GandhiCam For Blackberry Auto-Uploads Sousveillance

GandhiCam for post-8700-series Blackberry devices is an application that will automatically wirelessly upload your pictures or video as they are taken to prevent confiscation by the police. This application is a response to a spate of incidents in which UK police have deleted or confiscated pictures taken by tourists or by protesters at events like the G20 summit.


(GandhiCam screenshots)

This app is for BlackBerry only and is compiled using the 4.2.1 SDK, it’s only been tested on a 9000/Bold but should work on all post-8700 series devices (Pearl/8100, 8800, Curve/8300, Bold/9000). This is completely unsupported by Hippocamp Software, if it doesn’t work for you we’re sorry but can’t spare the time to help. If you’re using a Storm - good luck.

The name "GandhiCam" derives from the satyagraha philosophy of civil resistance developed by Mohandas Gandhi and applied so successfully during the Indian struggle for independence from Britain. One of the key elements in the application of satyagraha to solving social problems is making sure that the protest is public and preferably photographed to be seen by as many people as possible.


(Gandhi and fellow satyagrahis protest British salt tax [1930])

The creator of GandhiCam credits a Reddit user - Shaper_pmp - with the concept (and the excellent name). However, I'd be inclined to credit David Brin for the concept. In his excellent 1990 novel Earth, Brin writes about a surveillance technology that the oldtimers (aka baby boomers) used in most public places. True-Vu goggles were worn rather than conventional sunglasses; everything the True-Vu goggles saw was recorded for later use in court, if necessary:

"Watching, all the time watching... goggle-eye geeks...

What brought on Crat's sudden outburst was the sight of yet another babushka, glaring at them from a bench under one of the force-grown shade trees... The very moment they came into view, the old woman laid here wire-knitting aside and fixed them with the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses...
(Read more about Brin's Tru-Vu goggles)

The video content was then uploaded to a secure location.

Update: I got a note from Shaper_pmp who adds the following comments:

I don't claim to have invented the concept - as you note, sousveillance has a long and distinguished (if slightly obscure) history, and the idea of wirelessly uploading the evidence to protect it from sequestration is an obvious development from there.

Rather, rehsif started work on his gandhicam app for the Blackberry after reading some of my reddit posts discussing the idea, and he seems to have assumed I invented the idea. All I really did was give a name to the device/feature to make discussing it easier, and (accidentally!) prompt someone to actually start making it happen. ;-)

Ultimately my only interest is in getting this functionality on as many phones and mobile devices as possible - I think it has the potential to massively increase the transparency of society, as well as increasing personal safety and a whole raft of other benefits.

Thanks, Shaper_pmp. It's a great idea and kudos to Reddit user rehsif for implementing it so a large number of people can try it out. End update.

Read more about (or download) GandhiCam; via BoingBoing Gadgets.

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