All photographs on this site copyright of Antoine Boesch

censorship of the pointed camera


No point in asking me what that bath tub is doing there.

But ponder this: why did the story recounted in my last blog happen at all ?!

Had I been a real spy, I would have filmed or photographed that parking lot in any of the following ways: a) with a concealed mini camera, b) with a smartphone, pretending to be telephoning or c) with my camera hanging around my neck, running on video mode. I'd have to be the dimmest of dum morons to spy on a sensitive facility by actually walking up to it and pointing a camera at it.

So my using an actual camera (rather than a smartphone or a concealed gadget) was evidently a testament to my innocuous intent.

Of course, an innocuous intent doesn't matter much if you end up with sensitive material regardless. On the other hand, such material isn't really sensitive any longer if it can be assumed already to be in the public domain by way of thousands of pictures taken, deliberately or not, by people walking past every day with smartphones - or if it is absolutely certain that ill-intentioned people will get the stills or footage they want easily and without being detected.

In other words, sticking a facility in the middle of a large city for everybody to see implies it isn't sensitive - or at least that whatever is there to be seen, and photographed or filmed, from outside isn't sensitive.

So why on earth prohibit it ?!

Since such a prohibition doesn't serve any ulterior purpose, its meaning, for the authority issuing it, lies in very act of prohibiting something - to assert authority or for whatever reason.

After all, why is it that you can photograph all you like in airports and train stations in some countries, and not in others ? An airport is an airport is an airport.

On the oher hand, and in another context, nobody normally flinches if, in the street or any other public setting, they realize they're being snapped or even filmed by a smartphone. First, you could hardly lash out at everyone taking out a smartphone around you; second, it is now an assumed and grudgingly accepted fact of life that you're being filmed through most of your day; and third, you're usually being filmed (or photographed) as part of a crowd or because you happen to be in a particular place, rather than as a "targeted" individual.

Likewise, most people assume, and grudgingly accept as a fact of life that they appear in loads of pictures posted by others, known or unknown to them, on social media - and this is not perceived so differently, at the end of the day, than simply seeing and oogling actual people in an actual public place.

On the other hand, point a "real" camera with a protruding lense at someone and you'll usually get a reaction if they feel they're being singled out.

Why ?!?!

#censorship #cairo