Better be careful of what you do while out in the countryside. Farms can be dangerous places, especially if you’re a photographer. Proposed legislation in Florida, titled simply “farms”, is attempting to make photography or drawings in, on or of a farm without explicit written consent a first degree FELONY (up to 30 years in prison). What could possibly be the justification for this legislation? Journalist Barry Doyle suggests the good Senator is tightly in the pockets of Agribusiness – looking out for those poor farmers who are targeted by animal rights groups or even worse – human rights groups! I tend to concur, this legislation is a disgusting piece of corruption. It gets pretty bad:
(2) A person who photographs, video records, or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree…
I strongly encourage any of my Florida readers to write to Senator Norman and express your absolute disgust in his legislation.
14031 N. Dale Mabry Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33618
Senate VOIP: 41200
I also encourage everyone else everywhere else to write to your US representative and exclaim your outrage over this possible violation of first amendment rights (only a proposed violation at this moment).
And just for good measure, here is a bad cellphone picture I took while in Oregon with lots of farms.