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DetCord
11-09-2012, 07:39 PM
Greek news sites (http://news.in.gr/greece/article/?aid=1231212511) are reporting that two Czechs have been arrested on Lemnos, after taking photographs and video of military installations. The two claim to be developers working for Bohemia Interactive, out gathering reference material for Arma 3, which takes place on the Greek island. This hasn’t yet washed with the Greek authorities who’ve slapped them with espionage charges.

The story has been confirmed by Marek Spanel, CEO and co-founder of Bohemia Interactive, who elected not to discuss the matter any further on the official Bohemia Interactive forums (http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?139877-Two-BI-employees-arrested-in-Lemnos&p=2221846), “at least until we know more specific details about the case.”

This isn’t the first time the Greek authorities have been a bit over-enthusiastic in their counter-espionage policy. In 2001, 12 British plane spotters were held (http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/12/newsid_2518000/2518385.stm) on spying charges for taking photographs at an air-show near Kalamata, in southern Greece. Though they were confident of being cleared at the time, eight received three-year sentences for espionage, and the rest were convicted of aiding and abetting.

http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/09/11/bohemia-interactive-devs-arrested-for-spying/

NathanH
11-09-2012, 07:42 PM
It's a ridiculous country, but it seems a bit silly to film military installations without official permission. Especially when working in a ridiculous country.

gundato
11-09-2012, 07:48 PM
Wow... that is the opposite of good. Here is hoping the Greeks realize it is all a misunderstanding.

Although, this DOES pose a few questions and concerns. I am not familiar enough with the true story, but I know Afleck is in a new movie about the Iran Hostage Crisis that plays up using the development of a fake film as a cover story (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Caper suggests that the concept is sound and true). It is only a matter of time until a "bad" nation decides to go on tours of various weapons manufacturing plants to make "accurate models" and what not.

Hell, it is sort of like the concept of Delta Force. Officially, I think the US Government STILL says they don't exist. But the US Military also cooperates with film makers and writers in telling accurate stories about them and providing insight into the mindset (I think the actors who portrayed Delta operators in Blackhawk Down even went through a one or two day boot camp by real Delta operators).

But either way, here is hoping nothing bad happens to them.

TailSwallower
11-09-2012, 07:55 PM
It's a ridiculous country, but it seems a bit silly to film military installations without official permission. Especially when working in a ridiculous country.

Assuming it is legitimately BI devs that are being held, then they are really fucking stupid. What did they think would happen if they went and filmed an actual military installation? If you need the photos and footage then go through official channels... If you get knocked back then throw a few thousand dollars at some savvy locals to do it for you. They need the money, and if they got caught the authorities would probably go easier on Greek nationals than they would foreigners.

Drake Sigar
11-09-2012, 08:12 PM
*Sigh* Bohemia, you already knew beforehand Greece wasn't happy about you basing your game up in their back garden with your fancy photo-realistic terrain.

Berzee
11-09-2012, 08:20 PM
Worst case scenario: in three years they will be able to make an awesome and realistic game about Greek Prisons.

Prokroustis
11-09-2012, 08:49 PM
It's a ridiculous country, but it seems a bit silly to film military installations without official permission. Especially when working in a ridiculous country.

Not nearly as ridiculous as this post though.

NathanH
11-09-2012, 08:54 PM
Assuming it is legitimately BI devs that are being held, then they are really fucking stupid. What did they think would happen if they went and filmed an actual military installation? If you need the photos and footage then go through official channels... If you get knocked back then throw a few thousand dollars at some savvy locals to do it for you. They need the money, and if they got caught the authorities would probably go easier on Greek nationals than they would foreigners.

Yeah, I was probably being too harsh on the Greeks this time. Filming military installations without official permission is likely to get you into trouble in lots of countries with sensible justice systems too, and I don't think that's particularly unreasonable.

Berzee
11-09-2012, 09:16 PM
On the other hand, who leaves a perfectly good military installation laying around where just anyone can film it?

DetCord
11-09-2012, 09:38 PM
Had they simply filed the correct requests through the proper channels this wouldn't have been such an issue. That said, taking photographs of an instillation and its antiquated TO&E (equipment) shouldn't be grounds for espionage charges for Christ sake. The Turks already have hi-res sat imagery of that entire island and said military base, its not as if they're unaware of its layout and components.

kataras
11-09-2012, 09:44 PM
As much as I despise the army, there are always huge signs around army installations saying that photos and videos are prohibited, so I don't see what they thought they were doing there...

