Red Echo

August 1, 2013

I used to know this guy who had a real beef with traffic cameras (“outsourcing law enforcement to robots is fundamentally unjust”, he would say); he’d carry around an ordinary spray bottle, filled with one part white glue and one part water, set the nozzle to “stream”, and squirt the gooey mess all over the camera lens, temporarily and nondestructively blinding it.

From Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, here’s a more complicated contraption that can be used to disable overhead spy cameras: it’s like one of those overhead pruning poles, with a linkage set up to activate a spray-paint can, so you can stick the spray nozzle up next to the camera, then pull the cord to blind it.


  1. I understand the instinct, but ultimately it will just cost more tax dollars to get those fixed over and over, and the city will find more need to gather tickets to raise funds.

    Comment by Dawn — August 2, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

  2. Isn’t that sort of the point, though? Red-light cameras are installed and run by private contractors, who take a cut of the proceeds, and in every city where they’ve been installed people mysteriously find that the length of the yellow light on the affected intersection has been shortened, leading to more tickets – and more collisions!

    Creating a lot of expensive but temporary maintenance work seems like a good way to eliminate the profit motive and get these private corporations out of the business of traffic law enforcement.

    Comment by Mars Saxman — August 2, 2013 @ 1:13 pm