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Surveying Surveillance
found on Wired
written by 1fastdog, edited by Tim (Plastic) [ read unedited ]
posted Mon 2 Dec 5:11am

Privacy
On the day before Christmas, at noon, local time, all over the world, Deibert wants citizens to "shoot back" at surveillance cameras -- not with guns, but with cameras of their own. Participants are to head out, in disguise, to their favorite malls and public spaces, and photograph all the security cameras they find.
1fastdog writes, "On December 24th, an experiment is slated to take place that will serve as a lightning rod for public awareness of the ever increasing placement of security cams and the consequences that entail when one points a camera back at the monitors. When I first read the article I thought it was kinda silly, then I read this story which details how uncomfortable some people behind the monitors become when confronted with a camera that's trained on them.

"Admittedly, the Comfort Inn article, is, in and of itself, of no earth shattering importance, but it does serve to highlight the very interesting behavioral changes that take place when the tables are turned on those responsible for the surveilling of others. What was reasonable for others to endure suddenly becomes a major bone of contention when the camera roles are reversed. A Baltimore police officer points out that most monitored premises have some kind of overt warning that clearly spells out the intentions (and also your lack of expectation of privacy) - and pointedly, the differences between security cams in public -vs- covert cams meant for purposes of supposedly more serious merit - like watching for that most ubiquitous of reasons: terrorists and others of their ilk."

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2.  Paranoia runs deep.
 by MAYORBOB  1 helpful 
  at Mon 2 Dec 6:42amscore of 1 helpful
  
Into your life it will creep. I fail to see the point in this exercise. Ostensibly, all the security cameras in the malls were installed by the people that own the mall. Whatever the purpose: public safety, loss prevention, crowd control, etc. They have a valid purpose or set of purposes.

Anybody who harbors an expectation of privacy in a mall or a shopping center would do well to remind themselves that they are in a public place and, therefor have no reasonable expectation of privacy. Now the cameras the CIA installed in your bathroom at home, that's another case entirely.

"Illegitimi Non Carborundum"
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    14.  Re: Paranoia runs deep.
     by newkindakick  1  
      at Mon 2 Dec 1:52pmscore of 1
      in reply to comment 2
      
    For a lot of us who oppose this increasing surveillance, though, it's not so much a high-minded matter of the sanctitity of individual privacy (and whatnot) - it's simply a quality-of-life issue, and a very serious one at that. Psychologically, it's just rather hellish to be under constant government surveillance wherever you go. You can't expect total privacy when walking around on the street, of course, but it's not unreasonable to not want to constantly be leered at, either.

    I wouldn't normally do this kinda thing
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      15.  Re: Paranoia runs deep.
       by newkindakick  1  
        at Mon 2 Dec 2:01pmscore of 1
        in reply to comment 14
        
      [Before making that point, I probably shoulda pointed to odarreno's helpful comment farther down the page ("What the write-up and the Wired article fail to mention is that the experiment doesn't just focus on cameras in shopping malls, which would presumably be operated by private companies. There's also the matter of government-run cameras.")]

      I wouldn't normally do this kinda thing
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      16.  I'm not a fan of surveillance either, but..
       by gordon shumway  1  
        at Mon 2 Dec 2:09pmscore of 1
        in reply to comment 14
        
      ..I was in Las Vegas two weeks ago, and therefore was massive surveillance in every casino I went to. Instead of being psychologically "hellish", I didn't even think about it until now.

       [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
       
        18.  Re: I'm not a fan of surveillance either, but..
         by newkindakick  1.5 helpful 
          at Mon 2 Dec 11:33pmscore of 1.5 helpful
          in reply to comment 16
          
        There's a big difference between putting up with it for a little while in a casino, and having to deal with it in every single public place you go for the entire rest of your life, which is what we're talking about here, in the long term.

        I wouldn't normally do this kinda thing
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          26.  Re: I'm not a fan of surveillance either, but..
           by gordon shumway  1  
            at Tue 3 Dec 12:11amscore of 1
            in reply to comment 18
            
          I guess what is weird is that I didn't even notice it (I realize Vegas is a somewhat distracting place). I think we should be worried that people will allow surveillance because it can be ignored.

