If one London art gallery is correct in predicting the future of police surveillance, we may have to redefine the meaning of ‘sting’ operation: one artist’s mock-interview with a (fake) beekeeping police officer describes how bees can be used to track down growers of illegal plants–and the scary thing is that this art video is only a hop and a skip from reality.
An exhibition called “High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture” at London’s Wellcome Collection features a short film by artist Thomas Thwaites, entitled “Policing Genes,” in which a mock police officer explains the latest in surveillance trickery. Essentially, the police officers tend bee hives, and when the bees return from their daily pollen-hunt, the officers not only check the bees for pollen from such plants as marijuana, but can also use software to decode the dance of the honeybee. And since pollen-laden bees dance to tell the other bees where they found the pollen, decoding the dance would tell the police the exact location of the illegal plants.
Snapping iPhone pics may soon be an order for cops in Brockton, Massachusetts. But don’t expect these shots to end up on the Facebook page for COPS. Using a special app, officers plan to turn the iPhone into a crime-fighting gadget that will use facial and iris recognition to identify criminals on the streets.
As first reported by the Patriot Ledger, the iris recognition software looks for unique coloration in the area surrounding the subject’s pupils. The face recognition software measures the spacing between the suspect’s major facial features–comparing the outside distance between the person’s eyes and the distance between his nose and chin, for example.
Is safety on the job so much to ask for?
Sikh policemen in England are effectively prevented from becoming firearms officers because of their religious beliefs. They are not allowed to remove their turbans, but the traditional head wraps won’t fit under standard safety helmets. So they’re asking for a technology-fueled alternative: bulletproof turbans.