Hidden Cameras Film Injustice in Dangerous Places | Oren Yakobovich | TED Talks


I would like to start with the story of Mary, a woman from an African village. Her first memories are of her family fleeing violent riots orchestrated by
the ruling political party. Her brother was murdered
by the state-sponsored militia, and she was raped more than once just because she belonged
to the wrong party. One morning, a month before the election, Mary’s village was called
to another intimidation meeting. In this meeting, there is a man
standing in front of them, telling them, “We know who you are, we know who you will vote for, and if you’re not going
to drop the right paper, we’re going to take revenge.” But for Mary, this meeting is different. She feels different. This time, she’s waiting for this meeting, because this time, she’s carrying
a small hidden camera in her dress, a camera that nobody else can see. Nobody is allowed to film
in these meetings. You risk your life if you do. Mary knows that, but she also knows
that the only way to stop them and to protect herself and her community is to expose their intimidation, to make sure they understand
somebody is following them, to break the impunity they feel. Mary and her friends were filming
for months, undercover, the intimidation of
the ruling political party. (Video) [“Filmed with hidden cameras”] Man: We are now going to speak
about the upcoming elections. Nothing can stop us
from doing what we want. If we hear you are with [The Opposition] we will not forgive you. [“Militia intimidation rally”] [The Party] can torture you at any time. The youth can beat you. [“Disruption of political meeting”] For those who lie, saying they
are back with [The Party], your time is running out. [“Party youth militia”] Some have died because they rebelled. Some have lost their homes. If you don’t work together
with [The Party], you will lead a very bad life. Oren Yakobovich: These images
were broadcast all over the world, but more importantly, they have been broadcast
back to the community. The perpetrators saw them too. They understood somebody
is following them. They got scared. Impunity was broken. Mary and her friends forced
the ruling political party not to use violence during the election, and saved hundreds of lives. Mary is just one of hundreds of people that my organization had helped
to document human rights violations using cameras. My background should have
led me to a different direction. I was born in Israel
to a right-wing family, and as long as I remember myself, I wanted to join the Israeli army
to serve my country and prove what I believed
was our right for the whole land. I joined the Israeli army
just after the first intifada, the first Palestinian uprising, and I served in one of the hard-minded, toughest, aggressive infantry units, and I got the biggest gun in my platoon. Quite fast, I became an officer and got soldiers under my command, and as time passed, I started
serving in the West Bank, and I saw these images. I didn’t like what I saw. It took me a while, but eventually I refused
to serve in the West Bank and had to spend time in jail. It was a bit — (Applause) — It was not that bad, I have to say. It was a bit like being in a hotel,
but with very shitty food. (Laughter) In jail, I kept thinking
that I need people to know. I need people to understand what the reality
in the West Bank looks like. I need them to hear what I heard, I need them to see what I saw, but I also understood, we need
the Palestinians themselves, the people that are suffering, to be able to tell their own stories, not journalists or filmmakers
that are coming outside of the situation. I joined a human rights organization, an Israeli human rights
organization called B’Tselem. Together, we analyzed the West Bank and picked 100 families that
are living in the most risky places: close to checkpoints, near army bases, side by side with settlers. We gave them cameras and training. Quite fast, we started getting
very disturbing images about how the settlers
and the soldiers are abusing them. I would like to share with you
two clips from this project. Both of them were broadcast in Israel,
and it created a massive debate. And I have to warn you, some of you might
find them quite explicit. The masked men you
will see in the first clips are Jewish settlers. Minutes before the camera was turned on, they approached a Palestinian family that was working their land and told them that they
have to leave the land, because this land belongs
to the Jewish settlers. The Palestinians refused. Let’s see what happened. The masked men that are approaching
are Jewish settlers. They are approaching
the Palestinian family. This is a demonstration in the West Bank. The guy in green is Palestinian. He will be arrested in a second. Here you see him
blindfolded and handcuffed. In a few seconds, he regrets
he came to this demonstration. He’s been shot in the foot
with a rubber bullet. He is okay. Not all the settlers and the soldiers
are acting this way. We’re talking about a tiny minority,
but they have to be brought to justice. These clips, and others like them, forced the army and the police
to start investigations. They’ve been shown in Israel, of course, and the Israeli public
was exposed to them also. This project redefined
the struggle for human rights in the occupied territories, and we managed to reduce the number
of violent attacks in the West Bank. The success of this project
got me thinking how I can take the same methodology
