January 27, 2009

Requiring digital cameras and camera phones to make an audible click.

A bill to protect the children... and to annoy us all. Why not require every man to wear a bell around his neck... in case he might sneak up on a child?

60 comments:

jpr9954 said...

As a registered Republican, all I can say is it any wonder that we are the minority party again. Doesn't Mr. King have better things to do than further the nanny-state?

AJ Lynch said...

"every man wear a bell around his neck". LOL Althouse!

I expect Chip Ahoy to come up with something hilarious to depict your idea.

PatCA said...

"It's for the children" - one of many roads to hell.

MadisonMan said...

I think a 90-dB klaxon should blare out. Aaaah-OOOOO-GAH Aaaah-OOOOO-GAH. This bill doesn't go far enough!

Tibore said...

"jpr9954 said...
As a registered Republican, all I can say is it any wonder that we are the minority party again. Doesn't Mr. King have better things to do than further the nanny-state?"


Amen.

I know it's a cop-out to say that there are better things for a politician to work on, but let's be frank: When considering this case, there are. Even if your ultmate goal is to protect children, there are far more substantial issues a lawmaker can confront.

It says something bad about us as a nation in that such trivialities are considered the province of law.

MadisonMan said...

..and what should we do about all those poor deaf children who can't hear the click?

I think a strobe light brighter than the Suns of Nibia and the Antares Maelstrom (combined!) should flash before any pictures are taken.

MadisonMan said...

..and what about the blind and deaf children? Shouldn't these digital phones and cell cameras be required to make the Earth shake so they know something is happening?

HelenParr said...

Not surprising given that these are the same morons who legislated away the incandescent light bulb.

TMink said...

A 9mm round costs about a nickle if you buy more than a few.

How many perv photographers would you have to pop before this kind or drek stopped?

Trey

JohnAnnArbor said...

This is digital technology. We can do better. Require every phone registered to a male to say "Potential pervert alert" in a strident female voice every time a picture is taken or every two minutes, whichever is more often.

AJ Lynch said...

Mad Man:

And all the deaf men created by your Ah Ooh Go klaxons :)

Revenant said...

Suns of Nibia and the Antares Maelstrom

That's "the moons of Nibia". You fail at being a bigger nerd than me.

As for the bill itself, it is stupid and I'm against it, but I don't see it affecting my life at all if it passes, since I leave the "click" noise on anyway so I can be sure the picture took. As government nannying goes it seems pretty harmless.

J Riordan said...

We're in the middle of two wars and a once-in-a-century global financial meltdown and this ninkompoop decides to spend his legislative time on camera sounds... Good grief!

Whomever runs against Peter "Camera Click" King in 2010 just earned a donation from me!

Note that Camera Click King is the RANKING MEMBER of the Homeland Security Committee and is also on the Financial Services Committee...

EDH said...

Why not require every man to wear a bell around his neck... in case he might sneak up on a child?

Althouse identifies a true societal bellwether, indeed.

Bellwether

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A bellwether is any entity in a given arena that serves to create or influence trends or to presage future happenings.

The term is derived from the Middle English bellewether and refers to the practice of placing a bell around the neck of a castrated ram (a wether) leading its flock of sheep. The movements of the flock could be perceived by hearing the bell before the flock was in sight.

Cedarford said...

From the article:

The idea is not as astounding as it seems.Japan already requires all cameraphones including the iPhone to make an audible noise when taking a photograph.

Laws and rules have been necessary because Nipponese are true world-class sex pervs. Read a porno Manga comic on the commute to work, download some Hentai tenacle sex, and top of the day with your cell phone doing some upskirt shots or video on the shuttle ride home...where you can download your "Booty" haul to other upskirt or boob closeup shots to other affictionados.

In the USA, of course King is another legislator who wants to get PR and creds by showing everyone how "tough he is on sex offenders" with another dumb law. (like the law that in X town, sex offenders must post a sign on Halloween saying "Sex Offender Inside" in 1 foot size letters, or be in home and turn all lights off between 4PM and midnight.)
Palladian may have more info...

