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Camerahead Is Watching

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August 11, 2008

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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