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A Balancing Force to Mass Surveilance? 150

Posted by Cliff
from the a-counter-to-big-brother dept.
moerty asks: "The advent and application of video surveillance by governments on its peoples has been a worrying trend in western society. The recent incident with the use of tasers on a UCLA student has highlighted a shift of power where surveillance in the hands of civilians can be used as an equalizing tool against government oppression. What are the best optic/sound capture devices for such a situation? A plus is having a device that is inconspicuous, since photographers are usually targeted due to the visibility of their cameras. What about off-site storage and the hosting of such videos? As a follow-up, what organizations exist that encourage the use of the camera as an equalizing tool?"
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A Balancing Force to Mass Surveilance?

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  • I support cameras. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @01:16PM (#17148998) Homepage Journal
    I've been a big supporter of cameras not to just protect my rights, but to prove my innocence and to protect me. Based on talking with slashdot user jdavidb [slashdot.org], I've given up my guns and have fully accepted the pacifist way (I feel that it is the most Christian attitude). While I would not attempt to defend myself anymore, not even from the State, I do believe it is OK to document what happened if something bad happened. Plus, the two cameras I do have on my property have secondary uses that are even more of a benefit: I can see who is at the door without getting up, and I can see if my driveway needs to be shoveled before I get home (a quick call to a neighbor's kid). This works great.

    I have videotaped local law enforcement a few times in the past year as I've been working on a "free" viral documentary I've been hoping to put on YouTube to gain some support for both citizen surveillance of the State, as well as the ridiculousness of the State most of the time. I'd videotape police officers sitting around "radaring" possible speeders in hopes of catching them doing that when a crime may have occurred at the same time -- a real crime with a real victim. Lucky for me, 3 out of 4 times that I caught a cop doing nothing but attempting to produce income for the State there had been a violent crime within 15 minutes of the wasted taxpayer labor. You can't beat that. But the fourth time I was actually questioned for a full 20 minutes by the officer (or a radio'd in backup) as to what exactly I was doing.

    I explained that the officer was on private property (usually a parking lot), as was I. Just as the officer didn't ask for prior approval, neither had I, but I would happily leave if the owner of the property told me to (or posted signs to the effect of telling me I can't be there). Since neither occurred, I felt I had ever reason to watch the police who watch us. The officer said I could be arrested for trespass and for violating the officer's privacy. I explained to the near-arresting officer that no one has privacy of transport in public as long as they're on public property or on someone else's private property. I do believe you have the "right" to privacy within your home (close the shades), but the minute you leave your property, you're on someone's land, and that person has the right to dictate what can be done on their property. That didn't jive with the officer, but he let me go (as if he ever really had me in custody). Unbelievable.

    I feel we should be watching ourselves more closely. I had a rear-camera on my old truck to back it up easier, and I'd happily use it to record if I felt I needed to. I've even come out supporting the idea of the State IF and ONLY IF everyone who works for the State had to be under constant surveillance -- constant. Public IP cameras in the mayor's office and car. Public IP cameras in the DMV. Public IP cameras following the President. Let amateurs watch them, if they wish, and tag them and bookmark them and watch those watching us. If the public official has a lot of power, they should be watched even on their private time -- no bribery, no scandals, no cheating, no lying. Get them in their kitchen, get them in their meetings. The public should have privacy, but the public official should have none. Zero. They're our employees, right? They have the power to tax/steal from us, right? They have the power to imprison/enslave us, right? We should know what they're doing -- all the time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GigsVT (208848)
      You don't have to give up your guns to be a pacifist. You can reject the initiation of force while reserving the right to defense.
      • by dada21 (163177) *
        You don't have to give up your guns to be a pacifist. You can reject the initiation of force while reserving the right to defense.

        Actually, I agreed with you on this until jdavidb reminded me that as an anarcho-capitalist that is also a Christian, violence towards another is absolutely not the answer. Jesus was very specific about living by the sword, turning the other cheek to our enemies, and loving all even those who don't love us. Self-defense really has no weight for me anymore.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by GigsVT (208848)
          I guess that would be the most consistant view for an anarcho-capitalist Christian. Could get a little dicey though. Would you report someone who committed a crime against you, knowing that it would result in their imprisonment?
          • by dada21 (163177) *
            Would you report someone who committed a crime against you, knowing that it would result in their imprisonment?

            No, definitely not. I am insured against as many crimes as possible, so why would it matter if the "evil doer" was caught or not?
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Alphager (957739)

              Would you report someone who committed a crime against you, knowing that it would result in their imprisonment?

              No, definitely not. I am insured against as many crimes as possible, so why would it matter if the "evil doer" was caught or not?
              So that the evildoer can be prevented to make another victim?
        • Then to each their own.

          I for one have been stomped on so hard by not aggressively protecting myself (not with guns per se.) that I refuse to be an absolute pacifist. I understand your philosophy and I genuinely wish you the best of luck.
          -nB
        • by Wog (58146)
          Why then, did Christ have his disciples buy weapons for themselves?

          "If he has no sword, he should sell his cloak and buy one."

          As a Christian who carries a gun every day, I understand that being a peaceful person does not mean giving up my own right to life.
          • "If he has no sword, he should sell his cloak and buy one."

            That is one that a lot of Christians are confused on, IMHO. Christ was telling them these things in order to fulfill prophecy -- the prophecy that he would reside among criminals. Also remember that he told his followers to steal a purse, too. Do you use scripture to promote theft? Read it for what it is -- fulfillent of prophecy, not the right to harm another.

            It doesn't surprise me that the Christian Right is so wrong -- they seem to have read
            • Hi!

              Could you give me pointers to that sword and purse? I wish to read it for myself. Thanks.

            • by Kosi (589267)
              As todays bibles are a distorted accumulation of intentional alterations (happened in the middle age and before, mostly to suit desires of the particular leaders) and loads of translational (and before Gutenberg also transcriptional) errors, it is obvious that noone of today can read the bible right, because there is none available to read.
        • by GypC (7592) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @01:54PM (#17149670) Homepage Journal
          If only all good people were like you, then us bad guys could take over the world...

          *sigh*

          Someday... someday...

          • MOD PARENT UP! (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Vellmont (569020)
            That's the best reply to the old "why can't we all just be pacifists!" argument I've seen.

            It drives me crazy the people that advocate a single solution (their own personal form of extremism) to the problems of the world. "Passive resistance worked for Ghandi, it must always work!." Or "War worked for the American Revolution, it must always work!". Or "Capitalism works to lower the price of tube socks to $2 a dozen, it must always work!".
        • by i.r.id10t (595143)
          Luke 22:36: "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

          Not a Christian myself, but I think that he may be OK for leaving the sword and getting a FAL, G3, or similar...
        • by radtea (464814) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:39PM (#17150522)
          Jesus was very specific about living by the sword, turning the other cheek to our enemies, and loving all even those who don't love us.

          Matthew 10:34: (Jesus instructs his followers) Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

          Matthew 26:51-54 (Judas betrays Jesus to the high preists) Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?"

          It is certainly plausible based on the second passage quoted that Jesus had no problem with his followers carrying swords, but didn't want them using them in that particular circumstance. The first quote above is general doctrine the second is regarding the specific circumstances of his arrest. Then again, one can plausibly interpret the first quote allegorically, but then you're on that slippery slope that leads all to quickly to "we had to destroy the village in order to save it" territory. After all, any Inquisitor would tell you with a straight face and pure heart that torturing heretics until they repented was an act of love, because the heretic's immortal soul was being saved from eternal damnation.

          So it would be wrong to think that Jesus was very clear on the matter of swords and violence. There is very, very little in the Bible that is clear and unambiguous, and believing there is clarity in the Bible is a sure sign one is at risk of becoming a danger to oneself and others.
          • WTF (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Ayanami Rei (621112) *
            This entire fucking thread is offtopic.

            Mod this whole meta-judeochristian-philisophical-wtfbbqry down. Including this post.

            BOMBS AWAY. Make sure to use all five of your points. Thanks.
        • by DaveV1.0 (203135)
          Yep, JC was specific about that until he laid the smackdown on the moneychangers.
      • by david.given (6740)

        You can reject the initiation of force while reserving the right to defense.

