It was a sight that made security guards nervous: A motley tour group being led slowly through downtown last Friday afternoon. The group was examining the generous number of security cameras that are perched atop buildings and along Nordstrom's metal awnings. Heading up the tour was Bill Brown, a leading member of the NYC-based Surveillance Camera Players (SCP) and security camera awareness expert.
Known for performing abbreviated versions of dramas like 1984 in front of subway security cameras, SCP strives to highlight the encroaching Big Brother factor in modern life. During walking tours of downtown, Brown sighted 61 cameras between SW 1st and SW 10th, and Madison and Alder.
"Are these cameras really keeping us safe?" he asked, pointing out that cameras prevent crime when and if people are aware they're being watched. "But there's a difference between watching us and protecting us."
(Written by Anna Simon and published 20 March 2003 under "Other News" in The Portland Mercury.)
By e-mail SCP@notbored.org
By snail mail: SCP c/o NOT BORED! POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998