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March 31, 2009

Aye Eye


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In the name of security — in this case, protecting world leaders participating in the G20 summit — such images might elicit feelings of reassurance. (Beyond the video monitoring, this Zimbio slideshow offers shots of London police carefully combing through fields and buildings in the area of the ExCel Centre. This one, in particular, has a kind of Lee Harvey Oswald feeling to it.)

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In a larger context, though, the photos also usher us into the house of Big Brother. (Looking at the top shot, I can imagine asking the uniform to demonstrate what “cool stuff” we can see by just hitting the zoom.) I’m wondering, from a propaganda perspective, if an event like the summit also provides a “window of opportunity” — through images like these — to further condition the public to the visual surveillance of everyday life.

(images: Oli Scarff/Getty Images. caption: A Metropolitan Police officer views displays from CCTV cameras around London in the Special Operations Room of the Central Communications Command ahead of the G20 summit of world leaders, on March 31, 2009 in London, England. The policing operation for the G20 Summit in London’s ExCeL Centre and the expected protests throughout the capital is set to be one of the largest and complex police deployments ever, involving 2,500 officers.)

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