Sousveillance by Jascha Hoffman

October 15th, 2010

Writing December 10, 2006 Jascha Hoffman reported on the new trend of Sousveillance:

“Surveillance, from the French for “watching over,” refers to the monitoring of people by some higher authority — the police, for instance. Now there’s sousveillance, or “watching from below.” It refers to the reverse tactic: the monitoring of authorities (Tony Blair, for instance) by informal networks of regular people, equipped with little more than cellphone cameras, video blogs and the desire to remain vigilant against the excesses of the powers that be.

In a primitive form, sousveillance can be traced to 1991, when footage from a home video camera exposed the Los Angeles police officers who beat Rodney King. Today, with the spread of cheap, lightweight cameras and the rise of Web video sites like YouTube, sousveillance has proliferated. The Internet overflows with civilian footage of police abuse in Malaysia, gay-bashing in Latvia and union-busting in Zimbabwe. The Web site encourages women to post a photo of any man who tries to harass them…”

Click to read the rest of the piece.

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