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Arma III Developers Arrested In Greece For 'Spying'

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the game-developers-make-the-best-secret-agents dept.

Crime 162

An anonymous reader writes "Kotaku reports that two employees of Bohemia Interactive have been arrested while on a photo-tour of the Greek island of Limnos, on charges of spying. The developers were taking reference photos for the upcoming military simulation game Arma III, which is to feature Limnos as it's primary setting, when they were arrested (Google translation of Greek original)."

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Spying? Really? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41303699)

So if I was there as a tourist, would I get arrested?

Or is somehow putting your island into a video game now sedition or something?

TFA is pretty slim, but I'm having a hard time imagine what law was broken.

Re:Spying? Really? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41303743)

There have been similar incidents in the past in Greece involving people taking photos of military aircraft, air bases etc. It's illegal in Greece to photograph military property, and if you do so arrest is likely. With Arma being a military game, my guess is these guys were doing exactly this, and should have known better.

Re:Spying? Really? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 years ago | (#41304679)

killing mod slip of the fingers....

Re:Spying? Really? (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41305139)

Illegal eh? Hey Greece: ever hear of Google? [goo.gl]

What's that? No, we will not spot you airfare to come over here and arrest Larry and Sergei. And don't even try to mail that wooden horse to Mountain View.

Re:Spying? Really? (3, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41305163)

In any case, they now have a reference for goon behavior they can also include in the game.

Re:Spying? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41305543)

It's illegal in every country. If you don't get arrested in other countries, then they're either incompetent or idiots.

Re:Spying? Really? (3, Informative)

Night64 (1175319) | about 2 years ago | (#41303753)

If it was in the US, I would say the Patriot Act. There is a Patriotikoú Nómou in Greece?

Re:Spying? Really? (0)

tarellel (863902) | about 2 years ago | (#41304717)

If this were in the US, they'd surely being be detained and become permanent residents of guantanamo bay. Seeing as how their Czechs and getting footage of a military base, they'd sure be instantly classified as terrorists.

Re:Spying? Really? (1, Interesting)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41303767)

Greece often arrests people for taking photos of things which may have some public security interest. They arrest plane spotters from time to time and it sometimes reaches the British news.

It's not really very interesting except to note that photography isn't really a fundamental human right and, outside the US and to a lesser extent the UK, you need to mind local law. If the business concerned didn't even do this little bit of research then I question how good the game is going to be - but the gap between reality and fantasy gets ever wider.

Re:Spying? Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304013)

"photography isn't a fundamental human right"

Neither is riding a unicycle, butt naked, while holding 10 bacon sandwiches and shouting "God Save The Queen!" over and over.

Greece should be dissolved, and turned into an EU resort.

Re:Spying? Really? (5, Funny)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41304181)

Surely if it were dissolved then it would turn into an EU solution.

Re:Spying? Really? (3, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41304407)

Or rather, it would be a solution of Greece in EU.

Although I have to wonder about how well the EU works as a solvent... they don't seem particularly solvent to me...

Re:Spying? Really? (2)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41304659)

Greece bonds are weak but slow-moving - in economic jargon, "slippery".

And, contrary to Art.3(3) TEU [wikisource.org] , everyone else has a low rate of interest.

Re:Spying? Really? (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 2 years ago | (#41305365)

I think suspending Greece would make more sense.

Re:Spying? Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41305619)

I'm all for this.
It's already most of the way there, in that the islands are mostly tourist attractions.
All they need to do is convert the government into a company that manages the islands as resorts.
Alternatively they could just sell off the popular islands.

Re:Spying? Really? (1, Insightful)

geoffaus (623283) | about 2 years ago | (#41304811)

Its not just Greece - I remember hearing similar things when travelling around South America. It kinda seems funny since these countries dont exactly have cutting edge military equipment. Im surprised that Greece can even afford a military!

Re:Spying? Really? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 2 years ago | (#41305755)

Greece has fairly high military spending compared to the size of its economy even pre-collapse. They were doing an arms race with Turkey but I have no idea how that's developing with the country's current financial problems.

Re:Spying? Really? (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#41305053)

>>>photography isn't really a fundamental human right

Sunlight is a gift from Nature to all living things. It belongs to everyone, and the government has no authority to ban the People from using that which nature has given freely. Furthermore: Capturing that sunlight with your eye is another fundamental right given by nature.

