Surveillance, Photography, and the NSA

So the other day I was out photographing on the streets of Denver.

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I was photographing a dead tree with the all the limbs cut off.  It was in someone’s backyard, though I photographed from the sidewalk.  A neighbor pulled up in her expensive Volvo, and I asked me what I was doing.  Photographing, I responded.

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She inquired further, and final I told I am a professional, and know the laws of photography, and there was nothing I was doing that could be construed as wrong or illegal.  Well, I am going to check that out, she responded, and got out her iPhone.  Have at it, I said, and continued to walk around with my camera.

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For about 15-20 minutes, she crept along behind me, following me in her car.  Eventually a cop showed up; she called the police on me.  I spoke with the officer for a few minutes, and he drove away; he acknowledged I was fully within my rights.

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When I got home, I went online and downloaded some pictures of her home off the internet.  Do you think she finds this concerning? that this violates her privacy?  (This only took a few moments – it’ll be a few more weeks before I even get my film developed.)  Why she as concerned about Edward Snowden’s disclosures about government surveillance?  Is privacy and security really just a matter of out-of-sight-out-of-mind?

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