"encouraged to upload a self-portrait"
That self-portrait will go straight on a government database, labeled "possible political trouble maker", in the following categories: e.g. (A) Freedom of speech. (B) Freedom of moment. (C) Likely to feel association with other anti-government control freedom seeking groups. Then each time government photographers photograph protesting crowds, this person will be highlighted, even without being asked "Papers please". Also their associations through any form of communications will be checked, to find out if they communicate with any other known anti-government group members, which would then show they were also loyal and prone to want to help these other groups.
Being on that list will also automatically green light more stringent checking and rechecking of that person in their daily life. Self employed? ... ok check more closely their tax returns and bank account transactions, with who, when and why. Traveling abroad? ... When, where and how often. Phoning someone, who and are they also on the lists, and if so, what affiliations do they have. All of it designed to keep checking and make their lives that much more difficult and distracted by things to worry about. The distraction combined with government PR spin, is designed to divide and conquer groups of people to sow division in groups. Large groups can stand against the government. Small fragmented groups are no real problem to oppose. Its also often called Divide and Rule and its a well known political tactic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divide_and_rule
All these checks means that if a person picks up enough anti-government tags, then they start to take an even closer look at you. They then become a known political trouble maker. This time, if your group is stopped and a computer check against your name is found, they then stop you and question your actions... so much for freedom. Papers please. These photographers have just won themselves some more anti-government tags.
All of this already happens. It doesn't matter that its a very imperfect system. It doesn't need to be perfect for it to work stochastically. Its after all a numbers game. If a few people slip through it doesn't matter. Being in power means learning how to control millions of people in a country. They care little for individuals. They only care about large groups of people forming and then moving together against the people in power, as large groups have the power to oppose the will of the people in power. This is why they watch and even try to restrict groups like the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). It has 2 million members. When 2 million people get behind a cause (e.g. the environment) and then complain about it, (say a new runway) then the rest of the UK is very likely to hear the views of these 2 million members in the media and so 2 million can become 5 or 10 million against the government. Therefore if the RSPB is planning any campaigns it makes sense the government is able to be forewarned about what the campaigns will be and where large numbers of their members are traveling, so the government can be ready to counter PR spin their views to silence protests against the government. Its all part of the political game of Opposition research. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_research
Its political chess moves like Divide and Rule, and Opposition Research is why most people don't see or understand the real reasons why politicians do the things they do. Its simply treating political rule like military warfare tactics. They are suppose to be representing us but they are not. They keep showing they want the personal gain they get from such power over us all.
So the government will be watching this move by the Photographers but not for the reasons the Photographers hope. The most effective way for this group to win concessions from the government is to join forces with other freedom groups. The government will be watching for chess moves like this and if it grows large with enough people protesting, then the government will come out and say, we back the rights of the Photographers, and everyone cheers and is happy and goes home. The government at that point has won, because then they have fragmented the once unified groups back into small groups again, meanwhile dozens of new government ways to undermine and control our lives will be quietly slipping past most people. Until eventually another group stands up and speaks out against the government who will in turn, placate that group while yet more government moves slip by unnoticed. Ultimately overall the government is getting most of what it wants and that is the key to their real game. They want to win *most moves*, getting what they want, most of the time. But what they want is what they always want, which is ever more power to dictate how others should live their lives and all the personal gain that power gives them. More power, more personal gain. The real danger is that as technology keeps improving the people in power are just going to keep taking (as they keep showing) every new technology they can to get what they want. More power.
It doesn't matter what new technology comes along. That isn't the real problem. The core problem is there are some people in every society around the world who endlessly wish to gain and maintain power over other peoples lives, ultimately for their own gain. Their endless desire for power is the root problem and that will never end and so as technology keeps improving, their desire for power will become ever more problematic for us all. It inevitable and so sooner or later, everyone is going to have to stand up to the government and say no more. The destruction of privacy and the ever increasing state control will continue until everyone opposes the core will of the government. The only question is when, not if this happens, because sadly their desire for power will never end. This has happened throughout history, but now we are faced with ever more information technology which the people in power show they want ever more. The war on terror combined with modern technology is going to drag us all into a level of state control unlike the world has ever seen before because data mining technology and methods are getting ever better.
What these photographers are doing currently is about as effective as a small rodent throwing a small stone at the foot of a giant dinosaur. The dinosaur may end up looking down at the rodent, and if they are enough trouble it'll react, but other than that, it cares little for their small games, its got far bigger goals in mind.