        Sure, except you cannot defend yourself with a gun --- they're purely offensive weapons. You can defend yourself with a sword against another sword, or a knife (if you're good) against another knife, but with a gun your only options are (a) to try to shoot someone (and therefore risk killing them) and (b) to not try to shoot them.

        You can use a gun as a deterrent, but that's a drastically different thing, and frequently not a v

        • defend v.tr.
                1. To make or keep safe from danger, attack, or harm.

          Shooting someone who is trying to hurt you certainly qualifies.
        • Self Defense (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Phil_At_NHS (1008933)
          "you cannot defend yourself with a gun --- they're purely offensive weapons. You can defend yourself with a sword against another sword, or a knife (if you're good) against another knife, but with a gun your only options are (a) to try to shoot someone (and therefore risk killing them) and (b) to not try to shoot them."

          This is a strange way of thinking. I think you have an incomplete understanding of "defense."

          You say you can defend yourself with a sword against another sword. Typical of the gun banner

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            You say that it is frequently not very useful. According to the FBI, (who should know,) of all the things you can do when faced with a criminal, the MOST EFFECTIVE way to prevent harm to self, is to resist with a gun. You are more likely to get hurt if you resist with a knife sword, or club. You are more likely to get hurt if you run. You are more likely to get hurt if you cooperate. You are least likely to get hurt if you pull a gun. That is a simple undeniable fact.

            You're more likely to get shot.

            Maybe, if

            • Any idiot can shoot somebody, and a lot of idiots do shoot people. Hence, anybody with a gun pointed in your direction is a threat to your life. On the other hand, an idiot with say, a knife; that's a very different circumstance.

              No, it's really not.

              It takes a good amount of skill to be able to wield a knife effectively. Even if somebody has a knife drawn and is holding it on you at close to point blank range, there's absolutely no guarantee he'll be able to kill you or significantly wound you.

              Ther

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                No, it's really not.

                I've fought a guy with a knife before; and I do it in practice all the time. An untrained idiot with a knife can get lucky, but is not as dangerous as most martial artists would have you believe. The trick is to disarm them before they can close to grappling range, (or knife-fighting range, I suppose), because grappling with a knife is luck of the draw.

                Seriously, I know you meant well, but your post is so far off reality that it's not even relevant. I could quote you plenty more things,

                • I've fought a guy with a knife before ... The trick is to disarm them before they can close to grappling range ... I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Doe ... I regularly spar with arming swords and do dagger and grappling techniques ... killing someone with your bare hands is not only possible, it's downright simple.

                  OK, I'm not going to play my dick's bigger than yours is. You are obviously confident of your abilities, yet what you say tells me that your experience and perception is built primarily upon tr

                  • I urge you to go out, get some exposure to arts that train with a focus on weapons techniques, and review your assumptions. I strongly suspect that the knife-wielding you guy you fought wasn't honestly trying to maim or kill you. If he was, then I'm not sure you realise how lucky you are to be here having this conversation.

                    That's entirely my point. A knife, unlike a gun, does not drastically change the paradigm of hand to hand combat. I would even go so far as to argue that most people with knives 'aren't h

                    • by BoberFett (127537)
                      That's the whole point of guns, to drastically change combat, balancing it between attacker and defender. My wife is 5'2", 125 pounds. The average male is 10 inches taller and weighs half again as much as she does. I'm not interested in maintaining some esoteric "paradigm of hand to hand combat" for her if someone decided to break into our house. I want her to have the option of killing that person if it comes to that.
                    • That's entirely my point. A knife, unlike a gun, does not drastically change the paradigm of hand to hand combat.

                      That's silly. When dealing with a knife, it is vastly easier for any given attack to cause serious injury or death. Moreover, it requires far less force to do damage of whatever level, and therefore attacks can be faster, less committed, and carried out by someone smaller and physically weaker with the same effects.

                      A gun, in contrast, makes almost no difference to "hand-to-hand" combat. The

                    • by BoberFett (127537)
                      Forgot to append the quote: "God made men, but Sam Colt made them equal."
        • by vandon (233276)

          Sure, except you cannot defend yourself with a gun

          defend /dfnd/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[di-fend]
          -verb (used with object)
          1. to ward off attack from; guard against assault or injury (usually fol. by from or against): The sentry defended the gate against sudden attack.

          So, the phrase "I defended myself from the knife wielding maniac, who was hell-bent on stabbing me, by shooting him with my gun." is a completely correct usage of the word defend.

    • by Sancho (17056)
      What kind of setup did you have on your truck? I've been thinking about doing this for awhile, and you could help me jump-start my research :)
      • I saw a unit on a friend's DeLorean that could flip the video image horizontally to mimic a rear-view mirror. Trying to back your vehicle while looking at a screen showing everything behind you the "right way around" was very confusing.
    • by hondo77 (324058)

      I'd videotape police officers sitting around "radaring" possible speeders in hopes of catching them doing that when a crime may have occurred at the same time -- a real crime with a real victim. Lucky for me, 3 out of 4 times that I caught a cop doing nothing but attempting to produce income for the State there had been a violent crime within 15 minutes of the wasted taxpayer labor.

      Are you implying that if the officers were not trying to catch speeders they would have been able to prevent a "real" crime

      • by Procyon101 (61366)
        Patrolling in order to show a police presence and unpredictibility in their location would be much more effective than sitting in a single, predictable location targetting traffic infractions. There are few rapes and burglaries happening on the interstate, yet that seems to be where the cops like to congregate. I'd much rather have them driving down my neighborhood street.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126)
      Your first mistake was to start with "to prove my innocence". I thought it was "innocence until proven guilty".

      This is my worst fear about cameras: people seem to be assuming everyone is a criminal unless there is eveidence to the contrary now. If a camera didn't see you do it, it must be because you were hiding from it. How else can you prove your innocence?
  • Not necessarily (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quanticle (843097) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @01:16PM (#17149008) Homepage

    Nothing for you to see here, please move along.

    Government oppression is alive and well, apparently.

    In all seriousness, miniaturization of surveillance technology is a sword that cuts both ways. Sure, we can have cell-phone cameras that can record police brutality. However, the government gets access to the same technology, allowing them to monitor us more easily as well.

    • Your point is well-taken. However, this stuff is much more dangerous in the hands of a government. The insidious thing about surveillance in public isn't so much the surveillance itself -- after all, anyone can see you walking down the street already -- it's the systematic collection and analysis of such material, and the conclusions drawn and implications made as a result. Governments have the resources to do that to individuals, and must be stopped from abusing this at all costs. Individuals, by their nat

  • best device (Score:3, Interesting)

    by way2trivial (601132) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @01:19PM (#17149044) Homepage Journal
    http://avidwireless.com/SuccessCamera.htm [avidwireless.com]

    even if you miss it, you can keep the last 30 seconds....

  • by hey! (33014) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @01:21PM (#17149076) Homepage Journal
    There is some virtue in the idea of a totally "transparent" society. The problem with most disclosures of private information is that they put you at a disadvantage; either they are out of context, or they fall disproportionately on you but not others around you.

    However, nobody who argues that we should chuck privacy argues that we should chuck it for everyone. They're really more interested in turning privacy from a right into a commodity, that some people can buy and others have to go without.

    Sure, sometimes you can catch a bad cop in the act. Good. But you can't catch the people you really need to watch; the people who control the surveillance network.
    • But you can't catch the people you really need to watch; the people who control the surveillance network.

      No, but you can make them liable for it. For instance, when a cop covers up their dashboard cam (or just turns it off in places where they're allowed to) and something happens, or when all of the footage in the subway station where the cops just shot some Brazilian guy mysteriously disappears, the people who were responsible for that should immediately and irrevocably lose their jobs. Sure, you might g
    • by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuel@b ... m ['ree' in gap]> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:38PM (#17150496) Homepage Journal
      If the authorities don't know when/where images are being taken they'll be a bit more careful. If nothing else, you have some hope of correction if you're doing your own documentation.

      I can give an example from personal experience:

      Back in 1994, I was asked to go along with some logging protesters to video the protest. I called this 'safety video' because the intention was to visibly document the protest to discourage loggers from engaging in vigilante violence. We never considered the possibility of violence on the part of the police.

