By JG Vibes
According to the Associated Press Spain is considering a ban on photographing, filming or reproducing images of police and state security forces who are on duty.
This ban would no doubt be in response to scenes of police brutality from this past months protests going viral on the internet. Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said the government is considering prohibiting the capture, playback and processing of images, sounds or data of security forces while “in the exercise of their functions.”
Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said after months of television and Internet scenes of sometimes violent clashes between police and demonstrators, a balance had to be struck “between citizens’ right to protest” and the need “to uphold the integrity of state security forces.”
The integrity of the police is always in their own hands, and their integrity suffers whether a camera is present or not. This is obviously a move to prevent the wrongdoing of police officers from getting out to the public, and generating even more sympathy for the protests among the general population.
This would also make it even more difficult to hold these police and security officers accountable for their actions.
When asked how these measures would effect the freedom of the press, Fernandez Diaz said, “We do not intend to stop the press from doing its job of taking pictures of police charges and other proceedings.
But we understand that in anti-terrorist operations or against mafias you have to have a more careful approach when it comes to disseminating images.”
The press is already skeptical though, Angel Casana, a lead writer for the national newspaper El Mundo, said in an online editorial that”If this proposal goes ahead, it is going to be impossible to know about events as they occur on the streets just at a time when streets are at boiling point due to the dire economic situation of many families,”
These protests are taking place all over Europe, and it is possible that these kinds of draconian measures will be advanced in other areas too.
It is important to reiterate that this has not become official yet, but this is being very seriously considered by those in power. If enacted, this ban is likely to generate even more support among the general and totally backfire in the governments face, so they are being very careful about this delicate situation.
In addition RT reported that The dissemination of images and videos over social networks like Facebook will also be punishable under the legislation.