H+ Elbow Little Brother

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Meeting 3/4 at 1900


  • Has sousveillance helped or hindered people's abilities to improve quality of life? How?
  • Are you aware of surveillance technology in your environment?
    • How do you feel knowing you are being watched?
  • Has sousveillance contributed to the transformation of the future of humanity? How?
  • What is the potential of sousveillance?
    • Does it have limits?
  • Are you interested in knowing the location of surveillance cameras in your environment?
    • Would you document the location of surveillance cameras?
    • Why?

B'Tselem's Video Camera Distribution Project: A Non-violent Way to Fight Back


What it is!

Sousveillance on wikipedia

Quality of Life

  • Recording police butality helps.
  • Reality motivates you to have something like this. Like employers abusing employees. But with something like this, it gives people who can't usually speak to defend themselves a value to add. But it's even more watching.
  • Idea is pretty mainstream now, not so much a movement. Everyone has a phone on them, quick to record things going on around them. Might not even be an av, but I might write an e-mail account of stuff. Sort of built in our heads how to record info to protect ourselves.
  • Thought about installing a camera in mailboxes to catch someone stealing mail.
  • But that's discoverable, so be careful what you record. Lawyer could request all the mail that has to do with this for the last 7 years or something.


  • Don't think many people are aware
  • When I'm in public, I assume I am, unless I'm at home
  • In Seattle, not so much.
  • You don't know when there's a camera on one of the shops

Does the media give a biased view of proliferation of cameras?

  • Assume it's very public. Trickier to think all the time, am I walking by a camera, just assume.
  • I was a little influenced by things on TV. Guy on TV, but when it's recorded it looks like a crazy person.
  • Scared of how they'd edit you

Alter Behavior?

  • I don't walk around feeling like I'm being watched. If I did, I might alter my behavior. Difference between a friend having a camera and Big Brother, i'm more rude to BB.
  • So I smoke weed sometimes, but if I don't have a place to light up, I'll look around for a camera. Other than that, not really.
  • I am influenced. More psyched by the editing capabilities. Easier to make someone look stupid or illegal. Try to be polite, otherwise I'm loud and obnoxious.
  • If you're into a group of your peers, people you know, you think about what might be seen a lot more because you might do something done at work, that could affect you. If you say something dumb at a meeting you mind yourself more. Peers.
  • Difference between being recorded and being watched. Future use versus active effort.

Shaping The Future

  • You see a lot more stupid shit on the TV and internet. We haven't really reacted yet.
  • Makes me feel normal because everyone is crazy
  • All boats rise with the crazy tide
  • I don't know that I personally care about how much people watch me. If you want to watch me stroll down the street... ok...
    • But have you ever seen recorded footage of yourself? It's excrutating to see different aspects of yourself
    • In a mirror you're always posing
    • Like audio recording for public speaking and catching what you sound like
  • Was at Olympic Park, had to go into the office, so many monitors for watching the park. Felt one-sided, gave me a bad feeling of unfairness. If you're a little more free in a park. Crazy feeling of "why would I go there?"
  • Female perspective is different because they're used to being watched

The Future of Sousvellience

  • Too fast to be a movement. Too ubiquitos. Chaotic timeframe, fulltime audio recorders and then fulltime video recorders. Not long after that... authentications, don't know what the permissions will be like. People who publish their entire existence.
  • Like Justin.TV
  • Not everyone does that because most people realize they're not that interesting.
    • I suspect, as we become more individually capable, we'll feel more starved for connection, we'll publish our lives in hopes of a positive response
    • Good feedback mechanism
    • There's almost sort of a backlash, people who tweet everything or update FB all the time, realize no one cares, no one is listening. So leaving the camera running is no big deal
    • So long as it doesn't cost you anything
    • Wearable cameras a bit smaller, less dumb looking,
      • Part of your everyday attire
  • Will become more present. Satellites can become so much more clear, we can now say "I want to know what happened here from this time to this time, there's a global watching system. Top-down and bottom-up. When it becomes more affordable (private satellites), user generated content, people doing satellites will reach the goal faster.


  • So much recorded that it's impossible to look at it all
  • Automation is scary. This is what a transaction looks like, an individual's biometrics.
  • I'm not someone care to watch. But what if you become someone to watch?
    • Not doing anything wrong means not being worried about being watched.
    • But what about when you do need to do something "wrong"?
  • Subtle ways of profiling people. You go into x shop, you have been seen next to y person, suddenly you have police tailing you.


Google maps or somewhat, crowdsourced?

  • By the time I care about it, I would be smashing the cameras. They're all over the place. My behavior doesn't change
  • If you know it, you do change. If your phone beeps, you change your behavior
  • Any recording done by civil authority should be available as a live stream to the public. Should be a federal code.
  • Private sector fills in gaps of public coverage
  • not just about where the camera is, but where does the data go to?
  • Word about games where public feeds crowdsourced to public for crime investigations. Is that game points or euros?


  • Has the prevalence of surveillance in the UK actually helped? Or has it changed for the worse?
  • Evolutionarily, you can tell when you're being watched. If you can make cameras more human-friendly it would become more socially acceptable.
    • I see that happening in Japan
    • People only associate cameras with losing privacy or crime. Needs a new image (HA)
  • Backlash against people taking pictures, recording police, etc
    • In Seattle, there's no real way for officers to be punished after they've done something wrong. Charges often dismissed.
    • But if something like that has been recorded, would that have helped?
    • There is brainwashing that goes into colleges and schools that police are always correct. And so if there are enough videos, there are people losing faith in the system. Cops are human beings. It's not a one-sided thing, people mess up, gives a practical view of the world.
    • Important to have the tools there, even if the tools are sometimes used incorrectly. With enough of it, people won't stand a corrupt system for too long.
    • So there are videos in cops cars... how hard is it to get taht footage?
      • Incredibly difficult
      • So you have no choice, you have to protect yourself with your own information
  • There was a middle-eastern guy taking pictures on the docks, was arrested for taking pictures. DHS agent went up to him, gent didn't have ID, intimidated the crap out of him
  • Built in tech to record things going on around your car. You now have more power, it's a fair transaction.
    • Looping feed, clip where you want to save
    • Live feed, it's 3G
  • I don't like people to know where I am. I don't want peole to know when I'm not at home so they can rob me.
    • I don't have anything worth stealing, travel a lot, not many people know where I live
    • Son's school sends me updates as to when he arrived, what he had for lunch, etc. Not an opt-in system
      • Worried that your son is not having that adventurous childhood?
      • Yes!
  • What about the school that monitored the students?
    • I work at a place that does that!
  • If you want a wearable camera that's not detectible, how hard is that?
    • not at all
  • You have proof, you've recorded it. I have a video recording of a cop being really corrupt, but so what? You get people's sympathies, but it doesn't matter.

here to stay?

  • yes. And a good thing

Who has access? is the main issue. Is everyone a stewart of their own footage?

See also: H+ Elbow, Sousveilliance