FBI counterterrorism agents tracked down elderly photographer who tried to take picture of the Dorchester gas tank

Apparently, [WhateverTheyCallThemselvesToday] gas company really doesn't like people taking photos of the world's largest copyrighted artwork.

Via ForStudentPower.

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      Seems to be the fault of the

      Seems to be the fault of the overzealous security guards who took down the dude's rental car license number and forwarded the information along.

      The FBI just have to checking the leads is par for the course.

      Exactly.

      My boss and mentor was questioned by cops after the marathon bombing because some malicious nutbag ratted on him.

      He's a 60 something Jewish guy from a prominent local family so a connection to Islamic terrorist wanna be's young enough to be his grand kids was such a stretch it was embarrassing to the cops.

      But yeah, they have to follow up on whatever "leads" they get.

      That is a strange gray area, but probably no.

      If something is in the public view like that it's pretty much allowable beyond secret military installations, but those are usually set well back and screened such that you'd be arrested or detained for trespassing well before being close enough to take a useful photo.

      Context- what ....2004?, not too long after the big nightmare with anxious security types.

      W is still president and is doing that color coded security horseshit.

      Adam just featured a fine Lee Toma hoist of that tank a few days ago.

      I probably have it in my Squantum Point stuff and will surely get more of it when I scout the proposed completion route of the Neponset Greenway that is slated to meet Harborwalk at Castle Island.

      So I'm guessing, a decade later, with Bin Laden long digested by the sea, and that network essentially eviscerated by a more effective executive than the Cheney Bush team, the hair trigger security anxieties of hick gas company renta-cops have probably subsided.

      I asked some MWRA people working out at the Sudbury reservoir dam last fall if I could get a shot of it just to be polite and they said no.

      But if I wanted to be a weasel, it would have been easy enough to just go around the corner and get it with my 250mm.

      There is a chubby kid conductor with a funny chin strap beard thingie at South Station who will bug you if he sees you with a camera but I found a cool way to handle him.

      He starts by asking if you have permission.

      So now, I'll go over to some innocuous corner and ask a baggage handler... "hey mind if I take a photo of those cool old carts?"

      They say... "Sure" and I thus "have permission". It is sort of low level weaselry but it works.

      The other conductors and cops don't seem to care as if they've figured out that every cell phone has a camera now.

      Probably because it could be a terrorist target

      They probably have a fear that terrorists will take pictures of it to put in their scrapbook of Things To Blow Up. This problem could be avoided if they just painted the Target logo on all the potential Things To Blow Up. The terrorists would then start blowing up Target stores, because they have such convenient parking, and all of our precious gas tanks, etc., would be safe.

      Google image search

      By on

      "Boston gas tank"
      The FBI is going to be very busy investigating the thousands upon thousands of photographers for next hundred years.

      More of same

      Two years ago, I had that when I was biking in the area. I stopped to take some art shots of the tank. The guard appeared to yell at me that I could not take pictures and that I had to leave the area.

      I made it plain the tank was in public view and that my bike and I were on a street owned and maintained by Boston. I had every right to be there and take pictures.

      She muttered, iterating that I could not take pictures and had to leave immediately. I told her to call the real cops if she had a problem and learn what was what. She went back in her guardhouse, but did manage to glare at me.

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      sooo

      I get it, he is on public land taking a picture of something that anyone can easily get pictures of. But for the guards, who probably get a training on suspicious activity that boils down to : "If anyone comes near the gate or snaps a photo, get whatever info you can and pass it along" it is quite understandable. Then the FBI gets said info and they probably look at it and say "ok who is he? what do we know etc".

      Unless he is somehow adversely effected by this, or is suddenly part of a larger surveillance operation where by he is flagged in various systems, not allowed to travel, has all his info put into a server and every life detail examined, i just cannot see the huge issue here.

      How about this issue

      By on

      Taking a picture in public is not "probable cause" of any crime. Therefore, putting in motion an examination of his identity, motives, and everything else is not only a waste of time but a violation of his constitutional rights. Not only that but they have a memory system in place "just in case" his name ever comes up again even as a false positive from say...taking a picture of something else being "monitored".

      The fact that bad guys might take pictures of things they want to destroy does not equate to every person taking a picture might be a bad guy. It's a logical fallacy and it's been implemented as policy.

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      Let me stick my neck waay out.

      Here,

      https://flic.kr/p/oikkSm

      This morning.

      The guy on the prow scarcely noted my presence and I had a DSLR.

      He has the same employer as the FBI and Harborwalk is across the pier. Some old affluent people in one of those palazzos were getting ready for brunch with liveried servants in that white shirt/black pants uniform.

      They didn't seem to care either as if this must happen often in a major tourist attraction zone.

      I'll let you know what happens. I already shared this with my plus crew as a bunch of em love boats.