Sunday, July 4, 2010

BP, Homeland Security, and Local Cops Detain Journalist

Okay, this stinks.  The reporter is taking pictures of a BP refinery from a public road and he's tailed by BP officials and ultimately pulled over by local cops.  Law enforcement, including a guy who claims to be from Homeland Security, reviews his film and takes down his personal information, including his Social Security number, and gives it to the BP guy.

What the hell?  I can understand why they might be concerned about some stranger taking pictures of an oil refinery, but he was on a public road.  Furthermore, why the need to show the photos to the BP guy?  And why did the BP guy collect his Social Security number?

The latter is especially skanky given how Social Security numbers can be abused.  What if they don't like the final report and decide to steal his identity in revenge?

And then there's the threat of being arrested if he doesn't let them look at his film, which I'm not sure is even legal.

I've already used to write the appropriate people and I think you all should.  I hope MSNBC sues somebody over this.

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