of all harm."
Lowell,

1st... Though there is no contest currently under way, the contest has occured annually for the last several years. As a person who rides the trains on a regular basis (my assumption), Mr. Kerzix likely assumed that there would be another annual contest in 2009. There is nothing in the rules stating that the photos have to be taken after the contest is announced.

2nd... The reason he had contacted NJT previously was that a conducter on an NJT train had challenged his photography activities a few fays earlier. His photography on the platform was likely conducted under the assumption that the reply stating that photography was OK on NJT facilities applied to Penn Station as he had just gotten off of a NJT train.

3rd... Come on Lowell, as a ticketed passenger, "keeping off of railroad property" is hardly possible is it? He had to enter railroad property to get off of the train. In fact, he didn't even, nor could he "stay away from moving trains" as he had just ridden one under motion, plus he was right next to a track, inside of a structure... OH MY!!! This part of the rules is clearly aimed at keeping people out of danger areas, not common use areas such as the boarding platforms.

Last edited by MRRiley; 01-04-2009 at 07:16 AM.
01-04-2009, 06:48 AM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by poco Quote
...
I think this is a good read.
Schneier on Security: The War on Photography
Poco,

Schneier is mostly right on the issue. Few, if any photographs have been found in the hands of or effects of the terrorists from 911, London, Madrid, etc... However that does not mean that photographs were not part of their planning process. However, I would suspect that they looked at publicly available pre-existing photos, many provided by city, state, or federal governments themselves. Many of course are posted on the internet by tourists hoping to share their experiences or simple photographers wishing to show off their skills. The point is... There are literally thousands of photos available online showing details of all of the targets of the attacks in question.

The genie is, as they say, out of the bottle! There is no need for any terrorist to take their own surveilence photos.

So, what is the answer? I don't know, short of pulling every photo off of the internet that shows a possible target and forbidding the photography of anything that could be a potential target. This means no more tourist photos of Times Square. No more photos of the Washington Monument with the Capitol in the background. No more photos of the Statue of Liberty. Indeed at that point we are stuck with pictures of puppies and butterflies, because even the Grand Canyon could be the target of a terrorist attack and it would be irresponsible to allow a potential terrorist to see the "lay of the land".

At that point we may as well tear down the aformentioned Statue of Liberty as it will have become obsolete!

PS...
Now... before you say it Stewart. I am not claiming that one or even a bunch of incidents where photographers are prevented from taking photographs (whether the prevention is legal or not) is going to bring down the republic. I am not saying that at all, but I do contend that the atmosphere that these incident occur in is getting more common and that these and other instances of lawful citizens activities being questioned or curtailed are increasing. It is, in short, a SYMPTOM!

The route to tyranny is walked a step at a time and we are on that path unless "we the people" stand firm and chose to turn aside and take a path back to freedom.


Last edited by MRRiley; 01-04-2009 at 07:31 AM. Reason: typos and misspellings
01-04-2009, 08:25 AM   #155
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Why would anyone think that a terrorist would draw attention to him(her)self by using a large SLR to photograph a potential target, when a hidden Camcorder in a bag or other container could be used with complete secrecy?
01-04-2009, 08:32 AM   #156
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QuoteOriginally posted by mithrandir Quote
Why would anyone think that a terrorist would draw attention to him(her)self by using a large SLR to photograph a potential target, when a hidden Camcorder in a bag or other container could be used with complete secrecy?
Its "security theater"... They know they cannot possibly stop photography by people with P&S cameras or cell phone cameras.. After all those thing are damn near everywhere and almost everyone has one. You can't even buy a cell phone these days without a camera in it.

No, they go after the guy with the BIG camera because he does stand out... If they make him an example they seem to think it will deter the guy with the little camera and make it look like they are protecting us all.

They are, of course, sadly mistaken...

Last edited by MRRiley; 01-04-2009 at 08:39 AM.
01-04-2009, 08:42 AM   #157
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QuoteOriginally posted by mithrandir Quote
Why would anyone think that a terrorist would draw attention to him(her)self by using a large SLR to photograph a potential target, when a hidden Camcorder in a bag or other container could be used with complete secrecy?
Or even easier, just surf the net and pull up all kinds of pictures of buildings and structures.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but don't most terrorist attacks come in the form of suicide bombings, or placing of innocent looking packages containing explosives in very public areas? Neither of which requires any sort of photography, especially stealthy photography. Photography isn't dangerous or threatening - but crazy, brain-washed wackos are.

Targeting photographers as the cause of terrorist attacks is like blaming oil producers for making the gasoline that propels a car down the freeway at 100mph in the wrong lane. It's all about focus.
01-04-2009, 08:45 AM   #158
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
Canada is a very socialist state. As such, we got used to so many programs to help one and another that we ended up thinking the government can (and will) do everything for us. It doesn't mean we don't like our country, it's just that our country are fundamentally different. One thing I don't like about the Canadian government is the fact that they can't do their own foreign policy, they (almost) always side with the American foreign policies. To such a point that Harper (our Prime minister) looks like Bush "yes man".
I think Canadians have gotten so used to the "what can my country do for me" social programs that we have, to an extent, forgotten about the "what can I do for my country" part of citizenry.
Yves, Harper is a bagman for GWB. The only time in my lifetime that our foreign policy has differed substantially from the USA has been during Trudeau and Chretien's governments. I'm waiting to see what happens when, in the name of protecting American jobs, Obama decides to unilaterally alter our trade agreements.
If Harper goes along with that, then bring on the coalition, I don't care if the Bloc has the last say.