      There were actually two of us doing video. Two people had chained themselves into cement barrels, and a couple of other people. Apparently there was a 3 year old injunction discouraging people from blocking the logging, so the cops showed up with the rep from the logging company and held us on the bridge while the logging company guy read the injunction to us and handed us copies. The second video guy was actually eager to get off the bridge and left as soon as the police allowed him to. I moved a bit more slowly (dealing with power problems on my camera).

      As I got off of the bridge, I heard a disturbance behind me. It turns out that the RCMP had arrested the other camera guy as he was leaving the bridge. I turned around to film him being stuffed into a police car as he protested "but I was trying to leave!". The lead officer (Sgt. Bruce Waite) turned around, saw me filming and challenged me "I thought I told you to to leave!".

      "OK", I said. I shrugged, put down my camera (but did not turn it off) and turned to walk further down the road. As I was walking away, he ordered another police officer to arrest me. I turned around and protested that I was (a) off of the bridge and off the road, and (b) walking away, but after he insisted (3 or 4 times) that the other officer arrest me, I was finally arrested.

      I was charged with contempt of court (violating an injunction). In his papers to the judge, the Seargent claimed that I had refused to leave the bridge. If I hadn't kept my camera running, I probably would have been convicted (his word against mine). Faced with my video, charges against me were dropped.

      After me and the other cameraman were arrested, and out of the way, the Seargent Waite ) turned around and assaulted the two people who were chained into barrels. It turns out that he had a history of being sued for assaulting prisoners (mostly natives).

      If it hadn't been for my video to put Sgt. Waite's testimony into question, the whole case would have probably turned out a whole lot different.

      • I was charged with contempt of court (violating an injunction). In his papers to the judge, the Seargent claimed that I had refused to leave the bridge. If I hadn't kept my camera running, I probably would have been convicted (his word against mine). Faced with my video, charges against me were dropped.

        Let me guess. He wasn't arrested for perjury, was he?
  • I hadn't heard of this incident but maybe students should start carrying their own tasers. Imagine if another student had tasered the rent-a-cop to get them to stop tasering the student over and over.

    • Imagine if another student had tasered the rent-a-cop to get them to stop tasering the student over and over.

      I think the video camera was a far more effective weapon. Tasering the cop would have only resulting in the other cops either all tasering the guy dumb enough to taser cop #1, or more likely the other cops shooting and killing the student with the taser. The cops would then just claim the whole thing was in self defense, and without video of the incident they'd probbably get away with it. (Courts
      • Or use mace then. My point is everyone stood around picking their noses instead of helping the student. They'd taser him and then tell him to stand up? Ever been tasered? You can't stand up for a while. So they tasered him again. They act like cops haven't ever had to drag a limp person out of a place before.
        • by Vellmont (569020)

          Or use mace then. My point is everyone stood around picking their noses instead of helping the student.

          I saw the video too, and that's not exactly true. There were several students asking for badge numbers, obviously one guy taping the whole thing (which later got submitted to youtube).

          You seem to think the only problem is the immediate one of a student being tasered. That's obviously horrible, but I see the main problem as the police tasering people un-necessarily. There's probbably not a lot anyone cou
          • It works slowly, and all the officals try to cover their own asses by citing policy. But in the end I think the video will make change occur and stop the police from using tasers as a compliance device for non-violent "offenders".

            Yeah, I guess you are right. Hopefully those cops and their families will be plunged into financial ruin defending themselves in court and the kid who got tasered will be able to retire wealthy before he graduates.
    • Imagine if another student had tasered the rent-a-cop to get them to stop tasering the student over and over.
      The video was posted on slashdot; it involved a few (real) cops tasering someone who wouldn't cooperate while they were arresting him. If a student had tasered an officer, he would have probably been shot.
    • by oni (41625)
      Imagine if another student had tasered the rent-a-cop to get them to stop tasering the student over and over.

      Well, the difference between the two would be:

      The cop tasering the student was RIGHT, but the student tasering the cop would be WRONG.

      And no, I'm not being sarcastic.

