A new web-based application that is helping New Yorkers get around without being seen by Big Brother-type surveillance cameras could be on its way to London.
The new iSee mapping utility service was created by the Institute for Applied Autonomy, founded in 1998 as a technological research and development organisation, and the New York Surveillance Camera Project, a spin-off from the New York Civil Liberties Union.
iSee charts the locations of closed circuit television surveillance cameras in urban environments, allowing users to find routes that avoid the cameras.
Users log on to the iSee website, click on a point of departure and a destination, and a dotted line sketches a route around the cameras, which are marked as red boxes.
The map catalogues most of the 2,400 cameras filming public space in the city, including cameras on buildings, traffic lights and at cash machines.
In a posting on its website the Institute for Applied Autonomy says that its stance is that heightened awareness of public safety, and increased demand for greater security because of growing threats of terrorist violence, call out all the more strongly for precisely these kinds of projects.
"As spy tech dealers stumble over themselves in their haste to auction off our civil liberties, wrapped in the stars and stripes, there is a vital need for independent voices that cry out against such cynical exploitation of legitimate human fear and suffering for political power and monetary gain. iSee is our statement," it said.
The Institute intends to develop iSee in London and Seattle, which it considers to be among the most camera saturated cities in the world.
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