Over the summer artists and tenants of the Flat Iron arts building have been fighting attempts to install Internet cameras throughout the common areas of the building [Culture Club, July 13]. Now, Bob Berger, owner of the Flat Iron arts building, has backed down and pulled his intrusive and voyeuristic Internet cameras from the lobby and halls. The tenants that opposed these cameras have a real reason to celebrate. It feels good not to have your every move and action on the Internet 24/7. It’s good to know that others outside the building feel the same way about this blatant violation of privacy and security.
These nonconsensual cameras came down just as fast as they went up. But this didn’t happen without a big fight, threats to artists in the building, and an eviction order for RCP Publications, a vocal opponent of the Internet cameras. Concerned tenants want to know why Berger gave up his dream of being the next director for the Truman Show? Was he tired of looking more like a manipulative patron of the arts in the press with the Around the Coyote Arts Festival coming up? Or maybe he had second thoughts when numerous lawyers weighed in behind the tenants. Whatever his reason, the removal of the Internet cameras is a good thing not only for the artists and tenants of the Flat Iron arts building, but for others who refuse to be recorded. This has always involved much more than just one building: it’s about standing up to the attempts of the government, corporations, and landlords to track, monitor, and spy on people.
of the Flat