Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby Ken W2KB » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:54 pm

The First Amendment rights provide that they cannot be restricted by a government entity. A private entity such as an airline can restrict as it sees fit. Even with respect to the government, the free speech right has always been a limited right, where the public safety or welfare would be adversely affected, free expression can be lawfully restricted. So it's fine to photograph airplanes and trains from off the airport or rail property, but on the property the right generally can be restricted.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby justalurker66 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:38 pm

Keeping in mind the appropriate adjustments for laws and policies in response to 9-11. The best rule is don't make people nervous with your activities.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby RussNelson » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:41 pm

justalurker66 wrote:Keeping in mind the appropriate adjustments for laws and policies in response to 9-11. The best rule is don't make people nervous with your activities.

Exactly how many photographs of trains or airports did the 9-11 terrorists take, anyway? How many photographs of trains or airports did the Madrid train bombers take? How many photographs of trains or airports did the underpants would-be bomber take?

Exactly where did this idea come from that terrorists of any stripe take photographs of their targets first? Seriously, I want to know, because nobody has ever presented any evidence that any terrorist anywhere has taken a single photograph of any terrorism target.

Is it too much to ask for logic?

And anyway, who gives a crap about terrorists?? Since 9/11 American have killed 30X as many Americans using guns , and you don't see any credible efforts to take all guns away from Americans. Why have Americans become so cowardly? Where are all these cowards? Frankly, I don't know any of them, and I hope to hell that none of these cowards are posting here because as far as I'm concerned, if you're afraid of terrorists, you can go dig a hole and bury yourself in it.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby justalurker66 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:10 am

RussNelson wrote:
justalurker66 wrote:Keeping in mind the appropriate adjustments for laws and policies in response to 9-11. The best rule is don't make people nervous with your activities.

Exactly how many photographs of trains or airports did the 9-11 terrorists take, anyway? How many photographs of trains or airports did the Madrid train bombers take? How many photographs of trains or airports did the underpants would-be bomber take?

Not the point. Surveillance is a common pre-strike activity in warfare. It is what we (as a country) would do if planning a strike. Are you making a claim that NO surveillance was done before any of those attacks? Not one photo?

RussNelson wrote:Exactly where did this idea come from that terrorists of any stripe take photographs of their targets first? Seriously, I want to know, because nobody has ever presented any evidence that any terrorist anywhere has taken a single photograph of any terrorism target.

Experts. Experts that do not report to you. I'm sure that you cannot and will not back up your claim that no terrorist has ever taken a photo of a target.

The rest of your post is ignored as an off topic rant.

Don't make people uncomfortable. Especially people who work for the government. They have a way of making you uncomfortable. :)
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby MEC407 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:51 am

justalurker66 wrote:It is what we (as a country) would do if planning a strike.


We do that with satellites and drones. We don't send out fat middle-aged men with tripods and Nikons and hats covered in railroad pins.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby justalurker66 » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:56 am

MEC407 wrote:
justalurker66 wrote:It is what we (as a country) would do if planning a strike.


We do that with satellites and drones. We don't send out fat middle-aged men with tripods and Nikons and hats covered in railroad pins.


One works with the technology one has ... and not every railfan fits that stereotype. But that would make a great disguise for someone who wanted to try to pass themselves off as a "railfan". I see a lot of young railfans who do not have the boundaries of mature adults. No railroad pins, just a lot of photos and video and notes.

Before we had satellites and drones (and planes and balloons) we sent out forward scouts and spies who would use the best technology they had to plan attacks. Terrorists don't have satellites and drones ... how do you expect them to plan their attacks? They use the technology they have.


As the public fear of terrorism decreases since the last attack the public desire of privacy has grown. When people see a camera they want to know who is taking the picture and why. Railroad workers just want to do their job, go home and return to work another day. They are not hollywood stars expecting to be followed by paparazzi. Commuters and other transit users just want to ride in peace - not be filmed. Look at the pushback against privately owned camera drones and Google Glass. "Why are you taking pictures" is a legitimate question.

One can push the limits of the law and be a pain in the butt for the rest of society or one can show some respect for other people's privacy and concerns. I choose respect.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby JLJ061 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:54 pm

I'm all for respecting other people's privacy and try not to photograph or video other people if I can help it, but people also need to understand that while out in public there is no real or reasonable expectation of privacy.

