Friday, December 18, 2009


From the ever terrific EDRI-gram, Italy: The Anopticon project - putting surveillance back in its place.
"Nowadays, CCTVs are the practical implementation of the "Panopticon", theorised in 1791 by Jeremy Bentham as the "ideal prison", one that keeps people in place by using their natural fear of being surveilled.
The Anopticon project is a reaction to the huge rise in CCTVs installations in Italian cities. Information on CCTVs - where they are, what they point at, which area is being surveilled - is collected by members of the project and put online, publicly accessible via the "Big Brother Viewer". The project has already concluded that a large part of CCTVs does not provide the "information notice" required by Legislative Decree 196/2003 (which implements the Data Protection Directive in Italy).
The project started in Venice, but it soon spread to other cities including Padova, Foggia, Urbino and Solero (Alessandria). More and more "anopticon groups" are born, to contribute to the Big Brother map. Anyone from anywhere can join in.
The Anopticon project has also launched the "Denounce illegal CCTVs" campaign: every surveillance device that does not respect Italian data protection law (including the need for an "information notice") will be signalled to the Italian Data Protection Authority, without excluding formal complaints for the more powerful and invasive surveillance systems such as the "Argos" and "Hydra" systems being implemented in Venice which are able to automatically track the movement of boats and people.
The Anopticon project - Big Brother Viewer"
Hmmm. Legislative Decree 196/2003? I wonder what the UK equivalent might be? I also see an opportunity for a Tony H. type mapping and consultation project here.

No comments: