First the DMCA, now the Patriot Act.

Scarier than the fact that retailers are using the DMCA as a sword instead of a shield as it was intended is word of one of the first abuses of the Patriot Act that was put into place after the events of 9/11. In a story called Photographer Arrested For Taking Pictures Of Vice President’s Hotel the folks at 2600 The Hacker Quarterly report on the plight of amateur photographer Mike Maginnis.

An amateur photographer named Mike Maginnis was arrested on Tuesday in his home city of Denver – for simply taking pictures of buildings in an area where Vice President Cheney was residing. Maginnis told his story on Wednesday’s edition of Off The Hook.

As he was putting his camera away, Maginnis found himself confronted by a Denver police officer who demanded that he hand over his film and camera. When he refused to give up his Nikon F2, the officer pushed him to the ground and arrested him.

After being brought to the District 1 police station on Decatur Street, Maginnis was made to wait alone in an interrogation room. Two hours later, a Secret Service agent arrived, who identified himself as Special Agent “Willse.”

The agent told Maginnis that his “suspicious activities” made him a threat to national security, and that he would be charged as a terrorist under the USA-PATRIOT act. The Secret Service agent tried to make Maginnis admit that he was taking the photographs to analyze weaknesses in the Vice President’s security entourage and “cause terror and mayhem.”

When Maginnis refused to admit to being any sort of terrorist, the Secret Service agent called him a “raghead collaborator” and a “dirty pinko faggot.”

Scared yet? Read the rest of the article and you will be.

5 thoughts on “First the DMCA, now the Patriot Act.

  1. if you want to find any terrorists log on to i’m sure you can locate a few fericon followers who would be happy to smash the state. the million man march looked a lot like an army to me. vive la zappata!!!

  2. I’m not quite sure if I believe that story…with no proof comes no certainty.  However, having said that, if it IS true, i fear the days of McArthy are once again coming upon us.  And that is something i would never want for anyone, not even the worst of men.

  3. Indeed. The folks at 2600 received a fair amount of skepticism over the story and even posted a follow-up explanation on their reasoning. I also did some digging around to see if there were any further info I could dig up on the veracity of this story. I came across this bit from Myers Carpenter on the story.

    So far there’s no smoking gun that nails this down as being undoubtedly true and no witnesses to the event have come forward. The Denver Police have flat-out denied that any such arrest took place. By the same token the Denver Police have been accused by the Colorado ACLU back in March of last year of maintaining “Spy Files” on local protesters.

    In short, I guess we’ll never know as Maginnis hasn’t talked to anyone outside of 2600 after the initial news story as he’s received major hate mail over it. Given the fact that the Police are involved in some rather suspect information gathering on Denver citizens that does help to put Maginnis’ story in a more plausible light. I honestly don’t know if it’s true or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised given some of the other stuff that’s happened since 9/11.

  4. I have a friend who is a professional photographer and he and a colleague were out shooting pics of architecture in downtown Charlotte.  Twice, they were told it was illegal to take pictures of the buildings and that if they continued they would be arrested and lose their equipment.  This was in just the past few months of 2007.

    I spoke with an acquaintance at church who works for the Charlotte observer and she and her interns were harrassed and threatened with arrest for 1) taking picutres 2) wearing too short of a skirt.  WTF?

    The CMPD is corrupt as hell and Pat McCrory is running Charlotte like its Moscow. 

    This tyranny needs to stop…now, before they they become more powerful and people more apathetic to the corruption.

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