The proliferation of cameras and social media has turned the table on Big Brother and marked a fundamental shift in how the game of police state surveillance works, but how exactly do you maximize the usefulness of sousveillance?
PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan took a look at that very question on Friday, exploring not only how the tables have turned, but also how to make sure that any evidence collected can be used in court.
For those unfamiliar with the term, sousveillance, the meaning of the word is in the etymology: Surveillance comes from the French “sur” (over, above) and “veiller” (to watch). Sousveillance comes from the same language: “sous” (under, below) and “veiller” (to watch).
So it means “to watch from below.” It refers to Little Brother – you, me, our neighbors — who record abuses of authority with our cell phone cameras. If you follow the logic far enough, you have an inverse panopticon.
The network in particular took a look at a non-profit advocacy group called Witness, which is running a “Video as Evidence” program. The goal of the program is to bolster the credibility of witness videos, and it shares various tactics — such as how to use the camera, how to store data and such — to ensure that it is admissible in court as evidence.
Witness’ Kelly Atheson told the network, “Cameras in everyone hands means that there will be more transparency and more accountability.”
And transparency is what our society desperately needs more of — especially at the top.
Watch the video below: