A new $2 million surveillance project in Texas lets you patrol the US border with Mexico from the comfort of your own home, and report any suspicious activity you see.
The project results in one crime bust in the six week it has been on, but it was a biggie: "virtual deputies" spotted three suspects trying to smuggle 540 pound of marijuana across the border. According to Wired:
The exact location of the cameras is not disclosed, but according to a press release about the project, "a significant number of Texas landowners" requested that the cameras be placed on their property.
More than 21,000 people from several states, including as far away as Ohio, have signed up to be virtual deputies so far. BlueServo claims its web site has received more than 5 million hits, resulting in about 1,000 e-mail reports of suspicious activity. The average camera watcher spends about eight minutes on the site examining video.
What do virtual deputies get in return for their efforts?
Aside from the satisfaction of knowing they've done their part to combat crime, they get the opportunity to become targeted consumers.
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/12/2-million-texas.html | Here's the webcam: BlueServo - via Attuworld