Witness Video Hub
The Witness Video Hub is helping people document human rights abuses when YouTube and governments don't cooperate. Plus Big Thinker Sushmita Ghosh.
When Peter Gabriel co-founded Witness in 1992, the idea was to supply video cameras to people in the developing world to document human rights abuses. But the market beat them to it: Africa's cell-phone industry is the fastest growing in the world, and nearly everyone with a phone has or will soon have a camera. So Witness has changed gears, and is now focusing on capturing, amplifying, and disseminating user-generated videos.If someone captures footage of torture in, say, Burma, and posts it to YouTube, two things may happen. YouTube may take the video down for violating its policy against violent footage, and Burma may shut down the country's internet, as is did earlier this year when citizen journalists uploaded videos of police beating saffron-robed monks. Unlike Burma, most states with an interest in repressing speech (think China) cannot afford to shut down an entire nation's internet capabilities; instead, they censor individual websites. That's where Witness comes in: It can ensure that videos uploaded to their site are held there permanently, in servers sitting in an undisclosed country.BIG THINKER: