Literature Review: The New York Surveillance Camera Players

This unusual web site has been constructed by a group of individuals opposed to the use of cameras in public space. Members of this group and similar groups from around North America and Europe are opposed to the use of CCTV and fear for their privacy. In the case of New York, members protest through performing specially adapted plays in-front of surveillance cameras in the New York area. The existence of this group is an example of how CCTV can affect behavior regardless of whether or not someone has something to hide. As stated in some of the articles reviewed, the presence of surveillance cameras can elicit a reaction. People may desire to mock police or government authority by making obscene gestures or physically attacking cameras. The New York Surveillance Camera Players use "theatre." They are a bit extreme in their thinking, they distrust all government; however, as stated above, they are not alone in their thinking. Other similar groups exist in the United States and Europe. The web site has information on surveillance in the post-September 11th United States which includes developments in facial recognition technology and new anti-terrorist legislation which may affect privacy. The web site provides a number of resources and links which might be of interest. The web site has information on different types of police cameras and a listing of recent public protests against surveillance cameras. Also found on the site is [a] huge number of links to activist groups, news resources on privacy, facial recognition software, and governmental legislation from different countries regarding privacy.

(An entry in Literature Review on Issues of Privacy and Surveillance Affecting Social Behavior, by Stephen Greenhalgh, M.A., M.L.I.S., for the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, Canada, August 2003.)

Contact the New York Surveillance Camera Players

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By snail mail: SCP c/o NOT BORED! POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998