Web Cam Operator Ordered by Navy to Take Point Loma Cameras Down After Filming ‘Warship Chicken’ Incident

by on May 9, 2023 · 6 comments

in Media, Military, Ocean Beach

Barry Bahrami, the man whose livestream caught two Navy ships nearly colliding in the San Diego Bay has been ordered to take the cameras down.

It was Bahrami’s video that showed the near collision of two Navy ships at the San Diego Bay back in November 2022, an incident commonly referred to as “Warship Chicken” which now stands at the center of a new controversy.

The Navy Criminal Investigative Service says the camera’s livestream shows military activity in the area, but Bahrami calls, “bologna,” and that he has the right to film. Bahrami who runs a group called San Diego Web Cam which provides livestreams across the city. He said,

“It might be the San Diego Web Cam today, but if you don’t stand up and call foul, we don’t know what’s it going to be tomorrow.”

“Now we have government censorship simply out of spite because we showed something they didn’t like.”

Baharmi said the National Park Service removed two of his cameras at Cabrillo National Monument per the Navy’s request, citing the protection of military personnel. Yet, his cameras have been running for nearly a decade, and removed just days after the Navy’s investigation findings were released last month. He said,

“We were there for 10 years and then to suddenly make up a reason to take them down, that’s just bologna I don’t think anyone believes that.”

The NCIS responded to the matter in a statement to FOX 5, citing security concerns:

“NCIS recently expressed force protection concerns to the National Park Service related to the privately owned webcams. We look forward to continuing close coordination with NPS. The private webcams and YouTube channel provided 24-hour webcam monitoring of vessels and equities located aboard Naval Air Station North Island, including aircraft hangars and flight lines, Naval Base Point Loma submarine assets, and the tracking of military personnel working aboard Naval Base Coronado.”

Bahrami believes that argument has no ground and ultimately removes San Diegans and naval families from connecting to America’s Finest City. He also announced he has plans to add more cameras to San Diego to replace the two that were removed and said he’s also developing an app that would allow anyone to set up a webcam in the city.

FOX 5 Legal Analyst Wendy Patrick made a statement:

“One thing that is distinguishable about this web cam company is that they were very careful not to film anything that might cause privacy issues. It’s also fueling the argument on why they want to know exactly why this request was made to take these cameras down.”

“The cameras are taken down on private property and the footage is something that has a lot of views people are very interested in. There are people that relied on those webcams to watch loved ones coming and going.”


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris May 9, 2023 at 11:25 am

Anything that puts the Navy in a bad light will then this is what will happen, right or wrong.


Sam May 9, 2023 at 12:21 pm

F around and find out. This is a great way to get extra special treatment with the police and the TSA!


GML May 9, 2023 at 1:37 pm

If his cameras are on private property, then they obviously can be removed/prohibited. I would assume that Cabrillo National Monument is not public property. If on public property then what is the difference between his cameras and ones the SDPD wants to use?


Frank Gormlie May 10, 2023 at 8:54 am

From KPBS:

Legal director of the First Amendment Coalition David Loy, said the government’s actions against Bahrami amount to censorship.

“This has been an issue in numerous cases,” Loy said, in reference to federal lawsuits brought by people filming police and other government agents in public. He said courts have ruled that people have the right to record any government activity done in public.

“The First Amendment guarantees the press and public the right to record, observe and report on anything that occurs in a public place,” Loy said. “So if the government has secrets to keep, it needs to keep them secret. It cannot tell the public that you may not film or record or observe matters that the government itself exposes to the full view of the public.”

Loy further said the National Park Service’s statement that Bahrami was operating the cameras for commercial purposes without authorization is suspect.

“If their policies genuinely prohibited them from doing that, they should have enforced that policy from the beginning,” Loy said. “They should not be pulling it out of their pocket now … it sounds a lot like a pretext to me.”

For Belinda Taylor, a Navy mom living in Virginia, the issue is personal. Her son recently returned to San Diego on the dock landing ship Ashland, which just switched its homeport to San Diego from Sasebo, Japan. She said she was disappointed the cameras were switched off before she could see the Ashland sail into the bay.

“None of us can really go out there to see him, so having that camera gives us an opportunity,” Taylor said. “Even if we can’t see him, it’s like being there. I’d like to see that camera get turned back on so that we can see our families and our children and other people’s children, and celebrate with them when their families come back in.”


sealintheSelkirks May 10, 2023 at 6:45 pm

Ahahahaha! The MIC doesn’t LIKE getting a taste of the medicine that is being shoved down the rest of our throats by the MIC.


This isn’t about ‘security’ because if any country wants to look there are satellites that can monitor everything from space. The technology gives excellent resolution up there rain, shine, or fog. Or if they are really interested set up a 24 hour feed to the internet from a rented apartment on Pt. Loma somewhere.

This is about the Navy’s ego and ‘perception management’ because looking stupid doesn’t help with funding and recruitment. Not that they seem to have any problem with their share of the ever-growing $1 trillion budget anyway…



Chris May 11, 2023 at 6:23 am

There are Navy sailors going through temporary periods of sleeping in their cars and dare they go to Twitter, YouTube or tic toc the face some pretty server consequences. So heay you’re not wrong about not wanting to be put in a bad light.


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