|“||I'm just taking a video||”|
―Surveillance Camera Man
SurveillantCameraMan, more popularly known as the Surveillance Camera Man or SCM, is an anonymous YouTube user who posts videos of himself filming people in public without their permission. He's also known for his catchphrases 'I'm just taking a video', 'You seem confused', and 'You calm down!'. There is much debate and criticism on if his activities are legal.
Surveillance Camera Man joined YouTube on May 22, 2013 and uploaded 2 videos of himself filming people without their permission, the first on the University of Washington's campus, the other on the streets of Seattle. He has since uploaded more videos since then, with very long intervals of time between each upload. Every description of SCM's videos include the statement Surveillance Camera Man does not have a Facebook, website, or other YouTube channels. Nevermind the imposters.' Because of this, his identity remains unclear.
In 2014, Surveillance Camera Man's videos were removed from his channel, due to YouTube threatening to delete the channel. All of his videos were uploaded to a Liveleak account run by him, which he uses as a backup in case his videos are removed. A video containing all SCM videos were uploaded to the channel on July 27, 2015. He clarified in the description of the video that the channel was now in "good standing" and he can continue to upload on the channel once more. He also said:
"To anyone asking when new videos are coming out: I don't know. Maybe soon. Maybe never. SCM has never planned. Enjoy what you have."
Surveillance Camera Man's videos contain him going up to strangers on the streets of Seattle, Washington and filming them without their consent. The people he films normally get very angry with him and normally call the police. Most of his videos include him going into supposedly illegal Asian Mahjong gambling houses and filming the people inside, who normally immediately kick him out. He has also walked into fast food restaurant kitchens without permission and filmed the employees working there, who usually call the police or kick him out.Some people in SCM's videos have actually been very nice to him, including two Mormon missionaries who tried to teach him about Jesus and a woman who enjoyed being filmed, but ended up asking him if he wanted to 'party' with her back at her house, which he kindly declined. He has also frequently entered Seattle's Church of Scientology Center. People working the door normally kick him out. In one of his videos, one Scientology member threatened to call the police if he did not leave. Of course, SCM didn't, and continued to irk the member, playfully asking "Why would I wanna join your cult if you guy's aren't very nice?" As irate as people get in SCM's videos, he usually remains calm and kind to people, even when they threaten to assault him. Though sometimes, he remains silent when people ask him why he is filming them, most likely to irritate them.
There has been much criticism against Surveillance Camera Man for the contents of his videos. Most people criticize him for invading people's privacy or generally being rude to the public. Many people have speculated that SCM is trying to make a statement about CCTV and security cameras, and how people allow CCTV operators to film them without consent, but not a complete stranger. He frequently points this out to people in his videos, stating that if they feel comfortable letting security cameras record them, they should feel comfortable letting a complete stranger record them. There has also been much debate on whether or not SCM's actions are legal. Most people say that what he is doing is invasion of privacy, stalking or disturbing the public. Despite the constant argument that what he is doing is illegal, it is not against the law to film people in public without consent. Because of this, SCM cannot legally be arrested for filming people. He even points this out a few times in his videos, telling people that he can film them in public when someone claims that what he's doing is illegal.
Future of Surveillance Camera Man
At some point in 2014, every video on SCM's channel was deleted. He soon uploaded a video explaining that YouTube had threatened to delete the channel (currently for unknown reasons). Many speculated that YouTube did not appreciate the content SCM was providing, or that it had something to do with Scientology.
After SCM's videos were removed from YouTube, he uploaded every SCM video to Liveleak and Dailymotion, which he uses as backups. He uploaded a video to his channel containing every SCM video (except for the segment containing the song), revealing that the channel was in 'good standing' with YouTube. He also revealed that he may or may not continue uploading to the channel, stating "appreciate what you have".