Modern technology kickstarted the phenomenon that is known as citizen journalism. You didn’t need proper gear or equipment to capture an event, you could just do it through a smartphone even before reporters turned up. This advancement in technology has also aided law enforcement which can call upon the public to submit any photo or video evidence that they might have recorded. This was best witnessed in the search for the people behind Boston Marathon bombings last year where eyewitnesses literally flooded the authorities with photos and videos they had taken. The Los Angeles Police Department has come up with a much better way of collecting such evidence.
The LAPD has teamed up with Amazon Web Services which would provide virtually endless bandwidth. This wouldn’t clog the department’s servers and thus hinder the investigation. Instead people who have evidence can submit it through an Android and iOS app or through the web portal. The system is called the Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository.
Its essentially a modern police tip line which can accept media uploaded from computers or pulled in from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google+. Authorities in Santa Barbara, California were first to use this system, calling on the public to upload any evidence that they might have which can help them investigate the riot at the Isla Vista community near the University of California.
Privacy groups aren’t too happy about the LEEDIR system though. They fear that innocent people that are captured on film during a large emergency event could end up becoming subjects of investigation. While law enforcement will definitely weed through submitted evidence to find something they can actually use, this certainly is a genuine concern one that’s likely to get more voices if the LEEDIR system results in investigation and interrogation of innocent people.