Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Photographers Under Attack!



Terrorists use surveillance to help plan attacks, taking photos and making notes about security measures like the location of CCTV cameras. If you see someone doing that, we need to know. Let experienced officers decide what action to take.

The Metropolitan Police website

Well that was the strap line on the back cover of the London paper today and I predict a lot of stories coming out of it about photographers just trying to enjoy their hobbies, but now being constantly stopped by police, especially in a tourist hotspot like London.

Type in CCTV on Flickr (15,439 results) and see how many images you get or try the same on an image search Google (3,130,000 results) hmmm...

I doubt very much terrorists are going to be using Nikon D3 or Canon MkIII ds to do this kind of target research but more likely to use an average Joe tourist type of camera, the problem is the non-photographing public have no way of knowing one from the other and G9 users, best take care as it is such a discrete styled camera, even their add shows a compact camera as well as mobile phones, however with the mobile phone its how many they have that makes them suspicious, not the phone itself.

My personal feelings on this is that it makes me feel like a second rate citizen, like I have been accused of doing something wrong when I haven't and my human rights have been infringed, heck I have even photographed CCTV cameras in the past, for aesthetics and as a statement about the times we live in and issues we face.

Check out the resources for the photographer in the sidebar and download and print the UK Photographers Rights PDF

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Whistle-blower site taken offline :: BBC

A dedicated website called Wikileakes.org has been forced offline with the courts putting the interests of big corporations as a priority over law, journalism and public interest. Even more worrying is how admin's details, contacts, payment details, IP addresses and any associated data to be handed over under the terms of the court order, which is very worrying as there is no risk assessment as to what that data contains and could be endangering journalists and individuals alike. Wikileaks.org were given just one hours notice of the court hearing which was by email, while the Swiss bank group who brought the court action, remain anonymous

In a classic case of Censorship which is increasing as Reporters Without Borders has documented in its 2008 report which is a scathing attack on Public Officials around the world, combined with HotBlack's  report on how the UK government was gearing up to stop mobile phones from working with new media, to limit/stop media sharing and social networking websites at their will.

Whistle-blower site taken offline

Interlaken in Switzerland, with the Eiger in the background

The case was brought by lawyers working for a Swiss bank

A controversial website that allows whistle-blowers to anonymously post government and corporate documents has been taken offline in the US.

Wikileaks.org, as it is known, was cut off from the internet following a California court ruling, the site says.

The case was brought by a Swiss bank after "several hundred" documents were posted about its offshore activities.

Other versions of the pages, hosted in countries such as Belgium and India, can still be accessed.

However, the main site was taken offline after the court ordered that Dynadot, which controls the site's domain name, should remove all traces of wikileaks from its servers.

The court also ordered that Dynadot should "prevent the domain name from resolving to the wikileaks.org website or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court."

Other orders included that the domain name be locked "to prevent transfer of the domain name to a different domain registrar" to prevent changes being made to the site.

Wikileaks claimed that the order was "unconstitutional" and said that the site had been "forcibly censored".

Web names

The case was brought by lawyers working for the Swiss banking group Julius Baer. It concerned several documents posted on the site which allegedly reveal that the bank was involved with money laundering and tax evasion.

Wikileaks logo

The site was founded in 2006

The documents were allegedly posted by Rudolf Elmer, former vice president of the bank's Cayman Island's operation.

A spokesperson for Julius Baer said he could not comment on the case because of "pending legal proceedings".

The BBC understands that Julius Baer asked for the documents to be removed because they could have an impact on a separate legal case ongoing in Switzerland.

The court hearing took place last week and Dynadot blocked access from Friday evening.

Wikileaks says it was not represented at the hearing because it was "given only hours notice" via e-mail.

A document signed by Judge Jeffery White, who presided over the case, ordered Dynadot to follow six court orders.

As well as removing all records of the site form its servers, the hosting and domain name firm was ordered to produce "all prior or previous administrative and account records and data for the wikileaks.org domain name and account".

The order also demanded that details of the site's registrant, contacts, payment records and "IP addresses and associated data used by any person...who accessed the account for the domain name" to be handed over.

Wikileaks allows users to post documents anonymously.

Information bank

The site was founded in 2006 by dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and technologists from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

It so far claims to have published more than 1.2 million documents.

It provoked controversy when it first appeared on the net with many commentators questioning the motives of the people behind the site.

It recently made available a confidential briefing document relating to the collapse of the UK's Northern Rock bank.

Lawyers working on behalf of the bank attempted to have the documents removed from the site. They can still be accessed.

Dynadot was contacted for this article but have so far not responded to requests for comment.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Whistle-blower site taken offline

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Polaroid film faces the final shutter


Polaroid film faces the final shutter

By Justin Baer in New York

Published: February 8 2008 23:48 | Last updated: February 8 2008 23:48

Polaroid, the US company that introduced instant photography 60 years ago, is to stop making film.

The group, which stopped making instant cameras a year ago, will now complete its transition to digital printers, televisions and DVD players by shutting four analogue film factories.

Polaroid cameras and the white-bordered prints they produced were common at family reunions and crime scenes alike for decades, reaching peak popularity during the 1960s and 1970s. They would also become a medium of choice for artists such as Ansel Adams, David Hockney and Robert Rauschenberg.

The advent of digital technology has pushed Eastman Kodak and other veteran manufacturers to abandon film production in recent years. Soon after Polaroid was sold to private investment firm Petters Group in 2005, the management started its own gradual retreat from analogue photography.

Polaroid will close two factories in Massachusetts as well as facilities in Mexico and the Netherlands, eliminating about 450 jobs. The company plans to make enough film to last customers until next year, Thomas Beaudoin, chief operating officer, said.

He said Polaroid’s consumer-electronics business generated almost $1bn in revenue. The company had high hopes for its battery-powered digital printers, and was in talks with mobile-phone carriers and other potential business partners.

He saw this transition as the start of a third era for Polaroid, which existed for its first few decades primarily as a maker of sunglasses and protective goggles for the US military.

Polaroid sold its eyecare division last year.

The company expects its mobile printers to attract even some of the most devout fans of instant photography. But for those unmoved by the technology, there is a chance another manufacturer will produce the film elsewhere.

Mr Beaudoin said: “We’re working very hard to find some alternatives with people who might be able to take the recipe.

“We can’t promise anything.”

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

FT.com / Companies / Consumer industries - Polaroid film faces the final shutter

Monday, 11 February 2008

Out of Africa - Reuters Photographers

Some of these images are very graphic and caution is advised

Out of Africa

February 9th, 2008, filed by David Viggers

I’ve been trying to write about some sport images that caught my eye while trawling through the Reuters file but I keep getting hung up on our pictures from Kenya.



George Philipas

They are so raw, so powerful and uncompromising that even the most accomplished images of cossetted sportsmen performing in completely controlled circumstances seem insignificant in comparison.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Write your own Guardian News

Brand Republic is reporting that Guardian Unlimited, the most visited UK newspaper online, is set to jump on the social networking bandwagon after striking a deal with Pluck, a provider of social networking platforms. The deal will see Guardian News and Media, which publishes The Guardian and The Observer, roll out tools on its Web properties, enabling users to interact with one another and add content to existing articles.