<nettime> BBC E-mail: Secret agents raid webcam artist

Molly Hankwitz mollyhankwitz at gmail.com
Fri Jul 8 19:27:15 PDT 2011

I saw this story on the BBC News iPhone App and thought you should see it.

** Secret agents raid webcam artist **

The US Secret Service has raided the home of an artist who
collected images f= rom webcams in a New York Apple store.
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14080438 >

Kyle McDonald is said to have installed software that photographed
people looking at laptops then uploaded the pictures to a website.

Mr McDonald said he had obtained permission from a security guard to
take photos inside the store.

Apple declined to comment. However, the Secret Service confirmed that
its electronic crime division was involved.

A spokesperson told the BBC that the investigation was taking place
under US Code Title 18 /1030 which relates to Fraud and related
activity in connection with computers.

Offences covered by the legislation carry a maximum penalty of 20
years in prison.

Writing on Twitter, Mr McDonald said: "@secretservice just stopped by
to investigate [web address removed] and took my laptop. Please assume
they're reading any e-mails you send me."

No arrests had been made in the case as of 8 July.


Kyle McDonald's images were uploaded to a page on the blogging site
Tumblr. In the description of People Staring at Computers, the project
is described as: "A photographic intervention. Custom app installed
around NYC, taking a picture every minute and uploading it if a face
is found in the image. Exhibited on site with a remotely triggered app
that displayed the photos full screen on every available computer."

The site features a video and series of photographs, apparently
showing shoppers trying-out computers. Comments on the individuals by
visitors to the site are also attached to the images. Mr McDonald,
writing on Twitter, said that he had been advised not to comment
on the case by the online freedom group the Electronic Frontier

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