Airports are places that are heavily surveilled by different (technical) means, including CCTV (Closed Circuit Television). So far, the literature on CCTV has not paid much attention to the practices behind the screens of the CCTV monitors at airports. In this article, we present an in-depth, ethnographic study of the use of CCTV in the Military Police's control room at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. We find that, since nobody is ‘at home’ at Schiphol, surveillance through CCTV is a challenge for the police. The operators in the control room are constantly struggling with the question how to spot deviance in a situation where they believe normal behavior does not exist. Our study shows that the categories for singling out the abnormal identified by Norris and Goold are rarely used by the Military Police at Schiphol. Instead, they heavily rely on routine, transmitted, and retrospective surveillance.
IOS Press, Inc.
6751 Tepper Drive
Clifton, VA 20124
Tel.: +1 703 830 6300
Fax: +1 703 830 2300 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Corporate matters and books only) IOS Press c/o Accucoms US, Inc.
For North America Sales and Customer Service
West Point Commons
Lansdale PA 19446
Tel.: +1 866 855 8967
Fax: +1 215 660 5042 email@example.com