Yes, Internet Eyes Is A 'Snooper's Paradise'
Internet Eyes is a new UK-based business website that provides you with four random camera feeds on your special member's page. Should you come to believe you are seeing a) shop lifting, b) burlary, c) vandalism or d) anti social behavior, you then press your alert button, thereby alerting the owner of the property surveilled.
(Internet eyes lets you catch criminals online)
The Internet Eyes website FAQ strictly discourages the idea that their service "is creating a “snoopers paradise”, “snitching” “a game” or “gambling”" although users will be strictly anonymous and the person who catches the most miscreants will be awarded a 1,000 pound prize each month.
Users of the service can receive a point when the camera owner thinks you acted in good faith even though what you saw wasn't actually a criminal act. Also, you only get three free alerts per month; if you think you're seeing more crime than that, you have to pay one pound for an additional three alerts.
I can't think of an instance in science fiction in which ordinary citizens snoop on each other with camera feeds. In Orwell's 1984, Winston Smith says that you never know if a person is watching you over that telescreen or not; it might be that they are never watching or it might be that every telescreen feed is always monitored by a person.
Consider the following scene from Ray Bradbury's 1954 novel Fahrenheit 451, in which the totalitarian, book-burning government is looking for the novel's hero, who is on the run for reading books:
"Police suggest entire population in the Elm Terrace area do as follows: Everyone in every house in every street open a front or rear door or look from the windows. The fugitive cannot escape if everyone in the next minute looks from his house. Ready!"
Of course! Why hadn't they done it before! Why, in all the years, hadn't this game been tried! Everyone up, everyone out...
He imagined thousands on thousands of faces peering into yards, into alleys, and into the sky, faces hid by curtains, pale, night-frightened faces, like gray animals peering from electronic caves, faces with gray colorless eyes, gray tongues, and gray thoughts looking out through the numb flesh of the face...
(Read more about Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451)
Now, I guess citizens don't even have to peer outside their electronic caves.
In his 1999 novel All Tomorrow's Parties, writer William Gibson writes about the "Lucky Dragon Global Interactive Video Column" outside an international chain of convenience stores. It would show you randomly selected live feeds from the video surveillance cameras in other stores all over the world.
You had to pass it entering and leaving the store, so you'd see whichever dozen Lucky Dragons franchise [it] happened to be linked with at that particular moment: Paris or Houston or Brazzaville, wherever.
(Read more about Interactive Video Column)
In Gibson's novel, the interactive video columns are presented as if they were a cable channel, for entertainment.
Go to the Internet Eyes website via the Daily Mail; thanks to Sabre Runner for pointing this one out.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/11/2009)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.' - Cory Doctorow, 2008.
Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.' - Philip E. High, 1968.
LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'
Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.' - Schachner and Zagat, 1931.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'
Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'
FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'
Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'
Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."
Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'
Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'
LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.'
ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'
MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
'The subvocal read nerve signals, letting her enter words by just beginning to will them...'
Exploring Oceans Across The Solar System
'Black liquid flashed past the turbot’s infrared eyes.'
SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'
Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'
Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.
Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'
Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories