London police crowdsource the panopticon


31 Responses to “London police crowdsource the panopticon”

  1. Ambiguity says:

    Now all they need to do is crowdsource the Disappearing-Bentham-Head.  

  2. mccrum says:

    “Finally, my time has come!  My country calls,” run the  thoughts of every Neighborhood Watch devotee.

    On the other hand, it will force them to be inside staring at a little screen all day (Gotta catch up, lots of footage to wade through!) instead of bothering people from their front porch, so it’s kind of a win.

  3. nixiebunny says:

    This could be the new national pastime. 

  4. Crubellier says:

    It’s be *terrible* if people started flooding them with false reports, wouldn’t it?

    • corydodt says:

      I’m pretty sure Mark Rowley’s face looks the same as every single person at the riots. I hope lots of other people with this app notice that too.

  5. Robert Dee says:

    I can see this turning into a fiasco where the only people who actually get prosecuted are people labelling suspects “mickey mouse” and “George Osborne” in the app for a joke.

  6. Sarge Misfit says:

    So, using CCTV and spying on your Internet use isn’t enough, the London cops need citizens to spy on each other to help them solve crimes? Gotta wonder where they get their training, Sesame Street?

  7. You mean pictures on milk cartons was crowd sourcing?

  8. Does the app allow you to add people’s faces to the database? That would be fun.

  9. Finnagain says:

    There’s no chance at all that this could go horribly wrong.

  10. Oooh, just like in 1984, is there a Junior Spies app too?

    His eagerness and assumption that EVERYONE in London will help is just as nauseating as the concept itself.

    Have a most wanted list by all means, Crimewatch? Fair play. But this is raising the stakes quite a bit, and is tantamount to turning citizens into CCTV cameras. Is the persistent video recording /streaming mode an in-app purchase?

  11. bjacques says:

    It would be great for spotting police informers or agents provocateurs at demonstrations, or cops who like the rough stuff.

  12. Seth W says:

    When I read about the Facewatch service a little while ago, it was presented as being mostly for small businesses. It’s supposed to reduce shoplifting/pickpocketing/other petty crimes that are small but committed serially. I thought that was a good idea, but I’m not sure how much success they’re going to have with this report-the-rioters campaign. A lot of people using the app may have been rioters themselves!

    My original article about Facewatch: 

  13. Joel says:

    I live in Vancouver, and after the riots, we had this sort of thing.  The anger and shame over the whole thing was so palatable, that the police had little difficulty coercing citizens to scroll through photos for their friends.  There are still posters in public places with photos of rioters.  It was sort of poetic that the riot, the sin of the hive-mind, was being punished by the hive-mind.  Rioters were separated from their identities in the crowd and were reintegrated with them by the crowd.
    The justice system has been pretty slow on going to trial on these rioters, making sure that they have enough evidence to secure convictions, so I applaud their adherence to due process.  I think that that is the real question: what does it look like when this technique is part of a due process machine, and what does it look like when it’s not?   Also, what does it mean that the police are the ones running through all the photos and presenting them for review?  How are they shaping the picture of what happened?

  14. Ed Gaillard says:

    Get the app and identify everyone as Rupert Murdoch, David Cameron, or Nick Clegg.

  15. Baldhead says:

    This is different from a Wanted poster how?

    • llazy8 says:

      It’s 4,800 wanted posters all on the same day.  With a big header that says WANTED FOR BURNING YOUR NEIGHBOURS’ HOMES and then a little footnote for 2,000 of them that says *actually wanted for something else*

  16. disillusion says:

    So what’s gonna happen when people start putting names to faces of officers who might have also been breaking the law during the time?

  17. Anonymous says:

    “Not your personal army”

  18. I’m fine with that as long as there’s a competing app called “Agent Provocateur Watch” with all the missing portraits.

  19. Mr. Winka says:

    If I were the kind of person who would act as an informant, I would be concerned about the security of the system since a compromise would expose my identity. It would be truly unfortunate if Anonymous targeted this system and post the identities on a site named something like WikiSnitchLeaks. Let me be clear, Anonymous should definitely NOT target this system!

  20. Great opportunity to increase the efficacy and cost effectiveness of the burgeoning police state. Although if I am going to turn in the Jewish family living in the attic next door I want to be well compensated for it, not do it as a public service. /satire

  21. Mantissa128 says:

    It’s a horrific idea, so it’s a good thing it doesn’t work. There’s no incentive for the public, no matter how much they express their revulsion for rioting.

    In Vancouver, despite poring over thousands of images from the Stanley Cup riots and launching a crowdsourcing website, law enforcements has failed to arrest more than a handful of people.

  22. mjfgates says:

    That one’s Queen Elizabeth.

    Queen Elizabeth.

    Prince Charles.

    Queen Elizabeth.

    Prince Harry.

    DI?!? How’d she get in there?…

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