Thursday, February 23, 2012

The surveillance mobile

London is still pushing hard to be the world capital of surveillance. Here’s a mobile camera solution: A small car with a roof mounted camera – Google streetview-style. I saw it parked outside Paddington station, in a street with a lot of pubs and nightlife. If you look closely you can see that there is a policeman sitting inside, staring at me as I aim my camera at his.

The CCTV mobile is probably a very useful tool for the police, but it also a clear manifestation of a particular way of maintaining law and order. Having a police officer being visible by walking the streets, helping with requests, talking to people, creates a very different interaction than having an officer sitting semi-covert in a car, recording passers–by for some unclear purpose, demonstrating the ever-vigilant eye of Big Brother.

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