Posts Tagged 'photography laws'

Online Maps Now, Street Photography Next?

Photo of our favorite building, LA’s US Bank Tower, from Google Maps

Assemblyman Joel Anderson has introduced legislation in California that would restrict the amount of detail involved in online mapping tools. In other words, he doesn’t want terrorists getting too familiar with the air ducts in a government building’s air shaft.

In the measure Anderson proposed last month, government buildings, along with schools, hospitals and churches, would be blurred in online satellite images-and violators will have to pay a $250,000 penalty per day.

The question that arises then is, where does it end? We blur out government buildings and schools, but really is that protecting us when these facilities are accessible through all manner of photos, maps and, uh, the street? And what does this say about street photography in general? Undoubtedly it will feed into the overall paranoia and fear of cameras, making things that much worse. Will street and architectural photographers eventually be forced to blur their images because it contains one these “sensitive” structures that Anderson is trying to eliminate from online maps? We will no longer be able to post images on the web of people, buildings and things that are clearly visible from public spaces? Maybe we should just jump in the DeLorean and head back to 1984 before it’s too late.

And, lastly, are we not trying to solve a massive global ideological problem with tiny, insignificant Band-Aids? has this interview with Anderson today, where among other things, Anderson says, “The fact is I would be remiss in my job if I didn’t take this seriously.” But really, is it an assemblyman’s job to take on technology, or is he looking for more high-profile causes to attach his name to? (Anderson also sponsored a bill which forced state pensions to stop investing in companies doing business with Iran.)

Article via

Thanks to Geoff for the link.

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