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Open Source Community Sousveillance System

There are various reasons for a community to develop a shared sousveillance system: It provides a legal witness for any crime, brings media attention (via the agreed and anoymised sharing of the captured information), deters anti social behaviour even amongst neighbours, and together with other activities to work on community cohesion such as assemblies or neighbourhood events, can lead to a positively reinforcing environment towards a socially and environmentally positive use of the tool. This in turn empowers the local community and pushes official surveillance or policing reasoning to require it's own justification or to work alongside neighbours on a more equal ground. Depending on the area a group may choose to ally with local law enforcement or only do so when a group determines that a crime has been committed.

So shall we make one? I'll be taking down and working on ideas for how it could work on this post. Some initial features:

1) A "camera view" showing all shared cameras, photos and audiofeeds
2) A group chat link.
3) A network only accessible to the group.
4) The ability to, as a group or small committee within, agree to publish or send media outside of the group.
5) Camera screen showing your camera view and some settings.
6) Content privacy levels you can set as private, shared with the group or public - publishing content directly somewhere online.
7) A group could decide to "id" a likeness captured in the photo via social media to identify the people involved. I believe verifying this is very delicate and should be a group process.

The network interface over which this system would work would ideally be a closed mesh of mutually identified but outwardly anonymous neighbours in a physical location, who are watching over the security of their own homes and adjoining space for break-ins or other illegal or antisocial activities.

In Spain, the legal situation is that you can't film with your security camera in the street unless the camera points on to your property. If you are recording with your phone, for example because you've seen a crime, you are permitted to record the crime but not the police in some cases, due to the "ley mordassa" or gag law. The reasonable excuse is interference with police activity especially in the case of plainclothes police. This means if you leave your phone recording at the window, depending on how this law works and the situation involved, the recording can be classed as your own home phone recording, whilst being networked with other local phones in a citizen run surveillance system with the above features. I need more details on the legalities of such a system.

Could such a thing be built on Matrix? Rocketchat?

A use case is different chat messages discussing a possible crime, requesting photos from people with different viewpoints of the street, building a case and sending it on to an outside group once this information has been collated and verified by a minimum of 2 neighbours.


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