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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  223 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: (1) Go Here (2) Sign in with a Twitter burner (3) Spy on Newark

There is an interesting bit of dichotomous thinking going on with security cameras.

On one hand, we have known of, and see, security cameras throughout our lives since at least the 1980's. These have gone from bulky things with wires, to little wireless things, but the idea is the same: Security Is Watching.

Over the last decade, cameras have become web-enabled and ubiquitous. So now anyone can log in to tens of thousands - possibly millions - of unsecured cameras all over the world. Anybody could be watching.

So what is the practical difference between the "acceptable" type of Security Camera, where an overweight, $7/hr high-school dropout watches you on camera, versus, a random high schooler in Moldova seeing you buy a Snickers at a corner bodega in New Jersey?

People get all worked up about the second one, but not about the first one.

And yet, the second one is idle-scrolling, like flipping through channels on TV. But the first one is someone completely unskilled for the job, being paid to actively monitor and judge you and your actions.

This is a weird bit of thinking, to be sure.

Humans are fascinating, man...

psychoticmilkman  ·  222 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The difference is the location of the camera. The street corner cameras are not being monitored, they're just recording. For the general population that don't think about security cameras on a daily basis, it's understandably weird to them to find out the cameras could be open to the public to watch.

The overweight high-school dropout is being paid to monitor the cameras inside the bodega, and only at night when no one is allowed inside.

goobster  ·  222 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not sure I agree with you.

When webcams first became popular, people would set them up on their computer at work, and point the camera at something interesting outside... the Danube River, a bird nest, a coffee maker, whatever.

They pointed at public and private areas, were open and available on the internet to anyone with a web browser, and nobody blinked.

There were web sites (and really early sub-Reddits) which were dedicated to gathering the best footage from these public cameras, and sharing the video or stills. There were even ads based off this idea, like the one of the cubicle worker going bonkers:

I think the idea that people have a problem with a camera being watched by a "professional" vs "some guy on the internet" is a red herring. I don't think that is the problem here. There is something more deeply at work in the psyche...

kleinbl00  ·  223 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm of two minds.

On the one hand, security through obscurity. Nobody's watching that shit. Nobody can watch that shit. It's like the NSA vacuuming up everything everybody says ever.

On the other hand, once you're no longer obscure you're no longer secure. Make a move and they can troll back through every camera they've got. I biked through this charming scene earlier this year; they were able to go back through the cameras to see the mutherfucker dragging a body in a suitcase (with a bicycle!)onto the goddamn metro.

    According to police, Gutierrez dismembered the body at the restaurant.

    On or around Feb. 1 in the early morning hours, Gutierrez boarded a Gold Line Metro train in Pasadena with a bicycle and the suitcase containing Alfred's remains, officials said. Gutierrez then got off the train at the Lincoln/Cypress Station and rode his bike to the Home Depot parking lot on Figueroa Street at Avenue 22.

Thinking about it, I wonder if what we're all doing is reconfiguring our danger-meters from "nobody saw us, we're good" to "we didn't commit a crime serious enough for someone to troll back through the footage."

goobster  ·  222 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sidebar - A friend of mine is putting together her portfolio, right now, and it includes a lot of video and stop-motion animation.

The stuff she did even 5 years ago is entirely unusable, apparently. Audio quality. Video resolution. Graininess. Whatever.

The NSA (et al) have been collecting data and storing it in massive troves forever.

Traffic cameras have been running with no film or recording devices for decades.

We may have already hit your threshold of "...crime serious enough for someone to troll back through the footage...", and that threshold is only going to get shorter and shorter as more and more content is created.

And then ... what? When storage/assessment becomes more costly than the crime itself, what's the point in recording at all ...?

There is definitely some deep human cognitive science to be done here ...

kleinbl00  ·  222 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Naah you pick a record threshold by policy. The streams are so tidy at this point that with motion detection you can pack months on very little space. I've allowed my surveillance station to fill up 1TB, no more, and with nine 720P or better cameras, being constantly triggered by headlights and stuff, I can still go back about eight weeks.

Thing you gotta keep in mind is if it was built in the past twenty years, and it was worth surveilling, there were tape decks. Their archives were thin. But when those tape decks went away, the RAID arrays came in and they're phat.

If I dedicated my 40TB home NAS to recording the cameras I got I could do 24-7 recording of 9 streams at 18 frames for a month before I recycled anything and a 40TB array is Amazon Prime territory.