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        28.  Brought to you by the same kind of fools...
         by Brian Jones  1  
          at Tue 3 Dec 2:13amscore of 1
          in reply to comment 2
          
        ...who brought us the "Buy Nothing Day" ad.

        Which, if you go by the numbers, didn't exactly grip America's soul.

        Ashcroft couldn't have picked better opposition himself.

        The quality of mercy is lumpy.
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      3.  "Foucault"!
       by shatov  1.5 incoherent 
        at Mon 2 Dec 6:43amscore of 1.5 incoherent
        
      Sorry, I just had to be the first to mention his name......

      Panoptican. (random link)

      There I go again, sorry about that.

      The idea is basically that 'power' works by recording all of our details, all of our information. The individual is hidden by the mass of data, but controlled by it nonetheless.

      I think that when you turn the camera back against the 'power', you individuate the 'power': the security guard can no longer consider the camera to be purely recording 'information', because the 'information' now strongly correlates with his body, his subjectivity. He doesn't like, as an individual, being singled out.

      Now, the politically important step to take next is to turn that discomfort into awareness. The 'power' and the individual through which the 'power' is exercised need to conflict/clash.

      I'm sorry if this is all a little too postmodern, but that is the only way that I can think of to articulate it. You don't need to explain this all to the guard - he just needs a feeling of discomfort and dislocation.

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        12.  Re: "Foucault"!
         by SnarkyPup  2 astute 
          at Mon 2 Dec 1:22pmscore of 2 astute
          in reply to comment 3
          
        And I think more importantly for Foucault, the panopticon regulates our behavior and influences our thought processes (or to use theory-speak "inscribes our subjectivity") by making us act as if we were under surveillance whether we know we are or not. We internalize the idea that someone, somewhere is watching (or monitoring) us, so we change the say we act, think, and speak accordingly.

        "disingenous" - learn what it means before you use it: "lacking in candour or frankness, insincere, morally fraudulent."
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        39.  As I understand Foucault,
         by vurt  1.5 compelling 
          at Tue 3 Dec 4:04pmscore of 1.5 compelling
          in reply to comment 3
          
        statist power operates in a more subtle fashion; it's engrained in our very being via our internalized knowledge of constantly being under surveillance. Bear in mind that Foucault wrote all his work long before public surveillance got to the point it is at now; for him, the modern formulation of power/knowledge has been entrenched ever since what, the French revolution or thereabouts? To put it another way: to Foucault, the cameras are unnecessary. The fact that our behavior away from the cameras is the same as under them is what he finds interesting.

        Now, the politically important step to take next is to turn that discomfort into awareness. The 'power' and the individual through which the 'power' is exercised need to conflict/clash.--sorry to dump this down, however briefly, from the empyrean to the real--but "awareness" on whose part? Whoever's spending that last hectic shopping day before Xmas scooting around shooting security cameras is definitely aware of something along the lines of "surveillance=bad-therefore-must-do-something"--but any more so, after having done this? Does this empower or enable further acts of resistance? Not really, unless the point is to create the spectacle of being led off the mall premises or arrested--in which the odds are very slender that any observers will know why or think about it for more than .5 seconds.

        The security guard may or may nor be uneasy, briefly; but what will s/he then do about it? Probably stay in the same job, doing the same damn thing--except now maybe better than before, now being cognizant of their own potential for observation.

        Or, more likely, both groups will shrug it off and go eat turkey the next day. My point being, "awareness" counts for exactly jack+shit if it doesn't have followthrough and a message to the wider audience of the surveilled, who are precisely those who need most to be reached.

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          40.  Re: As I understand Foucault,
           by shatov  1  
            at Wed 4 Dec 1:25amscore of 1
            in reply to comment 39
            

          Now, the politically important step to take next is to.....

          I said 'next', not 'last'. Of course it needs following up.