      This is such a duh, obvious cut and dry case that anyone who thinking the student DIDNT deserve to get tasered multiple times must be delusional.

      The rule is: if you want to be in the computer lab, you have to have ID. That's the rule.

      • First off, he wasn't asked to leave by the cops, he was asked to leave by a librarian.

        Second. He was on his way out when the cops (LAPD) did show up and they grabbed him.

        Third. Do you have any idea how difficult it would be to stand up after repeatedly being tasered? Not 10 minutes later, not 1 minute later, not even 30 seconds later.

        Go ahead... be happy with your authoritarian friends. Maybe I'll just look the other way when you're being tortured.

        -metric
        • by oni (41625)
          be happy with your authoritarian friends.

          I'm not authoritarian at all. When the police really do abuse their power, I'm just as mad as anyone. Fortunately, this wasn't such a case. Post a slashdot article when someone really gets abused and I'm all about it. A whiny little bitch learning that the earth doesn't revolve around him doesn't make me particularly angry.
      • by theghost (156240)
        Ignoring whether or not they should have been hassling this kid in the first place, the whole problem with your analysis is that you are assuming that it is the cops' job to give the student "what he deserved".

        It's not. Their job is to investigate crimes, arrest suspects, and deliver them to trial. The courts take care of deciding guilt or innocence and handing out appropriate punishment. The taser is a less-than-lethal weapon should be used to subdue suspects, not to punish them.

        The kid they tasered was no
        • by oni (41625)
          you are assuming that it is the cops' job to give the student "what he deserved".

          not at all! It's no more the cops job to give someone "what they deserve" than it is a bus driver's job to give a jaywalker "what he deserves."

          HOWEVER, if you step in front of a bus, you're going to get what you deserve, and I'm not going to feel sorry for you.

          Well, I mean, if you didn't see the bus that'd be one thing, but if you just think you're special and traffic needs to stop for you, then fuck you, fuck you right in the
          • by theghost (156240)
            If the bus driver could stop or swerve to avoid you but didn't then the bus driver should be prosecuted for what he did.

            These cops could have stopped or chosen some other course of action. They should be held responsible.
            • by oni (41625)
              These cops could have stopped or chosen some other course of action.

              Why did you bother to type that if you weren't going to provide an example of what the cops could do? It sounds like you don't want to have a discussion, you just want to argue.

              If you have a suggestion then please post it.

              1. obviously talking to the guy didn't work
              2. obviously they had trouble carrying him

              • by theghost (156240)
                "obviously they had trouble carrying him"

                From where do you infer this? Every source i have read says they never tried to carry him and he took no violent or threatening action.

                Carry him is exactly the suggestion i would have made. It's so obvious that even you figured it out. Stop creating excuses for the cops.
              • It's not like cops didn't know how to subdue a person prior to the adoption of tasers. Most of the police officers I know are trained to do all sorts of painful things to whatever part of you they've got ahold of. I thought that pretty much defined 'pain compliance'. Pressure points, joint locks, compression locks, batons, boots, pepper spray, tasers, they're all pain compliance tools - and there's nothing wrong with using them. However, they all have their appropriate uses and places, and in this case the
      • Re:Carry a taser (Score:4, Informative)

        by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Friday December 08, 2006 @02:10AM (#17159234) Homepage
        You are wrong about pretty much every specific of the case you bring up.

        1) The student didn't forget his ID. He refused to show it, because it's a stupid rule and because he felt he was being singled out for his ethnicity.

        2) The police didn't ask to see his ID. A librarian did. By the time the police got there, the student was heading out the door, but the cop couldn't resist putting a hand on him. That's no way to treat someone who is already complying with your requests, because it escalates the situation. The cops escalated the situation repeatedly.

        3) The students surrounding the cops seemed far less concerned about their term papers than about the flagrant abuse the cops were inflicting on an unresisting student who posed no threat to them.

        4) You say that after the first tazering, he still didn't "grow up." In fact, the problem was that he didn't *get* up, which is hard to do after being hit with a stun gun, and even harder after three or four blasts. Of course, at this point he was already handcuffed, and couldn't pose any threat to anything except for the ... sniff... fragile egos of those brave men in blue.

        5) The cop in question was actually the reason the UCLA cops were carrying tasers in the first place. He'd previously been suspended for three months after fatally shooting a homeless man. I'm sure the guy gave the cop lip, though. So he obviously deserved it.

        I'm amazed that you're more concerned with a student being "a whiny bitch" than a cop denigrating his own profession and abusing a citizen. But given how you recount the events with such utter relish, my amazement is tempered by the realization that you're basically an idiot, and your opinion doesn't count for much.
  • Looks like a PDA, is really a phone and communications device, but contains a 2MP camera that has a pretty good video mode and the sound pickup to go with it. Downside is that it either looks like you're using a camera or the picture gets taken sideways. I'm sure there's a MPEG-4 editor out there that can do the rotation though after the fact.
    • by Sancho (17056)
      As an owner of the Sprint version of this phone, I can't disagree more. The camera is probably the worst piece of crap I've seen in a long time.

      The image lag you get is awful, the shutter speed (for stills) means that you pretty much have to set it on a stationary object, or it's going to be blurry. And don't even think about using it without plenty of light.

      I haven't mess with video all that much, but it doesn't seem too much better. And you can't get more than 30 seconds out of it without registry hack
      • Sprint must have really disabled that phone then- I've taken 40-50 minutes of video at a whack (with a Kingston 2GB card) and I've had no problem with blurry photos yet. Of course- I do use a third party product to empty memory first before using the camera- I've noticed for instance that you do get a lot of lag if you're playing MP3s in the background....
  • As popular as YouTube is, how long before video cell phones can provide 1-click uploads directly to YouTube? While it would be in the hands of a private corporation (Google), this would provide for what the poster is suggesting in a way that would be popularly accessible and justifiable from a business perspective. More compelling user-made video content means more un-incumbered video to serve ads with.

    Of course by off-site hosting the poster presumably means getting the video persisted somewhere off the re
  • Just wait until a few generations of ipods away that anyone can easily record and upload video. Blogs and youtube are the big thing currently. Wait until some one combines the two with a wiki and maybe GPS. If it really catches on, it would bring an entirely new concept to eye-witness if most people have these things going all the time. There was early an article about VR and "false memory". As soon as everyone can easily record and review most of their life, we'd quickly see how much of our human memory i
  • Witness.org (Score:4, Informative)

    by daigu (111684) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @01:56PM (#17149710) Journal
    I think http://www.witness.org/ [witness.org] is worth mentioning. They have articles and guides like Effective Strategies for Video Advocacy [witness.org], "Tips & Techniques" Training Video and Manual [witness.org] and so forth that might help you get some ideas.
  • by MuChild (656741) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:07PM (#17149918)
    Michel Foucault came up with the idea that our society is based on a series of "social engines" that rely on the possiblity that any one person could be watched at any time. Which is why most drivers stop at a stop sign in the middle of nowhere at three in the morning when they know that there aren't any other drivers on the road: because someone might see them and punish them. He called this effect the panopticon after an 18th or 19th century prison design which allows one guard in a central tower to see into any of the cells arrainged in a ring around it (think the prison in Silent Hill: The Room).

    He predicted that, as technology increased, the panopticon would become ever more pervasive and ever more invasive. That was a few decades ago. Sure enough!

    The trick is, as others have mentioned,that as technology becomes more and more advanced, that people who were traditionally in the position of "guards" are now safely monitored in their own panopticon. Case in point, the nanny-cam.

    I say let it roll! I say let's get every politician, police officer, judge, corporate CEO, etc. wired for audio and video and have it stream to the internet 24/7! If we can't hide, then neither can they.

    • by blueZ3 (744446) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:28PM (#17150282) Homepage
      One, because the law says to stop at a Stop sign. There are a good number of folks out there who stop because obeying traffic laws is the right thing to do. Let's just skip right over the obligatory /. moral relativism--there are people in the real world who don't feel a juvenile compulsion to break any and every law to prove they are somehow fighting "the violence inherent in the system." There are nonsensical laws, even laws that deserve to be ignored, but generally traffic laws don't fall into that category.

