from the oops dept
Last year, we wrote about an odd use of infrared camera technology. Apparently, a city in the UK, Haringey, was sending out spy planes with infrared cameras to map out heat loss from every home. It then put the whole map online, so that everyone could see how much heat their homes were leaking. While perhaps a little creepy, it was kind of a neat use of the technology. What we didn’t realize was that there’s a secondary use of such technology as well. Apparently infrared technology from spy planes or helicopters is also used to detect potential marijuana growers. It seems the intersection of these two uses has caused a bit of a problem in one case.
Boing Boing alerts us to the news that a woman who actually worked for the police department had her own home targeted in a drug raid (by officers who knew her) thanks to infrared imaging from a flyover that suggested she might be growing pot. Instead, it turned out she just had bad insulation. Still, the police admitted that they were going to raid the house no matter what, and if the woman hadn’t been home, they would have broken in. You would think that, perhaps, a little more evidence would be needed. In the meantime, are police now going to scan the Haringey map above for more houses to raid?