Undoubtedly a controversial subject, photography and police work rarely tend to mix well but, rightly argued, it is a necessary thing in the modern world. Proponents ask what there is to hide while detractors worry it hampers the effectiveness of police to do their job.
Wherever you may be on the debate, the Irish Minister for Justice & Equality Charlie Flanagan does not want police being photographed while they are working according to PetaPixel.
While speaking with radio host Sean O’Rourke on his RTÉ Radio One Charlie Flanagan made his views known and promptly received a public backlash for them.
The official went on to clarify that he does believe in “transparency” and isn’t advocating for a black-box approach to police activities; however, he did think that Gardaí (Ireland’s police force) would have a harder time operating if they had a bunch of cameras bearing down upon them.
From his Twitter account: “The uploading of images of of Gardaí undertaking their duties on social media and consequent threats and intimidation is totally unacceptable to me and that why I am concerned.”
Apparently the Justice & Equality Minister’s comments come on the heels of a major police action to evict housing protesters, some of which photographed the police performing the removal and with users on the Internet subsequently calling for doxxing and violence against these officers.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties said of the comments, “While the criminal harassment or intimidation of gardaí is unacceptable, the general outlawing of photographing gardaí while on duty would be a grossly disproportionate response to the incidents that arise where technology is misused…[such a measure would] criminalize ordinary members of the public for sharing information about public events.”
For its part the Irish government said that it has no plans to enact any legislation along the lines discussed by the minister in his radio interview.