With the increases in recent harassment of photographers using the Patriot Act as the authority, I know there is a lot of confusion and curiosity about what the Patriot Act actually says about photography. Therefore, I decided to see what I could find. Not surprisingly there is not much.
A digital search of the 342 page document provided no match for the word "PHOTO." In other words the words, photo, photograph, photography or photographer is not to be found in the document.
A search for the words "PICTURE", "TRIPOD" or "SHUTTER" garners the same results. Not a single occasion of Shutterbug is found.
The word "CAMERA" occurs four times, on pages 13, 250 (2) and 319. Page 13 is, to me, a little cryptic but I believe it may be a legal term rather than speaking about actual cameras. Page 319 is referring to the authorization of purchasing equipment for the use of surveillance, again not much to do with private photographers.
The most interesting occurrence is the one on page 250. However, what is more interesting is not the use of the word camera which really does not say much, but what follows a few lines below ", provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.’’.
Here are the references that I found for your own inspection.
The first occurrence of the word "CAMERA" is in Title I, Sec. 106
11 TITLE I—ENHANCING DOMESTIC
12 SECURITY AGAINST TERRORISM
19 SEC. 106. PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY.
12 ‘‘(c) CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.—In any judicial re
13 view of a determination made under this section, if the
14 determination was based on classified information (as de
15 fined in section 1(a) of the Classified Information Proce
16 dures Act) such information may be submitted to the re
17 viewing court ex parte and in camera. This subsection does
18 not confer or imply any right to judicial review.’’.
The second occurrence of the word "CAMERA" in in Title V, Sec. 505
1 TITLE V—REMOVING OBSTA
2 CLES TO INVESTIGATING
19 SEC. 505. MISCELLANEOUS NATIONAL SECURITY AUTHORI
12 (B) by striking ‘‘in camera that’’ and all
13 that follows through ‘‘States.’’ and inserting the
14 following: ‘‘in camera that the consumer report
15 is sought for the conduct of an authorized in
16 vestigation to protect against international ter
17 rorism or clandestine intelligence activities, pro
18 vided that such an investigation of a United
19 States person is not conducted solely upon the
20 basis of activities protected by the first amend
21 ment to the Constitution of the United
9 TITLE X—MISCELLANEOUS
13 SEC. 1005. FIRST RESPONDERS ASSISTANCE ACT.
3 (2) purchase technology and equipment for in
4 telligence gathering and analysis functions, including
5 wire-tap, pen links, cameras, and computer hard
6 ware and software;
I am not a lawyer, don't pretend to be, but if this is the law of the land as written by the legislative body of the U S Government, why are private citizens being harassed?
ADDENDUM: Thanks to some very helpful members on Texas Photo Forum, Glen Green and Captain Tom, there is a clarification of the term "in camera." It appears in legal terms that means "in chamber," the judges chamber. So neither page 13 or page 250 are actually talking about a camera used in photography. So, in the Patriot Act there is only one reference to a camera and that is about purchasing equipment for their use.
I still find the "providing…etc" which is repeated frequently throughout, to be very interesting. The whole thing is much like the non-existent "permit" to photograph MetroRail.