Surveillance Camera

This Hacker Hoodie Uses Surveillance Camera Parts to Blind Surveillance Cameras

A privacy advocate and engineer modified a crucial component found in many surveillance cameras to render them blind.

Mac Pierce’s “Camera Shy Hoodie” is a DIY infrared LED hoodie with 12 powerful infrared LEDs sewed close to the hood. The wearer can activate an in-sleeve switch to cause the LEDs to flash, blinding any nearby security cameras at night and flooding them with infrared light. The latest privacy wearable, including ballcaps, anti-facial recognition makeup, and clothing that throw off automatic license plate readers and object recognition, Pierce’s hoodie is a part of a trend that also includes privacy-enhancing makeup.

The Camera Shy Hoodie uses infrared light, so neither the wearer nor anyone nearby will be able to see that it is on.

“Night vision security cameras are tuned to see infrared light at night,” Speaking to Motherboard, Pierce “So that they can see in the dark. By shooting enough light back at them, it blows out the sensor and causes the cameras’ auto exposure to try to compensate. losing the ability to define the scene in the view. Unrecognizable changes are also made to everything inside.”

According to Pierce, the hoodie’s construction used mostly store-bought components and cost about $200 to make. Pierce open-sourced the operating code for the hoodie and released all the software and plans related to its production under a Creative Commons license.

“The one really key tricky component is the IR LED that I chose, which is a very high efficiency, high output LED that’s actually used in security cameras, as the infrared floodlight for these cameras so they can illuminate an area with light to see what’s going on inside that flooded area,” Pierce said.

Pierce previously created the “Opt-Out Cap,” a hat that is designed to render its wearer unrecognizable by facial recognition. “I wish the people who. . . [have] a good reason to, you know?” Pierce said. “They should be free to express their opinions without fear of punishment. I think that’s the ideal use case for it.”

“Technology for surveillance has advanced to the point where it is both powerful and commonplace. And it’s only now that we’re realizing, ‘Maybe we don’t want this stuff to be as powerful as it is,'” Pierce said. “I share this because I want people to be able to see this project and realize that these technologies aren’t perfect.’ We can resist them in a number of ways. We don’t just have to accept the status quo.”

Read More: Do Security Cameras Have Audio?

Source: VICE

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