Since there have been a number of ‘CCTV events in Nottingham recently [reports on the Notts newswire and features], I thought I’d take this opportunity to show you some of my more recent work on the subject, describing some of the technological advances that are proceeding apace.
Back in March 2006, I showed you some of what it all looked like then. “Surveillance of Nottingham City Centre”
Earlier, in December 2005, I went on a walk-about with Artist and designer Jez Noond of Nottingham Trent University. He has produced a complex map of Nottingham city centre CCTV charting the different networks in use and the extent of coverage. It shows their overlap of fields of view and how they triangulate almost any position in Nottingham city centre.
Short Sharp Shots: A Tour of CCTV in Nottingham City Centre. http://indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/12/329575.html
Nottingham city centre is one of the most heavily surveyed places on the face of the earth, outside of London. All in aid of ‘crime reduction policies’ they say.
All in aid of ‘crime reduction policies’ they say. Newham in East London is still streets ahead though [i think] with its system that involves the Mandrake Facial Recognition System. They have been testbeding it for a few years now. All very expensive of course, which means I think, a displacement of crime to other areas. Not as advertised, ‘crime reduction’ when measured ‘in total’.
Face Recognition – More than you think!
In addition to the ‘civic’ and police cameras, there are of course, loads of cameras outside of shops, bars, transport termini, mobile on the buses, trains and trams. As compression and bandwith advances, the internet will allow the combining of ALL of the sources, to the various control rooms. All this before I even get round to telling you about the ID card Database. http://www.nottingham-defy-id.org.uk and the convergence of those technologies with CCTV in the street. Scary eh?
Inverse surveillance, sometimes known by the neologism “hierarchical sousveillance” (“seeing from below” hierarchically), refers to the recording or monitoring of real or apparent authority figures by others, particularly those who are generally the subject of surveillance. Steve Mann, who coined the term, describes it as “watchful vigilance from underneath”. (The term stems from the contrasting French words sur, meaning “above”, and sous, meaning “below”, i.e. “surveillance” denotes the “eye-in-the-sky” watching from above, whereas “sousveillance” denotes bring the camera or other means of observation down to human level.)
The more general concept of sousveillance goes beyond just inverse surveillance and the associated 20th Century political “us versus them” framework for citizens to photograph police, shoppers to photograph shopkeepers, or passengers to photograph taxicab drivers. Just in case THey do something wrong, you understand …..
You can view the output of some cameras. A camera is mounted [just to the left of centre], on the freeze above the Council House overlooking all of the Market Square.
The council makes a low-res image available on their itsnottingham.info webpage at:
Old Market Square Webcam http://www.itsnottingham.info/NOTTM_CAMERA_OMS.jpg
Also, Nottingham Travelwise ‘traffic cameras’ can be viewed at: http://www.itsnottingham.info/mapping/cctv.asp
…. unless of course, there is anything interesting going on, when they are likely to be turned off 🙂
Some of my earlier work on the subject:
Surveillance of Nottingham City Centre
Nottinghamshire Police Surveillance Vehicles and Evidence Gathering
Prime Minister visits Nottingham University :: Surveillance Operations
Nottingham Fossil Fools Blockade E.On Offices Surveillance and Specialist Equipment
Surveillance at Demo at Heckler & Koch weapons manufacturers HQ in Nottingham
CPO’s with HeadCam, at protests against deportation of Amdani Juma
CCTV ‘Treasure Hunt’ around Nottingham
Nottingham PCSO Watch – Office of Community Sousveillance
Watching the watchers in Nottingham [Feature]
In December 2005, I went on a walk-about with Artist and designer Jez Noond of Nottingham Trent University. He has produced a complex map of Nottingham city centre CCTV charting the different networks in use and the extent of coverage. It shows their overlap of fields of view and how they triangulate almost any position in Nottingham city centre.
Short Sharp Shots: A Tour of CCTV in Nottingham City Centre
Surveillance Camera Players
Nottingham Defy-ID Active resistance against UK ID cards and the National Identity Register
Privacy International ‘Big Brother Awards’
I say be afraid, be very afraid ……