to other places in the world. Now, we tend to believe that today, with all of the technology, the smartphones and the Internet, we are able to see and understand
most of what’s happening in the world, and people are able to tell their story — but it’s only partly true. Still today, with all
the technology we have, less than half of the world’s population has access to the Internet, and more than three billion people — I’m repeating the number — three billion people are consuming news
that is censored by those in power. More or less around the same time, I’m approached by a great guy
named Uri Fruchtmann. He’s a filmmaker and an activist. We understood we were
thinking along the same lines, and we decided to establish Videre,
our organization, together. While building the organization in London, we’ve been traveling undercover to places where a community
was suffering from abuses, where mass atrocities were happening, and there was a lack of reporting. We tried to understand how we can help. There were four things that I learned. The first thing is that we have to engage with communities that are
living in rural areas, where violations are happening
far from the public eye. We need to partner with them, and we need to understand which images
are not making it out there and help them to document them. The second thing I learned is that we have to enable them
to film in a safe way. Security has to be the priority. Where I used to work before,
in the West Bank, one can take a camera out, most likely not going to get shot, but in places we wanted to work, just try to pull a phone out,
and you’re dead — literally dead. This is why we decided to take the operation undercover when necessary, and use mostly hidden cameras. Unfortunately, I can’t show you
the hidden cameras we’re using today — for obvious reasons — but these are cameras we used before. You can buy them off the shelf. Today, we’re building
a custom-made hidden camera, like the one that Mary was wearing in her dress to film
the intimidation meeting of the ruling political party. It’s a camera that nobody can see, that blends into the environment, into the surroundings. Now, filming securities go beyond
using hidden cameras. Being secure starts way before
the activist is turning the camera on. To keep our partners safe, we work to understand
the risk of every location and of every shot before it’s happened, building a backup plan
if something goes wrong, and making sure
we have everything in place before our operations start. The third thing I learned
is the importance of verification. You can have an amazing shot of atrocity, but if you can’t verify it,
it’s worth nothing. Recently, like in the ongoing war
in Syria or the war in Gaza, we’ve seen images that are staged
or brought from a different conflict. This misinformation destroyed
the credibility of the source, and it’s harmed the credibility of other
reliable and trustworthy sources. We use a variety of ways to make sure
we can verify the information and we can trust the material. It starts with vetting the partners, understanding who they are,
and working with them very intensively. How do you film a location? You film road signs, you film watches, you film newspapers. We are checking maps, looking at maps, double-checking the information, and looking also at
the metadata of the material. Now, the fourth and the most
important thing I learned is how you use images
to create a positive change. To have an effect, the key thing is how you use the material. Today, we’re working
with hundreds of activists filming undercover. We work with them both to understand
the situation on the ground and which images
are missing to describe it, who are the ones that are
influencing the situation, and when to release the material
to advance the struggle. Sometimes, it’s about
putting it in the media, mostly local ones, to create awareness. Sometimes it’s working
with decision makers, to change laws. Sometimes, it’s working with lawyers
to use as evidence in court. But more than often, the most effective way
to create a social change is to work within the community. I want to give you one example. Fatuma is part of a network of women
that are fighting abuses in Kenya. Women in her community
have been harassed constantly on their way to school
and on their way to work. They are trying to change
the behavior of the community from inside. In the next clip, Fatuma is taking us with her
on her journey to work. Her voice is superimposed
on images that she filmed herself using hidden cameras. (Video) Fatuma Chiusiku:
My name is Fatuma Chiusiku. I’m 32 years old, a mother, And Ziwa La Ng’Ombe is my home. Each morning, I ride the mini-bus Number 11. But instead of a peaceful journey to work, each day begins with fear. Come with me now and use my eyes to feel what I feel. As I walk, I think to myself: Will I be touched? Grabbed? Violated by this conductor again? Even the men inside the way they look at me touch my body, rub against me, grab me, and now, as I sit in my seat I only wish my mind was full
of thoughts for my day, my dreams, my children at school, but instead I worry about
the moment when we will arrive and I will be violated again. OY: Today, there is a new front
in the fight for human rights. I used to carry a big gun. Now, I am carrying this. This is a much more powerful
and much, much more effective weapon. But we have to use its power wisely. By putting the right images
in the right hands at the right time, we can truly create an impact. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause)

