London police continue proud tradition of fictional UK police state

Apparently, the London Metropolitan Police have decided to go completely Orwellian. Now, anything you do that is unusual is suspicious.

For instance, if you're taking photographs of something - you could be a terrorist. Or a Flickr user criminal. (Btw: I take lots of pictures with strange angles in places most people don't take pictures, and I've come to be wary of doing so, even here in Norway).

This, despite the fact that it manifestly does not appear to be the case that terrorists are big on photography:
The 9/11 terrorists didn't photograph anything. Nor did the London transport bombers, the Madrid subway bombers, or the liquid bombers arrested in 2006. Timothy McVeigh didn't photograph the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The Unabomber didn't photograph anything; neither did shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Photographs aren't being found amongst the papers of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IRA wasn't known for its photography. Even those manufactured terrorist plots that the US government likes to talk about -- the Ft. Dix terrorists, the JFK airport bombers, the Miami 7, the Lackawanna 6 -- no photography.

Given that real terrorists, and even wannabe terrorists, don't seem to photograph anything, why is it such pervasive conventional wisdom that terrorists photograph their targets? Why are our fears so great that we have no choice but to be suspicious of any photographer?
Other things that are suspicious: not telling people where you're going, renting cars, using computers to visit stuff your neighbour doesn't understand and not being able to afford a cell phone subscription.

I don't throw the term "Orwellian" around loosely, but this is not security, it is the illusion of security that in effect regulates the feelings and thoughts of the citizen. I hope that the rest of Europe takes this as a lesson in how NOT to do things.


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