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Thread: Permission of taking photos

  1. #41
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    Since Clubsnap can organize photoshoots and competition with some external parties, can Clubsnap send a letter on all our behalf asking MHA nicely on this issue? It will clarify things...

    If they get back to us with a written reply, we can then print it out and show it to the mah tah, with the minister's or perm-sec's signature...

  2. #42

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    Originally posted by Watcher
    Since Clubsnap can organize photoshoots and competition with some external parties, can Clubsnap send a letter on all our behalf asking MHA nicely on this issue? It will clarify things...

    If they get back to us with a written reply, we can then print it out and show it to the mah tah, with the minister's or perm-sec's signature...
    And if the letter says you have no permission to shoot anything unless specifically permitted to do so? Don't rule that out.

  3. #43
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    Originally posted by StreetShooter
    And if the letter says you have no permission to shoot anything unless specifically permitted to do so? Don't rule that out.
    Then ask if there is another standard for tourists... After all, they take photos of the same buildings too. So we SG citizens becomes second class to tourists?!? No right...

  4. #44
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    Then ask if there is another standard for tourists... After all, they take photos of the same buildings too. So we SG citizens becomes second class to tourists?!? No right...
    Don't think that would be the approach. Nor sending a CS letter. In any case, tourists are also not allowed to snap closeup shots of sensitive buildings like MHA Home Towers.

    If I were a terrorist, I'll be taking pictures of my targets with tiny spy cameras and not with a Bronica ETRS medium format camera lah!!! Do think terrorists are so stupid?
    Well that's paranoia. Also, bear in mind that most of these security personnel are really just following instructions. Nevermind that the instructions were stupid. They just want to get their job done with minimum thinking and hassle. So we poor innocent souls get chased off.
    Food for thought - the smart intel/terrorist will probably act like tourist, dress like tourist, but not quite tourist. And they will probably want to pack SLRs to get a good pix of their target. Spy cams are really stuff of the movies. Being like tourist is actually far more inconspicuous.

    As for the DBS Bank one, that's probably a paranoid-cum-idiot action by some guard with N level... too lazy to think...

  5. #45
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    Originally posted by Azure

    Food for thought - the smart intel/terrorist will probably act like tourist, dress like tourist, but not quite tourist. And they will probably want to pack SLRs to get a good pix of their target. Spy cams are really stuff of the movies. Being like tourist is actually far more inconspicuous.
    well, i cannot verify this but from what i heard, many years ago, when the hq of one of our ministries was relocated to a ulu place then, there was suddenly an influx of tourists to that area taking pictures.

  6. #46
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    Probably from USSR or some neighbour then....
    Either that or its an unfounded rumour. Cuz the press/police will make a fuss.

  7. #47
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    well, that was about 15 years ago (i think).

    well, the press or the police cannot make a fuss on tourists taking photos of their friends posing alond the road, right.

    mind you, it is only a road and the actual infrastructure is not in sight.

  8. #48

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    The article actually talks about copyright issues under US law. These may or may not apply to Singapore. In Singapore, this is not very clear and like most of you here who say that there are double standards on who can take pictures of what here. In general, I agree with an article I read in a mag that if you do not use a picture for commercial gains or to embarrass someone, it should be quite ok. I don't see why we should not be allowed to take pictures of the exterior of buildings unless we are doing so for ill intent. In any case, if someone wanted to do so, they can do secretly in many ways and won't get caught! Most security personnel here are poorly trained and I doubt that they can spot suspicious characters from regular civilians.

  9. #49
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    Maybe it boils down to "Heng Suay" lah.
    Depends on the mood & attitude of the guards dat day?

  10. #50

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    Originally posted by Watcher
    Since Clubsnap can organize photoshoots and competition with some external parties, can Clubsnap send a letter on all our behalf asking MHA nicely on this issue? It will clarify things...

    If they get back to us with a written reply, we can then print it out and show it to the mah tah, with the minister's or perm-sec's signature...
    Hey if this is the case...i will wana be the 1st few in the list!!!

    but then again...chances are...beri beri slim ah...

  11. #51

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    Originally posted by Watcher
    Since Clubsnap can organize photoshoots and competition with some external parties, can Clubsnap send a letter on all our behalf asking MHA nicely on this issue? It will clarify things...

