In his novel, Earth, David Brin, writing in 1991, describes a society in the year 2038 where military action is taken against people who keep secrets… And, by the way, in which Bangladesh is simply gone due to rising sea levels, and physics experiments are about to destroy the world.
One thing he gets right: he posits a world where nearly everyone wears a video camera, and is constantly uplinking video in real time to central servers accessibile to all. Senior citizens especially are likely to be wearing video cameras to record any crimes committed against them, which combined with facial recognition software is a powerful deterrent.
Some Los Angeles grass-roots groups are training citizens to use cameras, video cell phones and the speed and Internet sites like YouTube to get their voices, and pictures, heard.
“We urge everyone to have a camera on them at all times so if anything happens it can be documented. The concept of patrolling the police is something we are trying to push as a form of direct action,” said Sherman Austin, a founder of Cop Watch L.A., which launched its Web site three months ago.
The three videos shot on cell phones or small recorders capturing Los Angeles police using apparently excessive force to restrain suspects all surfaced within a week.
Of course, what goes around comes around. If the anti-police patrol would police its own communities, recording drug buys, muggings, trolling johns, etc., imagine the salutary effect on minority on minority crime. Of course, some of those folks shoot back with something besides camcorders: unlike the cops. Now, when a cop plugs somebody for videoing an arrest, THAT will be real news.
In the meantime, guard your secrets jealously.