September 29, 2008 | Becky Hogge

Capturing the database state: community photocall

Collage of imagesHappy-snappers unite! We need as many people as possible to take photos of stuff that embodies the database state, and the UK's world-famous surveillance society (wake up! You've just walked into it).

On 11 October, No2ID and the Open Rights Group will make a live collage of the images you've taken in a prominent location in London (to be confirmed), to celebrate Freedom Not Fear Day 2008.

Freedom not Fear is an international day of action for democracy, free speech, human rights and civil liberties, and events to celebrate these central tenets of a just society will be taking place all over the world.

Here's how you can help:

  1. Spot something that embodies the UK's wholesale transformation into the surveillance society/database state. Subjects might include your local CCTV camera(s), or fingerprinting equipment in your child's school library
  2. Snap it
  3. Upload it to Flickr and tag it "FNFBigPicture" - please use an Attribution Creative Commons license*
  4. That's it!

*We need you to license it this way because we want to give the image to newspapers to run on the day.

Watch this space for more news on the 11 October event, including how to come and help build the collage.

Click here and here for photo credits.

Freedom Not Fear Web Banner

Comments (21)

  1. The Open Rights Group : Blog Archive » Show Parliament the Big Picture:
    Oct 03, 2008 at 05:15 PM

    [...] I’m pleased to announce that I can now reveal the location for our live collage of the hundreds of surveillance state photos you’ve been taking this week for the Freedom Not Fear, Big Picture event. [...]

  2. YAm:
    Sep 29, 2008 at 10:12 PM

    Might try and snap some of the 20+ cctv cameras at my local underground station (Colliers Wood, that well known hive of criminality...)

  3. Caroline Ford:
    Sep 30, 2008 at 12:02 AM

    The photos you've used are all BY-NC. Is BY-NC allowed for the press?

    Will you accept BY-SA and plain old -BY?

  4. Radio Clash Mash Up Podcast - a weekly podcast of mixes, mash-ups, and more since November 2004! - one of England's longest running podcasts! » Blog Archive » Freedom Not Fear:
    Sep 29, 2008 at 08:38 PM

    [...] No2ID and Open Rights Group are doing a Fear Not Freedom day on the 11th of October. Those in the UK - they need your pictures of the surveillance state! [...]

  5. Winston:
    Sep 29, 2008 at 08:51 PM

    This is a nice idea, but I wonder how many people will, like myself, be arrested for the non-crime of 'taking photos in public'?

    I've now been arrested 3 times for this in Glasgow, at not once has any charge ever been brought against me.

  6. Blogroll » Freedom Not Fear Day - Saturday 11th October 2008:
    Sep 30, 2008 at 01:59 AM

    [...] See: Capturing the database state: community photocall [...]

  7. adrian:
    Sep 29, 2008 at 01:23 PM

    the linked flickr search uses FnFBigPicture (lowercase n) - i tagged mine with FNFBigPicture and they don't show up unless you search for FNFBigPicture (uppercase n).

  8. Terrorpeut:
    Sep 29, 2008 at 02:10 PM

    Die Überwachten schießen zurück...

    Anscheinend sind die Engländer ein ganz undankbares Völkchen. Kaum daß der Staat und der Kommerz jeden ihrer Schritte überwacht, da formiert sich doch erster Widerstand. Nun ruft die Open Rights Group dazu auf, den Überwachungswahnsinn in Fotoser...

  9. Roshan Online » Blog Archive » links for 2008-09-29:
    Sep 30, 2008 at 03:01 AM

    [...] The Open Rights Group : Blog Archive » Capturing the database state: community photocall (tags: UK London England Surveilance BigBrother Flickr Images Photos) [...]

  10. Watching the watchmen for Freedom not Fear « UK Liberty:
    Sep 30, 2008 at 03:38 PM

    [...] the watchmen for Freedom not Fear Posted on September 30, 2008 by ukliberty Open Rights Group: Happy-snappers unite! We need as many people as possible to take photos of stuff that embodies the [...]

  11. William Heath’s blog » Blog Archive » Freedom not fear: photograph the state:
    Sep 29, 2008 at 06:29 PM

    [...] are emerging of Freedom not fear day, and what we can do to help. From Open Rights Group: Happy-snappers unite! We need as many people as possible to take photos of stuff that embodies the [...]

  12. Roger Lancefield:
    Oct 09, 2008 at 12:41 PM


    re the image tags letter case issue: It shouldn’t make any difference to the search query. Look at the number of matches the results contain. For me, that number is identical, whichever mixture of letter case I use.

  13. Links 2008-09-30 - Adam Crowe:
    Oct 01, 2008 at 08:14 AM

    [...] The Open Rights Group — Capturing the database state: community photocall "Happy-snappers unite! We need as many people as possible to take photos of stuff that embodies the database state, and the UK’s world-famous surveillance society." — 11th October 2008. Instructions within. activism panopticon surveillance privacy crowdsourcing uk [...]

  14. Jared Earle:
    Oct 07, 2008 at 04:40 PM

    Just make sure not to take any photos of drunk women:
    A man who took a photograph of an ill woman outside an Edinburgh bar has been fined £100 after being branded "unchivalrous" by a sheriff.

  15. dave ridings:
    Oct 08, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    there's a neat film on the subject at current:


  16. flickr:
    Oct 07, 2008 at 04:27 PM

    you missed the "signup to yet another web site" step.
    hate flickr? you soon will.

  17. Liz Robillard:
    Oct 07, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    I've got photographs of council officers photographing me at my front door due to me being a campaigner (mainly) to lift the secrecy of the family courts. It's insane, thanks for doing this.

  18. UK is Photographing the Watchers | latoga photography:
    Oct 03, 2008 at 07:13 AM

    [...] I ran across an interesting project being coordinated by the Open Rights Group to document the UK’s surveillance society.  They have an open call out to UK’s photographers to take pictures of all the mechanisms of [...]

  19. » Blog Archive » Freedom not Fear Day:
    Oct 03, 2008 at 03:06 PM

    [...] [...]

  20. Boycott Novell » IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: October 1st, 2008:
    Oct 02, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    [...] Take part in Freedom not Fear day.… [...]

This thread has been closed from taking new comments.