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NYCTA moves forward with photo ban

Posted by Mark on Thu Nov 25 12:03:22 2004

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but so it goes. Everyone thought that the proposed rule amendments that first surfaced six months ago were dead, but that's not the case. They were officially proposed in yesterday's edition of the State Register. The 45-day comment period opened yesterday, November 24, and will run through January 10. Here is an overview of administrative rulemaking as it applies to NYCTA.

Submit comments to David Goldenberg, New York City Transit Authority, 130 Livingston Street, Room 1207, Brooklyn NY 11201, 718-694-5454.

The MTA's impeccable timing is apparently a tactic to catch folks when they're busiest and least likely to make noise. Happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays to you too, guys.

Let's not let this issue fade so that it can go to a board vote behind everyone's backs. Most news media outlets tend to support a more liberal view on the proposed photo ban, so let's get them involved. Fate may be sealed already, but don't give up hope without making some noise while you still can. Spread the word, and do it now.

The highlights of the proposed amendments, which apply to NYCTA and SIRTOA facilities, are claimed to "further enhance passenger security and safety." They are allegedly justified with the following: "In light recent [sic] national and international events that have underscored the need for heightened security measures throughout the transit system, a reinstatement of a prohibition that existed until the early 1990's against photography, filming, and video recording in transit facilities and on transit conveyances without prior authorization except for members of the press."

The notice also has this to say on photography:

"Alternatives: Consideration was given to restricting photography, etc. of sensitive areas only. However, it was felt that a less restrictive approach would not yield the necessary security enhancements and given the nature of the activities in question enforcement of a rule which required law enforcement personnel to make a judgment of the precise subject matter being photographed would be highly problematic."

Finally, the text of the relevant propsosed amendments:

1050.9.c. No photograph, film or video recording shall be made or taken on or in any conveyance or facility by any person, except members of the press holding valid press identification cards issued by the New York City Police Department or by others duly authorized in writing to engage in such activity by the authority. All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

1040.4.f. No photograph, film or video recording shall be made or taken on or in any conveyance or facility by any person, except members of the press holding valid press identification cards issued by the New York City Police Department or by others duly authorized in writing to engage in such activity by SIRTOA or the authority. All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

Mark

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