SURVEILLANCE (2013)

4:3 | SINGLE CHANNEL VIDEO SLIDESHOW | SILENT | 4m52s | 2013| Ed of 5 + 1 a.p.

These images, are screengrabs of WI-FI enabled surveillance cameras, in which a security flaw that allowed access for anyone with an internet connection, to whatever content the camera was streaming. In January 2013, a list containing the IP addresses of devices detected to have this vulnerability was publicly shared online, in order to bring this issue to the attention of the manufacturer, and hopefully force them to fix this problem.

I downloaded a copy of this list, visited all of the addresses in it, recorded what I saw and created this slideshow.

More than peeping into other people’s private life, my interest in these images is as a visual artist, because they are an example of how photography can be used to turn something private into something public, and also because I like the contradiction that is created when the same tool that is meant to keep something safe, is the same tool that makes it unsafe.

By publicly displaying this images, I’m only recreating in the physical world what happens online, and this is done in order to raise awareness of the fragility of these technologies, and how they should always be used with caution.

 

References:
Unpatched TRENDnet IP cameras still provide a real-time Peeping Tom paradise, Network World Blog, Jan 2013

F.T.C. Says Webcam’s Flaw Put Users’ Lives on Display, NYT Sep 2013

Insecam Web site should terrify those who use a default webcam password, Nov 2014