If a recently proposed law by the director general of Spanish police, Ignacio Cosidó, is actually enacted, it is likely that live (or replayed) webcasts, photos and any electronic recordings such as those seen recently from the Madrid anti-sovereignty riots may be a thing of the past. But not because they no longer exist: simply because very soon it may be illegal to actually record said events. El Pais reports that “authorities are studying the possibility that the next update to the Public Security Law could include an article prohibiting the recording, processing or circulation on the internet of police officers performing their duties, if doing so would endanger them or the operation in which they were engaged.” These are the same riot cops who typically wear gas masks, and full riot attire and shields precisely to preserve their identity. But facts matter little when the liquidity tide is going out and all the Ponzi schemes are exposed to have been swimming naked. For now, Spain will be happy to little by little strip its citizens first of their rights to free expression, then all other rights, as it slowly but surely sells the country into Troika slavery.
The police chief said the reform to the Public Security Law, which is being studied by the Interior Ministry, would seek to “strike a balance between the protection of the rights of citizens and those of members of the security forces. Only in recognition of the immense labor of the security forces are we able to progress toward achieving a more just, safer and peaceful society.”
The reform to the law could also include a penalty for taking part in a protest with a covered face.
Cosidó was speaking at a meeting with the Independent Labor Union of Public Workers (CSI-F), the Spanish Confederation of Police (CEP) and the European Confederation of Independent Labor Unions (CESI), which was convened to analyze the effects of the economic crisis on the operation of security forces. The measure, Cosidó said, is designed to protect the privacy of officers and their families and guarantee their rights of honor and image. The government, he said, will be able to “take a step forward” in providing the police with more safety to go about their work, “with strict compliance with the rule of law.”
During recent protests in Madrid, the actions of police were placed under the spotlight after videos were posted on the internet showing riot officers storming into the Atocha railway station firing smoke pellets and beating bystanders with their batons.
The director general also took the opportunity to express his support for the draft of a reform to the Penal Code that, he said, “sets out the basis for the prevention and prosecution of conduct that prevents a serious threat to public order.” Among the proposed changes to the law is the definition of a violent attack, which will include any aggression or threats of violence against security forces and ambulance and fire crews.
Guaranteeing their “rights of honor and image” will likely be better served if the same officers know that their every action will be always captured and scrutinized, and for the entire world to see, instead of take place in a dark, quiet corner without surveillance. But surely no authority enforcer has ever been known to take advantage of dark rooms when left alone with individuals who traditionally are guilty until proven innocent at least if there is no camera present. But not bankers. Never bankers. Bankers are immune from anything and everything.
After the police chief’s declarations, one of the largest unions, the Unified Union of Police (SUP), expressed its concern that Cosidó’s comments were “wishful thinking, we hope not demagogic, that doesn’t mention how to prevent the recording of images, something that would appear to be impossible in the technological society in which we live.”
In a statement, SUP suggested that Cosidó was trying to “deflect attention from the reality of the loss of purchasing power” of its members, after government cuts to public sector workers’ pay. “We ask that a comparative legal report with our neighboring democracies be drawn up to evaluate how they deal with the problem,” the union stated.
Judges for Democracy (JpD), a professional association of judges and magistrates, questioned the legality of preventing citizens from recording photos and videos of police officers on duty. The association’s spokesman, Joaquim Bosch, said the proposed reform was “extremely ambiguous and in no instance should be used to prevent the circulation of excesses on the part of police.”
While we are confident that this measure will ultimately fail in Spain, a national which paradoxically (still) has more freedom than the US, we bring it to our readers’ attention because this type of progression is indicative of the direction the insolvent world is heading. Because first they take your freedom to use your cell phone camera, and when nobody says anything, they take away every other one.
Because remember, dear reader, to them you are merely a unit of consumption, preferably one with insurmountable and non-dischargeable student debt, as well as maxed out credit cards as far as they eye can see, who spends every hour away from the unemployment office or the version of Solitaire installed in the office PC watching reality and surreality TV during peak hours. Then you are truly a model citizen.