I Shot The Law: ArmA Devs Arrested For Greek ‘Espionage’

By Nathan Grayson on September 12th, 2012 at 7:57 pm.

Bohemia has also taken a tremendous number of photos of virtual Greek military bases. Virtual Greece, however, has yet to comment or, indeed, fully come into existence yet.

Update: RPS has received a brief status update from the Czech Embassy in Greece. Here it is: “On behalf of the Embassy of the Czech Republic, we can confirm that we are closely following the case. The detainees have their defence lawyer. To avoid any further misunderstanding, the Embassy prefers not to publish any statements at the given moment.” We’re still waiting to hear back from other sources, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do.

Original: Laws. They are – in spite of pocket change lawyer fees and the fact that all law books clock in at well under seven billion pages and consist mainly of pictures – really, really complicated. For instance, in the state of Pennsylvania, doing that cartoon thing where you tie a dollar to a string and pull it away when someone tries to pick it up is actually illegal. And, more pertinently, you absolutely cannot take pictures of Greek-military-related objects. That, apparently, constitutes espionage. In 2001, British plane-spotters discovered Greece was a no-fly zone for that kind of thing, and now two ArmA III devs are learning a similar lesson the hard way.

According to initial reports out of Greece, the two employees – who were caught with both photos and videos of Lemnos military camps and subsequently arrested – claimed to be doing research for ArmA III, which heavily features Lemnos, among other locations.

RPS, however, has received a statement straight from Bohemia claiming that the company was in no way involved with the not-so-dynamic duo’s sexy, sexy structural photo shoot. It does, however, plan to lend them any “support” it can.

“We can confirm that two Bohemia Interactive employees, our colleagues and friends, were arrested during their holiday trip to Lemnos. They visited the island with the sole purpose of experiencing the island’s beautiful surroundings.”

“Since its establishment in 1999, Bohemia Interactive has created games based only upon publicly available information. We always respect the law and we’ve never instructed anybody to violate the laws of any country. The same is true for Arma 3.”

“Currently, all our effort goes towards supporting the guys over there, as well as their friends and families affected by this difficult situation. We sincerely hope that this is an unfortunate misunderstanding of their passion as artists and creators of virtual worlds.”

So that absolves Bohemia of guilt, but muddies the waters quite a bit for the employees. Ultimately, in the case of the British plane-spotters, they were acquitted on grounds of misinformation and confusion, but this seems a fair deal more complex than that. I’ve contacted a number of lawyers and the Czech Embassy in Greece to find out more, so hopefully we’ll have a better understanding of how this stands to shake out soon. Until then, though, I can tell you this much: probably don’t become a hobbyist military base photographer. It strikes me as a profoundly bad idea. Just, like, in general.

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129 Comments »

  1. Tom De Roeck says:

    Oh dear. They will try to get money out of this, or atleast an armand a leg.

  2. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    Obviously here’s hoping this gets sorted out ASAP (although it dragged on forever for the plane spotters), but I can’t help but think if you’re professionally taking pictures of a military base you’d have this sort of thing sorted out in advance. “Mike, is that, an MP, close?” “Bill, oh shit, yes. All, panic.”

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Sounds like they were on holiday, saw a base and perhaps some features they thought would be valuable to show the office and decided to photograph it. Hopefully just a genuine mistake and hopefully it will get sorted quickly.

      Silly, I know but we all do silly things.

      • NIB says:

        Is there any country where it is legal to take pictures of military installations without a permit? Not to mention that there are a billion signs that say that it is illegal to take pictures of military installations. How is this a mistake? This isnt a mistake, this is plain stupidity.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          I used the word silly, you used the word stupid. Call it what you will, I doubt they were spies and I doubt they intended to get arrested which in my books makes it a mistake, silly or stupid or moronic or whatever other word you wish to use but still a mistake. Something we all make from time to time.