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88 thoughts on “Hidden Cameras Film Injustice in Dangerous Places | Oren Yakobovich | TED Talks

  1. This technology needs to go on every police officer out there, for their protection and the public's protection.  That way there will be less twisting of the truth when it comes to cases like Ferguson.  It would cool off both sides of the debate as recorded video is far better than witnesses committing perjury.  Or antagonists waving false flags to stir up racial hate.  Or unethical journalists spreading lies all over the country while they advance a political/social agenda.  Let hidden cameras bear witness to the truth, its better this way.  Now if only we can figure out a way to put cameras on all of the thugs and criminals.  There would be far less crime if we could.

  2. (the opposition) in brackets lol. no they said boer which means whites. ah wont it be great once diversity brings more of this over so we can be enriched. oh and (the party) is black supremacist anc.

  3. It would be nice for police officers in the United States and other countries to use this technology too. Inexpensive, effects and easy to implement, I don't see a reason not to.

  4. If the true intention of the speaker is to stop an "ongoing" injustice, why is he showing a Palestinian getting shot in close range which happens once in 65 years? Or is he taking advantage of the stage for a typical left wing propaganda?

  5. humanity as it should ,, doesn't matter what color ur skin , what language u speak or what religion u follow … just do the right thing as human , am an arabic muslim and i approve his massage and  support him . God bless u and ur partners.

  6. I quote: ''By putting the right images in the right hands at the right time. We can truly create an impact''. – Isn't this exactly what he said was a problem with camera's…Putting certain images out there and not all of them is just censorship really…Also we saw 2 clips out of Israel. The first one a guy got shot in the foot with a rubber bullet – who says it was a peaceful demonstration? The only thing we saw was the guy on a wall (he could've been holding 2 people hostage for all we know) and it cut away to him being shot in the foot. The second clip we saw 4 men with shirts covering their faces, Oren says these are jewish settlers threatening Muslim people but they also could've been ISIS members doing the exact same thing. The problem is people don't get to see the whole picture. They get told what the context is and our brain fills in the rest and the real problem here is censorship and not showing all the footage. Anyway just my two cents – I do hope every law enforcement agency implements rules that force cops etc. to wear camera's because camera's don't lie people do. 

  7. Very good. People should be allowed to film public affairs. Everyone should have a camera in a public place and internet to share it.

  8. The Jews and Palestinians actually didn't hate each other until about 60 or say years ago. Blame America. The reason why Jews, Muslims and Christians hate each other, blame mostly Spanish, English and Dutch.
    The west has fueled wars in the east for a long time, and still do. Can we stop the corruption within corporations as well using these camera? God I hope we can!

  9. Follow the money : Oren Yakobovich's org Beselem Funding: 2012 annual budget of NIS 8,966,042 (latest available; accessed August 20, 2014). 

    Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, B’Tselem received NIS 1,023,086 from foreign governmental bodies in the first quarter of 2014, NIS 5,541,998 in 2013, and 6,714,025 in 2012 (accessed August 20, 2014).
    2012-14 donors include: European Union, France, DanChurch Aid (Denmark), Diakonia (Sweden), Norway, Christian Aid Ireland, EED (Germany), UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services (US), World Vision, NDC (joint government funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), ICCO (Netherlands), Trocaire (Ireland), UK, the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund. (See chart below for detailed funding information). 
    In 2008-2013, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $1,381,969 to B’Tselem (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).

  10. I find it interesting that the guy gives several examples from several areas of conflict but the youtube comments concentrate on the Israel/Palestine situation, bringing out all the same old prejudices, which is why it can never get sorted.

  11. The only reason that I'm concerned about privacy is because there are so many in the world that want to judge me. Stupid arbitrary laws, religious taboos, cultural do's and don'ts. If there were fewer people in the world trying to force everyone else to live according to their rules and norms, there would be no reason to fear being "exposed" or "outed". People like J. Edgar Hoover would have been out of business if shame and embarrassment weren't foisted on us by religious and political manipulators.
    I agree with Dr. Ron Paul. There are people in the world that are going to do things that others may not approve of and may even find distasteful. But unless they are doing things that harm the innocent, it's none of our damn business.
    So in addition to the proliferation of cameras, we need a proliferation of freedom.

  12. If every human eye was recording all the time with possibility of transmitting image online in extreme situations, there would be no kore rapes since perpetrators would be affraid their face will be uploaded instantly

  13. So …. are these circumstances set up?  Not sure what that changes, but it should be made clear.  I guess if you are going to film something well you have to know about what is going to happen?

  14. Полный бред. В России хоть в открытую снимай и по ТВ показывай – толку никакого не будет. Yakobovich, приезжай к нам, посмотрим как тебя выручит твоя камера…

  15. "We have to use it's power wisely". Yes. Don't put camera's everywhere, only place them where they are needed. For example, on our security guards, police officers and troops. The last two especially, abuse of power is common and it's something that needs to be stopped, or the public won't turn to police to answer their calls for help. 

