I've been collecting relevant stories in a half assed fashion and, inspired into action by the first story I'm going to feature, I decided that I ought to put some of that collection here. If you find any similar stories, please feel free to add to the collection.
The criteria will be simple. We're looking for examples of Behaviour, or "Incidents" which Trusted Surveillance would either have prevented or, at least, detected. We will include examples where it is already happening - even though the motives may not have been those of Trusted Surveillance. (like the story of the plane-spotters detecting CIA "Rendition" flights)
For example, in the first story - the Assault by LA Metro Airport police on an Iraq vet - it is clear that the hired thugs in police costumes believed they could could get away with the assault because there were no witnesses and their version of events would outweigh the victim's.
You'll have seen the head cams being increasingly worn by troops in Iraq. We need to see the same technology (or its less intrusive successors) being deployed - eventually - to every policeman or security agent (even bouncers) on the planet. These devices can stream constant video/audio back to base, so that any incident can be captured.
[Edit 08 Feb 2011]Ideally, it would NOT be illegal, under TS, to touch or interfere in any way with a citizen unless that device was recording (to allow for those legitimate situations in which genuine heroic intervention is justified) However, in the absence of such a digital record, the word of the victim would take precedence over the attacker. In other words, should anybody (particularly those whose job occasionally mandates such behaviour and who thus have no excuse NOT to be properly equipped and recorded) launch an attack on any other citizen, the normal judicial rules will be reversed. They will be considered GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT and THAT is what incentivises the use of digital recording technology for "self surveillance". The only way you'll be able to "prove the negative" is to release the footage which showed what really happened.
Subsequently, in addition to any CCTV footage, we would have the contemporaneous footage gathered by the relevant agents. This would given us better resolution and a sound recording of any exchanges.
At least some of the time the footage might even justify breaking someone's ribs, but I think we can be pretty sure, on this occasion, that "Officer Jennings" wouldn't have dared to be quite so aggressive if he'd been wearing one of those head cams.
This implies that the law should be changed to the effect that, in the event of any dispute between citizen and police (for which read any entity employed to be in a position of "authority", including guardians of physical security), the citizen's word will always take precedence unless the contemporary record, verified by an immutable audit trail, proves, to the satisfaction of a jury, that the authority's action was vindicated or justified.
The problem we have now, is that, with just a grainy video and no sound to go on, Jennings will be able to claim all sorts of potential provocations by the victim; none of which would really excuse his behaviour, but with the support of the establishment and a good PR spin - like they managed for the recent infamous World Cup incident - they might even try to make Jennings look like the injured party. Perhaps Sergeant England was insulting Jenning's Mother and Sister - or worse, his manhood!! As I said, it wouldn't excuse the assault, but it would make it look a little less evil. And presentation is a big part of the project.
In any case, Trusted Surveillance will close off this avenue of retreat.