Disclosure: I often work with Bruce Schneier on privacy and civil liberty issues.
After hearing various stories about photographers worldwide being harassed by corporate security guards and government law enforcement officers, I planned to write a post about the problems that arise from turning an innocent and ubiquitous activity into a suspicious act. But, security expert Bruce Schneier has beaten me to it, and I cannot add to his excellent analysis. An excerpt:
[…] Clearly any terrorist is going to first photograph his target, so vigilance is required.
Except that it’s nonsense. The 9/11 terrorists didn’t photograph anything. Nor did the London transport bombers, the Madrid subway bombers, or the liquid bombers arrested in 2006. Timothy McVeigh didn’t photograph the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The Unabomber didn’t photograph anything; neither did shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Photographs aren’t being found amongst the papers of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IRA wasn’t known for its photography. Even those manufactured terrorist plots that the US government likes to talk about — the Ft. Dix terrorists, the JFK airport bombers, the Miami 7, the Lackawanna 6 — no photography.