In dangerous places around the world where soldiers or police officers may be committing human rights abuses, a mobile phone has become a key weapon in the hands of campaigners and victims of abuse, it can provide valuable video evidence of crimes. The trouble is that most of the clips are doctored or fake and even when the videos are genuine they are often not admissible as evidence because their authenticity cannot be verified to the satisfaction of a court.
A new app has been introduced called EyeWitness App that will clear authenticity questions raised in courts, the app is currently on the Google Play store and is the result of collaboration between the International Bar Association and the legal services division of the information firm LexisNexis. The project is currently managed by Wendy Betts.
EyeWitness App is designed to record photos, videos and audio recordings in a simple and secure way. It looks like any photography app, but when you open it up, it has a secure mode which means that if your phone is examined by a security official they will not see any of the material you have recorded.
The EyeWitness app stamps recordings with GPS coordinates, the time and location and other data which will show exactly where it was recorded and whether it has been edited then, when the user is in a safe location, they can upload their material to a secure database owned by the EyeWitness App project. Legal experts can then examine it and decide whether it is suitable for use in courts as reported by BBC NEWS.
It is designed specifically for war zones and places where human rights abuses are common. In the US, a number of videos have emerged in recent months of police officers shooting suspects and some have led to arrests but if they had been filmed through this app that might have reinforced the case against the officers involved. Wendy provides that it will not deal with such cases but cooperate with requests for information from its database as long as it is clear it has the permission of those who uploaded the material.
The app will only be available for Android phones because that is what just about everyone has in countries where it is designed to be used. My opinion is that if the app is introduced in Kenya most traffic officers will be in great trouble because they will be caught taking bribes which is a good thing for Kenyans. The use of cameras has been adopted by Kenyans to curb terrorism, CCTV Cameras have been installed along the 800Km long Kenya Somali border to be used to monitor terrorists.