          • socrate says:

            Actually most spying that happened that we actually know off or tactical information gathering were made by people that weren’t ever gonna be suspected in the first place…and really its the logical thing to do because spying is really hard to prove and you don’t want it to be extremely obvious….even american with their bad count of failed spying are still really careful about that and pulled some nice one.

            Greece is on a really hard situation right now its no surprise that they are taking this very seriously.

            Also like many people stated they are sign in any country and rule about these thing and its usually made clear.

          • Phantoon says:

            Maybe Greece is trying to remind people it has a military?

            At this point, Bohemia could probably just bribe someone to let them go.

        • meatshit says:

          At least in the US, where the military is taken pretty seriously, you can photograph anything military that isn’t a restricted area i.e. covered in giant red signs saying “Photography is prohibited.”

        • kert says:

          Not to mention that there are a billion signs

          Yea but if they are all Greek ..

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      Nobody seems to be considering the alternative…that they actually were conducting espionage. Maybe they actually are spies, which explains what looks like a lapse of judgement!

      I doubt it, but it’s a remote possibility. Would be great cover. You know, if they hadn’t gotten themselves arrested.

    • KDR_11k says:

      More likely one said
      Attention. All. Hostile. Man. one hundred. Meters. To my right.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      ALL. STEALTH.

      ALL. FIND COVER!

    • zebrastealer says:

      What I don’t get is why the Greeks are so uptight here for two reasons:

      #1 What exactly are they afraid of? That someone will invade them and balance their budget?
      #2 This is Greece, not exactly the first country that comes to mind for bleeding edge military technology.

      • Meusli says:

        Turkey or more precisely the Ottoman Empire. It used to occupy the Balkans and Greece till pretty recently in a historical time frame. They are very sensitive to this sort of thing in that area of the world, what with Cyprus and all.

  3. Guvornator says:

    In fact the only thing Greece hates more than taking pictures of their military is video games*…

    *excluding Turkey of course

    • sakmidrai says:

      That is actually very wrong. Greece has a video games market that is getting bigger day by day. PC and PS3 are what most people use. This year at the International Fair of Thessalonica there is a panel for video games with tournaments and many presentations. Also there are a lot of e shops to buy computer parts, consoles and video games.
      If your “fact” is about that stupid Law 3037 back in 2002 (which banned electronic gambling from public places), I’m sorry but you should check your facts next time.

      • Guvornator says:

        Apologies. Obviously the people of Greece love video games because they are fantastic. But…”The new law clarifies some articles of 3037/2002 but it still bans video games in Internet cafés and computer software which deletes or encrypts files on hard disks of computers owned by Internet cafés”. Is this still true?

        • Alexandros says:

          Nope, it has never been enforced as it was basically a product of lawmakers’ ignorance towards the medium (and, given current events, ignorance towards everything).

        • sakmidrai says:

          I believe they slowly hide that silly law under the mat. Well, if you make a complaint at the authorities I guess they’ll take action but that’s it. There is no witch hunt.

          I wish we were fantastic but that is another subject.

        • kataras says:

          I think this law actually referred to one-armed bandits and games like fruit machines for gambling not to actual video games.

          • bsplines says:

            That was the original intention but the wording used was so bad and general the law could actually be applied to any machine that played games. It was not enforced on anything other than gambling machines and arcades though and the wording has now changed to be more specific anyway.

    • Terragot says:

      my Turkish friends love Video Games, the only problem being their economy is a little less swollen than ours, so paying 50 quid for a game is a laughing matter. Not to say people don’t buy games there, they do, it’s just they pay Serkant downstairs who burns them to disk for a fiver.

      If publishers actually swallowed this fact and adapted to it, they might realise that, even though the market isn’t as megalomaniac-ally valuable as they predicted, it still holds realistic value.

      • caddyB says:

        He meant that Greeks hate the Turks above all, I think.

        • sakmidrai says:

          Yes. When we come of age they take us to a sacred place to swore revenge etc.
          Come on. We live in 2012, there is no hate. At least among educated people from both sides.
          We have bigger problems and Turkey has far worse borders than Greece.

          Let’s stick to video games.

  4. mondomau says:

    I read about this this morning on reddit, where somebody (quite correctly) pointed out that this was more than a little foolhardy on the part of the developers considering Greece’s um, ‘overzealous’ attitude towards keeping their (many ) military installations away from prying, or even mildly curious, eyes.
    Hadn’t seen the refutation by Bohemia though – that is interesting. The cynic in me doubts that statement is 100% true though.

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      Dont underestimate the will of artists to make stuff realistic.

      • mondomau says:

        Fair enough, though PresidentWeasel ‘s post below does cast further doubt on this being a wholly independent action on the part of the devs.

    • Fanbuoy says:

      To be fair to Greece, though, they’re hardly alone with their “No clicking around our weapons, bro!” attitude. I think it’s prohibited pretty much everywhere. It certainlly is in Sweden. Considering the whole Turkey situation, I think it’s understandable that they’re a bit cautious.

      • mondomau says:

        Oh hey, no criticism of Greece intended – As you say, they’re not the only ones to take this sort of thing very seriously. My point was more that they have been in the news for this a fair bit, so it’s not like the devs could be forgiven for thinking they’d be cooler than most about it.

      • caddyB says:

        What Turkey situation?

          • caddyB says:

            So the most recent “incident” is two armed forces opening direct communication channels to reduce the amount of air space violations over the Aegean sea.

            It looks like imminent war indeed.

          • Cooper says:

            Greek-Turkish relations may be at the most cordial for generations, but that doesn’t wipe the slate clean.

            In anycase, the point is moot: Even in locations not deemed ‘sensitive’, military installations tend to be guarded against photography simply as a matter of course pretty much anywhere in the world.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            @ caddyB

            You must be American, in Europe we have a proud tradition of holding grudges over pointless and irrelevant past conflicts. In England we still bang on about Agincourt ffs.

  5. Alexandros says:

    Lemnos is a big island, very close to the greek-turkish border. Did they really think there would be no problem with them casually photographing military installations? That it wouldn’t look suspicious?

    • President Weasel says:

      The Eurogamer story dug up a rather pertinent comment from the Bohemia forum:

      Greek gamer Cyplon took to the Bohemia Interactive forum on 1st August 2012 to protest against the Limnos military air base being modelled because he felt it would be difficult to appreciate a game that “exposes our defences to the rest of the world” (thanks to Eurogamer reader dose for the link to the cached version of the forum thread).
      “On the island of Limnos is a military air base,” Cyplon wrote. “It is illegal to take photographs of this base, yet the ArmA development team are creating a 3D model of the base, most likely based on photos which they took illegally (as well as the satellite photos which aren’t illegal).
      “Had this been an American base, or any other country with a large population of whom may purchase ArmA 3, it is likely that such an act would not have been performed due to the risk of the country banning the game from being sold there. Hence, I find it disrespectful to do so. At the very least, the ArmA team should modify the base so that it is not an accurate representation of the existing base.
      “All this time the ArmA series has been based on fictional locations, but now have chosen to create a game on a real location. Of all locations in the World, Limnos – one of the only islands in the Aegean with a military air base, is being replicated, regardless of the tensions between Greece and Turkey which are ongoing (you don’t hear it on the news unless you are from Greece or Turkey). Great choice for a first location!
      “This is equivalent to creating an ArmA game replicating the Gaza strip, which would very likely anger Israel. I’m sure some of you may argue that if it were this easy for the developers to obtain such details of the base then it would be of no difficulty for Turkey. True, I doubt that the base has anything top secret anyway. However, you aren’t just providing a 3D model, but also a matured military simulator from which Turkey may practice infiltrations of the base. It is like the development team modelling the inside of your house. I’m sure you would feel threatened if this were to happen to you. Indeed, on the bright side the Greek military can practice defensive tactics, but that can be done in real life anyway.”