    If they get back to us with a written reply, we can then print it out and show it to the mah tah, with the minister's or perm-sec's signature...
    You people don't know how important National Security is. And you seem to be ignorant of how foreign Hostile Intelligence Services operate in Singapore. Intelligence can be gathered through simple means. Examples are websites, newpapers and TV. Not some James Bond spying stuff.

    The MHA, as with other important security installations, is a Restricted Area because of the above reasons.

  12. #52

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    Originally posted by mervlam
    You people don't know how important National Security is. And you seem to be ignorant of how foreign Hostile Intelligence Services operate in Singapore. Intelligence can be gathered through simple means. Examples are websites, newpapers and TV. Not some James Bond spying stuff.

    The MHA, as with other important security installations, is a Restricted Area because of the above reasons.
    Agreed.
    Espoinage did happened in spore...guess i wld rather forgo the chance of shooting such pics than to put our nation in distress.

  13. #53
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    Why would you want to take pix of those buildings in the first place. There are other nicer looking buildings elsewhere...

    As for those commercial buildings like DBS or Millenia, I do not recall seeing/hearing/reading about any legislation in Sg that prohibits exterior pix. It would be a really silly rule to have.

    On the other hand, if anyone really wants a "SAFE" shot of these buildings, act touristy. Dressing loudly in touristy colours and floral batiks is a sure way to get mistaken as a tourist by those short-sighted security pers.

  14. #54
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    Originally posted by mervlam
    You people don't know how important National Security is. And you seem to be ignorant of how foreign Hostile Intelligence Services operate in Singapore. Intelligence can be gathered through simple means. Examples are websites, newpapers and TV. Not some James Bond spying stuff.

    The MHA, as with other important security installations, is a Restricted Area because of the above reasons.
    I'm not saying that we disregard national security. What I'm saying is to get MHA to issue a statement on what is acceptable and what is not, which locations are restricted, which are not. Not the current state of gray limbo where any half-baked, dumb idiot can make up their own rule.

  15. #55

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    Laws, rules, regulations... the manner in which they are written are all meant to be ambiguous. It is up to the authorities to interpret and apply them as and when it deems fit.

    No authority will set laws in absolute clarity, in black and white. There will always be some grey areas that allow them the flexibility to prevent the same law from turning around and biting themselves in the backside if the situation ever arises.

    So in our situation, although it is clear that photography within restricted compounds is illegal, shooting from outside is probably not, but I'm very sure the authorities can use a little known, obscure or seemingly harmless law to prevent u from taking photographs of 'innocent' buildings and compounds.

  16. #56

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    sometime ago I posted a link about photography law of Singapore. anyone remember the url?

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  18. #58

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    It's kinda different here i think. This question posed here is more on photographing buildings and places which seem alrite to us, but is considered by others a security threat, copyright infringement or for various reasons unknown to us.

    Anyway, paranoia, ignorance and misinformation(misinterpretation?) are the most likely reasons why people behave in such a manner that go beyond logical reasoning.
    But sometimes, we gotta keep in mind that the security staff are just doing what they have been told by the management. No point trying to argue with them. Can't really blame them for doing their job.

  19. #59

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    Couple of days back I was cycling along East Coast Park in the morning, and came across some Primary School having a mass run in the park.

    Of course I stopped to take some pictures. Before I took the third picture, the questions came:

    "Excuse me, who are you?"
    "Are you a parent?"

    I said "No, I'm just a hobby photographer," and flashed my most brilliant smile.

    Nope. Didn't work. Next came the inevitable question:

    "Is this allowed?" (asked aloud, to all present).

    You could see some of the other teachers starting to shake their heads dubiously. As Sim Wong Hoo pointed out in his analogy about the "No U-Turn Syndrome" (aka NUTS) - when faced with a question about whether something is allowed or not, the typical Singaporean response is to assume it isn't, unless expressly stated that it is.

    I did not want to waste time explaining that just because I was not a parent, that did not make me a pervert, that whether I was a parent, pervert or photographer, this was a public park, not private premises, and that it would be infringing on MY personal liberties if I was forbidden to do something that could by no stretch of the imagination be construed as a public nuisance.

    I took some more pictures, then cycled off.

    Of course, if I had been Tom "The Myth" Shen, the pretty young teachers would all have crowded round me asking to have their photographs taken. But that's another story.

  20. #60

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    streetshooter...
    if such thing is to happen wherever we go...guess we can give up photography....

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