23 March 2009

The New Crowdsourcing: Pubsourcing

Interesting development here:

The United States has unveiled an unlikely weapon in its battle against drugs gangs and illegal immigrants at the Texas-Mexico border - pub-goers in Australia.

The drinkers are the most far-flung of a sizeable army of hi-tech foot soldiers recruited to assist the border protection effort.

Anyone with an internet connection can now help to patrol the 1,254-mile frontier through a network of webcams set up to allow the public to monitor suspicious activity. Once logged in, the volunteers spend hours studying the landscape and are encouraged to email authorities when they see anyone on foot, in vehicles or aboard boats heading towards US territory from Mexico.

But the important point here is not just the quaint locale: it is the fact that the observers are completely disconnected from the observed. There is no human connection, so there would be no compunction in reporting anything required.

This is the perfect surveillance system: not where your neighbours keep an eye on you, but where total strangers the other side of the world do. (Via The Reg.)


Jamie said...

Being a pubgoer in Australia myself, I can tell you the accuracy and attentiveness of these new border patrol officers will be severely impaired after about 9pm, probably earlier if they hired me :P

Glyn Moody said...

Every system has its limits