      Bohemia are apparently now claiming they were on holiday… on the same island they’ve set their game on, photographing a military base.

      • Guvornator says:

        I don’t know why you’d doubt the word of a Czech*… http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/czechrepublic/8449861/Czech-president-steals-pen.html

        *only kidding, I’m sure Czechs are no more venial and criminal than the rest of humanity. It’s just an excuse to post this video…

        • Saldek says:

          Priceless :D
          He’s so endearingly shifty during his “heist”.

      • Caiman says:

        Not only were they coincidentally holidaying on the same island that they’re setting Arma III on, Bohemia had already sent people on an Arma III photography expedition to Lemnos! Perhaps these guys didn’t go the first time and felt left out that the company went on the pretense of work and instead had a great time. Or perhaps they had such a great time on the first trip they decided they had to go again, to have a proper holiday this time.

        Or, perhaps not…

        Here’s the blog entry (courtesy of the Eurogamer comments thread):
        http://www.bistudio.com/english/company/developers-blog/304-limnos-researching-the-area-of-operation

        In hindsight the wording used on the blog is rather unfortunate.

      • theleif says:

        I don’t know. If I had spent years making a game that took place on a lovely Mediterranean island and wanted to go to vacation, I would probably have gone myself.

      • lurkalisk says:

        The statement by this Greek dude is not entirely correct. At least insofar as such acts would not have the same result in a variety of countries, most notable among them, the sadly militaristic United States (unless they were willing to actually infiltrate a completely restricted base). Really, this isn’t some kind of revelation, but more likely just some Greek guy ranting about respect. I highly doubt that this base would be realistically modeled, if even in the game. AND even then, I really doubt the Turks don’t know about it already. All they have to do walk around a bit and see it from miles away.

    • Manco says:

      It’s also a huge airbase impossible to miss, lying in unconstricted view of the entire countryside. It is not some secret base lying in seclusion.
      While a bit foolish and likely illegal to photograph it, it’s mostly Greek paranoia about their petty tribal conflicts with Turkey. (a conflict that will not escalate for the foreseeable future as both are part of the exact same uncontested military alliance)

      • aepervius says:

        Oh please. Do you know many strategic airbase or military base in the world which are “free to be photographed” ? In my own country I know of none used on regular basis, that you can do without *first* asking for authorization, then if they give it they make you time you can do it and they do it under supervision (to make sure that what you photograph is public knowledge already).

        • Twitchity says:

          Well, in the US, it’s trivial to walk up to most military installations and start taking photos (though a few remote ELINT and WMD-related facilities have large signs warning you off and plenty of MPs to make sure of it); in the UK, plane-spotting is a veritable national disorder, so that the military has semi-official spots next to airbases for enthusiasts to congregate with telephoto lenses and radio receivers.

          Nonetheless, Bohemia should have done some basic homework: back in 2001, a dozen British and Dutch plane-spotters got into similar trouble, facing felony espionage charges. The charges were eventually reduced to misdemeanors and expulsion, but it took many months and quite a bit of press for that to happen.

        • Manco says:

          “While a bit foolish and likely illegal to photograph it,”

          So how does it feel to barge in without reading that which addresses exactly what you said?
          And yes, actually, I do know such airbases. In fact there’s an (overseas) US airbase not that far from where I am sitting, that contains nuclear weapons. The worst that would actually happen if I went there taking pictures is that the local police would reprimand me on the spot.
          This is Greece escalating a minor incident that could be solved with seizing the pictures and negatives/storage mediums and giving them a reprimand, into an inflated and even embarrassing piece of drama. Because of paranoia.

  6. Nuclear Pony says:

    I guess this speaks volume about the degree of realism ArmA 3 will feature.

