Happy New Year. It’s been awhile since the last entry, but better late than never I guess.

A lot has happened in the last year with user generated content culminating with Time Magazine’s Person of the Year being “You.” In particular, video from camera phones has gotten a lot of press attention with the notable examples of a student at UCLA being tasered by campus security and the execution of Saddam Hussein.

This article from ABC News is about how video surveillance cameras were used to capture a serial killer in Philadelphia. Watching footage from around 50 surveillance cameras around the city, police were able to piece together the direction and eventual location of the killer.

There is an interesting debate happening on Slashdot regarding the pros and cons of the panopticon, primarily concerns over privacy, transparency, and accountability – who controls the camera. Given these two trends – widespread use of cellphone video and the increasing sophistication of ubiquitous surveillance cameras – I think the “Participatory Panopticon” becomes even more important.

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