          'statist' power acts through making us guardians of ourselves, as you said. The current formulation has been emerging since the French revolution, but I think that it is only in the last 100 years that data collection has had an impact on the population as a whole. The panoptican is an ideal from Bentham that was somewhat ahead of its time. The cameras add another dimension to the surveillance, and do have an effect on our behaviour. They are necessary as symbols which change us, and that symbolic value comes from the fact that they are real.

          Foucault was concerned with how individuals could re-assert their subjectivity, and act against modern, 'subjectiveless' power. For him, the modern power/knowledge situation is interesting because of this 'subjectiveless' nature of the power it creates. It seems to have been what worried him about the modern state. He didn't really go in for prescribing what people should do with that subjectivity.

          Resistance? I think that very few people really want to do away with surveillance cameras. The feeling of unease that I would wish for, would aid public debate about how we should use, and/or limit, surveillance cameras. By creating that unease, the logic of surveillance is easier to question. However, public debate is not particularly in vogue with the public at the moment.

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
           
            41.  Re: As I understand Foucault,
             by vurt  1  
              at Wed 4 Dec 2:36pmscore of 1
              in reply to comment 40
              
            Foucault was concerned with how individuals could re-assert their subjectivity, and act against modern, 'subjectiveless' power.--was he really? I seem to recall him bitching about a whole lot but not really offering any solutions; indeed, the overarching structure of oppression he argues for seems to rule out any such possibility.

            The panoptican [sic] is an ideal from Bentham that was somewhat ahead of its time.--sure, but it was and remains a metaphor. The anomie and individualization incarnate in the panopticon are nowhere reproducible in modern societies besides insane asylums, gulags, and high-security lockdowns. As James Scott argues in _Acts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts_, dominance generates resistance to it among its subjects/objects, who then identify and appropriate marginal (liminal, if you must) social spaces; these in turn serve as nodes of resistance, both physical and discursive. The panopticon is not a viable model for any society, as long as we are still talking about societies consisting of people living, working, etc together.

            [Surveillance cameras] are necessary as symbols which change us, and that symbolic value comes from the fact that they are real.--I don't understand this.

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        4.  Armed robbery
         by JulesRules  3 interesting 
          at Mon 2 Dec 7:19amscore of 3 interesting
          
        So aside from participating in this experiment, why would people take pictures of security measures? Ummm, maybe beause they were planning to ROB THE PLACE and are organized enough to scope things out first? No wonder the security personnel get alarmed. DUH.

        yada yada yada
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          8.  Re: Armed robbery
           by odarreno  1.5 astute 
            at Mon 2 Dec 12:03pmscore of 1.5 astute
            in reply to comment 4
            
          Two things:

          1. What the write-up and the Wired article fail to mention is that the experiment doesn't just focus on cameras in shopping malls, which would presumably be operated by private companies. There's also the matter of government-run cameras. Now perhaps your local jurisdiction has freedom of information legislation and perhaps the authorities would release a list of the locations of all surveillance cameras it operates. Or perhaps not. An activity such as this is one way of trying to find as many cameras as possible and drawing attention to them in spite of official silence on the matter.

          And even if they were to release such a list, it would be interesting to see what sort of reaction is generated by photographing government-run cameras.

          2. If a robber is smart enough to be scoping a potential target to check for surveillance measures, are they going to be stupid enough to stand around in front of the cameras and be recorded taking pictures of them?

           [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
           
            11.  Re: Armed robbery
             by JulesRules  1  
              at Mon 2 Dec 12:46pmscore of 1
              in reply to comment 8
              
            2. If a robber is smart enough to be scoping a potential target to check for surveillance measures, are they going to be stupid enough to stand around in front of the cameras and be recorded taking pictures of them?

            The write-up said they were supposed to wear a disguise before taking the pictures. So, yeah, these guys will look just exactly like they're staking the place out for a robbery. And they wonder why they get strong reactions from security personnel?

            yada yada yada
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          23.  Re: Armed robbery
           by snidleywhiplash  1.5 astute 
            at Mon 2 Dec 5:04pmscore of 1.5 astute
            in reply to comment 4
            
          So aside from participating in this experiment, why would people take pictures of security measures?

