[text] Institute for Applied Autonomy [e]

iSee - Now more than ever

by the Institute for Applied Autonomy

iSee is a web-based application that helps individuals avoid closed-circuit television [CCTV] surveillance cameras in public space. Visitors to the iSee website are presented a map of New York City, with the locations of all known CCTV cameras as documented by the NYC Surveillance Camera Project (displayed prominently in red]. By clicking on this map, a user indicates points of origin and destination. Route-planning software developed by the Institute for Applied Autonomy then displays a »path of least surveillance« between the two points. By following this path, individuals may safely navigate around the city without fear of unwanted monitoring.

iSee is intended as a public service that protects individual privacy and safeguards civil liberties. iSee also serves a pedagogical function, raising public awareness of the omnipresence of CCTV in public space and challenging the effectiveness and appropriateness of remote surveillance in general.

An analysis of the far reaching effects of CCTV is available on the iSee website: The research details the threats posed by CCTV to many members of the general public, including youth, women, and ethnic minorities. The essay draws upon current research in criminology and sociology to challenge CCTVs effectiveness in reducing crime, and to expose the economic and political incentives contributing to CCTVs widespread adoption in the UK, US, and Canada.

The I.A.A. recognizes that, given heightened awareness of public safety and demands for greater security prompted by recent acts of terrorist violence, projects that undermine systems of social control may appear to some viewers to be in poor taste. It is our position that such times call out all the more strongly for precisely these kinds of projects. As private interests cynically exploit public fears to undermine civil liberties in the name of social control and corporate profits, there is a growing need for dissidents to raise public awareness and to directly undermine the capabilities of these interests. iSee is an attempt to engage CCTV and its proponents on both these fronts.

- > I.A.A. Homepage:

- > »iSee«, 2001 [online webproject]: