Occupy Wall Street Using Toy Helicopters To Record Cops
The NYC faction of the movement has just invented a whimsical, but potentially effective, tool in response to what they say is overbearing surveillance, police violence, and the barring of photographers and journalists from protests: a toy helicopter.
Bought cheaply online, the device is controllable from an iPhone and rigged with a tiny camera that can record and stream video in real time to the social video website, Ustream…
The mini-chopper is the brainchild of Tim Pool, a New York-based tech specialist, multimedia journalist and OWS supporter who has already gained some fame for his live chat-enabled Ustream broadcasts from Occupy encampments nationwide. Pool’s latest innovation: installing 3G cellular controllers to vastly extend the Occucopter’s range.
Will we soon see police battling hundreds of hovering, buzzing toy spy drones controlled by multiple operators, who could be thousands of miles away? And could this technology, intended to keep tabs on police abuses, be turned used for more nefarious purposes?
Some observers fear the ramifications of an escalating drone race much like the nuclear arms race of the 1980s, where authorities could justify their own use of drones by pointing to devices like the Occucopter. Think about it: a remotely-operated drone chopper could live-stream your wife taking a shower.
We may not have to wait long for the brave new world of Big Brother warfare. But for now, the live-streaming of Occupy events continues. Recently, Occupy Albany was being forced to move out of their encampment. Tim Pool – and his Occucopter – were there, documenting the eviction live on Ustream.