  7. Angelos79 says:

    I read about this in Greek news sites, but would never have made a connection :)
    I suppose it is indeed a mistake on the developer’s side, but it was only logical they would arrest them and i can’t really blame the army for doing so. It’s good for them that the Greeks are quite keen on following the law on these issues and the two boys will probably return home after the misunderstanding is solved. They probably would be in much more trouble in many other countries like Turkey, Israel or even the US and GB.
    Imagine a foreigner taking photos of a sensitive American installation….what do you imagine would happen?

    • Askeladd says:

      He would get a free holiday in one of Americas many holiday resorts for foreign people and people they don’t like.
      In my opinion after the cold war, a ‘new cold war started’ – only very cold now on the surface but the heat is still under it.

    • cHeal says:

      Don’t be so sure about this being a misunderstanding.

      These fellas were photographing a Greek Military base for reference for its inclusion in a military simulator, to be sold to the public.

      It may nor seem it, but that is actually espionage. It’s not for a country, but for a company which then plans on selling that information (technically) to the public.

      I can see them going to jail for this.

      • Pindie says:

        You might have a point there sadly but It highly depends on what the wording of the law is and since this is a Cold War era legislature it could or could not have been re-worded to include revealing of sensitive information to general public.

        Revealing of sensitive information to general public is not a crime, otherwise you could arrest investigative journalists who do it all the time.
        The law does know distinction.

        We used to have those rights but not anymore. You can get detained and questioned but not charged for it. We also used to use pre-war maps if you wanted a high scale terrain map because the regime was worried about making more current maps available to the enemy – another piece of idiocy cold war thinking.
        The problem is if you build your military base within treaking distance off a settlement you will get people with cameras and binoculars passing by – on public land that is not cordoned off or secured – all the time. How do you distinguish?
        There was also a recent realization that, unless you cover your secret shit up with cammo nets, you will get satellite photographed anyway so there is no point.
        Putting a big “top sekrit, do not look lol” sign does not prevent actual spies from looking.

        If you walk into Area 51 you will get held up for questioning, not accused of espionage.

        Finally no harm was done because 1) Turks already have satellite photos of the place 2) they already have detailed descriptions of the place by “hikers” who were not equipped with camera and could walk there freely 3) Turkey will not invade Greece and if they do the bases will go down fast anyway
        4) Greeks would know better than to put top secret stuff in plain view, don’t they?

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        These fellas were photographing a Greek Military base for reference for its inclusion in a military simulator, to be sold to the public.

        Except the company in question explicitly denies this, so unless you have any evidence to the contrary….

      • cHeal says:

        But is it not explicitly illegal to take photos of the military base, regardless of what the use is? For somebody like me, I probably wouldn’t even be arrested and even if I was I would be released immediately because I am a tourist….

        That is not the case here. If they have broken the law directly, by virtue of having taken the pictures, it seems unlikely to me that the prosecutor will go easy on them, or that they will be able just explain their way out of it given the nature of their activities. This was not innocent tourist snaps.

        A prosecution is near always at the disgression of the authorities and mostly they would not pursue something like this, but given the product BI is selling then I don’t expect them to be so forgiving.

        The two men are employed with a company that is making a military simulator based on this island. They were caught taking pictures of the military base. BI may not have directed them to engage in these activities but there can be no doubt that the purpose of the photographs, was reference for the game.

        • Cooper says:

          I’ve spent quite some time in Greece over the years, having lived there for a while. I’ve had my run ins with the local “EL.AS” before now and I’d take the greek police over any other mediterranean state’s police any day (unless I’m exeercising my right to protest…)

          If they are lucky they will have their cameras confiscated, get a ticking off and be let on their way.

          But Lemnos is near Turkey, there are tensions there. There are also existing tensions with regards to the game (the local municipality is none too pleased). If someone wants to make an issue out of this, they can. So the best of luck to these guys; even if they are idiots for photographing a military base…

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          But is it not explicitly illegal to take photos of the military base, regardless of what the use is? For somebody like me, I probably wouldn’t even be arrested and even if I was I would be released immediately because I am a tourist

          Except Greece has prior history of arresting and charging tourists with espionage. I expect you’d not be arrested because you’re not stupid enough to take pictures of military bases in a country known to be more paranoid about such things than most other democracies.

