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.