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New CCTV Site In UK Pays People To Watch 214

Posted by timothy
from the people-to-watch-people dept.
pyrosine writes "Have you ever felt like being paid for watching live CCTV footage? The BBC are reporting CCTV site, 'Internet Eyes' is doing exactly that. Offering up to £1000 to people who report suspicious activity, the scheme seems an easy way to make money. Not everyone is pleased with the scheme though; the Information Commissioner's Office is worried it will lead to voyeurism or misuse, but what difference does it make when you can find said webcams with a simple Google search?"
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New CCTV Site In UK Pays People To Watch

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  • but what difference does it make when you can find said webcams with a simple Google search?"

    You could get paid £1000 for your voyeurism.

    • Re:One difference (Score:5, Informative)

      by RDW (41497) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:35AM (#33805794)

      Looks like most voyeurs will end up paying the company, not the other way around:

      http://interneteyes.co.uk/community/index.html [interneteyes.co.uk]

      It's £1.99/month or £12.99/year to use the site. To do marginally better than breaking even you'd need to pay annually and watch it for 2 hrs/day, which can get you back £1.50/month, but the only large payment mentioned explicity is £1000 for 'the Viewer who receives the most award points'. More like a paid-entry competition than a job.

      • by peterprior (319967) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:46AM (#33805854)
        By linking to their site from here you just violated their "no linking" policy found here: http://interneteyes.co.uk/terms-conditions.html [interneteyes.co.uk]

        "Linking to our site
        You may not link any other site to our website."


        Whoops - and now I have as well
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gl4ss (559668)
        well.. 1000£ for suspicious activity. there has to be a catch there, since conjuring up suspicious activity is much cheaper than 1000£. and you can't sue anyone for 1000£ for suspicious activity. even if the suspiciously acting guy is found guilty, how/why would money flow to these chaps?
      • by Nursie (632944)

        One pound fifty a month for two hours a day?

        Jesus H Christ. The only people who will bother with this are the folks who are already curtain-twitchers by nature, and who have really got nothing to do with their lives.

        FTFAQ - "Viewers can monitor for as much or as little as they want. Extended viewing is rewarded"

        A quid fifty for sixty hours. You couldn't even buy a pint with that, but then you won't have time either, and if you're the sort of person this appeals to you probably think that 'public houses' are

  • by dugeen (1224138) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:06AM (#33805646) Journal
    I regard surveillance cameras as constituting a blanket false accusation of ill-intent against all persons who come under their purview. No-one should be spying on me unless they have a pre-existing, genuine good faith suspicion that I'm up to no good, and allowing random internet maniacs to participate in the surveillance merely increases the offence. Where possible I'll be withdrawing contact from all organisations that collaborate with this evil scheme.
    • by White Shade (57215) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:21AM (#33805720)

      I don't feel threatened by surveillance cameras in public places at all, indeed, I feel safer knowing that if someone does pull some shit, there's at least a possibility that there'll be some footage of it...

      Once the surveillance gets into our homes and private work spaces and whatnot, then that's a problem, and a serious one...

      • by obarthelemy (160321) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:04AM (#33805934)

        Most crimes are committed in boardrooms and government. Let's put CCTV there.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by olden (772043)

        Well, unlike you [White Shade] I feel that so-called wholesale surveillance, if left unregulated, even "just" in public places, would become a threat, a violation of everyone's right to privacy and dignity.
        Today we have cameras. To prevent crime we're told (but studies seem to indicate that doesn't work). UK especially. More and more, networked, centralized. With now Joe Sixpack watching too (brilliant, really). Plus license plate OCR to enforce traffic restrictions, with such info logged to some big-ass da

        • by Rogerborg (306625)

          You know that when you step outside your door, other people can actually see you, right? Your Mak'tar stealth haze isn't working.

