Last Time I Checked, I Wasn’t a Terrorist

By  |  Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I’ve been reporting on tech conferences at the Las Vegas Convention Center for close to twenty years–as well as ones at other conference facilities from Chicago to Monte Carlo to Tokyo. For about half that time–since the dawn of consumer digital photography–I’ve been not only scribbling notes but also snapping pictures.

Nobody ever complained until this morning, when a security guard (with dog) found it suspicious that I was taking photos at CTIA, followed me into the press room, and demanded that I explain myself. I got testy, he called for backup and seemed alarmed when I got up to complain to the CTIA folks running the press room, and it all ended semi-happily when a CTIA rep told him I probably wasn’t a threat. I gave him my business card and berated him (loudly) until he skulked away.

Like I told him, there are several hundred other people here covering the show in words and pictures–if my actions were alarming, he and his pooch are going to have their work cut out for them over the next few days…


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7 Comments For This Post

  1. jacobyjd Says:

    A prime opportunity to hit him with the, ‘DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!?’ speech. 🙂

  2. David Worthington Says:

    But now Google will forever associate your name with the word “terrorist.” check those carry ons. 🙂

  3. Dave Says:

    Security should have asked for your press credentials and after examining them should have moved on to suspect someone else. One of the main purposes of conventions like the CTIA is to promote press coverage.
    Various photography forums contain stories of people being stopped and questioned after taking pictures of (famous) buildings.

  4. GR Says:


    Read, print out, and provide a copy of the PDF found within the link below to the head of security at CTIA. It details your rights as a photographer in the United States. Rent-A-Cops especially are abusers of the ‘if your taking pictures your preparing for a terrorist attack’ mentality.

  5. max Says:

    Security theatre, working as well as ever 🙂

  6. IcyFog Says:

    As a photographer, this is not surprising to me, especially given the world we live in today and the Patriot Act.

  7. Jackbid Says:

    You’re lucky that you didn’t have a Muslim-sounding name… Or you would have been in custody, being interrogated for hours, without your fault…

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