Now You Too Can Be A Surveillance Camera!

from the digg-for-law-enforcement. dept

We’ve had plenty of stories in the past about the concept of “sousveillance” and David Brin’s idea of the transparent society where everyone watches everyone else, and it seems like the world keeps moving in that direction. The latest is in New York City, where Mayor Bloomberg is apparently working on a plan where anyone can take camera phone photos or videos of suspicious activity and immediately send them off to the police. Of course, that only works if the police aren’t flooded with bogus reports. Maybe this doesn’t go far enough. The next step should be for them to make all the images and video publicly available somewhere, so that crowds of web surfers can vote on which images and videos are actually crimes, and which aren’t worth bothering with. Think of it as a Digg for law enforcement.

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Comments on “Now You Too Can Be A Surveillance Camera!”

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Riley says:

Junior High Society

A public where everyone is capable of snitching on one another? Cool…I’ve always wanted to be a cop. Or even more so, a vigilante. But where is the line legally drawn? If I’m out to ‘get someone’, say an ex-wife or a prominent sports figure I don’t like, can I just stalk her until I catch her jaywalking on my Motorola Krzr? And when you take a picture of a crime, are you responsible for testifying in court? Because I know a lot of people who are very gifted in the art of ‘Photoshop’, and a few more that are quite capable of sending anonymous messages. I sincerely hate being a naysayer, but I really can’t wait for the problems to start surfacing with this model. There have to be some implications when you give the public a convenient way to rat each other out.

security (user link) says:

Laymen Defining Suspicious Activity has mixed resu

Suspicious activity can sometimes require training, and hopefully, those who do this will do this with discretion.

Imagine an altercation developing because someone objected to having a video or picture taken.

Also, would the police arrest people who would video or photograph THEM?

Or perhaps lawsuits developing over false allegations.

Anonymous Coward says:

Aren’t people in larger cities already caught on video like 200 times a day: bank cameras, store cameras, stop light crossings, hospitals, Wal-mart, ad-nauseum?

Wasn’t that the way that caught that hospital employee that stabbed that woman a few weeks ago? traced his whole escape route.

So, how much more Orwellian can we get? In the book “1984”, weren’t you considered double-plus-good to rat on those doing “ungood”?

Anonymous Coward says:

CNN reported on this today and while at first hand it did sound like anyone can just send in pics and vids, its not that straight forward. CNN elaborated on how this will work.

You call 911 and report the problem and tell them you have vids/pics. They determine if this is BS or you are for real or if they even need the pics/vids and if they want you to send them in they send you a text message. You respond to that text message and include your pics/vids.

Kyle (user link) says:

So if someone sees a crime and is trying to report it to 911, an image won’t help? Is that the thing? I think it can be quite handy. “What sort of car is it?” “uh… blue? Here, let me send a picture.”

Given that prank callers to 911 already are prosecuted, why would this be any different? Randomly sending in photos is only going to get the “reporter” into trouble, and this ability is really not that different from the existing system of calling in to report suspicious activity. Or is 911 as we know it today part of the Vast Conspiracy to Control Us All?

Jeff says:

Re: Re:

Or is 911 as we know it today part of the Vast Conspiracy to Control Us All?

When I’m on hold waiting and bleeding to death because the rest of the lines are tied up with stupid bitches who call 911 for injured birds, lost wallets or loud music on a Saturday…then yes…sort of…but not really…I say let’s fix the system we have before we “improve” it by letting the nerds that work for the gov’t go nuts with a bunch of money so they can build a big, huge, expensive-ass system that may or may not (leaning towards not) work.

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