          If you want to protect your privacy from prying eyes, you can wear a hoodie, burqa or that tiresome de rigueur V mask that all the cool paranoid kids are sporting, anywhere you like in public, without let or hindrance. The UK isn't France.

      • by RichiH (749257)

        Except that it has been shown time and time again that CCTV does nothing to _prevent_ crime and only a bit to _solve cases_. Hint: The police have perfected being good at working without CCTV over the last few hundred years. I can create more work, though.

        If you want to _prevent_ crime you need street lights and more police on the streets. Oh, and a fast, efficient justice system that deals swift and just justice so there is no mental disconnect between "I broke $law" and "I get punished". Again, this has b

        • by duguk (589689)

          Except that it has been shown time and time again that CCTV does nothing to _prevent_ crime and only a bit to _solve cases_. Hint: The police have perfected being good at working without CCTV over the last few hundred years. I can create more work, though.

          If you want to _prevent_ crime you need street lights and more police on the streets. Oh, and a fast, efficient justice system that deals swift and just justice so there is no mental disconnect between "I broke $law" and "I get punished". Again, this has been shown again and again.

          Spot on.

          CCTV solves 1 in 1000 crimes, cost £2000 per camera, per year.
          Street lamps stop around 20% of crimes.

          I don't suppose they cost that much do they?

      • If only for the fact that the police officer who can help me is far away in some command centre. A camera is not a substitute for human presence, yet they are usually implemented as a substitution for human presence or at least as an excuse to drastically decrease that presence.
      • by lxs (131946)

        If someone does pull shit, that camera isn't going to stop them, and there is no police around to do so, because the cameras proved to be much cheaper than having actual people walking around interacting with the citizens.

    • I suppose you also switch off logging on all your computers, in good faith that everything will work perfectly and you won't ever need to find out what happened in the case of a problem?

      • by duguk (589689)

        I suppose you also switch off logging on all your computers, in good faith that everything will work perfectly and you won't ever need to find out what happened in the case of a problem?

        If it cost me £2,000 per year per log file, meaning I've spent £200 million over ten years to solve 1/1000 problems - yeah, I'd do without log files.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      No-one should be spying on me unless they have a pre-existing, genuine good faith suspicion that I'm up to no good

      But looking at you when you are in a public place is not "spying". Heck, we all have to close our eyes because Your Highness wishes to walk down the public street? Yeah right. You know there are cameras everywhere pointed at you. Some of them are owned by the government. Some of them are privately owned. If one day video of you picking your nose in your car emerges on the i

  • Suspicious activity: $1000
    Actual crime: $1500
    Violence: +$500
    Murder: +$1000
    For each aditional victim over the first: +$500
    Nude man: $0.25
    Nude woman: $50
    Performing sexual activities: *5
    Celebrities: (See annex)
    Special prices: (See "I found Wally!" annex)

    • Great, you just need a friend with fast legs, willing to work for a 20% cut.

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Nude man: $0.25 Nude woman: $50

      Isn't that gender discrimination

    • Catching the politician who sponsored this going into a hotel with a prostitute: Priceless

    • by duguk (589689)
      10,524 CCTV Cameras - £200 million [thisislondon.co.uk] over 10 years.
      Crimes Solved: 10 per year [guardian.co.uk]
      Cost to solve once crime with CCTV: £2 million per crime.

      Crimes per year: 4.4 million [wikipedia.org]
      Crimes solved by police: 22%
      Police: 136,000
      Crimes solved per year: 968,000
      Crimes solved per officer per year: 7
      Average Police wage: £30,000
      Cost to solve one crime: less than £5,000.

      I don't see how this is workable. Either I've got my figures wrong, or some CCTV company is making way too much money.
      • You missed one statistic. In areas of CCTV, how many crimes has it PREVENTED by just the aspect of them being there.

        Unfortunately this is a statistic that is not easy to calculate, unless we employ mind reading.

        • by duguk (589689)

          You missed one statistic. In areas of CCTV, how many crimes has it PREVENTED by just the aspect of them being there.