It matters not that the recording has evolved from using your brain, or an artistic sketch on paper, to capturing photons on a sensitive film. A photographer has the same right to capture sunlight as the artist or tourist did in the 1800s.

Re:Spying? Really? (2)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41305167)

Nature is not a sentient being and it does not gift anything to anyone.

Re:Spying? Really? (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41304021)

They were taking photographs of a military installation that they intended to reproduce inside Arma III. That almost certainly means moderately detailed shots of buildings, security measures, and military personal, which is illegal in some (most? all?) countries.

Note: in the US, you can take pictures of aircraft or historical buildings, but not restricted areas. The point is to prevent surveillance intended to find weaknesses in security that can be exploited, aka "casing the joint". Pretty standard practice in the military. They should have definitely have asked for permission first.

Re:Spying? Really? (5, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#41305235)

>>>Note: in the US, you can take pictures of aircraft or historical buildings, but not restricted areas. The point is to prevent surveillance intended to find weaknesses in security that can be exploited, aka "casing the joint". Pretty standard practice in the military.

In the U.S. the courts have ruled again-and-again that people may not be forbidden from recording that which is in public view. ("Per the first amendment citizens have a right to record the activities of their government officials in public areas." and "There is no expectation of privacy when in public view.") It is why places like Area 51 are surrounded by miles and miles of "buffer zone" so nobody can get close enough to see the place.

Re:Spying? Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41305517)

That's why cops are confiscating cameras in public places and forbid photographing and video recording in the U.S. Now I understand. There is a reason why your courts have to point it out time and time again. Still doesn't hinder government lackeys doing their business.

Re:Spying? Really? (2)

bakuun (976228) | about 2 years ago | (#41304051)

So if I was there as a tourist, would I get arrested?

Or is somehow putting your island into a video game now sedition or something?

TFA is pretty slim, but I'm having a hard time imagine what law was broken.

TFA is not thin at all. It states that the men were caught with photographs of military installations. I would wager that most countries have laws against photographic military bases, and I'm not surprised that Greece do. This was just a really stupid thing to do.

Re:Spying? Really? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41304421)

This was just a really stupid thing to do.

No, the really (and only) stupid thing was getting caught.

Re:Spying? Really? (5, Informative)

cynop (2023642) | about 2 years ago | (#41304367)

being greek, i've read some of the original articles. The problem is, they were taking photographs and videotaping active military bases. I'm pretty sure, the guys are not spies but gathering intelligence on foreign military installations constitutes spying in most of the countries i know

Phonetics? War on Terra? Maybe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304469)

Phonetically speaking, "tourist" is close enough to terrorist, at least in the US where it sometimes even called "Terrst [youtube.com] ". Perhaps they were consulting with Stratfor and there was a misnomer.
Probably not, but you know..

Re:Spying? Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304703)

I know someone who does scientific work on Limnos. The island is right on the border with Turkey. Let's just say the Greeks are *very* sensitive about activities there, and it can be a huge hassle in seemingly innocuous, rural parts of the island when doing fieldwork. If they're hassling well-documented scientists doing non-military-interest work in rural parts of the island, then, yes, they're going to hassle tourists taking pictures of the wrong places too, especially if you happen to be taking pictures of anything directly military-related.

Re:Spying? Really? (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41304755)

I'm going to go with "this should be common sense NOT to do this without local government approval and fore knowledge in today's charged political climate."

It should be ESPECIALLY obvious since this is a war/battle/fighting simulation where the setting is a specific (not imaginary/fantasy) location being simulated.

I feel sorry for the people who were arrested -- they were probably not the decision makers. If they were the decision makers, they deserve what they got. If they are not the decision makers, whatever trouble they experience should be the basis of a law suit against the decision makers for being stupid and negligent.

Re:Spying? Really? (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41305189)

whatever trouble they experience should be the basis of a law suit against the decision makers for being stupid and negligent.

They are not Americans, mind you.

Re:Spying? Really? (4, Informative)

xquercus (801916) | about 2 years ago | (#41305321)

So if I was there as a tourist, would I get arrested?

Or is somehow putting your island into a video game now sedition or something?

TFA is pretty slim, but I'm having a hard time imagine what law was broken.

This shouldn't be all that surprising. I'm not familiar with Greek law but in the US one can only be certain that photographing a military installation is legal if one has written authorization from the base commander. See here [gpo.gov] . Speaking from personal experience, if one were to stop on US Route 2 heading through North Dakota, photograph one of the Minuteman nuclear missile launch facilities just a few yards off the road, a visit from Minot Airforce Base security is quite likely. Again, speaking from personal experience, these security personnel have brand new shiny M-4s (not those beat up ones from the sandbox) and a .30 cal machine gun mounted on their HUMVEE. If one were to continue photographing, this is once again from personal experience, they will call the sheriff's deputy (who happens to be a serious hottie) and she will threaten arrest for disorderly conduct.

My guess is that the Minuteman launch facilities are considered off limits. They have signs which say "Restricted Area" and federal statute considers these areas off limits in terms of photography. According to statute, it seems that even photographing these area from a distance, such as while standing on a publicly traveled way such as US Route 2, is likely prohibited. The signs on the nuclear launch facilities say they will shoot you if you actually climb the fence. There are hundreds of these facilities across northwest North Dakota. It seems to me that the sheer number of launch facilities would make it difficult for a tourist to photographically document their vacation to beautiful North Dakota.

I don't see why it's surprising that other countries have similar laws in place

wha why? (0, Redundant)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41303729)

What? So much for the 'free' western world. Since when is taking pictures of scenery 'espionage'? I know most people in the west mark the fall of the soviet union as a high point in history for freedom, but legislation/political action in various countries over the last 20 years or so makes it seem like the beginning of its decline.

Re:wha why? (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41303785)

First you fight it, then you become it.

Re:wha why? (5, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#41303905)

You leave out the part where the 'scenery' they were taking pictures of happened to be a military installation. No granted, I think espionage charges for such a thing are more than a little ridiculous (and I doubt that is what they'll actually be charged for) but just about every nation on the planet has laws against photographing their military bases.

Re:wha why? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41304203)

Then why call it 'espionage' if that isn't what they'll be charged for? Are the charges ridiculous or are you justifying the arrests because the laws exist? The former I agree with, but the latter is circular reasoning (the law is just because the law exists because it is just because...).

In free countries, the laws that do get passed make sense and the punishments fit, making charge stacking pointless and counterproductive.. In current trends, the states keep ramping up the punishments to the point of jaywalking = death to prop up political campaigns, and the prosecutors (or their equivalents) stack the charges as much as they can get away with. How long before cameras are covered as 'automatic weapons' under the law? Watch.. I'll bet it'll happen eventually.

Re:wha why? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41304361)

Then why call it 'espionage' if that isn't what they'll be charged for? Are the charges ridiculous or are you justifying the arrests because the laws exist? The former I agree with, but the latter is circular reasoning (the law is just because the law exists because it is just because...).

In free countries, the laws that do get passed make sense and the punishments fit, making charge stacking pointless and counterproductive.. In current trends, the states keep ramping up the punishments to the point of jaywalking = death to prop up political campaigns, and the prosecutors (or their equivalents) stack the charges as much as they can get away with. How long before cameras are covered as 'automatic weapons' under the law? Watch.. I'll bet it'll happen eventually.

they're greeks, why call anything something. they just want some of that game developer rockstar money.

and maybe, just maybe the photos would have actually shown that they were skimming from the budget.

Re:wha why? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41304463)

haha.. maybe who knows.

Re:wha why? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 2 years ago | (#41304381)

The guy who reviews all the evidence in detail and decides what a person could reasonable be convicted of is very often not the person making the arrest, or even the decision to arrest. Even in cases where it is the same person, that person could choose to make an argument for arrest based on the worst-possible charge, then downgrade it later. I expect this is especially true when there's a time limit to make the arrest (i.e. the tourists could leave).

Re:wha why? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41304671)

I wonder how quick these sorts of people would change that behavior if it was their reputations on the line instead of the arrested? After all, while this goes down, the names of the defendants are the ones being trashed in the media. Happens here in america all the time. Timelimits are not a good reason to shortchange justice.

If it's alright for the state to take pictures of us in public, then I see no problem with us taking pictures of objects in that same public space, including military installations.. If they house something supersecret, then officials should have the brains to ensure it cannot be seen from outside.

Re:wha why? (0)

dargaud (518470) | about 2 years ago | (#41304415)

In free countries, the laws that do get passed make sense and the punishments fit

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. [slashdot.org]

Re:wha why? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41304691)

I never said america was a free country.. at least not these days.

Re:wha why? (3, Informative)

Incadenza (560402) | about 2 years ago | (#41304617)

I think espionage charges for such a thing are more than a little ridiculous (and I doubt that is what they'll actually be charged for)

You may doubt it, but I do not. I took over nearly two year for a group of tourist plane spotters to be acquitted of espionage charges [bbc.co.uk] in 2001. At the initial process 8 of that group were convicted to three years in jail.

Re:wha why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304095)

These guys were using infrared cameras and other standard tourist equipment...

Re:wha why? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41304297)

So? Perhaps they wanted to see how infared equipment should behave under such conditions? If they're using the scenery for a campaign, they would need to know details like this because Arma is supposed to be a highly realistic military simulator.

Re:wha why? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41304107)

What? So much for the 'free' western world.

Greece, and "free"? For a country so big on concentration camps, prison camps and the like, this is nothing terribly surprising.

Really? (2)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 years ago | (#41303745)

Really? Every Real Estate Developer does the same thing in Greece, so that they can deduct the vacation from their taxes.
Usually they also invite local people to dinner to ask them how they like their own houses, then they can also deduct the restaurants.

That's where the money comes from, Greeks, from us taxpayers!

But I guess the military has a bit of a paranoiac streak everywhere.

Re:Really? (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41304127)

But I guess the military has a bit of a paranoiac streak everywhere.

Thats the part I don't get. Does Greece think the Persian Empire is going to invade again or is the Macedonians again?

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304175)

You must be joking. Turkey claims half the Aegean and illegally militarily occupies half of Cyprus, and you are poking fun at them
for wanting to defend their land?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304577)

You must be joking if Greece actually thinks Turkey is a threat today, especially since both are part of NATO. Really, who are they afraid of? The only thing Greece is in danger from is their own economic incompetence and their horrible border control.

"Illegal", not by Turkey's laws. Can't blame them for wanting to defend Turk Cypriots.

Re:Really? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 2 years ago | (#41305571)

Hm. And Greece occupies the other half, after sponsoring a military junta in 1974. Poor Cypriots for getting caught in the middle.

Re:Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304255)

From what i understand, they have something of an asymmetric rivalry with Turkey.

Re:Really? (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 2 years ago | (#41304877)

To be honest, they've only been at war with Turkey since about the time Homer wrote about it.

Re:Really? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 years ago | (#41304767)

It could be Germany and to a lesser extent Italy.

Re:Really? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 2 years ago | (#41305883)

We're trying to get RID of Greece, not take it.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41305157)

After looking at this [greekmilitary.net] , I'm not sure there's anything to spy -on-. If you're going to "spy", at least go for a country that has something that's worth a shit.

Re:Really? (1)

costas (38724) | about 2 years ago | (#41304861)

Limnos is the most fortified Greek island and a huge military outpost. What did they expect exactly?

Re:Really? (1)

Threni (635302) | about 2 years ago | (#41305117)

They do this all the time in Greece though. Too stupid, poor or lazy to develop their own military planes, they buy them from the UK etc. Then, when people from the UK take pictures on holiday in Greece they get arrested for spying! Uh, we know all about your military planes - we sold them to you! You're not a major player - you're like Turkey level. You can have a little fight with Turkey about whatever 'fuck-all' people of shit you like to argue about, just leave regular people with a life out of it, okay?

They should have asked. (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 2 years ago | (#41303773)

Specially before taking pictures and videos of military installations. It doesn't matter if it's for a video game, you just don't take pictures of military bases without the military getting paranoid about it.

Re:They should have asked. (3, Interesting)

pspahn (1175617) | about 2 years ago | (#41304277)

Truly a lack of intuition.

I spent an entire summer plotting out routes of houses to photograph based on an old database of the trees that were sold there 15+ years ago as I was building a photo library of mature trees and large shrubs.

This has nothing to to do with any sort of military installation and I thought it was pretty straightforward that I would knock of the doors, identify myself (many times it was still the same owners from 15+ years ago and they were delighted to see me), and ask permission.