          Do they need a reason?

          IMHO, no.

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            33.  Re: Armed robbery
             by JulesRules  1  
              at Tue 3 Dec 9:14amscore of 1
              in reply to comment 23
              
            So aside from participating in this experiment, why would people take pictures of security measures?
            Do they need a reason?


            Absolutely not. All I'm saying is that nobody, including the "experimenters", should be surprised if a security guard gets alarmed, asks them to remove their disguise, questions them, asks for their ID, and so on. Any security guard would be neglecting their duties if they ignored someone in disguise collecting data about their security measures.

            They don't need a reason, but if you ask me the only thing these guys are accomplishing is provoking and alarming security personnel.

            Also, think about this: If this became some kind of movement where every Christmas Eve hundreds of people started doing this in every city, it would be the perfect cover for real criminals to scope out potential robbery targets, and clean out the Christmas Eve cash registers. Then, maybe Big Brother would have yet another excuse to put in even MORE cameras. How do you like that?

            yada yada yada
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        5.  Pluses and minuses
         by chatsubo  1.5 compelling 
          at Mon 2 Dec 8:11amscore of 1.5 compelling
          
        The city where I live has extensive CCTV coverage, run and controlled by the local council. I doubt there is less than 20% of the city, that is not under the watchful eye of some underpaid council worker.
        The minuses are obvious - a lack of privacy, but then what sort of privacy do you get in the streets anyway.
        The pluses are obvious - street crime is down, particularly the Friday night pub fights, which is a local tradition in my parts.
        And for the Consumer Co-op for which I work, the system has been really benefical. As a co-op, we feel a duty to operate shops in 'areas of social exclusion' - as the phrase goes, or rundown council estates, in reality. Which means we get more than our share of armed robberies. With the system in place, during an incident, staff can alert the council's CCTV centre, and provide a live video feed of what is going on, which can be relayed to the police. Even if a robber runs from the store, he can be tracked across the city through the council's system. It is not our job to catch criminals, but it is our job to make our staff feel as safe as possible and provide them with all possible protection, and surveillance cameras allow us to do that.
        I have no problem with public spaces being under public surveillance.

        Memes don't exist. Tell your friends.
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          29.  Re: Pluses and minuses
           by Dyolf Knip  2 astute 
            at Tue 3 Dec 4:07amscore of 2 astute
            in reply to comment 5
            
          Indeed. I have no real problem with public surveillance with cameras and the like. The benefits are quite obvious. And even if I did have a problem, the falling prices of both cameras and networks to transmit the massive amounts of video data will make them ubiquitous fairly soon anyway.

          What I absolutely cannot stand is the holier-than-thou attitude the surveillers (?), be they corporate or government, seem to acquire. That we lowly citizens are not only not allowed to see the footage from the cameras, we're not even allowed to look at the cameras with anything but the Mark 1 eyeball. I say bullshit! If you want to take pictures of me with my own tax money purportedly for my benefit, I demand to be allowed access to the results thereof. If you want to watch me, you simply do not get to claim that I am not allowed to watch you in turn.

          Dyolf Knip
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            30.  Re: Pluses and minuses
             by flarp  1.5 informative 
              at Tue 3 Dec 6:15amscore of 1.5 informative
              in reply to comment 29
              
            If you're in the UK and it's obvious who owns the camera (i.e. if you're in a shop or mall, they do - finding the entity controlling public cameras might be harder), you can wield the Data Protection Act and instruct them to give you a copy of the tape they've got with you on it. They can charge you a handling/processing fee of no more than 10 for the privilege.

            There's a few exemptions in the DPA, the only one that springs to mind in this case would be the national security one - so if the footage of you also has some guy abandoning a bag which later gets blown up by the bomb squad, don't count on getting the tape.