          Unfortunately this is a statistic that is not easy to calculate, unless we employ mind reading.

          Well, the numbers of crimes haven't [bbc.co.uk] gone [bbc.co.uk] down [bbc.co.uk]* significantly - so, essentially, none.

          Also, if you look at the percentage of crimes solved, from the link I posted originally [thisislondon.co.uk], you'll see that the crime-clear-up figures are below average, and haven't increased - and are worse in the areas with more CCTV cameras.

          Oh, and the police are saying it too [guardian.co.uk].

          Does this make me a mind-reader now?


          * specifically: "of 24 studies carried out in city centres, only 13 showed crime had fallen since CCTV cameras were inst

  • by Wowsers (1151731) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:07AM (#33805656) Journal
    Cue the stupid people in the UK who will say the tired out line "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear." Strangely the phrase does not apply when people like politicians, footballers and the film / record industry have something to hide, who run to the courts for crooked "Super Injunctions" to protect their criminal behaviour / scandals from being made public.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by JohnFluxx (413620)

      What useless rhetoric. Next up, there are some people who are in favor of taxes but still do tax evasion. And some people are in favor of police, but still commit crimes.

  • The CC in CCTV? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by peterprior (319967) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:15AM (#33805692)
    I always thought the CC in CCTV stood for 'Closed Circuit', meaning the pictures are not being broadcast.

    I know they're not being broadcast over RF but shouldn't making them available to anyone via a website be classed as 'broadcasting' therefore making it Open Circuit TV or just 'TV' ?
    • So now everyone with a webcam needs a broadcasting license? Why not demand that everyone writing on the web have a writing license and be done with free speech altogether.

      • slow down there buddy. The CCTV vs TV rules are there for your privacy. The idea is that CCTV isn't broadcast so what happens there, stays there (internal security...). If the CCTV, is suddenly broadcast over the internet, you getting caught scratching your ass on camera is now copied to everyone who wants a copy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bigjb (725336)
      I am pretty sure that this is going to end up with some interesting court appearances just from looking at the Information Commissioner's Office own guidelines for viewing CCTV [ico.gov.uk];

      Viewing of live images on monitors should usually be restricted to the operator unless the monitor displays a scene which is also in plain sight from the monitor location.

      and as an example:

      Example: Monitors in a hotel reception area show guests in the corridors and lifts, i.e. out of sight of the reception area. They should be turn

    • by ewrong (1053160)

      'A circuit is considered to be closed when electricity flows from an energy source to the desired endpoint of the circuit.'

      from here [energyvortex.com]

  • Sounds great! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tacarat (696339)
    We need this in America, but bolt it onto our elected officials and non-elected public servants. You know, to monitor them for voyeurism and abuses.
  • Getting the populace to constantly watch and be suspicious of each other was the last item off the checklist for our favourite Orwellian dystopia to become reality.

    Excuse me. I'm off to stock up on razor blades.
  • by seeker_1us (1203072) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:47AM (#33805856)
    The massive CCTV system hasn't changed crime statistics in the UK.

    I don't expect this will help either, but it will help the UK citizens think those cameras are there to help keep them safe from criminals.

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:09AM (#33805952)

      That's because the "massive CCTV system" is largely a sprawl of private cameras owned and run by businesses to benefit themselves, rather than (even nominally) the public. Publicly owned and run CCTV systems are on a much smaller scale than you might expect.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

        Publicly owned and run CCTV systems are on a much smaller scale than you might expect.

        But they are practically all connected to the same database which is easily accessible to nearly anyone - as this particularly story demonstrates - and thus magnifies the potential for abuse by many orders of magnitude.

        FYI - here are some actual stats on the number of public CCTV cameras in the UK - it is pretty high, starting with nearly 7,500 in London:
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8159141.stm [bbc.co.uk]

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by duguk (589689)

        That's because the "massive CCTV system" is largely a sprawl of private cameras owned and run by businesses to benefit themselves, rather than (even nominally) the public. Publicly owned and run CCTV systems are on a much smaller scale than you might expect.

