Here: What do you do when people (such as animal-rights activists) take pictures of your farm in order to document abusive practices?
The answer, of course, should be obvious: you make it a felony to photograph farms.
Yes, the Florida state senate is considering a bill, SB 1246, that will do just that. From the Times:
Photographers — perhaps including some ghosts from Farm Security Administration days — are astir at news of a bill introduced by State Senator Jim Norman of Florida that would make it a felony to take a picture of a farm without the owner’s permission.
The bill is short, so let’s include the text, as introduced in the Florida Senate yesterday, here in its entirety. Paragraph (2) is the operative one.
A bill to be entitled
An act relating to farms; prohibiting a person from entering onto a farm or photographing or video recording a farm without the owner’s written consent; providing a definition; providing penalties; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. (1) A person who enters onto 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, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes.
(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, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes.
(3) As used in this section, the termfarmincludes any tract of land cultivated for the purpose of agricultural production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals, or the storage of a commodity.
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.
Get all your Florida farm picture-taking done by June, now.
[I’ll note in passing that this also seems to make it illegal for someone to snap pics of your back-yard marijuana crop. Just sayin’.]
Update, 14:20 — Adding something I said in a comment elsewhere:
When I was in college (at University of Florida), I would see a great sunflower farm as we drove up I-75. When the sunflowers were blooming in row after row, it was really beautiful and striking.
The idea that if one’s passenger should snap a shot of that on the way by, without first stopping at the farmhouse for a written photo release, then one might be liable to prosecution for a felony... is pretty insane.
And the idea that they’re even considering this is equally insane. This is not the country I grew up in.