For years I’ve been checking the daily weather of my home town thanks to webcams. Four of them. I would check in the morning and in the evening before going to sleep. It felt a little strange because Italy is either 8 or 9 hours ahead of us, depends on the season. Every Thursday night, I would get to see the same trucks arrive and park very early in the Piazza, on their assigned spot. There they would set up their tables and their displays, ready for the weekly open market. I could recognize each of them by the color of their awnings. And when I get back home, I go to the mercato on Friday morning and say hello. They call me l’americana even so I speak our dialect to them. It’s fun. Another of the webcams shows a familiar park with rows of trees, the same trees that were there when I was a little girl. I get to witness the changing of seasons by the color of the leaves or the nakedness of the branches. Season after season, year after year. Until now. These are public webcams, showing only the image as it appears when you click on it. So I was surprised when about a week ago I clicked on the link and a message appeared on the screen of the site showing the piazza. It asked the visitor to fill out a questionnaire, maybe a password you will then use to sign in every time you visit? But only that one webcam, the other 3 were still openly accessible by just clicking on it. Until tonight…the fourth one is now also restricted by a sign-in form. What’s going on? I’m down to two, let’s see how long before a sign up notice appears there also…why? Any guess???? Never had to sign up for any public webcam anywhere and I do use them especially when I’m writing about a location I haven’t visited in a while…Sort of the Internet backfiring on us.