Snip from a Wired feature by Clive Thompson:
Hasan Elahi whips out his Samsung Pocket PC phone and shows me how he's keeping himself out of Guantanamo. He swivels the camera lens around and snaps a picture of the Manhattan Starbucks where we're dinking coffee. Then he squints and pecks at the phone's touchscreen. "OK! It's uploading now," says the cheery, 35-year-old artist and Rutgers professor, whose bleached-blond hair complements his fluorescent-green pants. "It'll go public in a few seconds. "Sure enough, a moment later the shot appears on the front page of his Web site, TrackingTransience.net.
There are already tons of pictures there. Elahi will post about a hundred today – the rooms he sat in, the food he ate, the coffees he ordered. Poke around his site and you'll find more than 20,000 images stretching back three years. Elahi has documented nearly every waking hour of his life during that time. He posts copies of every debit card transaction, so you can see what he bought, where, and when. A GPS device in his pocket reports his real-time physical location on a map .
Elahi's site is the perfect alibi. Or an audacious art project. Or both. The Bangladeshi-born American says the US government mistakenly listed him on its terrorist watch list – and once you're on, it's hard to get off. To convince the Feds of his innocence, Elahi has made his life an open book. Whenever they want, officials can go to his site and see where he is and what he's doing. Indeed, his server logs show hits from the Pentagon, the Secretary of Defense, and the Executive Office of the President, among others.
Link to "The Visible Man: An FBI Target Puts His Whole Life Online," in Wired. Illustration by Ronald Kurniawan.
Submitted by BB reader Korrupt -- who wrote about an interesting connection here, to the movie Freeze Frame. "It's a strange coincidence that the movie was released in the same year as Elahi started his self surveillance."
Reader comment: Patrick says,
Your story on boingboing regarding the man who photoblogs his every move in order to convince the FBI he is innocent of whatever crimes they suspect him of reminded me of this story - traffic wardens in the UK are now wearing video cameras to record their every encounter should such material be useful for the courts. How long before we are all doing this? Link. Love the blog.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.