Photographers should print out this internal notice and all its red redactions, keep it tucked in the camera bag and pull it out next time the cops tell you it’s illegal to photograph federal building exteriors in the city, hassles you or tries to take your camera.
The New York Civil Liberties Union’s successful lawsuit against the US Government upheld photographers’ rights last year, but this bulletin was just made public. So, naturally, this section has been stricken:
At no time is any of this information to be provided to the general public or any individual or organization associated with a media affiliate.
Here are some highlights of your rights, as long as you stay in “publicly accessible spaces:”
It is important that law enforcement and PSOs uphold the public’s general right to photograph the exterior of federal structures while being vigilant with respect to suspicious indicators of terrorist or criminal activity.
And, as long as you don’t look like a terrorist, your camera is safe too:
[…] officers should not seize the camera or its contents, and must be cautious not to give such ‘orders’ to a photographer to erase the contents of a camera, as this constitutes a seizure or detention.