Plus the realistic modeling of what is supposed to be a strategically sensitive island was not very appreciated in Greece. I m sure the Turks already have it, but I guess it's also to keep up appearances and justify their pay or keep hidden installations hidden.

Also i don't think they could ever get a permission to do it, it's forbidden in any case.

Nalano
11-09-2012, 09:53 PM
Although, this DOES pose a few questions and concerns. I am not familiar enough with the true story, but I know Afleck is in a new movie about the Iran Hostage Crisis that plays up using the development of a fake film as a cover story (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Caper suggests that the concept is sound and true). It is only a matter of time until a "bad" nation decides to go on tours of various weapons manufacturing plants to make "accurate models" and what not.

You don't even need a conspiracy of fake filmographers.

You just need to download ArmA.

I mean, FFS, they didn't think this through, did they?

TillEulenspiegel
11-09-2012, 09:56 PM
Filming military installations without official permission is likely to get you into trouble in lots of countries with sensible justice systems too, and I don't think that's particularly unreasonable.
The first part of that statement is true, but the conclusion doesn't follow. Is there any reason to think that such laws have any positive effect? It seems like pure paranoia.

I've heard no end of innocent photographers harassed or charged because of stupid laws, but has there been a single actual terrorist or spy caught that way in the past decade?

gundato
11-09-2012, 10:07 PM
You don't even need a conspiracy of fake filmographers.

You just need to download ArmA.

I mean, FFS, they didn't think this through, did they?
Well, ArmA doesn't go too deep into the internal mechanisms.

Something like Recoil (whatever Wolfire made that was a real gun simulator) but with less generic tech would be interesting. As "realism" becomes more popular, we are going to start field stripping guns in really bad conditions. As we do that, people are gonna use Kinnect and what not to make it "realistic". And then we really WILL have murder simulators...

Speaking of: For laughs, go google Ubisoft's kinect video on the latest Ghost Recon. It is HILARIOUS. They make a big deal about using the kinect to disassemble and reassemble guns. The motion is "Move arms slightly apart, move arms slightly together" to explode and reassemble the guns, respectively.

Also, I vaguely recall the Redcoats getting pissed at Google recently. Their google streetview mapper car thing has a high camera and apparently saw over a fence for the SAS compound or something?

Grizzly
11-09-2012, 10:07 PM
On the other hand, who leaves a perfectly good military installation laying around where just anyone can film it?

They don't. If they did, those devs would not have been arrested :P.

To be fair to the greeks, this is not at all ridicilous - The Netherlands has similar (if not exactly the same) rules. The point is not the layout of the base that is being filmed, but the airplanes and vehicles stored there. Where troops are deployed, and airplanes are stored is still classified information.

NathanH
11-09-2012, 10:21 PM
The first part of that statement is true, but the conclusion doesn't follow. Is there any reason to think that such laws have any positive effect? It seems like pure paranoia.

I've heard no end of innocent photographers harassed or charged because of stupid laws, but has there been a single actual terrorist or spy caught that way in the past decade?

I have no idea. I suppose that spies and terrorists know enough to know that they can't just brazenly film this sort of stuff, so take precautions, and these precautions might limit how well they can film something. Whereas innocent photographers might not even think of such things. And so, if there were no such laws, it'd make life easier for the terrorists and spies. There might also be the point that even the work of innocent photographers could be used for not-so-innocent purposes were it made public.

I am not a terrorist, spy, innocent photographer, or counter-espionage agent, though, so the previous paragraph might well just be utter bullshit.

gundato
11-09-2012, 10:24 PM
Yeah, based on my understanding of espionage (I watch Ronin a lot, and I like Burn Notice. So piss-poor, at best :p), the spies are going to either be camouflaged (ghilly suit) or are going to be "stealthy" by taking a picture of the guards in the context of the girlfriend posing or pretending they are a photographer/art student. So targeting tourists and photographers probably IS the smartest move.

Drake Sigar
11-09-2012, 10:30 PM
But we live in an age where everyone has a camera in their pocket half the size of a TV remote control. Wouldn't a spy be equipped with something completely unnoticeable? A camera in a top-hat for example.

Nalano
11-09-2012, 10:49 PM
But we live in an age where everyone has a camera in their pocket half the size of a TV remote control. Wouldn't a spy be equipped with something completely unnoticeable? A camera in a top-hat for example.

I thought you said unnoticeable.

gundato
11-09-2012, 10:54 PM
Yeah. Using a cell phone camera is trivial.

Turn the flash off, pretend you are talking on the phone. Turn yourself to face away from the installation, click the clicker, and you have a picture.

Drake Sigar
11-09-2012, 11:00 PM
I thought you said unnoticeable.

Fine, put the camera inside a novelty cufflink in the shape of a top-hat then.

Nalano
11-09-2012, 11:10 PM
Fine, put the camera inside a novelty cufflink in the shape of a top-hat then.

You've lost all privileges to talk down about American customs for all eternity.

arccos
11-09-2012, 11:35 PM
Fine, put the camera inside a novelty cufflink in the shape of a top-hat then.

Go dressed as a bride and put it in the bouquet.

NathanH
11-09-2012, 11:38 PM
Organize a Turkish-spies themed stag weekend.

Kadayi
11-09-2012, 11:38 PM
/facepalm

I hope this gets resolved and no one goes to prison, that would be rather unfortunate. I clear case of geek meets world tbh.

random_guy
12-09-2012, 03:17 AM
They should have tried it in Australia - all they'd have to do is not dress like a ridiculous terrorist stereotype.


http://youtu.be/McB9tsabPn0

RakeShark
12-09-2012, 06:33 AM
Well, on the other hand, if you're not getting arrested for spying on military installations, you're not trying hard enough to make an authentic military experience.

caljohnston
12-09-2012, 07:46 AM
It's karma for releasing bugged games.

coldvvvave
12-09-2012, 08:17 AM
By the way, what happened to Kuma War dev who got gaught in Iran in similar circumstances?

soldant
12-09-2012, 08:23 AM
I thought it was common knowledge that you didn't film military installations or equipment without permission?

Unless it's Australia, because our flora and fauna will kill any invaders long before we even know what's happening.

squirrel
12-09-2012, 12:47 PM
Greece and Czech are both NATO. Why doesn't BIS offer discount on their simulator offering to the Greek military to settle this little dispute off :P

I dont mean to stand out by holding an unconventional view (as a gamer), but isn't it common sense that photoing military sites would catch uninvited attentions? If you would remember, 1999 the Serbs shot down a USAF F117. It was rumored that some Serbian spies conducted surveillance on NATO bases in Italy, one of which the shot down F117 took off for that failed mission. They then calculated its course, and targeted that warning radar accordingly. It is said that F117 could be detected if you carefully adjust your radar. All those spies did (if the rumor turns out to be true) was to crawl around the parameter of the air bases as "civilian", observe if any planes took off.

Sometimes you need to respect a foreign nation. I heard that people posing disrespectfully in relics of the Greek temples would be fined. As you can imagine, tourists taking photos would do such naive things. Sounds not so reasonable, but that is out of the respect for Greek culture and history.

SirDavies
12-09-2012, 12:59 PM
They obviously took a risk and got caught. What they did -taking footage of a military base without permission- is wrong, but taking charges for espionage is just ludicrous. If they can prove they were doing it for a videogame I don't see the point in putting those charges on them. Maybe they were trying to give an image of severity and effectiveness, but I don't think pulling false charges is the way to go.

kataras
12-09-2012, 04:03 PM
Well the thing is the army doesn't care about 'excuses' no matter how real they are, especially if they come from foreigners. It's stupid but they have their own monolithic logic (if it can be described as such).

soldant
13-09-2012, 01:20 AM
If they can prove they were doing it for a videogame I don't see the point in putting those charges on them.
So, basically... I should be able to film the military however I want without permission so long as I can prove it's going to a videogame? Spies everywhere just got very excited.

I can totally understand the charges of espionage and the caution around it. "Oh I'm filming for a video game" seems like a pretty terrible excuse, and even though it's true, I can totally understand the reaction. They were idiots to do what they did.

Dav
13-09-2012, 09:37 AM
I didn't want to make a new thread for this, but a BI dev said they were looking into releasing DayZ for Xbox as well as PC because of piracy on PC. http://www.videogamer.com/pc/day_z/news/bohemia_wed_be_stupid_not_to_release_dayz_on_xbla. html

RakeShark
13-09-2012, 09:58 AM
Well the thing is the army doesn't care about 'excuses' no matter how real they are, especially if they come from foreigners. It's stupid but they have their own monolithic logic (if it can be described as such).

