Forum E

Hi all.

Please visit the following links to various websites of organizations and projects, which are creating public maps of surveillance cameras erected in their local communities.

http://www.nyclu.org/pdfs/surveillance_cams_report_121306.pdf

http://www.appliedautonomy.com/isee/centerfoldmap02.pdf

http://www.smartmobs.com/2006/12/19/video-surveillance-map-mashup-in-philly/

What arguments are these organizations and maps making?  How would you put Flusty into conversation with these maps?  In other words, how do these maps extend, complicate, affirm, negate, concede, etc. with the arguments Flusty is making?  What concerns does the surveillance of public space raise for you or not raise for you?  What is really at stake here in the proliferation of camera surveillance in public space that these arguments are shedding?  How would you respond to Flusty? How would you weigh in here?

Importantly, what research projects might you see emerging related to security and public space?  What kinds of research do you think were performed to create these maps?  How does the research we have been doing with geosemiotics relate?

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One response to “Forum E

  1. The websites listed above all talk about the surveillance systems in public places. There has been a drastic increase of the installation of camera in city’s including New York City, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. The first PDF focuses on the cameras installed in New York City. The addition of cameras across the city has been met with much controversy and complaints because people see it as an invasion of their privacy. However, the reason for such installations is valid after the raise in security after the attack of 9/11. The problem with surveillance cameras is that there are no laws as of yet to decide who can see the footage on the tapes. In Flusty’s article the focus is on how these cameras can be important and useful in certain situations but at the same time, the government is slowly talking away our rights and soon enough there will be no privacy left. With the addition of these cameras all over the city, it is hard to believe that even the street is still a public space. It is scary to think that there will always be someone watching you wherever you go. The idea “big brother is watching,” is slowly becoming a reality as the installation of cameras increases.

    In response to Flusty, I would agree that yes in some cases cameras can be very useful, for example in stores to monitor the customers in the store. But at some point there is a line that is crossed by surveillance equipment. When a person no longer feels comfortable walking down the street without paranoia from constantly being watched, there needs to be some guidelines.

    There could be many different research projects that could emerge from this topic. One thing that could be done is monitoring a public space such as a park, a place where there are limited rules about what a person can and cannot do there. Then to see how just how surveillance cameras affect a public space, they should be installed. More than likely the activity that goes on there will change and people will be more cautious of what they do for fear they may do something wrong and get caught for it.

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