As from tomorrow, this could be an act of terrorism in the UK. I have no excuse.
This is the same country that has shops with CCTV and yet no prices on their products. Where there are few police walking the street, as they are driving impersonal vehicles from one crime scene to another. Where the lawmakers seem to ignore the laws and policies of their own country, and are so distant from the citizens that they are supposed to represent, that I have really given up caring when I hear of yet another incident.
We have so many bad laws in this country, that I’ve given up caring if we have yet another vague piece of paperwork that allows the increasingly arrogant lawmakers to allow the security forces to do what they want – one would hope it is what they need, but I doubt it. What is needed to protect our security? Curfew? ID tags? Barcodes tattooed onto our arms? Retinal scans via CCTV to log our shop browsing patterns?
After section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (collection of information) insert—
“58A Eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of armed forces etc
(1)A person commits an offence who—
(a)elicits or attempts to elicit information about an individual who is or has been—
(i)a member of Her Majesty’s forces,
(ii)a member of any of the intelligence services, or
which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or
(b)publishes or communicates any such information.
And note this well: (2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that they had a reasonable excuse for their action.
Yes – our lawmakers think that we citizens need an EXCUSE – not a reason – for our actions. I am INNOCENT until you prove that I am Guilty – not until I give you an EXCUSE to find me Innocent.
We deserve better from our government. The security services need a democracy and a citizenry worthy of protection – not to be seen as potential criminals. I don’t think I will be voting for Gordon Brown again.
I wonder if STV will be pulling “Doctors and Nurses at War” from the schedules on Tuesday night? It tells the names of military personnel - faithful in adversity - where they work, and shows general locations of their homes and families.
Set to become law on 16 February, the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 amends the Terrorism Act 2000 regarding offences relating to information about members of armed forces, a member of the intelligence services, or a police officer.
Media Event: “I’m a Photographer … not a Terrorist” Hosted by the National Union of Journalists and supported by the British Journal of Photography and the British Press Photographers’ Association. New Scotland Yard, Broadway, Westminster, London SW1H, UK. Monday 16 February 2009. 11am.
Tallis is a member of the National Union of Journalists and the British Press Photographers' Association. 'The incident lasted just 10 seconds, but you don't expect a police officer to try to pull your camera from your neck,' Tallis tells BJP.
The incident came less than a week after it was revealed that an amateur photographer was stopped in Cleveland by police officers when taking pictures of ships. The photographer was asked if he had any terrorism connections and told that his details would be kept on file.
This legislation would appear to be yet another chilling move by the UK in encouraging harassment of photographers. Last year you might remember that the London Metropolitan Police launched a very public advertising campaign asking people to turn in “odd” looking photographers.
“Fear is the only true enemy, born of ignorance and the parent of anger and hate.”