Phone camera bill: a symbol of law run amok

A recent Ars Technica article sheds light on a very dumb but well-intentioned bill before Congress, requiring mobile phone cameras to make an audible noise when taking a picture.

The good intentions are obvious (it’s an attempt to curb voyeurism). However, it’s the first step down a slippery slope towards requiring the same thing on every camera, long after technological advances have allowed the feature of silent cameras. (The shutter on my Nikon Coolpix L18 is barely audible from 5 feet away.) That can’t be good.

As bad as that may be, the implications for private investigators and law enforcement are particularly nasty. While an exception could be written into the bill, it makes much more sense to just not pass this bill in the first place.

It is also an attack on the freedom of programmers, who if I read this correctly, will face legal sanctions for disabling this “feature” of the new breed of photographic gadgets.

My favorite quote from the article:

As for politicians and parents who are worried about surreptitious cell phone camera users lurking around in dressing rooms and parks, they might want to, well, watch their children. Just a thought.