A man who was in the United States illegally was arrested at Miami International Airport after he was, of all things, spotted taking pictures. Upon his detainment for picture taking, authorities discovered that the man, Oluwole Aboyade, was an illegal alien.
See the irony in this story? Man falsely detained for photography in a public place (he was seen walking through the airport and stopped in a parking garage) turns out to be illegally breaking immigration laws.
Legally speaking, airports are public places, which means that anyone is, at least on paper, allowed to take photos and/or videos inside them. However, this does not apply to areas that are off limits to the public, going into which could elicit a trespassing charge, as well. Unfortunately, in the age of paranoia over terrorist attack, this right to photograph airports is increasingly coming under attack, with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) noting that another place where photography comes into question being when it turns into “surveillance.”
Define “surveillance,” please.
Obviously, there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to taking pictures inside a huge transportation hub like an airport, with the whole magic line of allowed/not allowed being increasingly blurred thanks to worries over terrorist attack and a general public paranoia about people with cameras.
So, next time you fly out of Cleveland Hopkins Airport, be aware that, although you may be legally entitled to take pictures of your travels, there is a chance that someone may think you’re a terrorist casing the place.
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