A reader writes:
I followed the link and read it. I immediately identified with the astounded and befuddled actions of the man being admonished by the Amtrak employee. The reason is that in the early 1990s, I think it was the summer of '93, I went on a trip to Sudan. In Sudan you are not allowed to take photos of airports, bridges, military installations, etc. They are strategic assets, you know. At the time it struck me as laughable - No photographing friends on the tarmac at Khartum International! After all, the nation would certainly be in grave danger were a snapshot of the one hangar airport were to fall into hostile enemy hands.
I generally obeyed what I thought was a strange and paranoid custom, though I did so with a smirk and a disbelieving shake of the head. In the end I chalked it up to experience, saying to myself "well, that's what you get when you plop yourself down in a military-religious dictatorship".