The city’s board of supervisors voted to approve the controversial measure, which was opposed by the EFF and the ACLU
Police in San Francisco got a boost to their surveillance powers this week after the city’s board of supervisors voted on Tuesday to grant the police department access to private surveillance cameras in real time.
The vote, which passed 7–4, approved a one-year pilot program that will allow police to monitor footage from private cameras across the city with the camera owners’ consent. The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) will not have continuous access to the cameras but will be able to tap into the network under certain conditions, such as during the investigation of crimes including misdemeanors and property crimes. The SFPD will also be able to access private camera footage during large-scale public events such as protests, even if there is no suspicion that a crime has taken place.
“This ordinance essentially gives the SFPD the ability to put the entire city under live surveillance indefinitely”
Civil liberties groups such as the EFF and ACLU were strongly critical of the new measure, which they argue will increase the surveillance of already marginalized groups within the city. In a blog post, EFF policy analyst Matthew Guariglia wrote that the wide range of crimes that could trigger camera activation would allow blanket surveillance at almost any time.
“Make no mistake, misdemeanors like vandalism or jaywalking happen on nearly every street of San Francisco on any given day—meaning that this ordinance essentially gives the SFPD the ability to put the entire city under live surveillance indefinitely,” Guariglia wrote.
However, San Francisco Mayor London Breed heralded the new legislation as a necessary measure for increasing public safety in the city, which has struggled with rising crime rates.
“Our residents and small businesses want us focused on keeping San Francisco safe for everyone who lives and works in the City,” Breed said in a statement. “This is a sensible policy that balances the need to give our police officers another tool to address significant public safety challenges and to hold those who break the law accountable.”
One other side effect of the new ordinance is that wealthy private individuals are effectively able to increase police surveillance capacity unilaterally and without oversight. As reporting in Protocol highlights, Ripple cryptocurrency co-founder Chris Larsen has spent around $4 million on installing more than 1,000 security cameras in San Francisco since 2012.
Larsen, a San Francisco native, told Protocol that tech had “contributed to the disparity and problems that we see in San Francisco today” but said that investing in schemes like the private surveillance initiative would help to improve community safety.
Doing more with less (extravagant holiday parties).
Sundar Pichai addressed employees’ questions about Google’s spending changes at an all-hands this week, according to CNBC.
“Maybe you were planning on hiring six more people but maybe you are going to have to do with four and how are you going to make that happen?” Pichai sent a memo to workers in July about a hiring slowdown.
In the all-hands, Google’s head of finance also asked staff to try not to go “over the top” for holiday parties.
James VincentTwo hours ago
Nvidia’s latest AI model generates endless 3D models.
Need to fill your video game, VR world, or project render with 3D chaff? Nvidia’s latest AI model could help. Trained on 2D images, it can churn out customizable 3D objects ready to import and tweak.
The model seems rudimentary (the renders aren’t amazing quality and seem limited in their variety), but generative AI models like this are only going to improve, speeding up work for all sorts of creative types.
Japan will fully reopen to tourists in October following two and a half years of travel restrictions.
Good news for folks who have been waiting to book their dream Tokyo vacation: Japan will finally relax Covid border control measures for visa-free travel and individual travelers on October 11th.
Tourists will still need to be vaccinated three times or submit a negative COVID-19 test result ahead of their trip, but can take advantage of the weak yen and a ‘national travel discount’ launching on the same date. Sugoi!
Sony starts selling the Xperia 1 IV with continuous zoom lens.
What does it cost to buy a smartphone that does something no smartphone from Apple, Google, Samsung can? $1,599.99 is Sony’s answer: for a camera lens that can shift its focal length anywhere between 85mm and 125mm.
Here’s Allison’s take on Sony’s continuous-zoom lens when she tested a prototype Xperia 1 IV back in May:
Sony put a good point-and-shoot zoom in a smartphone. That’s an impressive feat. In practical use, it’s a bit less impressive. It’s essentially two lenses that serve the same function: portrait photography. The fact that there’s optical zoom connecting them doesn’t make them much more versatile.
Still, it is a Sony, and like.no.other.
If God sees everything, so do these apps.
Some Churches are asking congregants to install so-called “accountability apps” to prevent sinful behavior. A Wired investigation found that they monitor almost everything a user does on their phone, including taking regular screenshots and flagging LGBT search terms.
Shutterstock punts on AI-generated content.
Earlier this week, Getty Images banned the sale of AI-generated content, citing legal concerns about copyright. Now, its biggest rival, Shutterstock, has responded by doing … absolutely nothing. In a blog post, Shutterstock’s CEO Paul Hennessy says there are “open questions on the copyright, licensing, rights, and ownership of synthetic content and AI-generated art,” but doesn’t announce any policy changes. So, you can keep on selling AI art on Shutterstock, I guess.
This custom Super73 makes me want to tongue-kiss an eagle.
Super73’s tribute to mountain-biking pioneer Tom Ritchey has my inner American engorged with flag-waving desire. The “ZX Team” edition features a red, white, and blue colorway with custom components fitted throughout. Modern MTBers might scoff at the idea of doing any serious trail riding on a heavy Super73 e-bike, which is fine: this one-off is not for sale.
You can, however, buy the Super73 ZX it’s based on (read my review here), which proved to be a very capable all-terrain vehicle on asphalt, dirt, gravel, and amber fields of grain.
The sincerest form of flattery.
I had little interest in Apple’s Dynamic Island, but once a developer built their spin on the idea for Android, I had to give it a try.
Surprisingly, I’ve found I actually like it, and while dynamicSpot isn’t as well-integrated as Apple’s version, it makes up for it with customization. Nilay’s iPhone 14 Pro review asked Apple to reverse the long-press to expand vs. tap to enter an app setup. In dynamicSpot, you can do that with a toggle (if you pay $5).
Image: Richard Lawler
The Twitter employee who testified about Trump and the January 6th attack has come forward.
This summer, a former Twitter employee who worked on platform and content moderation policies testified anonymously before the congressional committee investigating the violence at the US Capitol on January 6th.
While she remains under NDA and much of her testimony is still sealed, Anika Collier Navaroli has identified herself, explaining a little about why she’s telling Congress her story of what happened inside Twitter — both before the attack, and after, when it banned Donald Trump.
But how does it sound?
Our review of Apple’s new AirPods Pro can tell you everything about the second-generation buds. To find out how you’ll sound talking to other people through them, just listen to Verge senior video producer Becca Farsace.
The Bootleg Ratio.
Policy Editor Russell Brandom digs into a phenomenon we’ve all seen on social media before:
I call it the Bootleg Ratio: the delicate balance between A) content created by users specifically for the platform and B) semi-anonymous clout-chasing accounts drafting off the audience. Any platform will have both, but as B starts to overtake A, users will have less and less reason to visit and creators will have less and less reason to post.
And now it’s coming for TikTok.