SurveillanceSaver is a screensaver for OS X and Windows that shows live images of over 400 network surveillance cameras worldwide.

Posted on March 5, 2008 at 2:23 PM • 22 Comments


CuriousMarch 5, 2008 3:08 PM

When can we get a version for Linux?

It's free software (GPLv3 license, no less) so I'm a bit surprised there isn't a Linux version already.

jkMarch 5, 2008 3:36 PM

This is a fun program, but I have found that with some of hte cameras, coming back from screen saver can take as long as it would take for the images to cycle to the next camera. It became less productive to have it just as a novelty, so I dropped it. Love the idea still!

Scott KMarch 5, 2008 4:37 PM

I'd love it if it could hotkey through to a particularly interesting camera--and if it was quicker (and more consistent) to quit back out on key/mouse break. That said, it's more interesting than any of my other SSes. :)

xd0sMarch 5, 2008 4:44 PM

Now if it could just cycle on a web cam if one was attached ...

At least that would answer the question who is watching the watchers :)

AdrianMarch 5, 2008 5:06 PM

Yup, slow to resume after a mouse-click or keypress, and after a long wait I've got a crashdump.

I think I'll wait for the beta, or hopefully a linux version.

Christophe-Marie DuquesneMarch 5, 2008 5:16 PM

For linux users who are fighting for free software and freedom : do you really think a world with people watching each other with surveillance cameras is what you want?

Protecting yourself is good. Spying people is ugly.

perianwyrMarch 5, 2008 7:36 PM

A world where all people have access to the security cameras is a better world, unquestionably.

ChrisMarch 5, 2008 8:30 PM

@ perianwyr:

"...where all people..."

Which reminds me of the Don Martin comic where *every passenger* on the plane is carrying a bomb.

PelleMarch 6, 2008 1:54 AM

@Christophe-Marie Duquesne

Good point! I've also noticed that many of todays IP-based surveillance cameras run linux internally (Axis, among others). Maybe something for GPLv4...

SteveJMarch 6, 2008 4:36 AM

"A world where all people have access to the security cameras is a better world, unquestionably."

For cameras in public places, maybe (and I'm not even sure about that).

In fact I suspect the main benefit of cameras in public places being accessible to all, is that they'd be a lot less popular and so there would be fewer of them :-)

TimFMarch 6, 2008 6:43 AM

Are any of the cams in the UK? Here, the Data Protection Act counts CCTV images as "Personal Data" which have to be kept securely and their access restricted to authorised people; if not the person responsible for the camera system could be liable for prosecution. Not that the act is ever enforced...

jonMarch 6, 2008 7:27 AM

A SETI of security? Intriguing.

To be useful, it needs a feedback feature - a big red button or email response capability that links directly to the originating camera network.

Problems will arise when the untrained get nervous, and when my locality's norms differ from those of the camera's location. The world may get very small, in a more aggressive version of countries taking on western norms and laws in order to qualify for entry to the EU.

Maybe we should try distributed security for airplane security? Let's let the passengers search each other and their belongings, rather than outsourcing it to the TSA. If I was responsible for the security of my flight, I'd take that very seriously, but would also have some concern for the needs of those flying. Randomize the searching and put video of the process up on a bank of wide screen monitors. Have a couple of police in the area for questions and problems.

SteveJMarch 6, 2008 8:29 AM

"A SETI of security? Intriguing."

No, it's just intrusion for the sake of titillation. There appears to be no intention that it have benefit for the people who operate the cameras, or the people who appear on them.

paulMarch 6, 2008 8:59 AM

And of course we're sure that no cameras whose feeds weren't intended to be public will ever get on the list...

Christophe-Marie DuquesneMarch 6, 2008 7:32 PM

"A world where all people have access to the security cameras is a better world, unquestionably."

I just wonder how.

Peter E RetepMarch 8, 2008 9:48 AM

Because then the watcher can find a way to tell the watched they are being watched, which they are already, but often don't know.

Peter E RetepMarch 8, 2008 9:53 AM

Then then we can all get to know each other better.

Make new friends. Meet new people.

Join the NightWatch tonight.

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