Thursday, September 13, 2007

Once More Into the Fray

This is such old news by now but Dave -- long time commuter, lifelong American snapshooter -- pointed out that the MBTA publishes 3D floorplans of their major stations.

Listen up, nefarious bombers and assorted ne'er-do-wells! Why expose your mug to a security camera when you can get far more useful information (anonymously, too) straight from Grabauskus?

I like to carry around a few pages. It leaves a nice impression on the "it's a necessary security precaution" types.

Also, some of you may have heard the MBTA has officially changed their policy on photography. They didn't tell anyone, they just changed it, so expect the rank and file to be largely clueless and stubborn as ever.

The policy itself doesn't even appear on the MBTA website, you have to weed through the MBTA Police website to find it.

For whatever reason the keystone cops forgot to include "no flash" which, oddly enough, IS a reasonable limitation.


s said...

One does not need to provide identification, answer the questions of any authority, or change one's behavior in anyway. except for actvity immediatlely threatening public safety, one is free photograph in, on, or at the MBTA.

Relevant federal case law for such "stop and identify" vagrancy laws are: HIIBEL V. SIXTH JUDICIAL DIST. COURT OF NEV., Brown v. Texas, and Delaware v. Prouse. The police would need "a reasonable suspicion, based on objective facts, that the individual is involved in criminal activity" (Brown v. Texas 52, Delaware v. Prouse)

Since the MBTA itself admits in its final photography policty that in "most instances there is no particular harm involved in taking photographic or video images on, in, or of MBTA property, vehicles, or employees," taking photographic or video images on, in, or of MBTA property, vehicles, or employees would NOT usually elicit reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

In conclusion, one can lawfully ignore any authority who questions or curtails you about photography.

TransitCanada said...

I find it interesting that nowhere in the new policy is there a definition of who is a "MBTA Official". I suspect that very few hourly employees (operators, station personnel, maintenance, etc.) would be willing to call themselves such; I know that I would never have presumed to assume such status when I worked for the TTC.