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Photographing police could land you in prison for ten years under new UK law

In case the War on Photography hasn’t sent a chill down your spine yet, this one should do it.

Beginning February 16th, a new law will go into effect in the United Kingdom which would make it illegal to photograph “members of armed forces, a member of the intelligence services,


In case the War on Photography hasn’t sent a chill down your spine yet, this one should do it.

Beginning February 16th, a new law will go into effect in the United Kingdom which would make it illegal to photograph “members of armed forces, a member of the intelligence services, or a police officer,” according to the British Journal of Photography.

How is that for a dose of post-Valentine’s Day reality?

The new set of rules, under section 76 of the 2008 (Counter-Terrorism) Act and section 58A of the 2000 Act, will target anyone who ‘elicits or attempts to elicit information about [members of armed forces] … which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’.

A person found guilty of this offence could be liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years, and to a fine.

The exact law can be found here and specifies that “eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of the armed forces etc.” will be a crime, which means the header on this blog could have me imprisoned if I lived in the United Kingdom.

It would also mean that those citizens who filmed Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle killing Oscar Grant could also be thrown in prison.

Protests against this new law are being planned as we speak. Spread the word.

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I am a multimedia journalist who has been fighting a lengthy legal battle after having photographed Miami police against their wishes in Feb. 2007. Please help the fight by donating to my Legal Defense Fund in the top left sidebar. And feel free to join my Facebook blog network to keep updated on the latest articles.

Don’t forget to cast your vote in the South Florida Daily 2008 Blog Post of the Year contest, where I have three posts in the running.

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