        10,000 cameras for £200 million [thisislondon.co.uk] is a small scale operation?

        • This is not one network of cameras ...

          This is a large number of independent sets of cameras - Each one is mostly one or two outside a shop going to their own recorder in store

          Note this also does nt include the council run high street systems
          Or the ones who did not bother with a grant from the government
          Or the in store systems that do not qualify for a grant ...

          Publicly owned and run camera systems are mostly run by local councils and are independent of each other and (outside London) only cover one town cen

          • by duguk (589689)

            This is not one network of cameras ...

            This is a large number of independent sets of cameras - Each one is mostly one or two outside a shop going to their own recorder in store

            Note this also does nt include the council run high street systems Or the ones who did not bother with a grant from the government Or the in store systems that do not qualify for a grant ...

            Publicly owned and run camera systems are mostly run by local councils and are independent of each other and (outside London) only cover one town centre ....

            No it's not. Those are NOT included. Read the article again. This is *PURELY* Government CCTV.

            Right at the bottom of the article you didn't read [thisislondon.co.uk]: "The true number, once privately run units and CCTV at rail and London Underground stations are taken into account, will be significantly higher."

  • Trying it out (Score:5, Informative)

    by LingNoi (1066278) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:12AM (#33805968)

    It's only 2 pounds a month so I tried it out. Here's the slashdot review summary..

    - You have the choice between 1 camera, 2x1 camera and 1x2 cameras.
    - You don't get to choose which camera however you can click to choose another random camera.
    - You get to click to watch for another 5 minutes on the same camera
    - If you don't click you will switch to a different camera automatically
    - You get 5 alerts a month.
    - There is some kind of buffering going on here however the video footage seems to be very close to live. The camera has a clock in it which matched my desktop to the minute.
    - You don't have to be in England to use it. I'm currently half way around the world so it takes a long time for video to show up

    • It's only 2 pounds a month so I tried it out.

      Aren't they paying you to watch?

      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        I don't think you can ever make money off this. The only reason I paid was to try it out for myself and see what they were doing. Already unsubscribed the recurred billing.

        First you need to have alerted correctly more times then anyone else. Second you only get 5 alerts a month. A combination of this means you'll never get any real money.

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          I don't think you can ever make money off this. The only reason I paid was to try it out for myself and see what they were doing. Already unsubscribed the recurred billing.

          First you need to have alerted correctly more times then anyone else. Second you only get 5 alerts a month. A combination of this means you'll never get any real money.

          Being cheap, eh? Have a competition between many watchers and pay only 1000 quid

          Another advantage they can derive: since one is already involved in surveillance, is less likely the one will oppose more advanced surveillance schemes. Except, probably, if disappointment for not being paid kicks in.

    • by Spad (470073)

      So it's like chatroulette with fewer penises?

      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        Yes, exactly.

        All the cameras I have see are from private shop which leads me to suspect that this is an opt in thing separate from the government CCTV cameras in the streets.

    • Re:Trying it out (Score:4, Informative)

      by LingNoi (1066278) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @07:22AM (#33806332)

      Some extra details since I posted.

      The alerts seem to be going up. I have 6 now so I guess I was wrong and they go up with usage or something.

      They're using RTMP (Not RTMPS) for streaming the content and JWplayer. Their site kinda sucks to be honest, a lot of it is unsecured (security by obscurity) and I'm pretty sure you could look at this content without a need to login first if someone gave you the details to do so.

      The prize of 1000 pounds is for only one person a month, so if you report 10 crimes and someone else reports 11, sucks to be you.

  • Expect policing to be farmed out to private enterprise... oh look, just announced...

    Prison to be farmed out to private enterprise... and turned into compulsory labour for that enterprise... oh look, announced at the Tory conference yesterday...

