søndag den 15. februar 2009


The second walk “Intelligence” for Os Dem Demos [Us Them Demos] takes its point of departure in the streets of Copenhagen, in which there is already camera surveillance. We wish to look at the surveillance culture as something both concrete and something we imagine, and at how it affects our action space. We suggest that participants should wear an eye patch as a metaphor for the camera’s ’one-eyedness’ and also to make us visible as suspicious types in the street scene. Birgitte Kofoed Olsen, jurist and vice-director of the Institute for Human Rights, was our guide.

Meeting-point: The stairs in front of Copenhagen City Hall, on City Hall Square.

The walk started in Strøget, Copenhagen’s main pedestrian street. In connection with the planned installation of 200 CCTV cameras along Strøget and in the centre of Copenhagen Deputy Assistant Commissioner Michael Agerbæk says: "This is a completely new world for Copenhagen Police, and this is only the first step. It’s impossible to say where it will end."

Birgitte Kofoed Olsen described the extent of CCTV surveillance in Denmark. There are 300,000 surveillance cameras in use, and security firms are now putting up 50,000 cameras a year.

In 2007 the law on CCTV surveillance was amended. Shops, banks and discotheques are now permitted to monitor facades up to a distance of 10-15 meters, which in the pedestrian street corresponds to the entire street and everybody using it.

The High Court of Eastern Denmark: If the police and the Danish Security and Intelligence Service want to have data on who we have talked, mailed or texted with, that requires a court order. But with regard to where we fly, what we borrow at the library and the content of most official registers, the Service can get the information without a court order.

The Danish Data Protection Agency is the authority set up to ensure that the Danish Data Protection Act is complied with. The Agency is also the authority that handles complaints. Previously CCTV surveillance had to be approved by the Agency. That is no longer the case.

Nørreport Station: the platforms are under surveillance and so are the S-trains. The cameras at the station are linked to a surveillance centre in Esbjerg on the west coast of Jutland.