Videographer Kelly Loudenberg went on a tour with Bill Brown, the co-founder and director of The Survelliance Camera Players. Brown has been giving walking tours for seven years. Kelly tells us:
The Surveillance Camera Players are an anti-surveillance group who protest their opposition by performing plays in front of the cameras. The group maintains that the use of surveillance cameras in public places violate their constitutionally protected right to privacy.
According to Bill Brown, as of four years ago there were 179 publicly installed cameras in the United Nations Neighborhood. Today, he projects, there are an estimated 600 cameras. Mr. Brown also says that the most recent statistics prove these cameras to be ineffective at actually deterring crime.
The tours rotate through twelve different neighborhoods and take place on the last Sunday of every month. Maps detailing the placement of cameras are given out at the beginning of the tour (the maps can also be viewed on their website). The tours are free, open to the general public and last approximately 90 minutes.