Camerahead Is Watching

Photo by George Hickey

The ACLU of Washington is working with Seattle artist Paul Strong, who has come up with a clever way of driving home the problems of surveillance cameras in public spaces. His Camerahead Project consists of "agents" wearing giant surveillance camera props on their heads, deployed in locations where the city government has installed cameras to drive home just how pervasive and downright creepy surveillance can be.

It bears repeating that the U.S. ranks up there with Russia, China and the U.K. in Privacy International's rankings of the worst surveillance states. And we've repeatedly demonstrated just how useless surveillance cameras really are.

When the Seattle City Council approved installation of the cameras, a concession to the ACLU and others was made that an audit of the cameras' use would be conducted in 21 months. If you live in Seattle, let the mayor and city council members know that you oppose use of the cameras, and you expect a serious and objective evaluation of the impacts of surveillance cameras.

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23rd and Jefferson

I welcome cameras in commercially zoned areas that need more police.


I think surveillance cameras do a great deal of good. They show the god's honest truth.


I love the cameras. In area neighborhoods where they put the cameras, crime dropped by as much as 40%. There are rapes, murders, drug dealing, etc. not the run of the mill hold-ups. and yes, that dropped as well. I guess if I was a lawyer for the ACLU and lived in a community void of crime, I'd have to find 'Something' to fight in court about to justify my existence. You people have NO idea what it's like to go to bed at night listening to sirens and gunshots. Why don't you live in one of these areas with your kids and families for 5 years dodging bullets and criminals? Then let's see you try to make a name for yourself under the guise of freedom. Get a real job.


I live in Harlem and no crime and its consequences however I thought I lived in the land of the free I thought the President of the US right after the 9/11 attack said we will not allow them to win, to change our way of living to give up our freedom. Yet everyday I hear more and more about surveillance cameras, phone, library what next tatoos no we have advanced to body chips


You have to realize, the biggest friend of a criminal is the ACLU. THe ACLU is dedicated to protecting the criminal. THe fact that these cameras will make it easier for cops to find criminals is why the ACLU is opposed to them in the first place.

repugnicans suck

I agree gentlemen! let's start by putting cameras inside every government office and corporate boardroom, police interrogation room, your bedrooms, everywhere! let's get rid of all secrets! then we will see who's got the real dirty laundry, and all the right-wing maggots who infest the dying corpse of democracy can finally be exposed! hear. hear.


It's not about putting cameras in houses, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. it's about cameras in PUBLIC places. If you knew the law then you would know that an individual couldn’t expect privacy in a public place. So what is the difference between having a camera looking down on a sidewalk or police standing there watching? It's a deterrent for the CRIMINALS (RAPISTS, MURDERERS, DRUG DEALERS, MUGGERS ROBBING OLD LADIES AND BEATING THEM UP, ETC.) It has NOTHING to do with right or left wing. Do you thing one of these LAW-BREAKING CRIMINALS are left wing or right wing? It has nothing to do with politics and all to do with safe streets. If you are not doing anything wrong then why worry. The ACLU wants you to think that the government is spying in your house to create a fear which in turn creates a need for the ACLU. It's more of a propaganda tactic perpetrated to justify some snake oil salesman lawyers existence so they don't have to work in the real world. Think about it, who is really benefiting from this scare tactic and how many cameras do you REALLY SEE outside YOUR home?


Only significant differences between a cop walking a beat and a camera is the technology, with all its advantages (e.g., 24/7 presence) and disadvantages (e.g., feels impersonal).

I don't get why the kerfluffle.

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