The demand for privacy markets in everything

by on April 27, 2010 at 12:59 pm in Economics | Permalink

This story is about Abramovich's private yacht:

Infrared lasers detect the electronic light sensors in nearby cameras, known as charge-coupled devices. When the system detects such a device, it fires a focused beam of light at the camera, disrupting its ability to record a digital image.

The beams can also be activated manually by security guards if they spot a photographer loitering.

The yacht also has a missile defense system.  For the pointer I thank Daniel Lippman.

Geoff NoNick April 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm

It doesn’t have an air search radar, deck gun, close-in weapon system or missile launch platform, so I’m not certain what kind of “missile defense system” it could have. Maybe they’ll be fitted later, but I don’t see where they would go.

bbartlog April 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm

‘nearby cameras’… should actually say nearby *digital* cameras. I sense a niche use for old-school analog technology, here :-).

Derek Lowe April 27, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Since a CCD is a passive device, I don’t see how they can be detected. Autofocus systems, yes – but not the CCD chips themselves, not if you’re manually focusing.

Paul Johnson April 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Let’s see. You can pick up an excellent used manual camera – no electronics – with telephoto – for a few hunded bucks…

Rahul April 27, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Maybe the systems effectiveness against paparazzi is due to a perceived notion that it does work. Just hype.

How far can it work against? What about a good telephoto lens that might work from a mile away?

Of course, I wonder how all these excellent photos of the yacht (just google it) were taken, in spite of the anti-paparazzi system?

Bill April 27, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Remember the economists who said after the fall of the Soviet Union:

Never mind that state property auctions may not be perfect, or even if there is corruption, what matters is that the property, if it is in private hands, will be operated more efficiently than it is now, and over time, everything will work out because the market always work, no matter how the initial hand is dealt.

Well, does it? Has it?

Why did it fail in the Soviet Union and succeed in other Eastern Block countries? Or, is it still evolving?

anon April 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Abramovich’s debit card is good to get such a wonderful yatch but not for Chelsea to win the UEFA Champions League. Go Barça.

Hear, hear!

Bill April 27, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Vehical Driver, It seemed to me that the point of the post was that there was this oligarch who captured all this money and built himself a big boat. It was the post’s point. Sounds like its OK with you and Abramovich. Just saying that those who said the initial hand would devolve into efficient, comepetitive enterprises (without state payoffs and bribes) may have time to wait.

Eric H April 28, 2010 at 12:49 am

I have seen laser-based systems that will highlight lurking snipers, so this isn’t too far-fetched. “IR laser” is not very descriptive: too far into the IR and (1) it won’t pass through the lens to detect the CCD (which actually requires two passes through the lens), and (2) it won’t disrupt the CCD because it is beyond its response region. But maybe the detection and disruption lasers are separate? However, most modern cameras have CMOS detectors, not CCDs, so this thing is obsolete before it gets out the door. Or the reporter is confused. Or it’s nonsense. And easily defeated (as pointed out above) with film or a narrow band rejection filter (or an IR cut filter if it really is an IR laser).

Ken, you can get a new digital back for your old Hasselblad (and maybe those others). $14,000.

Andrey April 28, 2010 at 2:10 am


You assume that a) hands were indeed private and b) there is relatively free market.

You might want to find out how Abramovich came to power.

Andrew April 28, 2010 at 5:52 am

Right, because the USSR was a socialist utopia of equality and happiness.

And the instant it broke up, it was instantaneously a free market that transferred the state assets to a handful of oligarchs.

The State had nothing to do with the distribution of assets.

Andrew April 28, 2010 at 6:16 am

I’ve never heard a progressive complain about this:

I guess because Johnny Depp makes an honest living providing a product of real social value.

albatross April 28, 2010 at 8:51 am

As an aside, a system like this is described in Spider Robinson’s near-future light SF book _The Free Lunch_.

Andrey April 28, 2010 at 10:20 am

Selling off stuff wasn’t the biggest problem (it was one of smaller ones though). The fact that rule of law differs for certain government officials (their relatives and friends as well) is. You can have any kind of auctions as much as you please, but what’s the difference if in the end property rights depend on lack of interest from those in power?

Sam April 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

The anti-camera device probably looks for reflections from the glass (IIRC this is the same as the anti-sniper systems), but returns fire with an IR laser to saturate the photosensor rather than with .50 BMG.

batterie July 29, 2010 at 7:44 am

It was the post’s point like its with you 。

r4 ds July 29, 2010 at 7:47 am

I don’t see where they would go,Let’s keep it that way.

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