We've discussed in the past the idea that stopping the rise of surveillance was an impossible ideal, but that "watching the watchers" is an intriguing response instead. Alternatively known as "sousveillance" or by David Brin's "transparent society" concept, it assumes that if surveillance is going to happen, the best way to deal with it is to make it easy to watch the watchers -- thereby ensuring they're less likely to do something wrong. This idea is getting some attention again today as Bruce Schneier points to the story of some surveillance camera operators in the UK who have been punished for using the camera to spy on a naked woman in her apartment. The camera operators, and their supervisor, have now all been punished. However, what's not explained at all is how these three guys were caught. Considering the point of Schneier's post was to ask "who's watching the watchers," it appears that someone was -- as that's how they got caught. So the real question is whether or not the process that caught these guys is effective in catching more abuses -- or whether this was an outlier case, and there are plenty of other abuses that go unreported. Updated: To add to this, someone just sent me a different story about hackers being able to hack into CCTV cameras, like those used by the camera monitors above. In other words, with a little skill, it could have been just about anyone peeping into this woman's apartment.
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