      Secondly, they stop because they're aware of their fallibility. Just because it's three o'clock in the morning and they didn't notice any headlights on the cross street while they were approaching the intersection doesn't mean that there's no oncoming traffic.

      I've been surprised by supposedly intelligent people I ride with who don't use their signals when changing lanes. The rationale is frequently "I already looked and there's nobody there, so I don't need to signal." My response is invariably the same "Haven't you ever started to change lanes and then seen someone you didn't realize was in your blind spot? That person has no way of knowing you're about to clobber them if you don't signal." The response is usually a non sequitur.
      • by bogjobber (880402)

        One, because the law says to stop at a Stop sign. There are a good number of folks out there who stop because obeying traffic laws is the right thing to do. Let's just skip right over the obligatory /. moral relativism--there are people in the real world who don't feel a juvenile compulsion to break any and every law to prove they are somehow fighting "the violence inherent in the system." There are nonsensical laws, even laws that deserve to be ignored, but generally traffic laws don't fall into that categ

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I say let it roll! I say let's get every politician, police officer, judge, corporate CEO, etc. wired for audio and video and have it stream to the internet 24/7! If we can't hide, then neither can they.

      That would be the panspectrum then...which in comparison to the panopticum doesn't just 'suggest' that you could be being watched, but watches you constantly, or more precisely just records everything you or anyone else does 24/7.

      But a question I need to ask, even if everything would get recorded (and in today's world a lot already does!), who cares?
      What are the consequences? And more importantly, do all those cameras not make peaple forget their obligation to react when they see injustice?
      The UCLA-inciden

  • "Who watches the watchers?" is an old question. The answer, if there is one, is "The watched".

    People should have equal access to cameras. And in the face of criminal charges, the accused does have the right of subpoena and full access to any and all exculpatory evidence. When the Persecutor isn't being malfeasant, as they frequently are on TV.

  • Much as I dislike the theory of loading up cellphones with tons of crap, the higher-resolution, streaming-capable phones are almost the perfect tool in this case. Many cameraphones exist with decent megapixel ratings, and camera that can capture+broadcast live video. Of course, the data-plans are currently expensive, but I'd imagine that as such things move more and more into the mainstream they will become more reasonable.

    I'm not sure 100% how the video works, but I'd be very pleased if providers offered
  • SF author David Brin came out years ago with the same idea. That while cameras in all public areas that only the government enforcement agencies receive the feed from would likely be oppressive, cameras in all public areas that the public at large can tap the feed any time they wish would be a liberating advance. Just giving credit where it's due.
  • Brin (Score:3, Informative)

    by Metasquares (555685) <slashdot@NoSPAM.metasquared.com> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:35PM (#17151474) Homepage
    One of my favorite authors, David Brin, discusses precisely this in one of his books, The Transparent Society [wikipedia.org].
  • I've been interested in ideas like Sousveillance [wikipedia.org] and the Transparent Society [wikipedia.org] for a while -- just see my sig. I'm curious though: Does anybody know of ways to record images/video on something like a cellphone cam and have them automatically uploaded on-the-fly to a server someplace? I imagine that would be useful for situations where there's a high probability of having the recording device seized, such as when you're recording a protest or abuse of authority.
  • Is to alienate them in the same way we're getting alienated.

    Surveil our senators, department secretaries, everyone. At all times.

    After a quarter of them gets caught with hookers, the whole surveillance thing will go tits up RIGHT quick ;)
  • What you need is a RoboEye3000 [bbc.co.uk]. Our patented eye implant broadcasts a wireless signal to your recording device, and can be installed in as little as 10 minutes.* Couple that with our Dell & Howel AcoustiAss audio recording suppository, which also receives and records the video "feed" (no pun intended), and you'll have all the surveillance technology you can stand. It's made by Dell & Howel, so you know it's a quality product. AND our receiver is so squishy and life-like that we provide a "Money
  • 1 mac latop = $2400
    1 audacity software package = $0
    1 felony for secret recording = 2-4 in fed pen, thousands in fines

    A clear audio recording your soon to be ex-wife telling you that she wants
    you to have no access to your children = priceless

  • youtube
    at the point maybe
    wetube
    (mod redundant)

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