I believe the phrase is "err on the side of caution".

deano2099
13-09-2012, 12:16 PM
They obviously took a risk and got caught. What they did -taking footage of a military base without permission- is wrong, but taking charges for espionage is just ludicrous. If they can prove they were doing it for a videogame I don't see the point in putting those charges on them.

Don't they also make military simulators that they sell to the armed forces of various countries for training purposes? I mean with that in mind, it's not quite so clear-cut...

soldant
13-09-2012, 12:48 PM
I didn't want to make a new thread for this, but a BI dev said they were looking into releasing DayZ for Xbox as well as PC because of piracy on PC. http://www.videogamer.com/pc/day_z/news/bohemia_wed_be_stupid_not_to_release_dayz_on_xbla. html
That article mostly just says they want to cash in on the Minecraft wave, where a successful PC game sold even more to the console masses. Piracy is mentioned once, more as an offhand comment.

Besides, their FADE protection is notoriously good. It's so subtle (for the most part) that I've had some people tell me that it doesn't exist. Original game do not FADE...

squirrel
13-09-2012, 01:09 PM
I didn't want to make a new thread for this, but a BI dev said they were looking into releasing DayZ for Xbox as well as PC because of piracy on PC. http://www.videogamer.com/pc/day_z/news/bohemia_wed_be_stupid_not_to_release_dayz_on_xbla. html

Not the first time they are in favor of console market. Operation Flashpoint was ported to original Xbox as Operation Flashpoint: Elite (http://www.amazon.com/Operation-Flashpoint-Elite-Xbox/dp/B000BOJPRE/ref=sr_1_7?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1347537784&sr=1-7&keywords=operation+flashpoint+cold+war+crisis). The Xbox version was not that favorably reviewed though (it was released 4 years after PC version published!)

SirDavies
13-09-2012, 06:47 PM
I don't think piracy is gonna be a major problem for them, seeing how arma 2 has been on the top 3 on steam for 4 months exclusively because of DayZ and costing over 20 bucks.

ReV VAdAUL
13-09-2012, 11:35 PM
So, basically... I should be able to film the military however I want without permission so long as I can prove it's going to a videogame? Spies everywhere just got very excited.

I can totally understand the charges of espionage and the caution around it. "Oh I'm filming for a video game" seems like a pretty terrible excuse, and even though it's true, I can totally understand the reaction. They were idiots to do what they did.

To put it plainly the worst case scenario for the Greek military for charging these people for espionage is they get mocked a bit. On the other hand if the people they caught filming one of their military installations, something that is supremely suspicious, were up to no good and they let them off because they make video games they run the risk of potentially damaging intelligence about their installation falling into the hands of their enemies, which could threaten lives, AND being mocked a whole lot more.

Tres
14-09-2012, 01:06 AM
Oh but of course. Let's spend time recreating an actual military base (hell knows what for) while our game has all sorts of problems, you know, like lack of reasonable physics in 2012, drowning in hotkeys, crappy sounds, bulky character control, lack of detail in gun handling (learn from Receiver)...

Hey, if we stopped wasting time we might actually implement AI that does more under fire than hit the deck and stay there!

*distant*
Hell, we might even get vehicles pathing right, after 11 years since OFP!

soldant
14-09-2012, 01:53 AM
Oh but of course. Let's spend time recreating an actual military base (hell knows what for) while our game has all sorts of problems, you know, like lack of reasonable physics in 2012, drowning in hotkeys, crappy sounds, bulky character control, lack of detail in gun handling (learn from Receiver)...

Hey, if we stopped wasting time we might actually implement AI that does more under fire than hit the deck and stay there
Well are are implementing proper physics in ARMA3 and supposedly they're trying to fix it so that infantry aren't essentially vehicles in the shape of people so that walking through a doorway or near a low wall won't be nigh impossible.

I'll say it's a safe bet that the AI will still fail to navigate around a lone tree while riding a bicycle, hotkeys will still be spread across the keyboard so that any sort of command is impractical, and the sounds will be the same as ARMA.

Vizjerie
14-09-2012, 02:48 AM
that is a shame.. lol