Ai Weiwei on How to Block a Surveillance Camera

Instructions for how to make a spray-can extender out of a corkscrew:

But actually it's a lot easier than that. Twelve bucks from Amazon. Screws into a standard-gauge broom handle or paint-roller stick. Or so I'm told.

Previously, previously.
Tags: , , ,

13 Responses:

  1. Not that you'd know anything about that.

  2. Chip Oatley says:

    100mW laser pointer gives the bearer standoff range so the camera cannot record the bearer prior to disabling. Or, use a standard mount on the laser screwed into the tripod socket of a binocular and you can kill cameras from hundreds of yards.

    • Simen says:

      I doubt that you could take out the camera from that range. The beam isn't focused enough to deliver any appreciable power density. As you can see in this video ( ), the time between each balloon pop increases quite a bit at longer ranges.

      • Chip Oatley says:

        Popping balloons requires delivering sufficient heat to a small area of rubber to liquify that patch. Delivering heat by photons is a fundamentally different physical process than killing a sensor element by delivering enough photons to overcharge a number of transistors that are sensitive to overcharging.

        If the lasers at a concert - which are so underpowered that they can play across a crowd and are at least a few tens of meters away - can kill a camera sensor, think what a 100mW laser can do. (100mW is quite energetic.) Having worked with lasers for a few decades it seems to me that even the moderately expensive high end commercial lasers (see Wicked Lasers) retain sufficient focus over a few hundred meters, though they do spread to single-digit millimeters at range.

        I have not tested this, so cannot be sure. It's worth a test.

        • Simen says:

          I was thinking about the ones from Wicked Lasers, actually. They list a beam divergence of 1.5 mRad, which should give a spot size of several meters. Concert lasers typically have a spot size of a few mm at 10 meters range. I know that the mechanisms for destroying sensors and balloons are entirely different, but both are proportional to the number of photons, aren't they? That said, you're probably right.

    • nooj says:

      I would dearly love to be able to hit a button and take out a red light camera after I decide to make the light, but before I actually get there.

  3. Chas. Owens says:

    The special purpose device from amazon doesn't give you plausible deniability though.

    • Ian Young says:

      They just have to type in 'spray can extender [subject hometown here]' into XKeyscore and there you are, with the rat-cage on your face, learning to love Big Brother.

    • jwz says:

      Even if it's a corkscrew, the process ends up dripping paint on absolutely everything.

      Or so I am told.

    • Anthony says:

      "Officer - I thought I saw wasps coming from it."

    • To recap - to take out the state's surveillance apparatus, the best option on the table is buying a plastic contraption from a globalised and decentralised corporation, itself part of the food chain of capitalism..?

      Plausible deniability be damned.
      Nor does it give you irony, it seems.

  4. phuzz says:

    I always preferred the idea of just taping a plastic bag over it, less chance of getting charged with vandalism that way.

  5. thefowle says:

    I'm told such a contraption is also useful for spray painting obnoxious street lights that shine into residences.

  • Previously