surveillance

The War Against Photography is Growing Alongside the Use of Security Cameras

The western world was sent into a brief paranoid frenzy when whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked government information about the surveillance of the National Security Agency (NSA). I say brief, because it seems to have been forgotten by a large number of people; it seemed like it was just more news. The revelations, and more that followed, showed how the NSA record phone calls and data and more controversially; that they use information from emails and social networking sites.

About the Aerial Camera That Spotted the Second Boston Bombing Suspect

When Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two Boston bombing suspects, was discovered hiding in a man's boat just outside the perimeter police had set up to search for him, the cops took no chances. Rather than sending officers right in and risking injury, they enlisted the help of an impressive aerial camera to confirm his location and then keep watch as police tried to coax him out.

The camera, developed by the FLIR corporation, is called the Star SAFIRE III, and it's the one behind all of the infrared shots of Tsarnaev in the boat that spread like wildfire all over the Internet this weekend.

ARGUS-IS: A 1.8 Gigapixel Drone Camera That Sees Everything and Then Some

What do you get when you combine 368 5MP cellphone cameras into a mosaic and add some other super-secret parts? You get the DARPA-funded Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System (or ARGUS-IS), and this puppy can see your house from, well, wherever it darn well pleases.

Altogether, ARGUS-IS is a 1.8 Gigapixel drone-mounted surveillance system that took 30 months and $18.5M to become a reality. The video above is a clip from a new PBS documentary titled "Rise of the Drones". It offers a fascinating peek at what the drone cam is capable of.

Surveillance Camera Man Points Camera at Strangers Without Permission

Well, this can't be good for photographers' rights: An anonymous man over in Seattle, Washington is causing a stir in his area and on the web by walking up to random people in various locations -- both public and private -- and sticking a camera in their faces to film them. When asked to explain his actions, he simply responds in vague statements such as "It's OK, I'm just recording video."

Scientists Building Security Cameras That Can “See” Crimes Before They Happen

Remember those weird floating "precog" psychics in the movie Minority Report? They could foresee crimes before they even happened, allowing law enforcement to prevent them from ever becoming a reality. While that kind of sci-fi foreknowledge will almost certainly never exist, scientists are working on an eerily similar system that uses cameras and artificial intelligence -- a system that they hope will be able to "see" crimes before they even occur.

A 29-Megapixel Sensor and a Canon EF Mount on a… Security Camera?

We received a tip in our inbox earlier today for a 29-megapixel digital camera that uses Canon EF mount lenses. While those aren't exactly attention-grabbing specs, the type of camera is quite different: it's a security camera. Canadian surveillance company Avigilon has a line of JPEG2000 HD Pro security cameras. These cameras come in 8MP, 11MP, 16MP, and 29MP models, and use Canon EF mount SLR lenses.