Editor’s note: BORDC/DDF is excited to team up with activism.tech to help build its Surveillance Camera Map. With the help of activists around the country (and around the world) the map will provide us with a true picture of the sweep of the surveillance state (and its corporate henchmen) by plotting the location of surveillance cameras tracking our movement and activities. The tool will be especially important for activists planning rallies and marches who want to protect their First Amendment rights by avoiding surveillance cameras when possible.
Please consider helping out with this project!
Modern surveillance tools are designed to identify, track, and record a person’s every move. A new project by activism.tech aims to give power back to the people by enabling collaborative spotting, photographing, and mapping of every surveillance camera on earth. We need your help to move this ambitious project forward. The current map can be seen at http://activism.tech.
As the map exists now, blue pins are placed at camera locations. Clusters of pins are represented by a circle with a number inside; just click a circle or zoom to see exact locations. Clicking a pin reveals an image of the camera (if available), information about the owner, type of system, and other useful facts. This project has plans to extend beyond just tracking cameras, to also identifying security state buildings, conferences, meetings, leadership personnel locations, corporate participants, and more. There is currently a tool that provides step-by-step directions, so you can see how many cameras are on your path and make the decision yourself to avoid them or not. A new version will be rolled-out soon that allows you to plan your route while controlling exactly how much surveillance you want to be under. Participating in the project is simple through the “Add Camera” section of the website, which is designed to work on all mobile devices.
This projects aims to be useful as both a visual representation of the immensity of the global surveillance infrastructure, as well as provide tactical information and tools to activists around the world. The technology behind the map is designed to be as openly available and secure as possible. By rejecting the use of most corporate proprietary software, systems, or analytics the project stays true to its goal of exposing government and private surveillance.
It’s up to all of us to take power back from the oppressive and over-reaching global surveillance infrastructure. There are quite a few ways you can help support this project. We’re looking for people who will help identify and photograph cameras in their community, provide intelligence about surveillance assets for mapping, assist with backend and frontend coding, test new tools as they are rolled out, and promote on social media. We’re a small group that relies on donations and volunteer labor, so if you have an interest in helping in any way please get in touch! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on twitter @activismtech, or call us at 202-738-5567.