A social protest
group based in New York City
whose performances are intended to make people aware
of the ubiquity of surveillance cameras and the insidiousness of surveillance culture
The group desires the elimination of remote surveillance of public places by police. They cite the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, claiming that surveillance cameras in public space constitute a violation of " the right of the people to be secure in their persons...against unreasonable searches".
The SCP's performances, which are presented in front of surveillance cameras, are short, silent (often using cardboard word balloons), easily identifiable and usually, though not always, related to authoritarian culture. These performances were originally intended to be seen by those on the other end of the camera, but the emphasis has shifted toward making passersby aware of the problem of public surveillance.
The Surveillance Camera Players encourage anyone interested in undercutting surveillance culture to follow their example and/or join the SCP provided one is:
-comfortable with and (ideally) capable of deriving pleasure from appearing in public and, of course, on the
closed-circuit television monitors of who-knows-how-many surveillance systems;
-comfortable with the fact that the group is media-friendly and so is often videotaped and interviewed;
-an anarchist, autonomist, libertarian, free-thinker or "independent";
and is not:
-A professional actor;
-Expecting to be paid;
-a Communist, Socialist, Marxist, Leninist, Trotskyite or Maoist, an adherent to the ideologies of the Republican, Democratic or Reform Parties in the United States, or someone who is racist, sexist or homophobic;
-a police officer, an informant of any kind, a private security guard or a member of any of the United States' armed forces or intelligence agencies.
The group also conducts Sunday-afternoon walking tours of various neighborhoods in New York City to point out all the surveillance cameras (public, private and/or police) in the area.