Filmmakers, Photojournalists Call On Professional Camera Companies To Implement Encryption

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epdm2be

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@GGGPLAYA: Yes.

"...there is no way to protect any of the footage once it has been taken...."
Perhaps not once it has been taken. But BEFORE it's taken journalists can copy their photo's to computers/phones/tablets and use appropriate software.

If ever provided then it should be a user's choice. Not mandatory encryption across all camera's.
 

fry178

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@EPDM2BE
since most ssd's (also flash mem) come with encryption and they can still handle around 500MB/s (up to 3000MB for pcx drives) read/write.
please show where there is a significant performance hit when using encryption (vs not encrypted; on same hardware).

all android phones support encryption, so i doubt it will be an issue on prosumer/pro grade cams, where they can easily add an additional dedicated chip for encryption.
even a UHD video will only produce ~150-200MB/s, so i dont see why it should be a problem.
 

cia1413

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@FRY178 Where is the computation for the encryption going to come from? The asic on a high end camera is 100% occupied with taking pictures, adding a more complex process will just raise the cost. How can you expect a camera manufacturer to solve this very niche problem? Why not have your backup software do this, that is a much cheaper and easier to implement solution. Are the suggesting that they never download the media to reuse cards?
 

fry178

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using it with software/afterwards will make it irrelevant for ppl in areas where they arent allowed (for whatever reason) etc.

"oh, hey mister soldier, let me just encrypt my drive before i hand over my camera..."
right. so it needs to be on the cam.
and im not saying it needs to on EVERY camera.
anyone that uses a camera for work/to make money and needs that kind of feature, should be willing to pay extra for it.

the most cost would come from r&d on the how/where/what so to speak, but from then on would not add significantly to the cost of the cam.
same with the chips needed. they are cheap and can be dedicated so it doesnt affect anything else on the cam.

have you seen the overall lag between something like consumer nikon/canon compared to a sony (when taking a pic in auto mode)?
i was done shooting 5 pics, when the others werent done with the 3rd pic.
ergo, there are a lot of other things that will impact a cams performance much more, than something like encryption.
 

cia1413

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I work on movie and commercial sets so maybe i just don't get the environment and work flow, but I can't seem to think of ANY situation that someone doing something wrong would let you walk by with a camera period. Do you think that if you walk by someone they would just let you go because they cant see that you have the picture? Thats silly, where I see the encryption helping would be at a checkpoint or if you have to submit your computer equipment and camera for inspection at an airport or something.

No one i know would just let there data sit on a card without backing it up to at least 2 drives as soon as they can.
 

fry178

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its not like we dont have zoom lenses..
you can be quite far away and still get a relevant pic/video.

not every country like the press "walking freely" around, and might force to release the storage device to them (or you dont leave).

with the data being encrypted, at least they wouldnt know what you saw/know.
 

anbello262

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Accidentally downvoted you, sorry.

I am somewhat impressed by the outdated technology used in many "high end" devices. This is something which I have seen not only in high end cameras, but also in many other specialized devices.
 

mrmez

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Speaking as a former photographer, that's ridiculous, and untrue.
Pretty much every phone today is encrypted, so there are already a COUPLE of encrypted cameras floating around.

Even photos taken without permission on private property cannot be confiscated by the land owner/security etc. Publishing them however leaves you wide open to legal action.

There are also laws in most countries preventing a civilian from taking certain photos (kids and nudes without consent), but journalists are exempt from most of these.

This is a good move, and will happen sooner or later.
 

fry178

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@mrmez
please explain to me what would be confidential if im on a public road and you take a picture of me (unwanted?
at least i wouldnt see it fitting the definition:
-intended to be kept secret.
"confidential information"
entrusted with private or restricted information.

and i think the word you were looking for is "lying", not "untrue".
 

USAFRet

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In many parts of the world, "confidential", "secret", or "you can't do that" means whatever the large man with a gun wants it to mean.
 

MrBonk

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Simple. Have the encryption be an optional process after the fact in the menus. A simple on off switch or individual toggle for files.
 

bit_user

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What you really want is for the camera to have wifi + 3G and mesh network support. As photos are taken, software in the background should try to upload the photos via tor. Then, even if the camera is confiscated, the photos will still (hopefully) make it to those who can use them.

Another cool feature would be some sort of unspoofable geo-tagging & timestamping feature. That could prevent another troubling phenomena, in the propaganda wars, of photos from different times & places being used to represent current events. I'm not even sure how it would work, but I think it'd be a great project for crypto researchers to take on.
 

fry178

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says someone connected to the internet and posting in a forum.
if your that convinced "its a conspiracy..", why do you have internet?

most ppl will post more crap about their life on social media (and so on), than the nsa/cia ever wanna have...
 

Olle P

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First you need to know that there's a camera present. The pictures can be taken after you left, showing the result of your deeds.
Now the issue is what happens when the photographer cross a checkpoint later on.

I think try is the key word here. In most of these places you have no (unmonitored) phone access.

... while creating a new one in line with what these photographers ask to avoid: Proof that they were present at a place and time where the authorities didn't want them to be.

For the asked-for encryption to be useful the key to access the data should be kept "at home" so that nobody (including the photographer) can see what's on the disk until it's docked to a computer in a safe location.
Given that an encryption option is available one must of course expect all data to be deleted or the hardware confiscated even if the photographer goes free.

I can provide a fairly fresh (innocent) example what this can be about:
A female friend of mine is currently on a bicycle trip around the World. Last summer she passed Iran and had to wear covering warm clothes, resulting in a sore butt. Using her phone she took a selfie of this butt and sent to her mother, then forgetting about that picture. As she later on was to leave Uzbekistan the customs officers were very upset finding this "pornographic" picture... (Details Here.)
 

USAFRet

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Off topic, but that is an insanely cool trip. Kudos to her!
 

bit_user

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They might have a satellite phone in their pack. The phone should be able to use the most secure connection it can find, and upload the encrypted photos to a pre-configured site.

That's nonsense. For photojournalists' work to be of true value, it needs to be verifiable. The way to protect the journalist is through encryption. So, only after the photo is decrypted, in a safe location, can it be authenticated to show what is claimed.

It should be optional, so that it wouldn't needlessly put non-journalists at risk.

Cool story, but would your friend have really gone to the trouble of carrying a camera where the contents are inaccessible to her? Otherwise, if she didn't unlock the device, then they could just hold her in a dank cell, somewhere, under suspicion of espionage.

In the case of the typical tourist, there's no practical substitute for being smart and careful. And sometimes mistakes happen.

...or, if her camera did automatically copy & delete the encrypted files, in the background (like my first idea), then they wouldn't have been on the phone/camera for the authorities to find. But they might be even more suspicious, if you had a camera with nothing on it.
 

ikaz

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If I was a camera manufacturer I would just make special versions of my normal product line (or physical addon if possible) with a hardware based encryption (for speed) probably a $5-10 chip and mark up that camera $100-200. Seems like a easy way for quick profit and bragging rights.
 

Olle P

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In the situations we're discussing here it's typically forbidden to have a satellite phone.
I just last week heard a Swedish reporter on the radio describe how her team in Syria had their cameras confiscated for a while and the team was locked up in their hotel. Since things were happening right outside on the street she took a few pictures with her cell phone and published them on Instagram. Within minutes security personnel barged in demanding that they handed over the (non-existing) illegal satellite equipment used for taking and publishing these pictures...

There are other ways to verify the work.
And as I wrote before: Either the photographer don't have access to the encryption keys (in the field), or the encryption serves little to no purpose.

It would really be better if all cameras by default encrypted all pictures, to make it more difficult to pinpoint those who need protection.

 

bit_user

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So, clearly she had some kind of network connectivity. What I was saying is that the software should upload the encrypted images to a secure server, in the background. Then, she or her publisher could publish them once she got to safety.

Apparently, not well enough. Because, there have been some high-profile cases where images from one incident were used to represent another. And because this happens, other parties can claim that the images are fake or from a different time & place. So, to serve the mission of reporting, which is to expose the truth, then you need a way that images can be objectively verifiable. It's not an easy problem.

For journalists, I agree. But this wouldn't help your friend b/c what tourist would not want to be able to see pictures on their camera or phone? If you're going into a dangerous region, then you could use a camera with encryption, but most people don't travel to regions where they'd expect to need such protection.
 

fry178

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has not really anything to do with user, same i dont see lambos/porsche etc limited to race drivers.
its not hard to implement in cams, charge a small premium as and upgrade or different version of an existing model, and whoever
wants that feature, can get it.
no need to cramp it in every sub 100$ pocket compact...
 

bit_user

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Try buying a Ferrari FXX, then. Even some of their street legal models can't be bought by just anyone. But that's not really the best analogy.

Agree. You can simply encrypt the image before writing it to storage (and clear the RAM where the unencrypted version was stored, before deallocating it). If that's good enough for you, then no special hardware is needed.
 
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