Thursday, April 18, 2013

What You Need to Know About Photographing Police

Liz Klimas reports:

Some police officers need and deserve to have their faces documented and preserved for posterity, but unless you're sure you're observing a Rodney King situation, this web site recommends not photographing faces or identifying details.

Actually, this web site recommends not photographing anybody's face...or at least using extreme caution if you do. "Oh come ooonnn, how can we not send our parents these baby pictures?" Well, pictures of infants may be safer than pictures of people who can walk and talk...but it's a good idea not to put pictures of human beings, unless they are violent criminals who deserve to have their identities stolen by other violent criminals, on the Internet. Traditional film-based baby pictures sent through real mail probably didn't do anybody any harm. Digital pictures sent through e-mail are another story.

People who work in law enforcement have traditionally resisted being photographed because their pictures might be used by their enemies...and now, fellow Americans, we all know that we all have enemies who are violent and insane and dangerous. At one time this was a problem mostly for police officers, prosecuting attorneys, and fellow criminals. Now it's something we all have in common. This is "progress." Welcome to the twenty-first century.

And now you know why, in cyberspace, I am a cat...and I recommend that you choose something that's definitely not your real face for use whenever you're asked for an image to go with your screen name in cyberspace. (And don't use your real legal name as a screen name, either.)