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Archive 2012 · Camera in the Court House?
  
 
Wobble
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p.1 #1 · Camera in the Court House?


In the past I was denied being able to take a point and shoot camera into a court house.
But, it was perfectly fine to take a laptop computer (with a camera) and I could have streamed the whole proceeding to the Internet. Are there post-911 rules about photographing public buildings also?



Jan 16, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Craig Gillette
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p.1 #2 · Camera in the Court House?


The courthouse rules are primarily for securing the "process" more so than the building. They don't want interruptions, circus atmosphere, witness intimidation or tampering, etc. Had you flipped your laptop and begun streaming, or otherwise taken pictures, there's a good chance you'd be facing contempt or other charges.

There are essentially no rules against taking pictures of public buildings. There are provisions in the section of the Federal Code on espionage that govern how photography, etc., can be restricted but it's very, very uncommon.

That's not to say you will not attract some attention for doing so, or that you won't be confronted over your activities. Given that suspected/actual terrorists are found with photos, videos, etc., of targets or potential targets, and current images can reveal security provisions, etc., it shouldn't come as any surprise.

There's belief within a few members of the photo community that if you have a big enough camera you couldn't possibly be a terrorist.



Jan 16, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Wobble
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p.1 #3 · Camera in the Court House?


Thanks Craig for the information. I feel relieved. I had no intention of taking pictures inside the court room, it was just in my briefcase and had to make a trip back to the vehicle to stash it and then another time through the metal detectors.


Jan 16, 2012 at 10:23 PM





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