If It Wasn't For The Shadow...

If It Wasn't For The Shadow...

While on a photowalk around DUMBO, I stumbled upon this pohotoshoot. The model became very uncomfortable when she saw my camera. Some say street photographers are unpaid paparazzi?

In February, The Washington Post ran a story about Homeland Security seeking a national license plate tracking system. The very following day, they ran another story; DHS cancels national license-plate tracking plan. It turns out, that the reason DHS "cancelled" is because they can purchase the data from a company called Vigilant Solutions instead. Yet another disturbing story with serious privacy implications, especially given what Edward Snowden has already revealed.

There is also a photography side to this story. The state of Utah recently passed a bill restricting plate-reader use by law enforcement. Vigilant Solutions is suing the state on the argument that their First Amendment rights had been violated: "Taking and distributing a photograph is an act that is fully protected by the first Amendment ... License plates are public by nature ... Any citizen of Utah can walk outside and photograph anything they please, including a license plate". That's right, corporations are people, my friend.

Street photography is an artistic form of documentary photography. Then, there is the paparazzi who stalk celebrities. As annoying as the paparazzi might be, they are ultimately people trying to earn a buck. The new "low in photography" is Vigilant Solutions claiming First Amendment rights to collect, store, and relate peoples personal surveillance data for sale to governments and likely whoever else wants to pay. Well it's not exactly the "new low", I had forgotten about the Stazi.
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