Wake up (it's 1984)...

-Oingo Boingo

For those of us who would prefer not to be the subject of law enforcement cameras without a damn good reason, it just got a bit harder to live in Boston. Why? Well, read this:


...essentially, it talks about how the Federal Government is going to be installing a number (over 75) of surveillance cameras in the downtown Boston area for the Democratic National Convention, and then taking them and a large number of existing public (and private) cameras and linking them into a network so that they can be centrally monitored.

This is how things start, and more importantly, this is how things get worse. A small little reasonable-sounding bite at a time. Sure, the DNC is going to involve hectic craziness, so sure, it makes sense to have cameras keeping an eye on things, especially protesters. Schyeah.

What can we do about it? I don't know. Sounds like it's too late to protest it, although we can certainly voice our disapproval in local elections and to our representatives. Given the rush to seem 'on board for Homeland Security,' though, I don't know how much good that'll do.

Of course, we can all become jammers. That's one thing we can do.

Just because the cameras are there, doesn't mean we have to ignore them. During the convention, or any time, hold up a big sign reading "YOU ARE UNDER SURVEILLANCE BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT" with an arrow pointing to the camera. Show it to passers-by. I wonder how the Feds and cops will feel about this? More importantly, I wonder how citizens will feel?

I had an idea a few months back about these things. I recall musing on how expensive it would be to put together a bunch of small adhesive disks, each with a small, center mounted laser diode, mounted in a glob of silicon or gum. Every time I see a camera pointed at me in a public place, find a spot to stick the disk, aim the diode at the camera, turn it on, and leave. Or, better yet, stick around with a camera of my own, and when the Men From Behind the Camera show up to remove the disk, photograph/tape them obsessively.

Fed and BPD cameras, this is probably a good way to get arrested. It probably is worth it. On the other hand, it's a good way to screw with all those random commercial surveillance cameras watching public space, whose tapes the FBI and police seem to have so much fun going to nab all the time. Large buildings with overeager security forces are a prime target.

Hm...I can't see those costing more than maybe a couple bucks each, in quantity 25 or so...heh.