Smashing the Surveillance State

Here in Minnesota the goons commonly referred to as politicians are looking to increase their rate of expropriation by reintroducing red light cameras:

A group of lawmakers is proposing a bill that would allow cities to use cameras to catch drivers who run red lights. The bill, which was introduced yesterday in the House and Senate, would also allow law enforcement personnel to use cameras to catch people who are speeding.

In 2007 the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that red light cameras are unconstitutional because the tickets were linked to a driver’s license, not to the motorist who committed the violation. Minneapolis city officials were forced to refund millions of dollars after the court ruled the law unconstitutional.

Supporters of the new bill say they think technology will address those concerns because the cameras will capture pictures of both the license plate and the motorist.

Were this to pass the constitutionality of the law would likely come into question again. Unfortunately challenging the constitutionality of a law takes a great deal of time and money and there are no guarantees that the results will be favorable. On the other hand there are extralegal options available. With the rampant use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in the United Kingdom (UK) a new movement has sprung up called Camover:

It started in Berlin: Anarchists, donning black bloc attire, hit the streets at night in pairs, small groups or alone to smash and dismantle the CCTV surveillance cameras adorning the city streets.

Since the use of surveillance technology is becoming widespread throughout the world it’s not surprising that the movement has spread beyond the UK:

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.

While I shun the destruction of property I also don’t believe the state can legitimately acquire property. The state acquires property through taxation and taxation is nothing more than theft. If you don’t pay your taxes you’ll likely be kidnapped and put into a cage or have a portion of your paycheck stolen each pay period. Because of this I believe it’s the right of the state’s victims (tax payers) to do as they please with the state’s property. My feelings regarding this are even stronger when the state’s property is used to further expropriate wealth from the populace, which is what red light cameras do. Were this law to pass I suspect, and hope, Camover would become prevalent in Minnesota. Minnesota, and the United States in general, needs more actively civil disobedience. We’re living with the results of using the political process to preserve liberties and, as you can see, no meaningful increase of liberties has occurred since the founding of this country.