            Yes, props to Mark Thomas for the idea - I'll get round to trying it some time when I'm bored and don't have work I should be doing :-)

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        6.  Drowning in Feed
         by mrwarmth  1.5 astute 
          at Mon 2 Dec 8:22amscore of 1.5 astute
          
        It bugs me that cameras are sprouting up everywhere. However, I also know that their very prevalence will hinder their effectiveness. The more cameras are recording everything 24/7, the more data has to be stored. Which means huge backend storage and archiving costs, costs that I doubt municipalities have thought through. Even worse, what exactly are local governments going to do with all that data? Once they have a years's worth, the data store will be too big for them to usefully search or data mine. This is a common problem that is normally faced only by large corporations that gather lots of consumer data: once they have it, they are stupefied by its magnitude and don't know what to do with it. I predict this will happen very soon. Corporations at least have the resources (usually) to address the problem; I doubt very much municipal governments do.

        I keep wondering when they are going to realize this...

        -Niall

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          9.  Re: Drowning in Feed
           by Norman108  1  
            at Mon 2 Dec 12:10pmscore of 1
            in reply to comment 6
            
          Isn't this the point of developing all that face recognition and collating software? If it can be properly indexed, and some of the data storage systems IBM is developing take off, me thinks we may have more of a concern than you're acknowledging here.

          In man's stone-dark heart there burns a fire, That burns all veils to their root and foundation. Jelauddin Rumi
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            10.  Re: Drowning in Feed
             by ilsa  1  
              at Mon 2 Dec 12:37pmscore of 1
              in reply to comment 9
              
            Isn't this the point of developing all that face recognition and collating software?

            I have done research on such products and have only one thing to say.

            Call me when it works.

            As it stands there is too much risk of false positives. Say for example that your twin brother is a bank robber. Or maybe you just happen to look like some criminal/terrorist/deadbeat dad. Do you really want the anal probe every time you go someplace that has such a system in place? On the other side of the coin, it is not accurate enough to be used as a supplemental form of security because of false negatives: the possibility that after your haircut or accident with the razor or whatever, it refuses to believe you are you.

            And of course, all these systems can be defeated to a greater or lesser extent with nose glasses and a hat.

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              17.  Re: Drowning in Feed
               by mrwarmth  1  
                at Mon 2 Dec 11:33pmscore of 1
                in reply to comment 9
                
              No. The development of those systems will vastly contribute to the problem I describe. The more data these systems need to store and analyze, the bigger the problem is. That's the irony. The better the software gets at analyzing pictures, the more data needs to be stored, indexed, retrieved, analyzed, reindexed, re-stored etc. You're describing a major inflection to the problem itself, not an amelioration of it.

              -Niall

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                13.  Re: Drowning in Feed
                 by Norman108  1  
                  at Mon 2 Dec 1:43pmscore of 1
                  in reply to comment 10
                  
                One can only hope for the best, but I'm preparing, at least emotionally and mentally, for the worst.

                In man's stone-dark heart there burns a fire, That burns all veils to their root and foundation. Jelauddin Rumi
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                24.  Re: Drowning in Feed
                 by Ananna  1.5 astute 
                  at Mon 2 Dec 5:17pmscore of 1.5 astute
                  in reply to comment 10
                  
                Call me when it works.

                Like whether it works or not will stop anyone from using it.

                I used to make fun of stupid people until I realized I was one.
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                31.  Re: Drowning in Feed
                 by Violator  1  
                  at Tue 3 Dec 6:17amscore of 1
                  in reply to comment 17
                  
                What you're missing is not the data archives which will be the problem - a DivX 5.0 codec can squeeze 30 minutes of porn at SVGA 16 colour 30 fps or upwards, with sound into 28Mb. That's 40,000 minutes per HD, and then you can burn it to cd for archiving at one CD per half day or one DVD per 48 hours per camera. I reckon black and white cameras at a modest 640x480 in B&W with 8 bit sound would get away with a fair bit more than 10 hours a CD - maybe even a day. Per camera, its not impossible if you want to archive this info. And we aren't even talking tape drives here.
                Searching it isn't hard either, what with a decently written date-stamp applet. If you know the date and the camera(s) you want, you can get the info easily.

                The problem becomes one of retrieval, not storage. But even that should be a cinch - if you know a crime has been committed, or the beginning point of a criminal's movements you can then, using the date/camera data and the archived CD's track the criminal through their daily grind.

