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Old 08-19-2006, 09:50 PM   #37
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Posts: 254

Originally Posted by Ru1056
How is UP (a private company) banning photography from Metra stations (private property) violating your constitutional rights?

And terrorists will not fly planes into our buildings either.

A fair point. However, I fail to see how banning photography will stop terrorists from taking pictures of potential targets. I mean, they're not exactly known for their deep respect for the law.

If there's a ban, they'll still be out there, and if they get caught they'll pretend to be ignorant tourists or (God help us) railfans, and likely no one will put two and two together until after the fact. I can understand the scrutiny placed on people taking pictures of "sensitive" subjects, which is why I have no problem with police or security personal doing field interviews of photographers to find out what they’re about, and get their information for further investigation if something doesn’t seem right. But a policy like this penalizes the innocent while doing nothing to prevent terrorism. That’s just bad policy.

Also, regarding the constitutional issue, while UP may be a private company, Metra stations are, to the best of my knowledge, public areas in which banning photography would raise a definite 1st amendment question. Furthermore, any attempt to enforce the policy using UP police would throw the “private company” thing right out the window, because railroad police are sworn law enforcement personal, and are therefore under the same rules and constitutional obligations as municipal or state police.

Again, that’s all based on my understanding of Metra stations being public areas, which is probably a fairly contentious question.
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