Technology does have problems. People in public under old SLR camera and video recorders technology had at least the option of objecting to people right next to them doing photos or videotaping them - to say nothing about having the chance to object to someone shoving a VCR or SLR under their skirt, in cleavage/...

Now the technology is a lot more conducive to surreptitious violations of people's expectation of privacy in certain aspects while in public.

Palladian said...

"Palladian may have more info..."

Fuck off, Nazi.

EDH said...

Have you ever noticed that when a person of some celebrity is asked to have their picture taken with someone, invariably it takes forever for the clown operating the camera to shoot the damn picture.

"What, wait, which button, hold on, I've got it, woops, wait, smile, hold on..."

And the notable ends up standing there with a frozen smile that says "why the fuck do I humor these morons?"

And meanwhile all these perverts operate a camere like Herb Ritz?

(Yea, I know Ritz's dead, but I can't think of any photographers other than Annie Leibovitz and Anton Corbijn.)

MadisonMan said...

Rev -- It wasn't clear to me that the moons would be brighter than the Sun :)

Kev said...

From the comments to the linked article:

What about people trying to be good samaritans and snap a discreet picture of a crime in progress? An audible clickity clack, another witness gets hosed.

A great point. And let me say again: We need better people in government. This guy can't possibly be the "best and brightest" in his district.

(If I were Peter King of Sports Illustrated or Peter King of CBS Radio, I'd put up a huge disclaimer on my website assuring people that this moron and myself aren't the same guy.)

Michael said...

How about the people Ann captures in her photos?

It's one thing to take photos...another to post them with permission.

Anybody here ever have a private meeting or conversation they might not want on the Althouse blog site?

Simon said...

It's the sort of thing that makes you wish that there was some way to limit the number of bills a member of congress could introduce, or to make members of Congress anonymous (if they were anonymous, this kind of pandering would vanish, although other costs would be introduced).

People give me funny looks when I admit to being skeptical of democracy, but this is a prime illustration of the point: not that democracy is problematic, but that democracy is just a system that has costs and benefits like any other, and doesn't deserve any special privilege over other allocative theories. It should be used when it's the most efficient solution to a problem, but it shouldn't be held up as the gold standard. A government should not be judged on how "democratic" vel non it is.

Simon said...

Another example where one might seriously doubt, let alone question, the benefits of the "more democracy" approach: judicial elections. I'm not against democracy, I'm just against fetishizing it.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnAnnArbor said...

Remember, SImon: democracy is the worst form of government--except for all the others.

holdfast said...

Come on and try to bell me motherfrakker.

Simon said...

John, well, it's a process. And while in some contexts it's good - no one would seriously argue against using a democratic process for electing the House of Representatives - in others it's bad. I've mentioned judges, so I'll give you a few other examples. In my state, the coroner is an elected post. When I first moved here, and learned this, I swiftly concluded that this was the most retarded thing that I had ever heard - and I'd heard of "S Club Seven." Ever since the days of Andrew Jackson - and made worse by the progressives - America has had too much of a hard-on for electing every public post shy of the dog catcher, and it's inane. The upshot is that nobody knows who to hold accountable for any given policy, because there is a veritable constellation of officers, all of whom are elected. In most states, moreover, the Governor is charged with taking care that the law is faithfully executed, and yet his attorney general is independently elected. This makes no sense. At both the state and (in Indiana, at least) local level, more democracy has produced ridiculous results. To my mind, this is a ridiculous paranoia about abuse of power coupled with a fetishization of pure democracy that is simply unhealthy. It would be much better to have one elected chief executive officer who appoints all subordinate executive officers in a given polity. The mayor should appoint the coroner; the governor should appoint the attorney general; and if the voters hate the policy, they know precisely who to blame.

