Prompt: Find and photograph all of the surveillance devices that can record you in the course of a typical day in Champaign-Urbana. (Note: In a major city, a person may appear on as many as 3,000 cameras each day. Even in C-U is very unlikely that your answer for this assignment can be zero.
For this assignment, I chose a weekday to photograph all the surveillance devices that I encountered on a regular day on campus. It was quite shocking how you can be recorded from the very moment you leave your home until the time you return in the evening.
Because it would be extremely time consuming and tedious to photograph and upload hundreds of pictures taken of surveillance devices that I encountered on a single day instead I'll explain my findings. I found that it is practically impossible to walk a half block without being caught on surveillance. I found cameras at: ATMs, every store in business, gas stations, libraries, elevators,buses, grocery stores, parking lots, everywhere in the Illini Union, vehicles, workout facilities, restaurants, bars, and it is even possible for individuals to be wearing concealed cameras.
Ironically, I saw a previously aired episode of CSI:Miami this past week where crime scene investigator Horatio investigated a robbery and murder taken place on a cruise ship. The man's laptop among other things was stolen. Horatio was able to use the IP address of the laptop and watch the suspect via laptop webcam while the suspect was using the computer via WIFI at a local coffee shop without him even knowing. I though this was insane, if the government could actually do this. If this is the case, we are not safe from being watched in the privacy of our own homes.
This example demonstrates three of the characteristics of infrastruture that was introduced in lecture. One is path dependent, durable and based on standards. Public surveillance cameras are examples of Path Dependent because cables used in a TV to transfer the display of video along with the previous invention of video tape recorders (VTR) paved the way for CCTV-Closed Circuit Television which is how surveillance cameras work. Also, Durable because they are successfully used to provide safety, used in court for prosecution of criminal acts like robberies. Based on Standards is because surveillance devices have become the norm as they are present everywhere around us. Also because there are protocols that must be followed in the use of public surveillance devices among businesses etc. There is a standard for where these device can and can not be. For example, it is common knowledge that surveillance devices can not be installed in your apartment unit or in public restrooms.