CCTV protest

April 20, 2008 at 2:00 am 3 comments

I’ve not heard of Banksy before but I like this guy. He’s a graffiti artist in the UK and, like me, he’s incensed about CCTV cameras being up your nose. He snuck up on a CCTV camera in a Post Office yard off Oxford Street in central London. In broad daylight too. Here’s the really fun bit. Whilst the CCTV cameras were supposedly monitoring, watching, surveilling, intruding – Banksy erected some scaffolding, which reached several stories in height and plastered a huge protest slogan that reads “One Nation Under CCTV”. The CCTV camera (or the hidden faces behind it) apparently didn’t raise the alarm. Perhaps it wasn’t switched on?  I have a suspicion that many CCTV cameras are there to remind us of their presence, but I wonder how many are active. Mmm….anyway…

If you look closely at this wonderful piece of art, you see on the bottom left corner a policeman is taking a photo of the graffiti artist (who is depicted as a boy in a bright red jacket), whilst a dog barks. 

Banksy quietly slipped away, having done this sort of political protest a number of times before. I haven’t been able to find out who Banksy is. A bit of an elusive chap. But I did find a group dedicated to Banksy’s works on Flickr. 

Source & image credit: The Telegraph


Entry filed under: Art, CCTV, Surveillance society.

The world through my eyes Going, going

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Luke Naismith  |  April 20, 2008 at 2:44 am

    As someone who spent part of his working life involved in the installation and maintenance of CCTV cameras, I’ll confirm that many cameras – nay, probably most – are not constantly monitored (at least in Australia). They are there (currently at least) to track particular activity (and the more cameras you have, the easier it is to track someone and not lose them) and to serve as a record of what happened for viewing later.
    It will be a different matter if CCTV cameras can have improved resolution, linked with face recognition technology or some other form of personal identification – we could end up in something like Minority Report.

  • 2. thinkingshift  |  April 20, 2008 at 3:05 am

    an interesting background you have Luke! I’ve blogged before about face recognition and you’re absolutely 100% right : when that ability is linked up to CCTV cameras, we’re in for it. What’s the CCTV situation like in Dubai?
    Keep an eye on ThinkingShift this week Luke – I’ll be asking you and David a question 🙂

  • 3. Tom Jackson  |  May 18, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Thanks for the information on this, it’s very useful and the site is great.

    We live in a very different society compared to 20 years ago. I remember we used to leave the front door open at night and not be too bothered if we left the car doors/windows open (if there was no rain of course!) but how things have changed hey. We have a small business in Shropshire and have just installed a CCTV security system from Interwatch Security. We’re not that technical but they came in and recommended a certain type of camera and since the IP cameras have been installed and physically noticed outside our offices in Shrewsbury and Telford the number of incidents has been reduced. I wish I was back in the 80’s where surveillance was not an issue.


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