Concerned about CCTV security cameras in your Neighborhood? Kill them with Science! Or paint.


So I have been reading a lot about CCTV cameras after this news item made the rounds when Lancaster, PA decided to become the most spied-on city in the US. So here is some information about how to render these little bits of Big Brother ether completely useless, or far too expensive to maintain.

1) Infra-Red Light

Lots of articles were put up about this recently after a German art group displayed their I-R.A.S.C head mounted system.  But as the WIRED article points out, and as most photographers can tell you,  most of these “night vision” cameras are simply not equipped to handle any sizable amount of  IR light (or UV, or anything much outside of the standard visible spectrum. Question the motives of those that tell you otherwise). This being the case, one could easily  grab a few strong IR LEDs from your local Radio Shack or internet supplier, connect them to a AAA or coin battery,  sew them into hats or other clothing, and you’re off. Neat stuff. Remember to test with as many cameras as possible beforehand to make sure your lights are powerful enough for the desired effect.

Updated Note: this trick is normally for cameras in “night vision” ( IR) mode. When in this mode the camera is actually attempting to pick up IR light, and therefore giving it a massive dose of this type of light makes it unable to pick out details like you face. I am not sure about using this in “normal” camera modes.

iredeyeNow,if using IR lights in this way became exceedingly popular, local governments could circumvent this trick with a simple filter. But knowing the speed of these things, you likely have at least another 5-10 years before they catch on…

COST: about $10-25, or free if you scavenge for parts…

2) Laser Pointers

If it is good enough from Ronnie Regan to try against Russian satellites, it’s good enough for you on the street. (Yes, that is sarcasm) Any sufficiently powerful laser (5mWatt or higher) should, at the very least, blind CCTV cameras completely for the length of time you have the laser trained. The longer you can hold the laser on the camera lens, the better your chances are of permanently damaging the camera itself, forcing the powers-that-be to replace the whole damn thing. This goes double for those fancy new digital HD models, as those super-expensive CCD/CMOS chips that they use to create images are by nature extremely sensitive. This is also great as you can use the laser from a extended distance, potentially eliminating the need to mask your identity when engaging in such activity. I have heard that green or blue wavelengths work best, but I have not tested this myself. I do know that some high school students have claimed that shining a cheap red pointer at school cameras was enough to get laser pointers banned from school grounds, so take that as you will… Also keep in mind that the major limitation to this is that you are likely going to have to hit the lens almost head on, so the logistics may take a bit of planning…

COST: anywhere from a few bucks to many $100’s depending on where you get your laser from.  Old CD and DVD players are a great source for getting scavenged lasers for free if you know a bit about electronics. If you don’t, well, that’s what Google is for…

3) Paintball guns and Supersoakers

All of the above is neat, but if you want the most simple and guaranteed way to make maintaining a CCTV system a complete pain in the ass, paintball guns are you best friend. A camera that can’t see is useless, and no one wants to be constantly cleaning camera boxes  or replacing plastic barriers (if they are even smart enough to use such things), and for pennies and a few seconds of your time you can knock out dozens in an hour and perhaps keep them that way for as long as it takes Joe-Bob to get around to fixing them. The more often you do this, the more likely Joey-Boy is going to start finding all sorts of reasons to drop fixing the cameras down the list of priorities, since your just going to hit them again. Supersoakers cut with a 50/50 mix of all-weather house paint and water can also give you pretty good distance if you don’t have easy access to a paintball gun. Just keep in mind that you are likely to get a lot of paint on you if you use the squirt gun, so be read to strip incriminating clothing, and keep in mind that touching wet paint can leave fingerprints.

Cost: Paintball guns can range from $40- to $2-4oo, Supersoakers can be had for $10 or less. Once you’ve purchased the gun, the paintballs themselves are stupid cheap…

So get out there and take back you privacy!

A good website with some more info:

(Note: How you use this information is up to you, use at you own risk, the writer of this post retains no liability for fines or jail time resulting in the use of this information, blah, blah, blah)



~ by herodotuswept on June 23, 2009.

4 Responses to “Concerned about CCTV security cameras in your Neighborhood? Kill them with Science! Or paint.”

  1. Nice info! Very cool post.I have looked over your blog a few times and I love it.Doesn’t it take up a lot of time to keep your blog so interesting ?

  2. This blog is about cctv camera solution.In this blog have many clip is show you many thing about cctv.

  3. Интересно..

  4. […] are conscious of the efficiency of security digital cameras. You may have the selection of choosing best home security camera system not to mention backyard security cams. You could have detected out-of-doors security security […]

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