01-04-2009, 09:13 AM   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I think Canadians have gotten so used to the "what can my country do for me" social programs that we have, to an extent, forgotten about the "what can I do for my country" part of citizenry.
Yves, Harper is a bagman for GWB. The only time in my lifetime that our foreign policy has differed substantially from the USA has been during Trudeau and Chretien's governments. I'm waiting to see what happens when, in the name of protecting American jobs, Obama decides to unilaterally alter our trade agreements.
If Harper goes along with that, then bring on the coalition, I don't care if the Bloc has the last say.
I stand behind you on that point. One thing to take note of is the fact that the "Bloc Québécois" has more or less become a regional party representing Quebec citizens, more or less what the Alliance used to be to Westerners. During the last political torment in the Parliament, the ONLY person who mentioned separation and separatist was Harper himself, trying to scare the Canadians away from the coalition, more or less like G.W.B. did during his last electoral campaign, i.e. telling everybody they were in great danger and he only was able to save them. And it worked. Really sad.
01-04-2009, 09:22 AM   #160
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
Or even easier, just surf the net and pull up all kinds of pictures of buildings and structures.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but don't most terrorist attacks come in the form of suicide bombings, or placing of innocent looking packages containing explosives in very public areas? Neither of which requires any sort of photography, especially stealthy photography. Photography isn't dangerous or threatening - but crazy, brain-washed wackos are.

Targeting photographers as the cause of terrorist attacks is like blaming oil producers for making the gasoline that propels a car down the freeway at 100mph in the wrong lane. It's all about focus.
The 9-11 terrorists planned the attacks for months beforehand. They took many pictures and gathered intel on infrastructure around the country, including the Mall of America and the nuke plant just down the road from me. Also, they have a track record of terrorist attacks around the world with similar behavior beforehand. Because of this M.O., agencies now use these "symptoms" to locate terrorist supsects to prevent an attack....right or wrong.

There are thousands of images on the internet, this is true. But planning an attack would involve much more than just some pictures of the target, as any military planner would tell you. It requires intelligence...what time do they close, how many people come in and out and at what time are the most people there. Where are the vulnerabilities, what's next door, how will emergency services respond and what roads will they take to get there, etc. etc. In order to gather this information, you have to visit the target many times...and take pictures.

As an example, one of the things terrorist organizations have done in the past is create a false alarm at the target (bomb threat, medical emergency, etc.) and then have someone watch what ensues...and take pictures. The same could be said at a train station...how are people getting on and off the train, how many people are typically getting off a train, how many trains are there at 11:00am, etc.

I would agree that using an expensive SLR camera would draw attention and more than likely a P&S or cellphone would be a better choice. Of course, before the 9-11 attack, using an SLR would probably have been preferred as it would be obvious they were not hiding anything.

The fact is, there is plenty of proof that terrorists do take pictures and gather intel before a large attack. So does our military or any military in the world. It's necessary and nothing new.

What is new is how the U.S. has responded to it....completely overblown and paranoid. Again, this is because we do not accept the fact that life has risks. Yes, terrorists will take pictures....so what! If we did happen to catch a terrorist and made him delete his pictures, what has it gained for us? Not a thing. To the terrorist, his suspicions about our predictability would just be confirmed. He will just come back next time with his cellphone.

What this overblown approach has done is let them win. The root of the word terrorist is terror...and they have succeeded in keeping everyone terrorized for 7 years in the U.S. We've allowed it to affect our economy and our freedoms...the very things they wanted to affect. Sounds more like they succeeded in this regard.

The sad thing is we have done it to ourselves. Sometimes the most lethal attack is the one in your mind.
01-04-2009, 09:54 AM   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by navcom Quote
...
What this overblown approach has done is let them win. The root of the word terrorist is terror...and they have succeeded in keeping everyone terrorized for 7 years in the U.S. We've allowed it to affect our economy and our freedoms...the very things they wanted to affect. Sounds more like they succeeded in this regard.

The sad thing is we have done it to ourselves. Sometimes the most lethal attack is the one in your mind.
Very true... Every time we change or make an innocent legal behavour illegal or even inconvenient, the terrorists win a small battle. They don't even have to do anything to win that battle. Our fear that they might do something is victory in itself.

Only by refusing to give in to the fear will we win...

Last edited by MRRiley; 01-04-2009 at 10:03 AM.
01-04-2009, 10:05 AM   #162
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
Only by refusing to give into the fear will we win...
This is the key. We have to be willing to accept the risk that we could be attacked again. We have to accept the fact that we cannot prevent every attack and still be a free people.

When an army attacks your country, it's like a fire in a haystack. The haystack (the citizens) knows beyond doubt where the enemy is and what to attack to stop the carnage.

