via SmartmobsNews24.comRumsfeld bans phone cameras
London - Cellphones fitted with digital cameras have been banned in US army installations in Iraq on orders from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, The Business newspaper reported on Sunday.
Quoting a Pentagon source, the paper said the US defence department believes that some of the damning photos of US soldiers abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad were taken with camera phones.
"Digital cameras, camcorders and cellphones with cameras have been prohibited in military compounds in Iraq," it said, adding that a "total ban throughout the US military" is in the works.
The increasing reliance of this administration on secrecy is really disturbing. When your government starts to strip the people of their privacy and civil rights and consistently marches forward with a variety of efforts to hides its own movements, you know you're in real trouble.
I've worked on whistleblower protection bills and thought a lot about the importance of the ability for people to come forward outside of the chain of command. It is an essential protection measure against coverups and corruption. I can understand arguments about why allowing random photos could be bad, but I'm sure the importance of having "eyes on the ground" outside of the "main channel" out-weigh the risks.
UPDATE: There are many media sites and blogs running this story, but they all seem to quote the same source. We still have no corroborating original sources. Please see comments on this entry for more.
Link. The intent of this April 14 directive, and how commanders in the field will be expected to enforce it, are matters I'll be reporting on in more detail for the NPR program "Day to Day," later this week.