Watching Big Brother

Citizens have been using lo-fi digital technology to call into question police accounts and to government practices:

Sous-veillance” will see video sharing sites such as YouTube used by citizens to shine a spotlight on things such as deadly hygiene lapses in hospital wards and uncollected rubbish, according to the European Information Society Group (Eurim).

Recently during a New York critical mass, a biker, Christopher Long was shoved off his bike. The video of the now famous shove was posted on YouTube has had over 1,000,000 hits. According to the NyTimes:

Officer Pogan composed a story of his encounter with Mr. Long. It bore no resemblance to the events seen on the videotape. Based on the sworn complaint, Mr. Long was held for 26 hours on charges of attempted assault and disorderly conduct.

The availability of cheap digital technology — video cameras, digital cameras, cellphone cameras — has ended a monopoly on the history of public gatherings that was limited to the official narratives, like the sworn documents created by police officers and prosecutors. The digital age has brought in free-range history.

via /.