Why the hell would you go to another country and take photographs of military facilities? That is just a complete lapse of judgement.

As an original player/mission dev... (1)

toadlife (301863) | about 2 years ago | (#41303789)

...on Operation Flashpoint, all I can say is....LET EM GO!!!!"

Seriously, OFP was a groundbreaking game in that it was the first real attempt to simulate a real battlefield experience. Given the series' focus on realism, I have no doubt that these guys were simply doing prep work for the next version of Arma.

Perhaps they should have called ahead...

Re:As an original player/mission dev... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41305237)

I have no doubt that these guys were simply doing prep work for the next version of Arma.

"Were" is the operative term here.... Don't count on another version of Arma anytime soon, unless there's a "Prison Break" map.

Re:As an original player/mission dev... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 2 years ago | (#41305903)

Two photographers got arrested, that's not even remotely enough to stop the game's development.

Wake up, Greeks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41303805)

Greeks, delusional, you are.

There's nothing in your country that others want. You have actual ruins, and an economic ruin. No european country would want to touch you with a 20 ft pole, let alone spy on you or conquer you.

Too bad for a country with nice food, great history, *very* pretty ladies.. etc.

Now, unless this is a new revenue generation tactic buy you guys, like, arrest tourists, put them in jail, get money from their firm/countries to free them.. Sure, that's being practiced in Afghanistan these days I heard. Heck, that French guy would say even the US does it. Tough times eh?

Not surprising (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41303825)

Documenting military installations is illegal in every country.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41303889)

No.

Re:Not surprising (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41303945)

No, trespassing on military installations is illegal. You can photograph whatever you want from other land.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Night64 (1175319) | about 2 years ago | (#41303975)

As my friends in Wikipedia would say, "Citation needed".

Re:Not surprising (2, Funny)

pspahn (1175617) | about 2 years ago | (#41304313)

As my friends in Wikipedia

Wikipedia has a friending feature now also? Please... make it stop... I am sick of having so many friends.

they were spying (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41303923)

The Government of Greece does not permit the photographing of military installations; violators are subject to arrest. So they were arrested. Not really surprising.

No Cameras (1)

neghvar1 (1705616) | about 2 years ago | (#41303973)

I'll remember not to take my camera if I do a tour of Greece for vacation.

I'll remember not to take my camera (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 2 years ago | (#41304295)

Wouldn't it be easier (and safer) just to remember not to go to Greece?

Re:No Cameras (5, Informative)

Reverant (581129) | about 2 years ago | (#41304335)

Disclaimer: I am a Greek citizen.

Feel free to take cameras with you and take pictures of the beautiful scenery, monuments and people. When however, you go outside military facilities that have big "NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED" signs (in english and actual no camera icons in case you don't know english) and start taking detailed photographs with your DSLR and 70-300 lens, expect to be arrested if caught. The devs should absolutely have requested a license to do it, they didn't care to do it or got caught in the bureaucracy that is to be expected with these affairs, they got arrested for breaking the law. If they were caught doing that in the US (say, outside Nellis AFB), I wonder what would have happened to them.

Re:No Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41305009)

If they were caught doing that in the US? No problem!-- there would be /no/ charges -- they'd be thrown /straight/ into abusive incarceration.

Re:No Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41305229)

The same thing applies in Sweden, and in many places. Photos of military areas are not allowed unless prior authorisation has been given. I don't think you will be arrested in normal circumstances, but the guards will confiscate your camera (I have been one, and this happens from time to time).

Re:No Cameras (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41305325)

Feel free to take cameras with you and take pictures of the beautiful scenery, monuments and people.

Me, I would rather set up an international web site collecting and assorting recent photographs of as many Greek military installations as possible. You know, the Streisand Effect. And hand-help DSLRs are not very clandestine. You can do much better today. A Micro Four Thirds camera with a suitable lens peeking out of a hole on the side of your backpack, perhaps?

:If they were caught doing that in the US (say, outside Nellis AFB), I wonder what would have happened to them.

Uhm...nothing?