The Churchill quote is particularly ironic, because whether Winston knew it or not, the system he resided in and which was able to call on him in its hour of need was not a democracy. It was a parliamentary monarchy with democratic features, but there was no need to elect Churchill as Prime Minister - and thank God! Pace Winston, democracy is not the best system ever tried - it's just a system, one that has immense benefits, but that has costs that ought to be considered when deciding if a given office is to be organized along democratic vs. republican lines.

JAL said...

So what does a kid do when they hear a photo phone click?

BJM said...

I'd guess that this guy didn't have the click turned on.

Revenant said...

John, well, it's a process.

I prefer to think of "a means to an end", the end in question being individual liberty. If it isn't achieving that end as well as some other tactic would, it isn't a good thing. For example, the issue of slavery wasn't resolved democratically here in the United States.

Donna B. said...

Where we have failed is that we've ordained a Congress to make laws. It's probably that we have enough laws to last us several millenia, but what are we to do with Congress in the meantime?

Their sole purpose is to make laws... am I incorrect? If so, please enlighten me. I need it.

They've pretty much got the big stuff covered, I think. Now they are down to the minute, to the meaningless... and thus to the harmful.

I'm still working on how meaningless is harmful, but I'll get there.

Twin said...

I think a 90-dB klaxon should blare out. Aaaah-OOOOO-GAH Aaaah-OOOOO-GAH. This bill doesn't go far enough!

ROFL. Funny comment of the week. :)

AllenS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

Pretty tame stuff compared to this, from some years ago:

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, said he was drafting legislation to require devices in PCs permitting the destruction of hardware used for widescale copyright infringement by sending a secret command to the remote computer. A copyright holder would be required to offer two warnings before the "kill switch" was activated and the computer destroyed or permanently disabled, Hatch said.

m00se said...

Hmm. This goes to far.

However, asking someone if you can use their photo on your blog - thats a different thing. Again, not a legal requirement (this has all been hashed out in court), however - *it's a matter of politeness*.

Personally, I don't like having my photo taken, as I resemble a lawn gnome. I have known many people (ever try to take a photo of you mom, for instance?) who don't want to have their photo taken for various personal reasons?

Snapping photos of public settings with people in them, and then commenting on them in a blog, involves them in a conversation that they may not want to be a part of. Once again, not something you should pass a law about, but as a matter of manners, why not go up to them and ask their permission?

I know, I know - harshing the buzz. Sorry.

bearbee said...

Obviously New York does not have enough issues to keep the forward-looking Rep. Peter T. King (NY) engaged, so with the future in mind he has sponsored this excellent legislation.

The Clickety Clack technology will lead to new technology and a new industry, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.

The US will be the leader with its innovative Clickety Clack Silencer.

Skeptical said...

It's an awfully long road from "democracy is a system with costs and benefits" to "democracy is simply a means to an end." You can think that democracy has a certain initial privileging, in that it gives people an equal say over the conditions of their common life, without thinking that this initial privileging ensures that democracy would win a contest among various forms of governance. I doubt that all instrumental value being equal, you would say "democracy, dictatorship, what does it matter? Flip a coin."

Pogo said...

In about two years, stories like this will seem quaint, if they don't enrage you at their superfluousness.

It's as if a man discovers his basement is on fire, and his response is to put plastic outlet covers on to protect toddlers.

The unseriousness in Congress, the focus on the trivial, is shocking.

al said...

My son mentioned this to me last night. I thought he was kidding as surely Congress has more important things to be doing. My response was that, in case of locker room pictures, that the law simply allow the person whose picture was taken to beat the person taking the picture till they are satisfied that the picture taker won't ever do it again.

Glen said...

JAL said:
So what does a kid do when they hear a photo phone click?

Duck and cover?

I think Congress should be outfitted with a toilet-flushing SFX every time they waste another million dollars. But, ya know, that would upstage Niagra Falls.

Fred4Pres said...

