The Null Device

The War on Photography and Linux

More dispatches from the War on the Unexpected: London police forced an Austrian tourist to delete photographs of a bus station, on the grounds that photographing transport infrastructure was "strictly forbidden". Which sounds like something more befitting of, say, Belarus or North Korea than of an ostensibly free country:
Matkza, a 69-year-old retired television cameraman with a taste for modern architecture, was told that photographing anything to do with transport was "strictly forbidden". The policemen also recorded the pair's details, including passport numbers and hotel addresses.
In a telephone interview from his home in Vienna, Matka said: "I've never had these experiences anywhere, never in the world, not even in Communist countries."
Meanwhile, in the United States, police seized a student's computers on the grounds that he was using a suspicious operating system (i.e., Linux), and thus probably up to no good:
_________ reported that Mr. Calixte uses two different operating systems to hide his illegal activities. One is the regular [Boston College] operating system and the other is a black screen with white font which he uses prompt commands on.
Which sounds like he's guilty of some kind of technological witchcraft.

There are 3 comments on "The War on Photography and Linux":

Posted by: MRK Sat Apr 18 13:20:12 2009

>>photographing anything to do with transport was "strictly forbidden".

... what of domestic trainspotters (or railfans as I believe they're known in the states)? are the days of their harmless, archetypally geeky hobby numbered?

Posted by: acb Sat Apr 18 17:34:32 2009

Trainspotters (and planespotters) have, from what I've heard, been having a hard time since 9/11.

Didn't the British government propose a few years ago having a registration scheme for trainspotters, along with a code of conduct deputising them into to report anything suspicious to the authorities? Not sure whether anything happened with that.

Posted by: waltonics Mon Apr 20 09:10:11 2009

I am yet to hear of any of this sort of nonsense coming out of Australia yet. The stories from the UK are just insane. I did walk up to the cops on the step of the Victorian Parliament on the weekend though, just to ask when the next open weekend was. They weren't terribly friendly, and also I noticed they both turned around a few times while walking off just to make sure I was 'off the property'..

Want to say something? Do so here.

Post pseudonymously

Display name:
To prove that you are not a bot, please enter the text in the image into the field below it.

Your Comment:

Please keep comments on topic and to the point. Inappropriate comments may be deleted.

Note that markup is stripped from comments; URLs will be automatically converted into links.