Here's an interesting issue to think about. In the US, it is our constitutional right to be able to photograph people in public places. And there are some great materials out there that explain these rights. Here's a guide to your rights as photographers put together by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Here at ATMI, we know there are times when it is appropriate to ask permission to photograph people rather than just firing away. But there are also times when permission is not necessary at all! Know your rights and use your best judgement and you'll make the world a better place through the images you capture!
ATMI's Max Dan found an interview with photographer Shawn Nee about his experience with the Los Angeles Police Department, which he describes as unjust.
CAMERA VS. LAPD
There's also a pretty fun ACLU video that explains our rights. It was put together by Joseph Gordan-Levitt and The Gregory Brothers.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS