Pointing Back at Poindexter

| January 10, 2003

The common argument of institutions that rely on video surveillance is that only criminals are afraid of cameras. But when professor Steve Mann of the University of Toronto and his anti-surveillance team turn their camcorders on these Big Brother wannabes they become standoffish and sometimes violent. Mann is one of the founders of World Sousveillance Day, which falls on December 24 (sousviellance is meant to mean “observe from below”). WSD is an opportunity to promote democracy and human rights, and to raise awareness about all forms of surveillance. For four years the WSD group has been trying to come up with creative ways to raise awareness about the current glut of surveillance that we’re subjected to every day. One of their choice tactics is to snap photos of a shopping mall security camera until they catch the attention of a security guard. The fun starts when the cop tries find a way to justify the privacy rights of the video camera.

--Nick Garafola

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