Government GPS surveillance through your digital camera.
April 2, 2001 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Government GPS surveillance through your digital camera. A DOJ project to go after pedophiles and obscenity-mongers by regulating digital still and motion cameras is slated to be introduced in Congress:

A DOJ project code-named "Indecent Images" plans to implant technologies developed to automatically recognize hard-core Internet sex images into the next generation of cameras. An II-compliant camera will refuse to take illegal photographs or videos, and could even quietly tip off law enforcement to illicit behavior. . .

The II draft says that "any variant" of digital still or video camera must include a GPS device and a transmitter that is compatible with U.S. pager networks. When a child pornographer takes an illegal photo, the camera recognizes it and transmits an encrypted message containing the image, the date, and the location to the local police -- who would then raid the home and save the child from continued erotic exploitation.

They've got to be kidding. I'm not endorsing exploiting kids, natch, but I can't believe this this kind of surveillance is even being contemplated. . .

Then again, remembering Ashcroft's beady little eyes. . . (via J. Orlin Grabbe)
posted by aflakete (26 comments total)
Umm, you did check the date-stamp, didn't you?
posted by harmful at 1:09 PM on April 2, 2001

you been takin'
posted by cheesebot at 1:12 PM on April 2, 2001

taken, i mean
posted by cheesebot at 1:12 PM on April 2, 2001

602P should be a tip-off to anyone who's gotten the "$.05 email surcharge" spam. That, and Rimm's proposal to" penetrate this problem now."
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:12 PM on April 2, 2001

Or how about this:
Kodak faxed a statement to reporters over the weekend that said: "We never have approved of the use of our products to record intercourse, missionary position or otherwise, with children, and we look forward to working with law enforcement to meet their concerns."

Yeesh. April Fool's, indeed.
posted by ChrisTN at 1:16 PM on April 2, 2001

In fact, right in the "Posted by":

posted by admin on Sunday April 01, @04:50PM
from the it's-that-day-of-the-year-again dept.

posted by briank at 1:25 PM on April 2, 2001

I'm willing to cut aflakete some slack on this one, since I wouldn't have been too shocked if it turned out to be true. The least believable part of the story was the bipartisan support.
posted by gimli at 1:48 PM on April 2, 2001

too bad it's not still April Fools' anywhere on the planet.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:07 PM on April 2, 2001

posted by bshort at 2:25 PM on April 2, 2001

It wouldn't be that surprising if it were true, though. Color copiers already include digital watermarks in their output that identify the serial number of the machine that did the copying, so that counterfeit or copyright-protected stuff can be tracked to its source.
posted by endquote at 2:36 PM on April 2, 2001

It would be tremendously suprising if it were true. There isn't the technology out there to differentiate between a picture of someone's face, and a picture of a person with their legs spread wide.
posted by cCranium at 2:42 PM on April 2, 2001

Actually, he may not be far off...

Computer User

Time stamp on this was April 2nd, but....
posted by da5id at 3:13 PM on April 2, 2001

IIRC, Tripod used to have a bot that looked for fleshtones on their member pages' pictures. To avoid porn, you see.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:25 PM on April 2, 2001

I've already seen a digital camera prototype with a cell phone wedged into it, that could transmit images to servers via ftp. Cramming GPS wouldn't be much harder (there are already high-end Nikons that can interface with GPS units and record the x/y of where every shot was taken).

The porn sensors are BS of course, but the joke is a good one, because everything else is just at the cusp of consumer possibility.
posted by mathowie at 3:27 PM on April 2, 2001

Right after I posted this I realized the date on it, and hoped it was a prank.

Whoops and boy am I glad it was. But I wouldn't put it past them.
posted by aflakete at 3:30 PM on April 2, 2001

If they do come up with porn sensors, the next step will be gun sights that only let you shoot the bad guys. Those, of course, won't get past committee hearings.
posted by gimli at 3:43 PM on April 2, 2001

the "shoot the bad guy only" sights wouldn't be a bad idea gimli...the problem is who gets to define bad guys
posted by th3ph17 at 4:13 PM on April 2, 2001

The same guy who knows when porn is porn, dammit!
posted by gimli at 4:22 PM on April 2, 2001

i want a filter to let me take ONLY hardcore images. now thats a product!
posted by Hackworth at 5:17 PM on April 2, 2001

posted by bytecode at 6:20 PM on April 2, 2001

"There isn't the technology out there to differentiate between a picture of someone's face, and a picture of a person with their legs spread wide."

Actually there is. There is a highly sophisticated piece of image screening software that can detect areas of flesh, faces and other body parts (and actions) in an image. It's not 100% accurate, but accurate enough to be scary. Companies can install it on their web server to detect who is surfing porn without having to go through every image downloaded.

I'm trying to remember the name - I'll try and track it down. E-mail me if you're that interested.
posted by Neale at 6:39 PM on April 2, 2001

Yes, I believe it's called "the brain". Of course, you'll need to buy some hardware with it ("the eye")... Firmware may be provided if the content necessitates (snark)...

Seriously, if the NEA can't agree on what porn is (thank God), why would a computer be able to?
posted by fooljay at 7:32 PM on April 2, 2001

If you take a picture and it spawns new cameras that won't close, it's porn.
posted by solistrato at 8:10 PM on April 2, 2001

The AFD article references the aforementioned image scrrening software, as well as a couple of reviews that claim that it works surprisingly well. I'm not going to bother digging right now, but I seem to remember the links being in the last few paragraphs of the article.
posted by harmful at 6:29 AM on April 3, 2001

Yes, a link to the company Exotrope. But you may also want to see what Peacefire had to say about it: "0% accuracy rate" springs to mind.

It may be highly sophisticated, but that don't mean it work.
posted by dhartung at 6:36 AM on April 3, 2001

BAIR filtering software produced by Exotrope. Pataki likes it, so it must be good.
posted by gimli at 6:41 AM on April 3, 2001

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