I am often hesitant to take pictures. I was once kicked out of a train station by the conductor who warned me that he had called security on me. I left rather than hassle with security. I don't feel like I live in a free country when situations like this occur. here is a recent example.
According to Denver's Channel 7, the United flight to Santa Ana, CA, had left the gate and preparing to take off, when a passenger reported suspicious activity â€” that is, taking photos â€” by a trio of passengers.
It's a game of telephone . . . the last two years of political news stories have taught me to check and recheck any great conspiracy found online:
1) Article is by Consumerist, quoting another place (the denver channel)
2) Denver Channel article smells less like a conspiracy -- the quote is only found in this one article, and it sounds far from authoritative:
"It's believed that a couple of the passengers were taking photographs, or something like that, while the plane was taxiing, and that raised suspicion, said DIA spokesman Jeff Green."
3) Went to google news, lots of funny articles come up when you're trying to look up why planes got sent to the terminal "santa ana Flight 593" eventually got some better articles -- basically reuters and AP have the core article which DOES NOT MENTION cameras.
It doesn't seem like it's anything sinister yet, just no facts.
Back to photography:
As others said - I found a "photographer's rights" online a ways back and it was interesting and nice to have, but I personally assume I'm hosed when I'm on the 'private property' of the airline's plane (look how poorly they treat you to start with) and am subject to arbitrary acts of stupidity.
What I don't get is why people have their iPods going, digital cameras out etc. when you're on takeoff -- no one takes the rules seriously, which, is concerning since it says no electronics during takeoff and landing. I think the problem is arbitrary enforcement rather than anything well thought out.