Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Cam Game

In the 1990s...you could have walked around Frankfurt, Munich or Berlin, and there might have been a hundred-odd cameras recording your movements in each city.  Today?  Nobody wants to guess or admit it, but it might be closer to three thousand in each city.

In a train station like the Frankfurt Haupbahnhof, there might be sixty cameras around the whole interior and exterior.  The Frankfurt Flughafen?  There might be a thousand cams around the entire airport and perimeter 

In the last week....there's some indication that youth groups are finally making it a goal to go after these cams.  The group, Camover, is actively going after the cams at night, and moving through various public areas to note the presence and take down the cam.

Reaction?  In public, the cops and authorities aren't saying much of anything.  I would imagine they have a warehouse of extra cams and probably remount them within days....on the higher sides of buildings so no one can reach them.

It's hard to say the motivation here....other than having a dislike of being tracked or watched.  The general public reaction has been to just accept the situation....since they aren't doing anything illegal.  The cops?  They have become smart on having little to no presence in some areas of a city....because there's never any crime, and using their cams to react as problems present themselves.  Call it a measured response or whatever....but the cops prefer the cams.

Will the protest move grow?  I'm guessing as summer arrives....this might go from second gear, and into fifth gear....with an all-time record of cams destroyed for this year.  The cops might eventually say something and even start planting fake cams to really screw with the crowd.  Imagine some police commissioner admitting that he's planted five thousand new cams in the city over the last month....but only five hundred are real...the rest of 50-Euro-cent fakes from China.  That would really screw with the activists.

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