A terrorist is like a needle in the haystack. The needle blends in to the haystack very well, and the only way to even have a chance to catch it is to destroy the entire haystack. Even then, you may still have overlooked it.

In the end, you are worse off than if you would have just let an attack happen to begin with.
01-04-2009, 10:25 AM   #163
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
Canada is a very socialist state. As such, we got used to so many programs to help one and another that we ended up thinking the government can (and will) do everything for us. It doesn't mean we don't like our country, it's just that our country are fundamentally different. One thing I don't like about the Canadian government is the fact that they can't do their own foreign policy, they (almost) always side with the American foreign policies. To such a point that Harper (our Prime minister) looks like Bush "yes man".
I don't think our countries are as different as you think. We are becoming much more socialistic than we have ever been in the past, for many of the same reasons...that we want the government to do everything for us (trading freedom for perceived security).

There seems to be this thinking that there is this big bag of money in Washington and the problem is they just don't want to let it go. If we could only elect politicians that would let the money go, we would all be rich and prosperous without having to do anything.

Nobody stops to think that this "bag of money" is our money and in order to make it grow, you have to take from us first.
01-04-2009, 10:37 AM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
My conflict is with Kerzic's attempts to portray this as an anti-photography, anti-photographer, anti-us (you & me), incident when I don't, based on his own ever-changing statements, believe that to be true. The fact he had a passenger ticket doesn't give him a license to do whatever he wants, any more than being allowed into the premises of Wal-Mart allows one to raid the cash register. Penn Station is well posted with trespass signs throughout, which means you conduct your passenger-related business there and leave. Kerzic was further told about those trespass signs (a verbal notice of trespass), which means you stop arguing and leave.

Given that, I firmly believe his photography was entirely incidental to this situation. Had he been playing a guitar, dancing, sleeping, or whatever trespass on the platform, told to stop, argued with officers, told he was trespassing and still continued to argue, the end results would have been exactly the same.

stewart
Dude it was anti-photography. Dude I wasn't arguing with the cops. I said lets go see a judge to tell me to delete my photos. Dude my story isn't changing in any material way any one's mind but yours, kind of like the dog isn't a big deal, that I stopped to tie my shoe isn't a big deal, that I was on the platform for 10 minutes isn't a big deal, that I was the last person by about 40 seconds isn't a big deal. Dude I wasn't given a chance to leave. Dude I had permission to be on the platform. Dude I didn't pass a sign or remember seeing one previously, I'm not in Penn Station every day. Dude people are allowed into the station for whatever reason they wish. Dude there are homeless sleeping all over the place and laying on the floor which also isn't ALLOWED.

Dude I just don't get why you don't get it. If I was doing any of the other things you mention, did not have a camera and the rest of the facts where the same you are correct I would have simply been asked to leave.

Had the cops asked me to leave I would have. Dude, I just can't grasp why you don't get that simple fact, perhaps it's an IQ of sub 100 or some kind of the cops are always right and never ever do things wrong mindset? At no time did they say, THE PLATFORM IS NOT CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC YOU HAVE TO LEAVE or words to that effect. At now time was I allowed to leave. When I was told about trespassing the cops had my ID, my backpack and camera. The one guy was standing between me and the exit blocking my path. I was detained and couldn't leave. I was not given the OPTION to leave.

The cops asked to see my photos. Which I knew I didn't have to show them. But since they were 'bad' photos to begin with I figured maybe they will leave me alone and I can leave after they see how 'bad' they are. Now they tell me to delete the photos, again they didn't tell me to stop taking photographs or to leave, they told me to delete my photographs. You want my photos deleted find a judge to tell me to delete them. Because it was all about the photos.

Stewart, when someone is on the sidewalks of NY taking a photo of Grant's Tomb or the GW bridge from Grant's Tomb and the cops approach him. Ask what he's doing and he says taking a photo. They then tell him he's not allowed to take a photo of whatever, 911 and all you know, are they correct? This happens all the time in NY.

It happens in Penn Station all the time. I've gotten lots of emails and phone calls about it.

EDIT:
Now just how were the cops justified in putting the handcuffs on backwards. Oh, he trespassed in our minds so we can put cuffs on in such a way as to harass him? Stewart, how do you explain that? Oh the cops made a mistake? Just what was putting the handcuffs on backwards about? Oh, he argued with us so we get to punish him? Well I'm waiting for your explanation. Why don't you question the cops motives about that? If I was resisting and fighting I could understand them making a mistake.

Certainly you can see that the cops committed a much greater trespass on my person by causing me pain, discomfort and leaving marks on my body which lasted over a week. The cops were being bullies and flexing their supposed authority.

Now the next post out of you I expect you to explain and fully justify the acts of the cops with regards to the handcuffs.

Last edited by duanekerzic; 01-04-2009 at 10:53 AM.
01-04-2009, 10:43 AM   #165
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
The fact he had a passenger ticket doesn't give him a license to do whatever he wants, any more than being allowed into the premises of Wal-Mart allows one to raid the cash register.
stewart
So now photography is on par with strong-armed robbery?

Last edited by Carlos Miller; 01-04-2009 at 11:45 AM.
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