Re: Surveillance Technology
Thu, 3 Dec 1998 06:50:34 -0800 (PST)

Michael Lorrey [] wrote, with quotes from den Otter:
>I think that it would be possible for there to be programs which filter video >content
>in a similar manner to the way the NSA computers filter phone traffic. >Obviously, it
>would be easy to set cameras to not record data they are viewing when nobody
>is in viewing range.

But this totally invalidates his argument; if you're not recording everything, then who knows what's going on? And if you're filtering for "good stuff", then crooks can find out what you filter for and use that to avoid being caught.

>> Most criminals are stupid. That more aren't caught is more due to the
>> incompetence of the police than to the crook's intellect.

You do, of course, have some evidence for that and it's not just an unsupported assertion? No, didn't think so.

>> Of course, *any* system can
>> be corrupted, but it can be made extremely difficult to do and keeping
>> the takeover hidden would be harder still.

Uh, there is no question that the US government has been "taken over"; the evidence is shown on TV shows every day. Knowing it's happened is not the problem. Getting rid of the crooks after they take it over is a problem, especially if they have a ubiquitous surveillance system to spy on their opponents.

>Hardly. Video can easily be spliced and doctored by anyone with a few
>thousand dollars
>of computer equipment.

Exactly. To someone who works in the film/video industry, this whole idea of trusting video is laughable. IMAX film will be trustworthy for a few more years because of the massively greater resolution; video 'evidence' is a joke.

>What is needed is some sort of encrypted pseudo-random
>background signal which cannot be faked, so that alteration of video can
>easily be

Whoopee-do; I take my VCR, plug it into the surveillance camera so that the feed is coming from the VCR rather than live video, and the camera will digitally sign the fake video from the VCR. Or I take the camera apart, steal the key, and use that to create fake video from scratch. This is not a big deal.

Without universal surveillance you can't stop people doing this. With universal surveillance you can't trust the data because anyone can get the encryption keys and stick fake data into the system. Either way it's useless.