Now, if you really want to nitpick logic, let me ask this: What is the real danger of taking photographs of objects that are in plain sight of Lord knows how many people that see every day with their own two eyes? I can see the potential danger of photographing things that are generally off limits to the public, but seriously...
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby justalurker66 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:05 pm

JLJ061 wrote:Now, if you really want to nitpick logic, let me ask this: What is the real danger of taking photographs of objects that are in plain sight of Lord knows how many people that see every day with their own two eyes? I can see the potential danger of photographing things that are generally off limits to the public, but seriously...


Ask any woman who has had an upskirt or downblouse photo taken and published. Sure, it is all her fault for not remaining covered 100% of the time - but hey, the view was out there in plain sight. Why not take photos and prolong the viewing?

As mentioned a couple of years ago in this very thread I generally avoid taking pictures of people. In my pictures of trains and infrastructure I sometimes am amazed at what I see later in my pictures that I didn't notice with my own two eyes. I do not have a photographic memory ... so my photos help me see what I missed - the trees in the forest. It also allows me to easily share what I saw with others.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby RussNelson » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:17 am

justalurker66 wrote:Are you making a claim that NO surveillance was done before any of those attacks? Not one photo?

That is my claim, yes. It is obviously easy to disprove. Go ahead and do it.

RussNelson wrote:Exactly where did this idea come from that terrorists of any stripe take photographs of their targets first? Seriously, I want to know, because nobody has ever presented any evidence that any terrorist anywhere has taken a single photograph of any terrorism target.

Experts. Experts that do not report to you. .... Especially people who work for the government. They have a way of making you uncomfortable. :)


Sorry, they are my employees, they work for me, and they have VERY strict limits on what they can and can't do, precisely because of cowards like you, who are willing to kow-tow to anyone in a uniform. Now, as for "If only you knew what the government knew", that simply does not fly in a free country. Now, it is possible that we should, under different circumstances, quake in our boots. But we are not in those circumstances, so go take photos of trains from public property or other places where you have permission, and when the police choose to give you a hard time, you can give them a hard time right back.

Because, we still live in a free country. It's not just soldiers who defend our country, it's every citizen who stands up to someone who illegitimately tries to take their freedom away. Cue the patriotic music here.
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Re: Amtrak and Photo Taking = Arrest

Postby justalurker66 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:26 pm

RussNelson wrote:
justalurker66 wrote:Are you making a claim that NO surveillance was done before any of those attacks? Not one photo?

That is my claim, yes. It is obviously easy to disprove. Go ahead and do it.


"In October 2000, Mohamed told Judge Leonard Sand of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan that at the request of bin Laden, he had conducted surveillance of U.S., British, and French targets in Nairobi, including the U.S. embassy. He then delivered pictures, diagrams, and a report to bin Laden in Khartoum, Sudan. He said that bin Laden looked at a photograph of the U.S. embassy and pointed to the place where a bomb truck could be driven through."
- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... bings.html

RussNelson wrote:Exactly where did this idea come from that terrorists of any stripe take photographs of their targets first? Seriously, I want to know, because nobody has ever presented any evidence that any terrorist anywhere has taken a single photograph of any terrorism target.

Experts. Experts that do not report to you. .... Especially people who work for the government. They have a way of making you uncomfortable. :)


Sorry, they are my employees, they work for me, and they have VERY strict limits on what they can and can't do, precisely because of cowards like you, who are willing to kow-tow to anyone in a uniform. Now, as for "If only you knew what the government knew", that simply does not fly in a free country. Now, it is possible that we should, under different circumstances, quake in our boots. But we are not in those circumstances, so go take photos of trains from public property or other places where you have permission, and when the police choose to give you a hard time, you can give them a hard time right back.

Because, we still live in a free country. It's not just soldiers who defend our country, it's every citizen who stands up to someone who illegitimately tries to take their freedom away. Cue the patriotic music here.


Name calling and insults do not help keep a conversation civil. Good luck with whatever crusade you're on. Perhaps while you're arguing with the police about your rights you will cause enough distraction that I'll get some good photographs. :wink:
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