Are your friends criminals? - Page 2

Things get weird at the Zero Graffiti International Conference

The Zero Graffiti International Conference program, complete with ads for anti-spraycan spy technology.

Perhaps the most ominous is one of the tools our own city uses, according to SF's DPW director of public affairs Rachel Gordon. Meet the GraffitiTech graffiti detection system, a 10" x 3.8" box that mysteriously detects tagging as it happens by means of "advanced heuristics and algorithms," according to its company's website. The sensor's inner workings are left unexplained for fear of vandalism attempts but I've taken the liberty tracking down GraffitiTech's US Patent Office full text description for those interested.

The second and final lecture open to the public that day was that of Dwight Waldo, a retired San Bernadino cop who proudly recounted tales of shutting down legal street art shows and murals by proving associated artists had drug convictions. He described the "five types" of graffiti to the crowd, and lauded the use of the Internet for its utility in researching crime (you can start by searching "tag crews fighting" on YouTube, he advised.)

"You're going to hear things in trainings where you'll go 'oh I can't do that' because your political climate doesn't allow it," Waldo told Zero Graffiti attendees.

An hour later Mohammed Nuru, director of the DPW, used the podium to announce plans to fight for higher mandatory fines for convicted taggers, and to require commercial truck owners to rid their vehicles of graffiti before their registration could be renewed. Perhaps the political climate in the Bay Area is changing when it comes to the war on graffiti.


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