As the number of CCTV surveillance cameras increases in Germany, a game called "Camover" has been created where players are encouraged to destroy the intrusive cameras and record their actions on video.
People participating in the game destroy CCTV cameras using various methods, record it on video and then accumulate points for the number of cameras broken and also the creativity of the methods used.
This competition will run until February 19, when the European Police Congress is set to be held in Berlin.
While there is no real prize for the winner, they will be placed in the front lines of protests planned over the days before the congress. As the Camover website says, tongue-in-cheek, "The winner may walk in the first line of the demonstration against the cops on 16 February and crouch down to avoid being hit by flying cams."
While the German government and police insist that the cameras are necessary for the safety and security of the German people, members of the Camover group disagree.
Visiting the Camover website, their motivation for their actions is as follows:
Who hasn’t noticed? There are cameras on the streets, in the shops, on public transportation, even in schools and at work! Video surveillance is used to monitor our lives, to control our actions, and to suppress our resistance – above all, it’s against our peaceful coexistence. Comprehensive monitoring is the most visible manifestation of the ubiquitous eyes of the state, done under the guise of society’s basic need for security.
Cameras are also an expression of a society whose members have lost control of their own lives. In the wake of perceived Islamic extremism, hyped up ludicrously by the media, they demand more cameras be installed in their hysteria.
The creator of the Camover game, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Guardian: "We thought it would motivate inactive people out there if we made a video-invitation to this reality-game."
"Although we call it a game, we are quite serious about it: our aim is to destroy as many cameras as possible and to have an influence on video surveillance in our cities," he added.
RT News interviewed Stefan Redlich of the Berlin police. Redlich said that, "It's not an organized group that is causing these crimes. They are some people from the left wing of the political corner. They call for competition in this city, to try and get others involved in destroying cameras."
Referring to the Big Brother concept of the CCTV cameras, Redlich said, "I don't think it's Big Brother watching. We have strict laws in Germany. Only the ground you own can be protected with a camera. You are not allowed to point the camera at the public street.”
RT also spoke to Andreas Bogk from the German Pirate Party, who says in the video, "The amount of CCTV is on the rise, it's not as bad as in some countries for example the UK where millions of cameras have been installed, but it is certainly increasing."
"We do support the message [of Camover], but we are not supporters of violence, even it it's violence against things, this violence we don't support."
While the competition first started in Germany, with promotion on the Internet, the Camover idea is now going global. Apparently "brigades" are reporting successes from countries all over the world.
One group in the US has called itself the "Barefoot Bandit Brigade" and is taking credit for having destroyed 17 CCTV cameras in a move of "concrete sabotage against the system of surveillance and control."
Of course the whole concept is not something new. The video belows shows the destruction of various CCTV cameras in Greece in 2008: