Spy on your neighbors for fun and profit

Say goodbye to your Wii, say hello to Internet Eyes, the novel new game which will allow you to spot crime in real life, and win up to 1,000 pounds in prize money. Vigilantism has never been easier.  It’s run by a private company, which will stream live footage from the CCTV camaras of shops ...

579771_091007_banksy2.jpg
579771_091007_banksy2.jpg
LONDON - APRIL 14: A new Banksy graffiti work on a private property catches the eye of passers by on April 14, 2008 in London, England. The work, which depicts a child painting the words ? One Nation Under CCTV? with a security guard watching him is situated under a security camera and has appeared sometime between the hours of Saturday and Monday morning. (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

Say goodbye to your Wii, say hello to Internet Eyes, the novel new game which will allow you to spot crime in real life, and win up to 1,000 pounds in prize money. Vigilantism has never been easier.

 It's run by a private company, which will stream live footage from the CCTV camaras of shops and business (who actually pay to be included in this scheme) straight to the computers of players -- yes, it's marketed as a game.

Some are celebrating the novel use of footage which, as they point out, is already recorded anyway. Britain has one camara for every 14 people, a total of 4.2 million -- however, only one in a thousand of these is actually watched by law enforcement officials at any given time. Some online sites are even celebrating the democratic nature of the game saying it puts Big Brother in the hands of the people.

Say goodbye to your Wii, say hello to Internet Eyes, the novel new game which will allow you to spot crime in real life, and win up to 1,000 pounds in prize money. Vigilantism has never been easier.

 It’s run by a private company, which will stream live footage from the CCTV camaras of shops and business (who actually pay to be included in this scheme) straight to the computers of players — yes, it’s marketed as a game.

Some are celebrating the novel use of footage which, as they point out, is already recorded anyway. Britain has one camara for every 14 people, a total of 4.2 million — however, only one in a thousand of these is actually watched by law enforcement officials at any given time. Some online sites are even celebrating the democratic nature of the game saying it puts Big Brother in the hands of the people.

 Unsurprisingly privacy groups are far less thrilled by the creation of a “snoopers paradise” and worry about a society in which people are encouraged to “spy and snitch on each other.”  The Guardian points out that even supporters of the controversial CCTV camaras, aren’t totally convinced by these plan.

Even Michael Laurie, head of Crimestoppers, foresees a ‘wide range of opportunities for abuse and error’ in what is, for him, ‘essentially no more than a commercial venture exploiting some people’s baser characteristics.'”

Although, in order to safeguard “privacy” the camaras are assigned to players randomly, without any identifying geographic information, shopgoers might want to be careful — don’t get caught buying buying inappropriate magazines by your wife, much less your mother-in-law.

Jordana Timerman is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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