Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Snoop On The Snoopers

"Cameraphones could create an opportunity for the public to snoop on the snoops and watch the watchers. Now that millions of us walk the streets with cameras in our telephones while authorities and theorists freak out about the privacy implications, has anybody stopped to think that our privacy was compromised long ago by the hundreds of surveillance cameras that capture our images without our permission every day? Has anybody stopped to think that cameras in the hands of citizens - cameras capable of sending their images directly from the street to the web - might present an opportunity to turn surveillance around, to invert the whole notion that we are watched at all times by invisible police, security guards, and other snoops?" Somebody has. It is Steve Mann's ideas of citizen "sousveillance". "...this kind of journalism is a breakthrough in at least one dimension: whenever police abused their power in past political demonstrations, they made a point of breaking or confiscating cameras. Whether you are a violent demonstrator or an abusive police officer, it doesn't do a lot of good to disguise your misbehavior by trashing a camera if it has already sent images to the Whole Wide World... "Surveillance" is French for "watching from above," but Mann's coinage is French for "watching from below." If you think about it, there really is little that citizens can do at this point to prevent others from watching, listening, and tracking us - but we are beginning to get the tools to watch the watchers."



Howard Reinghold - The Feature -
Reference: [via Sepp Hasslberger] [ Read more ]
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posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, May 4 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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