Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Big Brother recruits cameraphone users

Filed under
Sci/Tech

A UK firm today unveiled plans for a service that allows members of the public to send pictures of antisocial behaviour to local authorities using mobile phones.

Citizens are being encouraged to take mobile snaps of anti-social behaviour such as graffiti, abandoned cars and fly-tipping where it is possible to do so without endangering their safety.

The images should be sent to local Anti-Social Behaviour (ABS) units, newly formed groups of local representatives that work in association with the police and local councils.

The service from mobile imaging firm Youview will be launched on 1 August, and people will be able to text or MMS their picture and location details to a central number.

They will then receive a text reply telling them to go to a website where they will be given details of any action taken by their local ASB unit.

Although some critics have described the scheme as a mandate for turning members of the public into sneaks and snoopers, Fiona Brownsell, chief executive at Youview, said: "We can't have enough police on the street to monitor everything.

"I believe that communities will welcome the opportunity to report behaviour in this way; it is not about making people vigilantes."

Usage will be monitored to see whether it would be popular to allow anonymous submissions, and Brownsell said that the use in court of photos from mobile phones is being investigated.

She added that taking photos of graffiti could be of use because it would provide a record of 'tagging', the use of specific symbols by graffiti artists known to the police.

Brownsell admitted that it is currently difficult to get details on the ASB units active in specific areas. "They are in the process of being formed," she explained. "That information will be available later."

By Ken Young
vnunet.com

More in Tux Machines

Canonical Is Focusing on Ubuntu Desktop Once More

A new Ubuntu Online Summit is now in the planning stages, and it will start in less than week, giving users and developers an insight regarding the upcoming Ubuntu 15.10 version. Read more Also: Ubuntu 15.10 Plans Being Discussed Next Week

A Brief Update On Fwupd For Linux Firmware Updating Of Devices

One of the latest focuses of prolific free software developer Richard Hughes has been on fwupd, an open-source and easy way to update device firmware. Fwupd is part of the initiative to make updating of UEFI/BIOS easily from the Linux desktop and fwupd can be used for updating the firmware of peripheral devices like Richard Hughes' ColorHug device. Read more

VMware Draws on Open Source to Manage Cloud Micro Services

VMware last week released details about two new open source projects that aim to bridge the divide between the company's virtualization software and other vendors' containers. Both projects integrate into VMware's unified platform for the hybrid cloud, allowing the company to create a consistent environment for cloud-native and traditional applications. Project Lightwave and Project Photon could tip sides in the ongoing debate within cloud computing and virtualization markets over running containers on standalone hardware or in virtual machines with virtualization software. Read more

Plasma 5.3