Guys Seen: Hobby Surveillance on the Streets of San Francisco

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We live in a surveillance society. Facebook knows who you are. Video cameras are everywhere in the urban and suburban environments, and sprinkled throughout the rural and less developed areas. Truck stops. Eyes in the sky. Watching you. Watching me. Google Earth may have captured us for their street views. In front of your home, shopping, out with friends. How do you know that they haven’t? Corporate surveillance in retail environments is particularly pervasive, but ordinary citizens are routinely forbidden from shooting back. “No cameras” and “No Photography” signs sprout alongside image capture devices. Of course, photography is usually regulated in government buildings. Photography is an act of dominance. Who can shoot who, doing what, where and why?  We are engaged in a high-stakes game of scopophilic tag. And these days, everyone’s got a camera.  Gotcha!

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