OpenWatch: Mobile phones to allow for public scrutiny

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Society & You - Social Critic
Saturday, 23 June 2012 18:01

There are cases of public control efforts [at] big-budget funded by donors that are not fully open to the public or are specific to certain areas. But new technologies enable ordinary people to use social media and cheap tools such as mobile phones to increase transparency and facilitate public control. OpenWatch [in] is a participatory citizen media project that uses mobile phones to allow public control of corruption and repression.

In many countries, governments are not democratic and repressive authorities abuse their power and engage in corrupt practices. Currently, surveillance technology is only available to the authorities, which raises the question "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Who watches the watchers? On the other hand, citizens increasingly equipped with highly publicized devices like mobile phones and other tools, act as whistleblowers and disclose ample evidence of corruption and repression. This is where comes in. OpenWatch.

OpenWatch consists of two parts, an application for iPhone OS and Android invisibly records of audio and video, and open source software for recording storage. Managers and employees of OpenWatch hold the copyright on the content of the web, which is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-3.0. Users who do not have a smartphone to install applications can also call a phone number to make recordings [in] remote OpenWatch system. The aim is that these tests can be used to reveal corrupt practices and help bring those responsible to justice.

This video explains how OpenWatch:

Click on the video to watch

This is the explanation [in] each step:

Step 1: Download one of the applications [in] of OpenWatch either "openwatch" or "Cop Recorder." Both are free, like its source code.

Step 2: When you want to secretly record audio or video, open the application and press "Record Audio" or "Record Video". The application will start recording immediately, but seem to be closed. If you record audio, return to the main screen, and if recording video, the screen will go blank as if the phone was off.

Step 3: When you want to stop recording, re-open the application. Recording will stop immediately and ask you to describe the file. Content is stored in a secure server [to] in openwatch.net, which will be considered by openwatch, and if necessary, will undergo further investigation.

OpenWatch founder, Rich Jones [in], 23, says the project has been inspired by the concept with the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, the "science journalism", a type of journalism that is based on documents and data and at the same time makes these publicly available sources. Wikileaks mentions a postulate: "For a project notorious radical transparency has a chance to survive, there can be no single failure crack." believe [in] that "it is possible the collection of intelligence by the people" .

Interview with Rich Jones on NewsMeBack Blog [en].

Follow this project on Twitter [in] and the project blog [en].

Posted by Rezwan · Translated by Lourdes Sada · View original post [en] · Comments (0)
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