Restrictions for aerial photography?

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I took a few snapshots when flying in beautiful Arizona last October.
Are there any regulations regarding publication on the WWW of
photographs taken from the air in the United States?

For comparison, in Sweden you are allowed to take pictures for
personal use as long as they do not include any military installations
or other restricted facilities. Restricted areas are usually marked on
the sectionals. You are not, however, allowed to publish any aerial
photos without having them sent for pre-approval by the authorities.

-- Albert Karlsson, February 14, 2005


There are no procedures for approval or disapproval of aerial photos here in the U.S. As far as I know there aren't any regulations of any kind on the taking or publication of aerial photos. Ever since September 11, 2001 there have been some restrictions on overflying a handful of military installations, e.g., nuclear submarine bases in the Seattle area. But those are mostly intended to keep the Jihadis from crashing into important buildings, not to prevent them from taking photos. There is a further post-September 11 restricting on "loitering" around nuclear power plants, military facilities, dams, refineries, "and other similar facilities". So you might only get one or two passes with the camera before someone became suspicious. There are also the usual rules about staying 500' from any person, vessel, or structure (1000' in a congested area). But in general the U.S. military doesn't care what you do with your camera in U.S. airspace. For one thing they are accustomed to keeping their secret activities under cover due to the presence of Soviet satellites.

-- Philip Greenspun, March 11, 2005