          BI may not have directed them to engage in these activities but there can be no doubt that the purpose of the photographs, was reference for the game.

          Actually there can be doubt. You’re putting 2 and together to get 4 and assuming guilt by insinuation.

    • lurkalisk says:

      Of an American Installation? Nothing. As many have stated in various places, the majority of American installations don’t really give a damn. It’s not US policy to put sensitive information in plain sight. Anything you can so easily take a picture of, the global intelligence community likely knows about (including easily observed air bases in Greece).

      It would seem Greece has yet to fully grasp post-WWII espionage/counter-espionage, let alone anything even vaguely modern…

  8. kataras says:

    What is baffling is that there are huge signs around military installations that say it is forbidden to take photos or video in this area (in English as well). So they were either stupid and were taking photos in plain sight or they were hanging around the base, the police went to check what they are doing and found the photos and the video. In any case, I hope they get out soon but somehow I doubt this will be resolved very soon. There is a reason for the saying ‘where reason/logic ends, the army begins’.

    • Pindie says:

      There are similar signs on fences of many embassy-s around where I live. Some other buildings have them as well.
      I do not think they are legally binding and even if they are they’ll just check your ID, take your camera and tell you to pick it up later. Unless you are trespassing which was not the case here.

  9. Hoaxfish says:

    Now nobody will see the photos of their weaponised crockery

  10. Alexandros says:

    In any case, I don’t buy Bohemia’s explanation for a second. A couple of devs just happened to take pictures of a military installation on the island that their next game will be set? Come on, we’re not idiots you know.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Moreso, the Bohemia folk probably aren’t, either.

      It seems rather silly to me, really. Modeling a real island is neat and all, but even if they want to do that instead of making one up, they surely don’t need to photograph (sensitive) military property to make their game.

    • Mattressi says:

      Why not? They could just be employees who are genuinely interested in the game they’re making and are interested in military bases. They might even have decided they wanted to take photos to help with their work – of their own whim. They might have gone to Lemnos with BI before and thought it was a great place to go back to on holiday, and took a whole heap of pictures as mementos.

      I think BI would be taking a huge risk if they were lying about the employees not being sent there to take photos of military bases – I doubt the employees would take too kindly to being sent on a job that gets them arrested and they would surely speak out eventually, damaging BI’s name.

    • Dinger says:

      Well, considering that Arma 3 is supposedly one quarter away from release, one would hope that they’ve already got their terrain and art assets nailed down. That said, visiting the real place helps tremendously in giving the virtual one a sense of life, so I can see why they’d want to go there. And they’ve been sitting in an office surrounded by NATO toys, with a major part of their work dealing with reconstructing models from imagery: so heck, I’ve been in that situation too, where getting a bunch of reference photos of some piece of NATO hardware is useful for the art guy building it; but it’s far easier and faster to get someone else — who incidentally happens to have the authorization to furnish those photos — to do it. If they were sent on a business trip, of course, the legal situation of BIS would likely be very different, in terms of prior paperwork, monetary obligations, and international agreements.

      In other words, this is a headache a game developer does not want, especially when the company also has a line of products (featuring bespoke photorealistic terrains for specific mission rehearsals) catered to the world’s militaries, including those of nations with “complex” relations with Greece. Military tourism is generally a bad idea.

      They’re lucky the media calls them a games company.

  11. Screamer says:

    This Is SPARTAAAAAAA!!!

  12. Chaz says:

    A little off topic, but going back to that first point; if the different states in America have slightly differing laws, how do you know what is legal or not from one state to the next? If you plan on going travelling across America, do you have to swat up on state laws?

    • Mattressi says:

      Yes – it’s the same as travelling interstate in many countries (like here in Australia) and, of course, travelling internationally. Though, ignore that moronic “stupid laws” list which is everywhere on the internet – the good majority (if not all) of the “laws” written on that list are entirely made up and have been proven to be so. Generally, the laws between states don’t differ too significantly. The big ones that I know of are the gun laws (though, that’s only an issue if you live in a free-er state, where you carry your gun, and are travelling through somewhere like New York, where that will get you several years in jail) and some states still apparently have some old-fashioned laws, like no alcohol sales on Sundays.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      On matters such as violence, property theft, and general criminal mayhem, all the states share very similar laws. It’s usually on the civil minutia like corporate taxes, where to park your horse, and how many times you can beat your spouse with a certain sized lash do the differences grow wider.

      edit- oh true, gun ownership laws do vary widely. The lobby gets more traction in some states then others.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      Like people said, if you use common sense, you are unlikely to get in trouble going in between states. The only times you really need to look up laws/hire a lawyer is for when you are doing business practices, or when dealing with obviously sensitive issues like gun control and suchlike.

    • Chaz says:

      Yeah that’s kind of what I figured, that if you behave sensibly, then for the most part you shouldn’t have any problems. Thanks for clearing that up anyway.

    • Berzee says:

      The main thing is to know what states allow you to turn right on red. =P

  13. The13thRonin says:

    And that’s the story of how the Greeks became the ‘bad guys’ of ARMA 3.

    No but seriously I hope those dudes get out of there OK.

  14. SkittleDiddler says:

    Hopefully now Arma III is going to include a camera mode that scores bonus points for the opposing team if they catch you taking snapshots of their base.

    • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

      If it doesn’t, that’s clearly the first thing I’m making in the editor.

  15. Axess Denyd says:

    Going back in time….they actually don’t allow pictures at air shows? Isn’t that kinda the point of an air show? “Here, look at our cool stuff, get some pictures?”

    • President Weasel says:

      I believe the problem was that after the air show (where the planes were in the air and going quite fast) the planespotters took pictures of the planes up close on the ground.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        I believe the problem was that after the air show (where the planes were in the air and going quite fast) the planespotters took pictures of the planes up close on the ground.

        Like people do at airshows.

        • Axess Denyd says:

          The one that happens around here tends to have a decent array of modern stuff to look at:

          http://www.daytonairshow.com/pages/02_performers/staticAircraft.html

          No F-22, but there’s a lot more stuff available for free viewing at the Air Force museum just minutes away. Every time I go I have to giggle at just how ridiculously large the holes are in the 30mm gatling gun barrel on the A-10. There’s a difference in seeing 30mm on a ruler and seeing the dimensions used on a gun barrel.

  16. TpC says:

    ahaha
    As czech resident I can assure you that neither our foreign ministry or czech embassy in greece will do anyting but releasing some pointless statements to help these guys.

  17. moreyummystuff says:

    Luckily they went for a greek one, they should of tried the same at any NATO base and spend some quality time wearing orange uniforms in Cuba.

    • Jad says:

      Greece is a member of NATO. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here.

      • moreyummystuff says:

        Greece is a member of NATO but there are exclusive NATO bases in Greece. This was a greek military base, not one ran directly by NATO. Security around NATO bases is far stricter and infringements are dealt with in much harsher ways. So what I’m saying is that if they tried the same stunt around one such base I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up in Guantanamo.

  18. Lawful Evil says:

    What an excellent marketing of their upcoming title, in my opinion! Though (probably) unintended, and quite stressful I imagine for some of the people involved…

  19. rebb says:

    I do wonder why they insist so much on using real actual places as the base for their games.
    Is it because they are anal about “maximum realism” ? Is it supposedly easier on the art team to produce content from existing data ?
    There are many tools now that should make terrain creation a bliss, why can’t they simply come up with an interesting landscape themselves ?

    • Danny252 says:

      Supposedly when doing 20x20km (or whatever suitably big area Arma1/2/3 cover), that’s a lot of terraining to do, especially if you want it to look vaguely realistic. Much easier to do a DEM import of some area, scale it horizontally/vertically, and put the cities where the cities are, and the roads where the roads are!

