The New York Daily News reports that the MTA has a secret film file on photographers:
"MTA investigators are keeping a secret database of people stopped and questioned for filming or photographing bridges and tunnels as part of the agency's efforts to thwart terror, the Daily News has learned.
The information is used to try to determine whether shutterbugs are simply putting together vacation slide shows - or gathering intelligence to plot mayhem, law enforcement sources said."
If this is true, this is very disturbing. Both amateur and professional photographers are being turned into modern day boogeypeople. And when a terrorist incident happens, what do the authorities want? They want people to send them their tourist snapshots so that they can try to see if they can spot the bad guys before the act. Argh!!
Just a quick civil liberty note: You do not have to hand your film over to any one in uniform just because they ask for it. You can do so voluntarily if you want. If they try to force you to hand it over, then do so (refusing would be bad) but ask them under what authority they are requesting it, ask for a receipt and be sure to follow up. Even if you were breaking the law, they would still have to issue a receipt for the evidence that they are taking into custody. Sigh....