All out of focus over TSA posters
Photographers, have no fear: You're won't be featured on government anti-terror posters for much longer, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
Photographers and the people who love them took note last week of posters that appear to depict a hooded photographer as a potential threat to a small airport.
"Don't let our planes get into the wrong hands," the poster says.
Cue the critics:
"Yep, that's right, gang, it's time for another round of Security Theater Will Not Actually Make You Safer, starring the TSA and a bunch of scary, scary people armed with cameras," wrote the WeLoveDC blog.
"The poster generated so much controversy because it confirmed what many photographers have been feeling for years; that the government views them as potential terrorists," Miller said in a separate e-mail. "We've had countless incidents where government officials, whether they are TSA workers or local police officers, have told photographers that photography is illegal because of terrorism reasons when there is no law in the books that support this."
But the posters are part of a "vigilance program" called GA Secure, a campaign designed to encourage small airports and small plane pilots to keep an eye out for suspicious activity. The poster in question is one of several in use, said TSA spokesman Nick Kimball. (But he couldn't provide other examples.)
"Photographers are prime candidates, or folks who could use vigilance programs," Kimball said. "They're very observant of their surroundings and potentially suspicious activities and could use these programs to report that kind of activity."
But why use a suspicious-looking photo of a hooded photographer on the posters?
"The images used just illustrate general aviation environments," Kimball said.
The posters will be replaced in the coming year by a new Department of Homeland Security vigilance campaign called, "If you see something, say something," Kimball said. The new campaign will not include pictures of photographers.
"It's great that they are phasing out the poster but the real change begins when they start educating their workers that photography is not illegal," Miller said.
Thoughts? The comments section awaits you.
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