On August 16th, people across the world will be encouraged to kill the global surveillance state with sarcastic kindness, as part of the fourth annual International Wave at the Surveillance Cameras Day.
The plan? Simply locate a surveillance camera and wave, and you will have accomplished your anti-surveillance objective.
At one time or another, many of us have surely walked past a surveillance camera and made some sort of a gesture at it. For my part, I usually raise high my middle finger as if I will exact some effective vengeance on my Orwellian overlords. Childish, to be sure, but necessary. The International Wave at the Surveillance Cameras gives people an official outlet for this tendency.
Apart from some comically lo-fi and surreal videos publicizing event, not much is known about the original organizers of this event. I got in touch with "Zorbitor," who creates videos for Wave at Surveillance Day, to ask if he/she was also the creator of the international event, but he was cagey about details.
"Originally [International Wave at the Surveillance Cameras Day] coincided with the Occupy movement, that's about all I know," he/she said. "Aside from my previous videos on my [YouTube] channel, I have nothing to add."
Zorbitor's Twitter account reads, "My 2011 International Wave at the Surveillance Cameras Day video was banned in Germany."
Whether that is true or not, I can't be sure. Zorbitor's Twitter account also functions as a news feed on all things surveillance, so this anonymous persona does seem to be a concerned citizen of the global village.
By way of a counterpoint, back in 2012 cyberpunk legend Bruce Sterling offered up his opinion on the event: "Yeah, that ought to impress 'em," Sterling said via Wired. "Especially when they're entirely automated and dependent on machine-vision algorithms."
Be that as it may, on August 16th, if you happen to come across a surveillance camera, smile and wave, because it's really the act that counts not whether someone on the other end will actually be watching. And why not take a selfie whilst in the act, just to let Big Brother know that at least some of us are watching the watchmen.