Los Angeles Wants You To Be Its Surveillance Spook

Telegraph screen capTelegraph screen capDo you want to be the Nancy Drew of Venice Beach? Well, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) has a deal for you. The law enforcement agency announced last week the launch of a program to get civilians to crowdsource the county's surveillance.

LASD has since November been working with tech companies Amazon, SendUs, and CitizenGlobal to develop the Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository or "LEEDIR," where people can upload images or video from crime scenes.

At a press conference at the time, then-Sheriff Lee Baca recalled the Boston Bombing. "Law enforcement requested the public to send pictures and video...to the FBI to assist in their investigation. Thousands of valuable pictures and video were sent, however it overwhelmed the service," he said, and that LASD's private sector partners were building LEEDIR to overcome this kind of challenge.

With the service ready to go, Commander Scott Edson said last Thursday, "This is a great opportunity for the public who really wants to catch those guys as badly as any law enforcement agency wants to catch them."

According to Southern California Public Radio, the department's "disaster and recovery response teams" will also utilize LEEDIR.

To be fair, embracing civilian surveillance seems inevitable, given the proliferation cellphones cameras, as well as pragmatic, since it's more reliable than eye witnesses (and sometimes even valuable for catching abusive police.)

However, the LASD's first call to action—not for an earthquake rescue or hunting down terrorists, but finding more underage drinkers to arrest from a wild party last week at a college campus—may be indicative of the way law enforcement will typically use LEEDIR.

At BoingBoing Xeni Jardin warns that "large citizen protests like Occupy Wall Street" could become targets for previously impossible levels of surveillance.

Techdirt's Tim Cushing adds that contrary to official claims, "there's no real way to submit anything anonymously. You aren't required to input your name, but the app itself demands access to GPS data and any other communications-related metadata is likely hoovered up by LEEDIR when images and video are uploaded."

And, while the technology itself is totally neutral, the LASD isn't. They've got a scandalous record that should make anyone wary, and numerous law enforcement agencies have been caught misusing and abusing their access to civilians' data.  

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  • Hyperion||

    "LEEDIR," where people can upload images or video from crime scenes.

    What happens when most of those are video of police brutality?

  • Pope Jimbo||

    ^This.

    How long does this program last when citizens start sending in mass amounts of data showing the LEO's running red lights, parking illegally, etc. etc.?

  • Jerry on the sea||

    Getting laid by some prostitutes...

  • sarcasmic||

    How long does this program last when citizens start sending in mass amounts of data showing the LEO's running red lights, parking illegally, etc. etc.?

    I'm sure the people submitting those reports will find themselves being arrested and interrogated repeatedly until they get the message that those are not the bad guys the police were talking about.

  • paranoid android||

    LASD has since November been working with tech companies Amazon, SendUs, and CitizenGlobal to develop the Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository or "LEEDIR," where people can upload images or video from crime scenes.

    Probably sounds snappier in the original German.

  • Hyperion||

    Report to your 'LEEDIR', citizens!

  • Lord Humungus||

    LEEDIR-HOSEN-U

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The law enforcement agency announced last week the launch of a program to get civilians to crowdsource the county's surveillance.

    Do we get to force each other to shelter in place and shoot dogs? Do we get to harass each other with impunity and arbitrarily enforce vague rules on each other when we believe our authority isn't being adequately respected? Do we get to wear battle dress and pretend to be military? Do we get to wail on each other when we see we're being surveilled?

    No? Then fuck it. We'll start telling on each other when you a-holes do.

  • RannedPall||

    The sheriff's department is more or less a bunch of gangsters in tan costumes. Seeing as how their probation is completed in the county jail, how can one scratch their head when news breaks of deputies getting into fist fights at bars(see: 3,000 Boys). And when they are, in fact, rejected in the hiring process, they just give them another job with the county.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/l.....z2z4nfkHC1

  • ||

    Dis guy surveilled hisself into the douche hall o' fame.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Wannabees will love this. Jaywalkers and leashless dog walkers beware.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Los Angeles Wants to Wear its Citizens Like a Giant Condom.

  • ||

    Spook?

    Racist!

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