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News :: DNC
Mapping a trail of surveillance
29 Jan 2004
video surveillance activist Bill Brown charged with making hundreds of obscene phone calls to children
Mapping a trail of surveillance
By Alex Beam, 1/29/2004
Boston Globe

I generally support anarchic bursts of antiestablishment fervor, so I was happy to learn that the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts was teaming up with video surveillance activist Bill Brown to map the cameras lining our 2 1/2-mile Freedom Trail. The resulting "Surveillance Trail" map is to be handed out at July's Democratic convention. "We were trying to figure out a way to alert the delegates and the international media to the civil liberties violations taking place here as a result of the Patriot Act and various executive orders," Massachusetts ACLU executive director Carol Rose told me about a week ago.

When I spoke with her yesterday, Rose was still eager to proceed with the plan, but Brown will probably not be participating. The 44-year-old activist, lionized in The New York Times earlier this month, proves to be something of an un-Merry Prankster. Newsday reported a few days ago that Brown, a former assistant professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, had been arrested by Suffolk County investigators -- no, not our Suffolk County, New York's Suffolk County -- for "making hundreds of obscene phone calls" from his place of work. According to the paper, Brown had been arrested several times in Rhode Island for similar offenses.

In an Editors' Note published yesterday, the Times said the paper "was not aware of Mr. Brown's arrest record" at the time of the article.

ACLU-Mass is still hoping to put together the map. "It was our project from the beginning," Rose said. "It wasn't a Bill Brown project."

Here are two interesting maps that Brown put together during a visit to Boston earlier this year during the CyberArts festival. The website www.notbored.org/

boston.html shows the locations of the 128 government and private surveillance cameras in the Financial District. A few sit atop the Federal Reserve Building, and Brown thinks they might be there to monitor the progress of the Big Dig, "the multi-billion-dollar boondoggle that's transformed downtown Boston into a site perpetually `under construction,' " he writes. From there, you can link to a rough map of the 29 cameras in and around Harvard Square, 25 of them on private property, three on Harvard turf, and one on a government building. Brown and I exchanged e-mails about the Surveillance Trail project last week, but he now seems unavailable for comment.
See also:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2004/01/29/mapping_a_trail_of_surveillance/

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Re: Mapping a trail of surveillance
02 Feb 2004
www.newsday.com/ news/local/longisland/ny-licam0124,0,3714980.story?coll=ny-top-headlines

This is the original Newsday article, which Brown and his supporters got yanked from the NYC IMC site.
Re: what to do with him
15 Feb 2004
he's not innocent until proven guilty!

he's guilty guilty guilty

KICK HIM WHEN HE'S DOWN
Re: Mapping a trail of surveillance
23 Feb 2004
So just to discuss this case is tantamount to kicking the guy when he's down?

According to the Providence Journal, he plead "no contest" to the same charge a decade ago.
Re: Mapping a trail of surveillance
04 Mar 2004
so lets hear his response to the charges
Re: yeah!
13 Mar 2004
I demand to hear his side of the story!
Re: his side
18 Mar 2004
Apparently, he's claiming the whole thing's a set-up. Only way to be sure is for someone to ask Brown to issue a statement, or something. We do know that Brown was convicted of the same charges way back when.

I came across this post after googling Brown. I hadn't given him much thought in a while, but then I read Bob Black's letter in the new "Anarchy," and I figured I'd see what the word on the net was.

According to BLack, Brown's daddy is a huge capitalist lawyer who gets him off when trouble like this pops up.

It's hard to tell for sure, because Black's a slippery guy, too. He's also had a long-standing fued with Brown, so that's probably a factor as well.

To be honest, this post has taken more time and energy than I really care to give to someone as slimy as Bill Brown.
Re: blatant lies and falsehoods
22 Mar 2004
>Apparently, he's claiming the whole thing's a >set-up.

a blatant lie

>We do know that Brown was convicted of the >same charges way back when.

false: pleading "nolo" is NOT the same thing as a conviction
you can't keep a good man down
22 Mar 2004
http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/89762/index.php

Bill will, once again, rise above his personal problems.

He has lost more in 10 years than most of you will accomplish in your entire lives
The good man is finished
23 Mar 2004
>a blatant lie

Well, then, what is his story? Obviously he's still promoting himself in the media. Why the silence on the case?

>false: pleading "nolo" is NOT the same thing as a conviction

Brown plead "no contest." Isn't that an admission of guilt? If not, what is it?

>He has lost more in 10 years than most of you will accomplish in your entire lives

Funny how you buy into these notions of success and accomplishment. What's the big achievement, pissing off a lot of people?

>Bill will, once again, rise above his personal problems.

Seems like the guy is finished.
ignorant hostile assholes
23 Mar 2004
>Obviously he's still promoting himself in the media.

you've got it backwards: the media is "promoting" him because of his accomplishments, which in this case is using his website to make an important text available to all for free

> Why the silence on the case?

it's all none of your business, is why.

>He has lost more in 10 years than most of >you will accomplish in your entire lives

>Funny how you buy into these notions of >success and accomplishment.

they are notions, they are facts

>What's the big achievement, pissing off a lot >of people?

your ignorance of Bill is significant and clearly invalidates what you're saying about him

>Seems like the guy is finished.

this speculation is based on what? your ignorance of Bill?

nobody is ever "finished" and certainly not Bill