[Noisebridge-discuss] Advisory about recent thefts at Noisebridge.

aestetix aestetix aestetix at gmail.com
Sun Jul 10 13:27:01 PDT 2011


On Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM, Jonathan Lassoff <jof at thejof.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 6:11 AM, aestetix aestetix <aestetix at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > So, uh, besides the other privacy concerns... what makes you think that
> if
> > someone will randomly "steal" a laptop, they won't also steal
> surveillance
> > equipment you set up? I imagine there's an off switch somewhere on the
> > camera, even if it's a power button, and I also imagine that taping a
> piece
> > of black paper over the camera lens would make any surveillance attempts
> > futile. Or, if "these people" are as paranoid as it sounds, what's to
> stop
> > them from clipping the cables connecting things together?
>
> Absolutely nothing. But at least we can have an image of them doing
> just that. If you want to hack on something at 2169, take it apart,
> etc I say go for it.
> I also see no reason to hide the knowledge of any presence of cameras,
> but perhaps we could put them in semi-hidden locations.
>

What if the cameras are disconnected and you discover that the person who
did it had nothing to do with any of these thefts, and just didn't like
being monitored?


>
> > I'm not saying don't do it, because I believe people should do things.
> > However, I also believe in watching the watchers, and hackers have a
> natural
> > inclination to question people who tell them what they are "supposed" to
> do.
> >  I assume that if you were to install cameras, there would be a clear
> sign
> > indicating where they are and why they are there, and anyone who wanted
> to
> > see how they work, or hack them, would have access to them? Also, do you
> > plan on having good explanations for why they are there for new people
> when
> > you point them out on the tour?
>
> Ugh. The explanations would probably not be so pretty. I don't cherish
> the idea of having to describe to a first-time visitor that we
> regularly have belligerent strangers visiting, so we put up camera.
> However, I think it's just as fine to mention that they're there and
> that there are places to go that aren't covered by them.
>

And what if you give a tour to a first time visitor, explain the places to
go that aren't covered, and a week later that same person decides to steal
something and uses the information you've given them to get around the
cameras undetected?


>
> A recourse for getting logs purged is also not unreasonable, IMO.
>
>
What makes you think the police would not also want regular access to those
logs once they discovered them?


>  > I am all in favor of using kindness and communication to thwart people
> > behaving badly. I am not in favor of using technical hacks to solve
> social
> > problems.
>
> Agreed, cameras or locks can only be something to supplement social
> pressure against unwanted behavior. It's no panacea.
>
> > With Noisebridge, most people are highly
> > technical, so it seems natural to jump to trying  a technical solution to
> > solve a problem.
>
> And make no doubt about it, this is what I'm doing of here. I'm not a
> super social person, and greeting everyone that shows up isn't high on
> my list of things to do. A couple people now and then I would be happy
> to greet, but I find more than that just draining and stressful.
>
> That said, based on some of the history here, it really seems to me
> like just greeting and relating social norms to new visitors just
> doesn't always work. What do you do if someone comes in who has never
> visited before, ignores a greeter, and just starts putting things in
> their pockets? I don't think any amount of social pressure will stop a
> determined person.
>
>
I imagine that if someone is kind enough to be a greeter, they will also be
alerted if someone clearly new (IE doesn't know the venue at all) comes in
and completely ignores them.


> It's really only in these extreme situations would it have been useful
> to have better locks (and social key distribution) and camera to
> record their misbehavior to share with the community so people who
> weren't around when an incident happened can recognize the perpetrator
> in the future.
>
>
I think we practice this already to some extent by only giving keys to
people who we think are awesome.


>  > However, in this case, I don't really see a positive
> > outcome from that approach.
>
> This is where we may disagree, but I'm mailing the idea around to
> solicit this kind of feedback. I respect your opinion a lot, Aestetix
> -- if your *certain* this can only end badly or would stop you from
> coming around, I'd really consider just dropping it.
>

I think all outcomes are definitely worth exploring, not just those that
seem convenient to us :)


>
> --j
>
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