Re:No Cameras (1)

neghvar1 (1705616) | about 2 years ago | (#41305553)

In the US, if average Joe citizen, if discovered and on public land, the process would probably be, detained, ID/background check, questioned, film/SD card removed from camera, harsh warning and be on your way. Not certain though. Different scenario if suspected spy

I know what the first mission will be (5, Funny)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#41304011)

Busting the developers out of jail

Re:I know what the first mission will be (5, Funny)

pspahn (1175617) | about 2 years ago | (#41304351)

If they don't add that as an Easter Egg, they should all be arrested.

Re:I know what the first mission will be (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41305393)

Busting the developers out of jail

If I were Bohemia Interactive, after this, I would change the player's side into Turks and adjust the missions accordingly. :o)

Better arrest Elgoog as well. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304061)

I hear other companies have access to sophisticated cameras aboard other satellites as well.

Better yet, come arrest me, because I'm looking at the same shit from said satellite cameras.

Seriously, come at me, bro.

This reminds me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304063)

of a news story I read last year. The commuter railroad line in lower New York that commutes from the burbs to the city has an annual contest for most interesting photo taken of their trains and/or stations. Last years competition saw a guy arrested for taking photos of the train by the railroad's own police force.

Now, unless these guys were taking pictures of military bases or locations, then its most likely a huge miscommunication such as the railroad contest.

Not really the first time in Greece (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304091)

They tend to be jumpy about photographers near military installations. (they still seem to anticipate a Turkish invasion at any moment)
Like the plane-spotters they arrested 11 years ago.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1953654.stm

Can I get freedom fries with my gyro? (1, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#41304101)

Well, with all the austerity going on there, they must be really bored, sort of how the computers on Magrathea take potshots at passing spacecraft. I mean, c'mon, like actual spies are going to stand there obviously taking snapshots. Have they not see a James Bond film? Spies have cameras hidden in their hats and genitals.

And, besides, if a photo of your installation renders it vulnerable, yer doin' it wrong. Unless the military base has a soul... maybe the camera is stealing the military base's soul?

Re:Can I get freedom fries with my gyro? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41304587)

Well, with all the austerity going on there, they must be really bored, sort of how the computers on Magrathea...

Magrathea? Magrathea! -- Zaphod

Not much data in the article, but maybe not crazy (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about 2 years ago | (#41304161)

The article claims they were photographing military installations. That could be anything from a snapshot that happens to include a military base to skirting the border of the thing and taking photos from every conceivable angle to get pictures of things clearly meant not to be public to actually wandering around the installation photographic everything in sight.

The first one shouldn't cause anyone any concern. The second one I could see as being something a government could legitimately seek to limit, but I'd hope that the penalty would be limited to confiscating the images. The third could reasonably be treated as criminal if the installation isn't meant to be public. I have a feeling that if details come out they're going to be uncomfortably between one and two.

Greece has a military? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#41304209)

I mean c'mon, I can't imagine there are a lot of big secrets they are trying to protect.

stupid and disrespectful people (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304321)

I am a Greek - those 2 people are stupid!
They don't know Greek ... They don't know English, German, French, or all the other languages in the signs with the "NO PHOTOS" ... the fucking picture of the camera in the circle with the X how they can't understand it ... (OR RESPECT IT).
The Greek police arrested them for taking photos of military installations, and they confessed that they had the photos (claiming it was for enhancing the next version of the game !!!).
This island, in case of war with our beloved neighbor (yes ... Turkey!), is one of the first, if not the first, target.
It is not the first time this happens - many tourists (but even some Greeks) find interesting all that military staff on the island, and every year some of them get "arrested", only to be left few hours later.
They will be OK.

Free publicity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304353)

No matter if the laws of a country make sense to you or not you have to obey them or you know.. you will get arrested! Actually I am Greek and that's one of the reasons why I left Greece.

On the bright side they got free publicity. If I were them I would put the project to kickstater to cash out the publicity now.

Where is the base? (2)

Valor958 (2724297) | about 2 years ago | (#41304357)

I figured I'd take a lookie at what all you can get from sat imagery commercially on Google Maps. Now, it says Myrina Police were involved on the island of Lemnos. Looking nearby there, I don't see anything screaming military installation. If you look, 'maybe, at : 39.867707,25.066209 (copy paste into google maps) is the base? It's close enough to town that local Police would have possibly been involved faster than MPs. If they were just looking for topography, layout, etc, than what I just took 3 minutes to do, and a little creativity can go a LONG way. Like others have said... perhaps calling ahead would have been a wise move.

