Generation Open Source

When a giant fireball swept across the Siberian sky in February, most of the footage was captured by automobile dashboard cameras. Dash-cams are becoming increasingly popular in Russia, their original purpose being to protect their owners from the evidently omni-present roadside scammers and false accusations in traffic accidents.


Similar methods around the world are used to report riots, crimes, abuse of power, police brutality and more. Start filming injustice in action and you are guaranteed a reaction. Video-documentation is the most powerful form of journalism. An article about a brutal beating will evoke empathy, while a video of it will evoke outrage, rage and even global protests.

When cell phone camera videos showing police brutality started appearing online, police officers, at first, forbade filming during a confrontation. Then, they changed tactics. No longer focusing on preventing video recordings, they instead focused on improving their image by remaining professional during incidents. The more boring the video, the less views it will get. And with time, police officers themselves started turning to cameras to show the dangers of their daily work while simultaneously protecting themselves from unjust lawsuits.

It’s funny how people who know they are being documented, start acting differently. It’s in our nature to try to present ourselves from our best side, an effect that from human nature is carried on into our governance. How would governments change then, if they knew they were under constant surveillance? We’ve talked about governments spying on their citizens, what would happen then if citizens would keep a constant watch over their governments? Like the abusive police officers, would governments first protest the leaked revelations, and then switch tactics to act more nobly and lawfully to gain the trust of their citizens? Would they, like roadside scammers confronted with being recorded,  immediately drop all false accusations, and in the long run perhaps rethink their way of life?

This is where the freedom of the internet comes in, and why organizations like Wikileaks, that protect whistleblowers and provide a safe platform for them to share information, are so important. They may at first cause embarrassment and frustration for government leaders, but in the long run they will prompt them to conduct themselves more justly and professionally. I agree that some secrets are necessary. Some secrets exist to protect people’s lives, to prevent technology from getting into the wrong hands, to diffuse the spark of war in tense times. However, the small, petty power battles, the pockets of corruption, the illusion of limitless power,  the questionable morals of politicians and patriarchs, and the grave crimes of human rights abuse should all that must be brought into the light.

To stop abuse of power, you must acknowledge that it is happening and speak about it openly, only then will you be able to begin to change the situation. In the 21st century, the guarantee of internet freedom should be the world’s second amendment. Guns can no longer protect citizens from unjust governments, but information can.

Olga Motsyk

Do you agree or disagree with the points raised in this week’s Talking Point? Let us hear your opinion: start or join the discussion in the website’s Comments section at

Editor Redactie

Do you have a question or comment about this article?

Comments are closed.