                Will anyone do that? Not likely. I don't think most criminals rate the kind of mental effort and time for such a system to be used. But lets say you had the whole of the US covered in cameras prior to 9/11, and you could track the terrorists by knowing when they boarded the plane, back track to when they left their car (with clues inside) and then track them back down the freeway, to their houses, see who else turned up, in which cars...you get the idea. The problem is going to be who needs to know, and how much effort they want to go to to find you.

                On the other hand, if you want every camera to be watched real-time so that crimes can be caught in progress, or within ten minutes, then you';re ramping up the costs and difficulty of the system because you need someone to interpret the data which is coming in. That way lies impracticality.

                The use of cameras in massive networked systems is that government types and screwheads recognise that they can archive image data onto CD, DVD-ROM, tape drive easily. They then have that data, and it has a half life of years. Much better to have recorded it and be able to go back later to catch the crims (and in the process deter criminal acts) than to have not done so.

                In the wayof image recognition software, there is a system in the Canberra Mall, Canberra Australia, where this is being trialled. Apparently the cops on the surveillance desk get a beep whenever the camera system thinks it has a match. The cop then zooms in, verifies it, and can keep the known criminal/shoplifter/lowlife under active surveillance by using the motor-driven cameras. The camera doesn't decide anything except it has a 80% or whatever confidence level match. A human does the decision making. A system like this is expensive (you have to pay the screwhead) but requires less sophisticated software.

                Disingenuous (adj): wanting in noble candor or frankness; not frank or open; uncandid; unworthily or meanly artful.
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            7.  I wonder--
             by kipmanley  1  
              at Mon 2 Dec 8:45amscore of 1
              
            --what these guys will be doing Christmas Eve...

            Long story; short pier.
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            20.  More tricks with surveillance cameras
             by Moorlock  2 interesting 
              at Mon 2 Dec 4:26pmscore of 2 interesting
              


            Over at sniggle.net you can find some other interesting surveillance camera interventions.

            The Surveillance Camera Players arrange dramatic performances intended for viewing on surveillance cameras, then find examples of these cameras in their surroundings and put on interpretations of Ubu Roi and Waiting for Godot for the lucky security guards or video cassette recorders monitoring the scene.

            Another group that toys with the ubiquity of surveillance cameras is ShootingBack:

            In ShootingBack, I confront representatives of the ``Surveillance Superhighway'' (establishments such as department stores where video surveillance is used extensively, yet photography by customers is strictly prohibited). I begin with my camcorder held down at my side, pointing away from a representative of the SS. Then, I ask the representative ``What are those mysterious ceiling domes - those dark hemispheres...'' or ``Is that a video camera? Why are you taking pictures of me without my permission?'' After the representative tells me that I am paranoid and that only criminals are concerned about cameras, I raise the camcorder up to my eye... At this point, the representative of the SS often shows great concern about my camcorder, and thus, in a 180 degree reversal, is self-incriminating.


            Check out their PleaseWait wearable surveillance / mediated interaction technology.

            You may also be interested to know that Michael Naimark has done some useful research into how to temporarily disable surveillance cameras using cheap, off-the-shelf laser pointers.

            --12 Galaxies Guiltied to a Zegnatronic Rocket Society
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            21.  Disguise
             by DanDanDanDan  1  
              at Mon 2 Dec 4:41pmscore of 1
              
            How obvious will these disguises be? Will they be chosen specifically for the "Hey, that guy's in disguise" effect? Big, floppy hats, fake beards, trenchcoats and scarves? Groucho ensembles?

            Perhaps they can all disguise themselves as the same person? John Poindexter for instance? Bubble pipes and bald head-wigs... this could turn into a major piece of performance art.

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            22.  Fight the man!
             by gordie  1  
              at Mon 2 Dec 4:55pmscore of 1
              
            The best answer to technology invading your private life is to fight back, and rest assured there are people taking on this challenge rather than turning over and saying "oh well".