Re:Where is the base? (1)

Valor958 (2724297) | about 2 years ago | (#41304489)

Found references to an old base at Moudros (Mudros). Moudros, Limnos, Greece will get you straight to the town on Google Maps. Since there is a Greek commenting in here as well, maybe he can enlighten us? Like has been said numerous times, there were much better ways for them to go about this, and not even attempting to acclimate themselves to local law, or apparently read blatantly obvious signs... was folly on their part.

Re:Where is the base? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41305529)

There are numerous of military units stationed on the island. See http://tinyurl.com/d432wdm (88th Military Command) for a list - not including air or naval forces.

And yes, there are signs around every military installtion in Greece that forbid photography. Ignoring them and then crying foul is just stupid. Especially when you claim (http://www.arma3.com/limnos-researching-the-area-of-operation/) that:
        Transferring the real-life Limnos to your monitors is not just a part of development; it’s an entire development inside the development. It’s the big story itself. Limnos (or Lemnos) is the next step in our effort to create the most authentic environment a milsim gamer could get.

This has happened before (1)

Attila the Bun (952109) | about 2 years ago | (#41304363)

This has happened before. A group of British plane spotters were convicted of spying and sentenced to 3 years in jail. It doesn't seem to have occured to the Greek military that real spies will be a little more discrete in their methods.

BBC news article [bbc.co.uk]

Re:This has happened before (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 years ago | (#41304817)

It's not about spies, it's about espionage -- if a game company correctly models a military base, than ANYONE who buys that game can simulate attacking/exploring that base and use that training against the real thing.

Military bases are national secrets, even though they're usually left out in plain sight. Aliens recording details about such places are illegally leaking state secrets.

Not saying it's right or wrong, but it's the way things are.

Normal reaction (4, Informative)

cynop (2023642) | about 2 years ago | (#41304527)

Most of the commentators here are speaking out of their asses. Let me tell you somethings, being greek and all.

First of all ,Limnos is one of the Greek islands that is very close to Turkey. There have been a lot of incidents in the past there. Maybe the whole point of the clashes were moot, maybe not, but i can't blame the officials for being extra carefull.

Secondly, personally i believe that the guys did not mean harm. But, they were photographing and videotaping active military camps. Sure there's satellite photos of everything on the island on google maps, but gathering intelligence on military installations is one of the most basic espionage actions. If that's not spying, i don't know what is.

Finally, for all those talking about tourists and tourist activities, that's a whole lot of hors*shit. Next time you decide to come for vacations, try to stay at the beach. The military bases are off limits.

Long Island (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about 2 years ago | (#41304625)

If this were Long Island, they would be in Gitmo by now.

Yep... (1)

TheHarriedTourist (2727865) | about 2 years ago | (#41304657)

Greek Island lover here (to the point my wife and I were married on Santorini two and a half weeks after 9/11/01 but that's another story). We haven't been back in 4 years but every time beforehand we were greeted with signs at the Santorini airport telling one that photography wasn't much of a welcome activity. Seems that portions of it doubles as a military base... Same thing near any communications arrays or radio towers (which were fenced off); BIG signs, stern language warning against photography. The locals would take it a step further and inform you that it wasn't all that smart to loiter in those areas, unless one had a penchant for confrontation with guards that liked to make tourists frown and scamper quickly in other directions. Slightly overkill of a response in my opinion...but that's just me.

Just maybe.... (1)

sunking2 (521698) | about 2 years ago | (#41304885)

They actually are spies. Because that's what they do, make plausible cover stories for what they are doing.

Re:Just maybe.... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41305003)

Nope. [bistudio.com]

New Revenue Streams: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41304901)

Hold tourists hostage; collect the ransom.

So stupid.... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | about 2 years ago | (#41305071)

This is where you see the level of ingenuity....being that they are developers, they forgot that they could have saved a whole lot of time and effort and traveling expenses, and just used google's streetview!

Try taking picture in this area of Greek territory (1)

neghvar1 (1705616) | about 2 years ago | (#41305603)

Take a few pictures deep underwater W to SW of Santorini and see what happens if/when you are caught.
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