EFF's first VR app trains you to spot surveillance devices in your community

Spot the Surveillance is the Electronic Frontier Foundation's first VR app: it's part of the organization's Street-Level Surveillance, which has tracked and resisted the spread of ubiquitous surveillance tools, from license-plate cameras to Stingrays and beyond.

My EFF colleagues created the app so that it runs in a browser, even without a VR headset, but it works best with VR goggles, and is vendor-independent.

Users are challenged to spot "a body-worn camera, automated license plate readers, a drone, a mobile biometric device, and pan-tilt-zoom cameras" and learn more about the capabilities of each.

The current version is now being made publicly available for user testing, as part of the Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon festivities. EFF will be conducting live demonstrations of the project at the event on Nov. 10-11 at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. Swartz, the brilliant activist and Internet pioneer, was facing a myriad of federal charges for downloading scientific journals when he took his own life in 2013.

EFF seeks user feedback and bug reports, which will be incorporated into an updated version scheduled for release in Spring 2019. The VR project was supported during its development through the XRstudio residency program at Mozilla. The project was also made possible with the support of a 2018 Journalism 360 Challenge grant. Journalism 360 is a global network of storytellers accelerating the understanding and production of immersive journalism. Its founding partners are the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Google News Initiative, and the Online News Association.

Spot the Surveillance [EFF]

Spot the Surveillance: A VR Experience for Keeping an Eye on Big Brother

EFF Unveils Virtual Reality Tool To Help People Spot Surveillance Devices in Their Communities