Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

January 26, 2009

The Most Dangerous Phrase Strikes Again

by Chris Byrne

Seriously, congresscritters are morons. There can be no other explanation.

Sadly, this is not the most idiotic, ridiculous, laughable, or embarrassingly stupid law ever proposed; but it’s close:

New Law Will Require Camera Phones to ‘Click’
Author: Michael Horton

A new bill is being introduced called, Camera Phone Predator Alert Act, which would require any mobile phone containing a digital camera to sound a tone whenever a photograph is taken with the camera’s phone. It would also prohibit such a phone from being equipped with a means of disabling or silencing the tone.

While its a good gesture, I do not believe having such a law would deter criminals from hacking their camera phones to take pictures in inappropriate ways. Also, the real criminals would not even use a camera phone but would probably use other devices such as a hidden camera. Regardless, at least with the bill signed into law it would allow prosecution and jail time for individuals that get caught with a camera phone that does not make the noise.

One question does remain, what if you have a camera phone that doesn’t make the noise at all or is suppressible? Would older phones still be covered under this new law?”

So, if my finger happens to be blocking the speaker, what then?

What if my phone breaks and the tone no longer works?

What about digital cameras; they’re quite small and easy to conceal?

What about deliberately hidden cameras, or novelty cameras that look like other things, will those be illegal as well?

Yet another example of one idiot… or given the subject matter probably thousands of idiots… saying to another idiot (one with power over us, god help us) “There ought to be a law”; the most dangerous phrase in the English language.

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  • Akston

    “There’s no way to rule innocent men.
    The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals.
    When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them.
    One declares so many things to be a crime
    that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

    – Ayn Rand

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    I’m trying to figure out how exactly someone is victimized by having their picture taken.

    Are congressmen animists who believe that cameras steal people’s souls? :)

  • http:hathor-sekhmet.blogspot.com VRB

    Suppose you have been abducted an have enough time to take a picture and dial 911. How is the alert going to save you?

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    Good point VRB. Very good point!

    Actually, that brings ot mind another question. What about movie cameras? Should they be making periodic noises? in the absence of such periodic noises, what is to keep someone from walking around filming and then clipping stills out of the image stream?

    The more I think about this, the more moronic it gets

  • http://pith-n-vinegar.blogspot.com/ Quincy

    This is a double whammy. “There ought to be a law” “for the children”!

  • Al

    Tarran — even been naked in a locker room?

    It is a pretty dumb proposal when you evaluate it thoroughly though.

  • Peter

    Most camera phones make a noise when you take a picture, people like it because it lets them know that something is happening. I think it is silly for a law to be enacted to require something that is in place anyway.

    Is this a federal law? If so, I do not see how it is allowed anywhere in the constitution. (Not that that stops most of the laws made, anyway).

  • http://gordonunleashed.com/blog/ Stephen Gordon

    Could, perhaps, the real intent of the law be to inform police officers, politicians, people committing acts of torture, etc. warning when they are being observed either breaking the law or in a politically compromising position?

  • Nick M.

    In honor of this stupdity, I just set my phone to make no sound when taking a picture.

  • Aimee

    How is that going to work with Google Street View then, or does that not count?

  • Akston

    You could change the picture taking sound to a recording of your favorite legislator swearing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

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