DIY Big Brother
July 20, 2011 8:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for ideas on ways to setup an informal neighborhood CCTV /cam enabled security system. Something like a flikr pool with wifi connected cameras taking snapshots/continuous street view. Ideally some kind of low cost DIY package that could be informally setup by a group of neighbors.

I'm thinking sort of neighborhood watch 2.0. Put together a kit with a wifi enabled hd camera which would take snapshots based on motion or some other setting of cars and people coming and going with enough info to be useful for police reporting. Thoughts on gear, apps, ways to limit access to neighborhood residents?
posted by humanfont to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You may want to research this with your state and local laws before putting anything in place. You might have to post signs about "premises under surveillance" or you may not be allowed to put surveillance on a public street, if your street is indeed public.

I have a vague memory from years ago when I worked for a security company that had video monitoring. In some jurisdictions, the video camera had to be placed so it did not observe adjoining properties or public streets. This was for commercial properties like schools and malls and also for private properties like homes. Your area may not have the same restrictions but you really should check before investing any money.
If you are using this surveillance to monitor for criminal activity like speeding or trespass, you'll probably have to consult the police and a local lawyer for the admissibility of your activities. There's no use putting cameras up to catch someone if your courts don't allow that evidence.
posted by jaimystery at 9:14 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

There is an open source security cam project, but I can't search for it right.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:09 PM on July 20, 2011

I agree with jaimystery you should definitely look into the legal aspect of this before doing too much. Nevertheless, from the technical side: ZoneMinder Motion Gspy gstreamer-motioncells
posted by hattifattener at 10:19 PM on July 20, 2011

My investigations into this suggested that, at least in my neighborhood in Northern California, if you can see it from some place you can legally be then you can take a picture of it, and therefore record it. The reason I haven't put up cameras (aside from the fact that we seemed to have two incidents and then went back to being a quiet neighborhood) is that relatively wide angle didn't really have enough resolution to do anything more than say "yeah, someone sprayed graffiti".

As hattifatener mentioned, when I asked my circles everyone recommended ZoneMinder.
posted by straw at 7:46 AM on July 21, 2011

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