Tuesday, November 28, 2006
From tennessean.com: For roughly six years, rural Anderson County, Tenn., has beamed live 24-hour video from its jail, offering anyone with a computer and the Internet a view into the realities of jail life. But because of security concerns, the experiment — which appears to be the only such system operating in the U.S. — could be coming to an end.
As of Tuesday, the Anderson County site had logged more than 8.8 million Web hits from across the U.S. and from places as far away as Sweden, Belgium and England.In December, EarthCam.com, an Internet-based Web cam network, ranked the sheriff's site as one of the 25 most interesting cams in the world, placing it beside views of the Great Pyramids, koala and panda bears, swimming piranhas and a virtual 50-camera tour of Valencia, Spain.
But, some viewers have been using the cameras to harass female jailers by calling them on the telephone and taunting them as they work, sheriff's officials said.
In other cases, viewers are tracking inmate movements and using the information to coordinate deliveries of contraband to prisoners on work details outside the jail.
"It's a good public relations thing. It shows the public what we are doing. I like that idea," said Paul White, who in August became sheriff in the East Tennessee county of 75,000 residents. "But by the same token, the bad things that could happen are not worth the good things that happen out of it."
Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]