As we upload more and more videos to the Internet—one hour of new video every second to YouTube alone—experts are finding new ways to mine them. A team led by Igor Curcio of Nokia's Research Center, for example, has developed an algorithm that stitches concertgoers' cellphone footage into a single, synchronized multi-angle film. The concept is relatively simple: the audio track serves as a guide to sync up the footage, and the software chooses the best shots. Curcio has no real business model yet—photography is prohibited at most concerts—but giving people the ability to identify and coherently connect common elements in multiple videos is nonetheless a step toward something significant.
For instance, the drones that patrol the U.S.-Mexican border and the security cameras in cities already record more footage than human observers can possibly examine. If an agency could rely on a computer to track individuals, groups and events on its own, agents could use intelligence far more—well, intelligibly.
That new capability will drive the demand for even more raw data. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) agency, overseen by the U.S. director of national intelligence, has launched two projects that may help analysts use civilian video from YouTube, Vimeo and other sources. Investigators at the Finder program are studying ways to locate where and when a video was taken based solely on the image itself. That's hard enough. But researchers at IARPA's Aladdin are working on an even more challenging task: how to search for "specific events of interest." If they succeed, analysts could feed in a name, a simple text description or a few sample videos of what they seek—say, "five people wearing backpacks next to a pickup truck"—and get back any number of clips that match the query.
Beyond categories lies the greater hurdle of finding not just an event or a group of objects but a single object: a missing child, a misplaced purse, a suicide bomber in a crowd. "For some classes of objects, like faces, people—to some extent vehicles—the capabilities are mature," says Harpreet Sawhney, the technical director of vision and learning systems at SRI International, which conducts research for various U.S. government agencies. "But spotting them in an arbitrary video, shot from any of countless angles—that's still a hard problem."
IARPA's systems could be the first step toward spotting a would-be bomber as he moves through the background of a wedding toast, a birthday dinner or a tailgate cookout. But when the government uses the videos we post online as an intelligence resource, it could finally destroy what little privacy remains in an already overly connected world. That is the choice we all face. By keeping footage private, we restrict its significance to only what our own eyes see. But by making it public, someone's going to spot something we didn't realize we were filming.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.
You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions.
Anything you do say may be used against you in a court of law. (WHICH INCLUDES ANY CRAP YOU POST, UPLOAD, PUBLISH to the INTERNET and may include via a court order, what is on your home computer too or if NSA decides to look at your home computer via homeland security laws, with or without a court order.)
You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.
If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.
Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?
NSA has the right to detain you, with or without a court order and not allow you to have a lawyer too in the name of homeland security.
I see you and raise you
"...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..."
PS I was on the team that created one of the forerunners to YouTube. It was apparent to us then and even moreso now that government abuse of privacy is a real concern for the internet video medium. It is up to us the people to set limitations on Government power. The government (like any entity) seeks expansion of power and it is up to us to demand it's limitations.