Sunday, 24 February 2013

We’re Not Watching You!!

German Activists Destroy CCTV Cameras

A group of Berlin activists has started an intriguing campaign to fight state surveillance – they simply turned the destruction of CCTV cameras into a game, which aim is to destroy as many cameras as possible. Once you destroyed one, you can upload a video of what you did to YouTube for online points and kudos. According to the rules of the game, the players should come up with a name which starts with “command”, “brigade”, or “cell” plus the name of a historical figure. After this they should destroy as many cameras as they can.

The activists instruct the players to video their trail of destruction and post it on the game’s site, though its homepage is continuously being shut down. They also recommend people to conceal their identities, but don’t consider it essential.

In the meanwhile, a representative from the group said that evading capture was not too difficult because they destroy the cameras. They admit that the most effective way is to either give someone a leg up or use a rope to take it away. In this case, the camera definitely won’t cause any more trouble – but you still need to put a hat over the lens or crush it to be sure it’s not transmitting anymore.

The anarchist movement particularly views cameras destruction as a legitimate tactic. They insist that it isn’t violence as it’s action against property which infringes on individual rights, without people.

The CCTV cameras are widely used all around the world, but the United Kingdom has more per capita than any other EU country. According to privacy campaigners, CCTV operations ran at a cost of £515 million to local authorities within the last 4 years. They estimated that at least 51,600 CCTV cameras were controlled by the authorities, and 5 councils ran over 1,000 cameras. So, it wasn’t surprising that some outfits have taken drastic measures to show their opposition to CCTV cameras. The governments seem determined to continue installing the cameras despite absence of credible evidence to prove that more cameras reduce crime. In other words, instead of following a policy of maintaining more cameras for the safety of the public, it’s actually an agenda for pursuing the public.

The experts admit that vandalism of the CCTV cameras could easily have been avoided if the German government listened to their citizens’ concerns and resolved the situation in a transparent and proportionate way.

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