    • El_Emmental says:

      The way the landscape is shaping during these hundreds of thousands of years, with wind and rain/river erosion, tectonics (volcanism, cratons, terranes, etc), is very unique and extremely complex.

      And anyone who saw quite a lot of places will unconsciously (and consciously if it often lived/went outside of towns) recognize a natural landscape from an artificial one : your brain will expect some specific shapes at the top of mountain and hills, the slight variations at the bottom, the way the river shaped its banks and the surrounding area, the places where a river was (before becoming dry). Same with vegetation, your brain will expect some specific patterns.

      Since Bohemia can hardly find and hire a geologist and spend hundreds of hours making a credible landscape, they prefer to take the data from real-world places and try to recreate that in the game.

  20. yhancik says:

    They should make games about cats, it’s far less risky

  21. Chaz says:

    They’re gonna end up in real trouble if they ever decide on using Area 51 as location in any of their games.

  22. User100 says:

    Limnos had already protested before regarding the use of their island in Arma, plus, as had been mentioned elsewhere, a Greek gamer had warned BI about their use of real-life military intel in the game (and the moderators just brushed him off as a troll).
    So, I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much about a quick and easy settlement for this situation.

    Obviously Limnos was already pissed off about BI well before this happened, and then the two guys continue to shoot photos there (whether sanctioned by BI or not doesn’t really matter), so it’ll take quite a bit for Limnos to give in now.
    Who knows, perhaps in exchange for releasing the two guys BI might have to dump the whole island from the game, as its depiction is obviously against Greece’s military interest.
    (Which, of course, wouldn’t look very good for the Arma III release date.)

  23. YourMessageHere says:

    So if they were sketch artists and were found with pencils and drawings of the base, would they still get nicked?

    • Jad says:

      The United States has laws specifically prohibiting sketches of sensitive military installations (which is not all or even the majority of military bases — stuff like nuclear silos and the like): http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/795

      I’d have to imagine that Greece would have similar rules, particularly if they are even more sensitive and prickly towards this kind of thing than the US, as it appears to be.

  24. MythArcana says:

    It’s too bad none of those photos included native Greeks actually paying their taxes.

    • Alextended says:

      Most Greeks pay their taxes since they’re taken in huge chunks from their wage/salary before they get their hands on it. It’s mostly businesses that can evade taxes, or worse, like SIEMENS (Headquarters: Munich, Germany) and stuff…

      • El_Emmental says:

        that, and the shipowners + the greek orthodox church, who don’t pay a dime in tax while owning half (if not more) of the country

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Oh, yes. Do go on and paint an entire people with the same brush, will you.

  25. Kadayi says:

    A prime case of geek meets world tbh. Hope this gets resolved positively, but really it’s kind of surprising they never thought it wouldn’t be an issue.

  26. Sir-Lucius says:

    BI does still offer VBS2 specifically as a military training tool. It was developed jointly with the Marines and Australian Defense Force IIRC. It’s certainly a leap to say they are recreating military secrets for ARMA or for VBS2, but I can certainly see how a military force wouldn’t be too pleased with employees from a company that develops both consumer level military simulation games AND military certified training simulators taking photos of real military bases; regardless of whether they were sent by the company or not, or whether the photos would be used as reference for a project or not, it’s the kind of situation where I can understand a military or government force playing it a bit more by the book than just some random tourists snapping photos.

    More than likely this is just a big misunderstanding and the Greeks are probably overreacting pushing espionage charges, but I can understand the initial arrest.

  27. ghoststalker194 says:

    Remember the guy from the populair Youtube video: “Where the hell is Math?” He was almost arrested for dancing in front of some ancient building. The Greek aren’t making a lot of friends in the world right now.

  28. Rioghal says:

    Are there…are there really still people in the market for Greek national secrets?