In all the media retrospectives about the last decade recently one particularly toxic legacy of the so-called War on Terror has been largely overlooked, namely, the burgeoning of the surveillance State. Coupled with it has been an erosion of civil liberties via rushed & ill-thought legislation. A spate of incidents involving amateur & professional photographers in the last week or so has thrown the issue into, if you'll pardon the pun, sharp focus. The Guardian's Paul Lewis was filming outside the Gherkhin building in the City of London yesterday morning when a security guard took exception to his presence. The police were called & cited Section 44 of the Terrorism Act in their insistence on viewing the images Lewis had filmed. What followed was a cross between the farcical & the Kafkaesque:
Anyone involved in a local Flickr group should waste no time in highlighting this disturbing threat to the very civil liberties which apologists for this ridiculously hamfisted legislation claim are under attack from Al Qaeda.