The image as featured by local media and the Facebook page “You’re not from Petrer if…” Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET
Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.
In the US, citizens have begun to film the police with abandon.
In turn, the police have started to wear bodycams in order to capture what they see.
In Spain, however, a new gagging law has been enacted. It’s titled the Citizens Security Law.
When laws are named this way, you get the feeling that citizens’ security might not be their primary aim.
This law limits what people can post on social networks about, for example protests. It also prevents “the unauthorized use of images of police officers that might jeopardize their or their family’s safety or that of protected facilities or police operations.”
Oddly, this law has just been used to fine a woman who took a photograph of a police car. This particular car was parked (illegally) in a disabled spot.
As the Guardian reports, the incident was captured by a woman in Petrer, Alicante, southern Spain. The woman posted the image to Facebook. She added the caption: “Park where you bloody well please and you won’t even be fined.”
Somehow, the police got wind of it and put the wind up her. She was fined 800 euros (around $889).
The police defended their actions by saying that the car was parked in that spot because the officers had rushed to an incident of vandalism nearby.
How, though, did the unnamed woman’s Facebook post interfere with the police in their duties to keep citizens secure? According to the local Petreraldia.com, the police felt their honor had been impugned. Really.
Local media have continued to feature the image in reports. Petreraldia.com, for example, wondered how this could have put the police in jeopardy when the image showed no police officers, just their car.
A spokesman for the town administration admitted to Petreraldia that the town wished the police had resolved the situation in another manner. He said, though, that the new law allowed them to avenge their dishonor is this way.
Hell hath no fury like a policeman dishonored.