A recent article by the Boston Globe describes the BostONEcard, a new high tech photo student ID for the Boston Public School District that provides students with access city wide services while school’s can monitors attendance and provide certain meals plans.  The BostONEcard will provide students with access to public transportation services and access to city libraries.  The ID’s will also allow them to check in at their school or other community centers and will incorporate lunch meal subsides.  They city hopes that this will increase participation among students and provide a better quality of life and downplay the stigma and stereotypes around accepting reduced priced lunches.  This data will also provide relevant statistics for the city and schools to improve their programs.  This system also provides school’s with a way to track attendance and flag those students who have a record of being absent.

The ACLU is very concerned with the privacy issues regarding these ID’s and fear that this data might be used for commercial gains by selling it to marketers or other third parties. They are demanding that policy safe guards be put in place to protect students before the ID system expands to other schools.  This information could be easily requested by a subpoena and this is a concern.  It will also allow school’s and the city to easily track student’s similar to GPS tracking depending on where they check in at centers or their use public transportation.   While they’re are many great benefits provided to the students via these ID’s, there still needs to be policies in place to protect the privacy and personal information of these students.

-Ashley Cordell


Blimps over Baghdad!

Posted: October 23, 2010 by eatstyledallas in Uncategorized

Once thought of being just another way to advertise your company in the skies over a big sporting event or festival, friendly looking blimps are now a national security force dream. With the new Top Eye blimps, security forces from Israel to Indiana will not only be able to create an attractive aerial addition, but one of the most powerful and effective ways to monitor citizens and locations. Sound simple enough? Well thinking back on when companies like Goodyear and Budweiser were implementing these flying billboards to attract people into buying their respective products, it seems as though things have been upgraded.


No longer will people be able to look up, see a blimp and think “Honey, Look how cool that is…Kids come outside and look at this!”. Now individuals will seemingly run for cover and hide the young ones when this floating security force comes floating over the neighborhood.



The Possible Reasons Behind Surveillance

Posted: October 4, 2010 by emac4325cameras in Surveillance

We know, or at least are becoming more aware that we are being watched more often, but do we know why?  Author Shane Harris discusses some of the reasons why he believes we are being watched more in an interview.  Video seen here.

– Colton Wood

We Are Being Watched, And We Knew It Would Happen

Posted: September 30, 2010 by emac4325cameras in Surveillance

We are without a doubt, in a surveillance age. And whether you approve of being caught on camera without your knowing, or are against it, the warning signs have been there for years. Many people have predicted that this would eventually happen.

There was, of course, no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment…. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”–George Orwell, 1984

And the surveillance will not stop there. People are still making predictions that surveillance will continue to grow on society. While it may not be as rapid, we can most definitely expect to see more surveillance cameras put up everywhere.

– Colton Wood

UTD Cameras

Posted: September 26, 2010 by emac4325cameras in Cameras, Surveillance, UT Dallas

Warning sign outside of the Conference Center

Conference Center

Conference Center

Inside Conference Center classroom


Forget Guns Watch Out For Cameras

Posted: September 24, 2010 by emac4325cameras in Uncategorized

Guns are dangerous.  I don’t care if you are hunting or just have one for protection they are dangerous.  Knowing this fact it is understood why police take such precautions when a gun is turned on them.  In this situation you have a person holding a gun at you and you are trapped not knowing what they are going to do with it.  Intense fear and increased heartbeats take over your body while you try to stay calm and think of how to get the gun away from them.  Now would you have this same reaction if someone was holding a camera at you instead?

No.  Although the obvious answer to me is no, police officers are disagreeing.  They are now arresting people who videotape them without their consent whether or not it is for the citizen’s defense or if they are in a public setting.  In Wendy McElroy’s article “Are Cameras the New Guns?” she shares about this craze and a few who have been the victims including Christopher Drew.  Christopher’s case is a bit shocking,

“A few weeks ago, an Illinois judge rejected a motion to dismiss an eavesdropping charge against Christopher Drew, who recorded his own arrest for selling one-dollar artwork on the streets of Chicago.  Although the misdemeanor charges of not having a peddler’s license and peddling in a prohibited area were dropped, Drew is being prosecuted for illegal recording, a Class I felony punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison.”

Officers are fearful of being convicted of their actions caught on tape so badly that they are arresting people for taping them.  Cameras are everywhere anyway so why is this such an issue?    Another such case came about from footage put up on Youtube by Anthony John Graber III.  He was on his motorcycle when he got pulled over and was able to record the event via the camera planted in his helmet.  The trooper he caught on tape was made to look like a crazy person because he was in regular clothes and car at the time of the incident.  The footage was found and charges were implemented.

“Cameras have become the most effective weapon that ordinary people have to protect against and to expose police abuse.  And the police want it to stop.” – Wendy McElroy.  Cameras and being caught on tape have become a common part of our society.  If the government and police officers are allowed to record us then we should be able to do the same.


1 Million Followers

Posted: September 24, 2010 by emac4325cameras in Uncategorized

That’s right I’m talking about Twitter.  The social networking site that can define your popularity simply by the number of followers you have.  Most of you probably have a decent match between your following and followers list…unless you are Ashton Kutcher.  In that case you have a heavily weighted following side of over 5 million!  With a number like that you have a ton of people you can reach at your fingertips; you have a ton of power.

Celebrities with this power can cause change, oddly tell us what they ate for breakfast, or in lead singer for Paramore Hayley William’s case reach out to fans like never  before.  Last week she reached one million followers and decided to celebrate by live streaming Paramore’s performance on the last night of their Honda Civic Tour in Anaheim, CA.   Fans from all over the country and out of the country tuned into the stream on the band’s website and were able to be a part of the show.  With a camera and an internet connection, a show originally set to reach a few hundred was able to reach thousands.