“Freiheit stirbt mit Sicherheit” – Project Camover Has Crossed the Atlantic

Ever heard of Project Camover?  Probably not.  It relates a movement to locate and destroy CCTV spy cameras that began in Germany, and since spread to many other countries in Europe such as Finland and Greece, and has finally reached the West Coast of the United States.  Their motto is “Freiheit stirbt mit Sicherheit,” which translates to “Freedom dies with Security.”  This is simply an inevitable reaction to the increased surveillance state around us, from things like “Trapwire,” to audio and video recording devices on public buses.  Apparently, they really enjoy using the fire extinguisher method to get the job done.  The U.S. offshoot has been identified as the “Barefoot Bandit Brigade” and is operating the Puget Sound region.  From Vice:

Have you ever walked down a street in a developed country? If yes, consider yourself the unsung star of a silent short, because someone, somewhere was almost certainly watching you as you did.

CCTV’s nothing new, which is probably why people seem to have either forgotten about or become disinterested in how creepy it is. Not so Camover, a group from Germany who have been running around Berlin smashing CCTV cameras to pieces, which isn’t surprising given that their slogan is: “Freiheit stirbt mit Sicherheit”, or “Freedom dies with Security”.

Watch these guys in action in the video below.

VICE: Hey, Camover – what’s with all the aggro?

Camover: We were bored. Just kidding. We’re critical of consumer society, where people swallow the opinions given to them by the media. They forget to think for themselves. And we thought it would be fun to motivate people to go out at night and get rid of these annoying cameras.

How many cameras have you destroyed?
We have no idea how many we’ve already destroyed. It’s not a big deal to destroy a camera – often you can do it quickly on the way home.

So this is all building up to the European Police Congress that’s meeting in Berlin in February. Tell me a bit about that.
It’s a meeting of up to 2000 high-ranking police officials who think they can define what’s good and bad.

What are they meeting for?
They’ll exchange knowledge so that they can develop state repression to the point where impossible to break out or even to resist. Sponsors like Siemens, Panasonic and IBM will be there promoting their own solutions.

Now we learn about the nascent U.S. movement from Salon:

The anti-surveillance project quickly spread throughout Germany, to Finland, Greece and hit the U.S. West Coast this month. A group identifying itself as “the Barefoot Bandit Brigade” released a statement claiming to have “removed and destroyed 17 security cameras throughout the Puget Sound region,” with ostensible photo evidence published alongside. “This act is concrete sabotage against the system of surveillance and control,” wrote the group’s statement, adding that the Camover contribution was also intended in solidarity with anarchists in the Pacific Northwest currently in federal custody without charges for refusing to cooperate with a federal grand jury.

I find it extremely fitting that this movement started in Germany.  If any people in the Western world know that “Freedom Dies with Security” it is them.

Full article Vice article here.

Full article Salon article here.

In Liberty,

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  1. I’ll play grammar nazi here…replace “sterbt” with ‘stirbt’.

  2. Doubtless that the propaganda machine will need to direct some of its attention to these people, ensuring that they’re perceived as loonies and therefore unworthy of emulation.

  3. @Mike: the German phrase if translated correctly packs more of a punch. This is because It is true that “mit Sicherheit” means “with security”, but it also means “with certainty/certainly/no doubt about it”

    For example, if you ask me something and the answer in English would be “absolutely”, or “certainly!”, the German can be “mit Sicherheit!”

    So how to translate this pun to retain the 2 meanings of 1. security 2. certainly?

    Maybe “Security securely kills you your freedom”

  4. Takes the Santa-suited traffic-cam box-toppers to another level! About time. Maybe they’ll make a video game out of it?
    I think wasp nest 20ft. stream foam would be good for hard to reach cameras, though I haven’t tried it.
    (Feel free to use my suggestion, those a little more risk prone than I)
    If you stand at Jackson and LaSalle in front of the CBOT and Fed branch, you can count a dozen camers from one spot!
    In the end They’ll just clamp down harder. Sure is a sad ‘State’ of affairs. Sieg Heil!

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