A noisy shutter would be especially good for wildlife photography.

Then again, you never know when Professor Althouse will sneak up on you and take a shot in a coffee house--so perhaps it would be a good thing.

traditionalguy said...

That is the worst new law in years. You scare grandchildren and animals just to pretend to be against pictures taken secetly which may hurt who?

Zeb Quinn said...

Screw it's for the children. I'm betting King had his picture taken at a time when he didn't know it and didn't want it. It's personal to him.

Shanna said...

. And while in some contexts it's good - no one would seriously argue against using a democratic process for electing the House of Representatives - in others it's bad. I've mentioned judges, so I'll give you a few other examples. In my state, the coroner is an elected post.

In my state, Attorney General, Comptroller, Lieutenant Governor, etc… are all elected posts. And the funny thing is that we enacted term limits at some point, so every 8 years or so, all the folks who had previously been elected to those positions play musical chairs and switch jobs.

Dave TN said...

Imagine how much more fun school plays and dance recitals will be.

And weddings - "Do you Stephen..." click, click, click, click, "take Laura..." click, click, click, click.

Joe said...

I can't believe you people aren't taking this seriously. The law doesn't go far enough! ALL our souls are at risk from the devil's tool.

Mark Buehner said...

Why can't we just put check points in the series of tubes that are the internet instead?

Smilin' Jack said...

Why not require every man to wear a bell around his neck...

As if only men could be perverts. Althouse's sexist slip is showing--someone should report her to UW's Ministry of Sensitivity.

Note that Camera Click King is the RANKING MEMBER of the Homeland Security Committee and is also on the Financial Services Committee...

Would you rather this moron was writing laws that actually affect our economy and national security?

Christopher said...

"As for the bill itself, it is stupid and I'm against it, but I don't see it affecting my life at all if it passes. . ."

Which is exactly why morons like King can keep proposing idiotic laws like this. A wrinkled brow, a helpless shrug of "it doesn't affect me," and another bit of liberty is ceded to nanny-statists.

It makes me wish the GOP had membership cards or some such so we could put King on double-secret probation and then kick his worthless butt to the curb.

Revenant said...

You can think that democracy has a certain initial privileging, in that it gives people an equal say over the conditions of their common life

In a democracy with 200,000,000 voters, I have 0.0000005 of a say in what the government will do to me. In a dictatorship I have 0 say. The difference is not necessarily that huge. The character of the specific dictator and of the population of the country has more to do with whether or not my rights are respected. Either way you as an individual are basically powerless to affect what the government does to you.

In this country, democracy is probably the right way to go. In other nations, the middle class has done a lot better under dictatorship than it has under democracy.

Leland said...

Ok, so the phone goes "click" when I take a picture. What does it do when I take video?

Sadly, a similar law was passed in 2003 making it mandatory that US sold automobiles provide a tone whenever a seatbelt is unbuckled and the engine is running. After all, it will save lives. Simple law, minor inconvenience to drivers. To automobile manufacturers and new car buyers it meant; a pressure switch in the seat to denote a person was in the seat (for passenger side), a switch to determine if the buckle was in place, notification that the engine was on, a chiming device to provide the warning tone, and of course, all the associated costs of development and implementation.

So what does the person who doesn't like wearing their seatbelt do? Pull the fuse to the outlandish system.

Micha Elyi said...

Is it the democracy that's the problem or the system of choosing the rulers by holding a popularity contest? Let's change to a system of election by drawing lots.

One Happy Claude said...

There's a huge problem with this new law (said with tongue in cheek) ...

What about deaf people? They can't hear the click? Who will speak for the deaf people who will continue to be victimized by the cell phone camera menace?

There's only one solution. In addition to making a clicking noise, all phones must also flash a bright light when they take a picture, so that deaf people have the same protection as others.

Oh wait a minute, what if they're deaf AND blind? Okay, let's try a clicking noise AND a bright light AND a puff of wind.

Thank you, Congress, for protecting us.

Jeremy said...

It's a little late to have the click after (or as) the photo is being taken. If an indecent pic has been snapped, then you gotta track down the perv, snatch their phone and delete the pic yourself. Maybe the camera should just constantly make clicking sounds instead.

Revenant said...

To automobile manufacturers and new car buyers it meant; a pressure switch in the seat to denote a person was in the seat (for passenger side), a switch to determine if the buckle was in place, notification that the engine was on, a chiming device to provide the warning tone, and of course, all the associated costs of development and implementation.

As a result of which, whenever I bring groceries home from the supermarket I have to latch the god-damned seat belt in the passenger seat so the car doesn't ding at me the whole way home because my apples and soft drinks aren't properly buckled in.

Every time I have to do this, I hate my fellow citizens a little more.

hdhouse said...

i gather woman would be permitted to carry silent cell cameras as they never pose a threat to kids....

well you suggested it with men sneaking up on kids...you did!

shame on you.

Anton said...

Tibore said, "It says something bad about us as a nation in that such trivialities are considered the province of law."

Amen

Tatter said...

My take is that democracy alone cannot make a stable government. All governments have weaknesses that cannot be compensated for: a democracy, for example, is too slow to operate to deal with military threats, and too prone to being swayed by charismatic leaders to be a stable basis for enforcing a legal system.

The founders of the United States recognized this, and made our government a set of three governments that operated together, each in a defined role that played to its strengths and required the other branches to compensate for its weaknesses. A democracy to create the laws, a republic to enact the laws, and an oligarchy to enforce the laws.

Just because the majority of the people think democracy is always the best form of government does not make it so, just as the world was not made flat when everyone believed it to be.

Eric said...

I don't understand the part about the children. Why is it people are so upset about pictures taken of children in public? Do they let their children run around naked at the mall?

This has been the law for awhile in lots of countries, but it has more to do with public baths and gym locker rooms.

chuck b. said...

This politician needs to be tied down and burned with cigarets.

ZZMike said...

Aside from the obvious flaws in the bill, doesn't the good Congressman know that there are such things as digital cameras - many of which are small as cell phones, and almost all of which take better pictures?

I don't suppose it occurred to anyone to see what laws are already in place...

The problem with that being the innocent photographer in the park, taking pictures of pretty trees and flowers, and some moronic do-gooder comes up, whacks him with her purse, and dials 9-1-1.

Poor Revenant. He thinks that as long as his liberty isn't affected, it doesn't matter what happens to anyone else. Please try this: Google (or similar) for the words "first they came for the" (with the quote marks). Look at the one with "Niemoller" in it.

Simon: Good points about democracy. There were good and valid reasons why the Founding Fathers set us up as a republic, not a pure democracy.

The left-leaning liberals want to undo that, to do away with the Electoral College (maybe that's just as well), and hold direct elections for President &c.

That's when we'll find out that direct democracy does not scale up very well. It worked in ancient Greece, because there weren't a lot of people around, and not everybody got to vote.

Here, it would be a disaster. It's what got Huey Long elected forever in Louisiana, Robert C. Byrd elected forever in West Virginia. I'd make a case that it's what got Obama elected, mainly through the unceasing efforts of the Media to brainwash the people.

Revenant, again: "In a democracy with 200,000,000 voters, I have 0.0000005 of a say in what the government will do to me. In a dictatorship I have 0 say."

Percentage-wise, it's a huge difference. I sense that you entirely miss one of the attributes of the democratic system, which is that we can join together with like-minded people and raise more votes.

You may remember Norman Rockwell's paintings "The Four Freedoms" - one of them shows a guy in a Town Hall meeting, speaking his mind, and presumably, convincing others.

Leland: When I first read "a pressure switch in the seat to denote a person", I thought you wrote "detonate".

Now let's talk about motorcycle helmets (or motorcycle beanies, as some of the Hell's Angels wear them).