DOT re photography

This is a letter sent today to the Department of Transportation by Art Spitzer of the Capital Area ACLU. It is in response to ongoing harassment photographers have faced around the DOT headquarters building in Southeast DC, and the insistence by the headquarters' police force that it is illegal to photograph a federal building.


Here's a related photo, and here's the discussion at DC Photo Rights, where you'll find examples of more incidents and a full account of the DOT policy.




Anne, David and 14 more people faved this
  • Karon Flage 6y

    Well done. I think a whole herd of us should go over there during Artomatic.
  • Aardvark For Freedom 6y

    Cool! Not a big fan of the ACLU personally, but nonetheless kudos to you for taking action!
  • Michael Ronquillo 6y

    Hear, hear.
  • iowapix 6y


    Now somebody who does not mind handcuffs or a night in jail needs to print a copies of that letter and go back down there for another photo session with Deputy Dildeau.
  • Mr.TinDC 6y

    Awesome, thanks!
  • Thomas Hawk 6y

  • scleroplex 6y

  • discarted 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called NPRO - National Photographers' Rights Organization, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • erin m 6y

    Thanks for the re-blogging and the comments, folks! I'll keep you up to date if there's any response from DOT.
  • Samer Farha 6y

    How about a nice bit of photography tomorrow? We can all stand across the street and take out our cameras at once. I'm willing to cause a scene.
  • erin m 6y

    I think that's an excellent idea.
  • monkeytime | brachiator 6y

    Great development. [Seen on Thomas's blog]
  • Heather 6y

    My husband is an attorney in the DOT Office of the Inspector General (his office is in that very building). I'll ask him what the policy is.
  • erin m 6y

    @mensan98th, I look forward to hearing what he says! My understanding is that it's a misguided policy of the security office, and I hope the lawyers can straighten them out.
  • Mr.TinDC 6y

    Also, my friend who works at DOT had nothing but good things to say about Rosalind Knapp, so hopefully that's a good sign something will come of this effort.
  • heycarrieann331 6y

    I just went to DC last week, and took pictures of the Capital building. No one stopped us from doing that....inside or out.

    EDIT: Althoooo.....after 9/11 (I live 10 mins from NYC) no one was allowed to take pictures of the George Washington Bridge (or other bridges, I guess). I wonder if that extended to buildings as well? They've since lifted that ban.
  • iowapix 6y

    I can not imagine anyone getting worked up about civilian government buildings.

    What are the terrorist planning on doing. Perhaps there is a plot to bore us to death with photos of the Federal Reserve Bank or the Government Accounting Office.
  • erin m 6y

    A frustrating update:

    The ACLU got back to me again today, just to say they've called the General Counsel's office yet again asking for a response. That was the office that said three months ago they'd look into the guards' actions, in response to this letter.

    I think it's clear by now the DOT has no interest in a clarification of the policy, and the ACLU doesn't seem to be in a position to push for one.
  • Thomas Hawk 6y

    that is frustrating, sorry to hear that.
  • erin m 6y

    Hey all, the DOT finally responded (and apologized). Read the writeup here, including the DHS security bulletin regarding guidelines for approaching photographers.
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Taken on May 27, 2009
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