            ?... !
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            25.  Cameras
             by mmandell  1  
              at Mon 2 Dec 5:21pmscore of 1
              
            A lovely idea!

            I have a better idea: somehow, can a way be found to infiltrate the surveillance rooms of the (non governmental) spies?

            Then, we can take THEIR pictures-probably reading Marvel Magazine or staring at their inadequate manhoods or whatever, and then, broadcast these pictures to the public.

            Further, if we can finagle their personnel files, we can put them on the "I want spam list" and the "please call me I am a sucker for telemarketers" list.

             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
             
            27.  They aren't uncomfortable with the cameras...
             by Leonois  1  
              at Tue 3 Dec 12:59amscore of 1
              
            They are uncomfortable with who owns the footage. You could do anything with it, put it on the web. Use it against them in court, make money off of it, just like they do. The corporations and the police.

            Why are the police allowed to turn the cameras in their cars off?

            Why doesn't everyone put their own camera on the dash of their car? I've actually seen a few people do this.

            That, plus a lawyer on speedial and you can pretty much count on no police harrassment.

             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
             
              32.  Re: They aren't uncomfortable with the cameras...
               by sulli  1  
                at Tue 3 Dec 7:16amscore of 1
                in reply to comment 27
                
              That's an interesting idea, to put a camera on your own car. That way if you get harassed you can record it - and (much more likely) you can record 1000s of hours of mind-numbing commutes, plus the one speeding ticket the guy gave you because you really were driving 85 in a 45 zone (thanks cam for recording the dash).

              And of course the divorce lawyers could subpoena it.

              Security AND Fun!

              Tout abus sera puni
               [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
               
                38.  Re: They aren't uncomfortable with the cameras...
                 by Leonois  1  
                  at Tue 3 Dec 3:44pmscore of 1
                  in reply to comment 32
                  
                I actually saw someone with a dash mounted video camera the other day.

                It was a tricked out ricer. Neon, chrome wheels, all that crap. The camera was parked in the lot, with the monitor pointed outside the car, videotaping everyone walking by.

                It was really dumb. It even made me want to break into the car and steal the camera and the stereo.

                 [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
                 
            34.  I wonder...
             by tdahnsn  1  
              at Tue 3 Dec 9:23amscore of 1
              
            I remember in the 1990's there was a means of blinding most closed circuit cameras using a fast flash. Essentially, the transducer between signal input and signal transmission (convert light to electrical signal) was easily overloaded by a quick stream of bright flashes. A 30 dollar photostrobe wouldn't be enough, but the 150 dollar model usually could do a rapid series of pulses and the transition overloaded the components.

            Seems to me it's time for some experimentation.

            Even if it just fuzzes the image, that'd be enough to discourage the creep of the cameras into my life.

            the dead and headless never say no.
             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
             
            35.  Too tired to post with any conviction, thus quote;
             by Mr Nomer  1.5 helpful 
              at Tue 3 Dec 9:29amscore of 1.5 helpful
              
            "They say Big Brother is watching you but maybe Big Brother is watching dutch girly videos on the next screen along." - Banksy

             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
             
            36.  It's called 'a system of checks and ballances'
             by Djerrid  1.5 novel 
              at Tue 3 Dec 9:57amscore of 1.5 novel
              
            'People whose job it is to keep tabs on other people don't like to be watched themselves.'

            Seems like an adequate hypothesis. Let's test it - on John M. and Linda Poindexter of 10 Barrington Fare, Rockville, MD, 20850.

             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
             
            37.  Join the Panopticon
             by kallisti  1.5 interesting 
              at Tue 3 Dec 2:03pmscore of 1.5 interesting
              
            While I support the particular motives of this campaign, I do think the methodology is silly.

            An improvement would be to stand under or around security cameras and photograph the people who are being photographed by said camera.

            When they start complaining, point to the security camera - the biggest difference between you and the person on the other end is that you are accountable for your photography because you are present.

            Plus, getting their pictures taken surreptitiously would likely raise a little more "awareness" than seeing some cook get escorted off the premises, camera in hand.

             [ ...reply just to this | comment on the story... | next new ]
             

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