    Healthcare rationing to be turned into GPs buying from competing healthcare private enterprise, because goddammit the free market guarantees not just any laparoscopic cholecystectomy but the best profit-making laparoscopic cholecystectomy... oh look, announced a few

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Spad (470073)

      Yes, and then Labour can come back into power, run up a massive debt, fuck things up just as much - but more subtly than the Tories so it takes longer for people to notice - while pretending to give a shit about poor people.

      Same shit, different colour.

      • New Tory did it out of self-interest (and everyone who mattered, noticed the effect). Old Tory do it out of principle (and no-one who notices, matters).

        When the choice is between two similar evils, always choose the man who doesn't have a queer conviction that he's doing it for your own good.

      • They are all as bad as each other ....

        Labour was ~: Nationalise everything, tax high but give a lot of services
        Tory was ~ Privatise everything, tax low but give as few services as possible
        New Labour was ~ Privatise some Nationalise some, tax high but give a lot of services
        New Tory/Lib Dem is ~ Privatise everything, tax high ("It's Labours fault") and cut services

  • I would say it is already misuse. In this case, it is the misuse of government power. To be fair, the British have always had a problem with this. Their history is filled with stories of oppressive leaders controlling through brute force and unfair law. Now this might be a tainted view, but it's all I have to go on and it seems to fit well with what is going on in the British empire now.

  • People always said "oh 1984, scary but of course it would be impossible to actually have enough people watching enough screens". Not any more it isn't. It's probably pretty meaningless given the current political climate but if there were ever a big political swing to extremism then here's the mechanism to very thoroughly police the behaviour of the public.
  • Give it a week... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gordonjcp (186804) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:26AM (#33806050) Homepage

    ... and they'll be shut down, just like the last bunch that pulled this scam. Loads of people will sign up and lose their money. Six months down the line, we'll see more of timmeh's hysterical squealing about how evil Britain is, as the scammers start up again.

    Yes, there's a law against this sort of thing.

  • The brits are using a time-proven formula to make their citizens demand previously unpopular policies. It's called Problem-Reaction-Solution. Once a problem is allowed to get bad enough (say, crime) there will be a reaction from the enraged populace, and they will eagerly embrace the solution (say, snitching) offered by the people who engineered the problem to begin with. Governments do it again and again because the public falls for it every time.
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      The brits are using a time-proven formula to make their citizens demand previously unpopular policies. It's called Problem-Reaction-Solution. Once a problem is allowed to get bad enough (say, crime) there will be a reaction from the enraged populace, and they will eagerly embrace the solution (say, snitching) offered by the people who engineered the problem to begin with. Governments do it again and again because the public falls for it every time.

      Hmmm... If it turns out to be a scheme to squeeze 2 pounds a month for the "privilege of peeping" (you might get to snitch, if lucky enough to see something suspicious) and pay 1000 only for the "snitch-of-the-month-winner", I wonder if they are not actually considering the cost of running the CCTV network the actual problem and "peeping" as the kick meant to provoke the reaction??

  • Big Brother (TM)? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jandersen (462034) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @07:11AM (#33806264)

    Wow - the ultimate reality tv: really watch reality, on tv! I don't know if this is funny or just sad.

  • guess we might actually get there one day, I wonder how long before someone builds a Todos Santos and how long the line for admission will be.

    Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_Fealty_(novel) [wikipedia.org]

    "The arcology dwellers have evolved a different culture, sacrificing privacy - there are cameras (not routinely monitored) even in the private apartments - in exchange for security."

  • New? (Score:5, Informative)

    by imakemusic (1164993) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @07:45AM (#33806430)

    It's been online for at least a year and was posted by timothy [slashdot.org] almost exactly a year ago.

    Also they don't pay you to watch, you pay them to watch and if you happen to see something happening, you might get paid.

    Good work, editors.

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