  16. I wish I had footage of the times I've been harassed, unjustifiably detained and threatened by U.S. police officers.

  17. very inspiring. tx TED, for this talk. Mr. Yakobovich, impressive technology. Keep up the good work for human rights

  18. how long before we inject ourselves with nanomapping technology that will show where and what we are doing at all times.

  19. Those chips will get in to the wrong hands of the corporations who control the global market, to control the people more and more. Did you know that every time you use your credit or debit card, that store collects your information and the company sells that information to bigger corporations who use the information to in turn advertise future product back to the consumer? Information such as date, time, location, your personal information, product purchased, whether a sale was involved, what colour, smell, texture the product is. Companies want to know these things so that they can capitalize and catch you at the times you shop, where you shop, so they can tell you what to buy and it's only a matter of time before corporations invest in this technology and concept to gain information on you, the victim, the consumer. 

  20. What happened!!! Israel is guilty of genocide and they are getting worse everyday. Im afraid they don't give a shot what the works ticks of them because they have the US in their pocket.

  21. Just remember, for every move there is a counter, you think putting a camera on someone is not detectable? $100 says I can find any camera you think you can hide..Oh just so happens that the price of an inexpensive tool that does just that. Just the fact you are talking about being little brother, to watch big brother, means you have already lost…you have lost your true will, you have lost your privacy and your own dignity, free of paranoia. Where do you think this is all headed? Some blended version of Hunger Games, The Giver, George Orwells 1984, with a little Minority Report mixed in. The Persecuted will become the Persecutor. Even if you develop a nano-camera with nano sized lenses you think is undetected, someone will make a small EMP weapon to take out the devices exposing the weakness of electronics. An alabi only goes so far, when dealing with incredibly powerful forces in governments.

  22. There is a bigger picture.   In 10 years these cameras will cost $2, and fit onto a shirt button or a ring, including power supply (unlike the chip he showed).   They will be everywhere, just like phone cameras are now, and always on.   They will be used by individuals, companies, and governments.  

    This video shows cameras being used by activists to expose injustice, but they can also be used by oppressive governments for dragnet surveillance and tracking, or to expose and crush any opposition.  The consequences of these cameras are very difficult to predict, but it's almost guaranteed to upend today's power structures.

  23. The orginization that he works with is known to be pro-palestine and is driven by hatred towards Israel – for being democratic and dare I say jewish. I wonder why didn't he show the crimes of the palestinians – which is vastly bigger then anyone else – way more then insane jewish settlers, we're talking different planets more then them. When you join a human rights orginization, you don't pick one side and ignore the other. This man is obviously phoney. Yours, an Israeli atheist.

  24. I think he made a mistake with his last statement "by putting the right images in the right hand at the right time". This is doing exactly the same as those who use this technology to oppress, and simply changing the side of the fence. The very moment you decide to not show something from an image you are twisting the image message. Yes sometimes you might find that by showing an entire filmed sequence you expose that the person filming also did something wrong. But that is human nature and no one is perfect, if you hide any of it you become the very thing you are fighting against.

    Had he ended with "put all images, in all hands, at all times", then perhaps it would of been more of a leap rather than shuffle in the right direction.

  25. You thought COD Advance Warfare tech is futuristic? Think again, the military always goes at least 20-30 years ahead market tech. You will just never know. 

  26. I realize the whole Israel/Palestine thing has issues on both sides. But why was his comments about how bad Israel is? Why not show us footage of the Palestinians who use kids to crowd around them so when Israel fire back it kills kids. All so they can say "Look, they like to kill kids!". 

  27. Injustices need to be brought to light. Words, most times, are not enough. It's unfortunate that we have come to accept a world where we are always monitored. Maybe, this use of cameras can be used to change those who deem themselves as unstoppable.

  28. In the USA they did a test where police officers were wearing camera's. During that time reports of police brutality went down considerably. – You know you're in Hicksville when you need protection from the police.

  29. Great idea! we really needed these during the #hongkong   #occupycentral  protests and the police violence and suppression of media

  30. The whole Eric Garner incident was on video. Yet the murderer walked free in the great land of freedom, justice and democracy.

  31. This was a good talk. My only complaint is that there were a too many explicit moments. I don't think the TED platform should be used to subject people to ultra-violent imagery to evoke an emotional response. I consume TED content as an alternative to mainstream media. If I want to see ultra-violence I can just turn on tv and watch any mainstream media channel. Good talk none the less.

  32. In Germany a guy had his mobile smashed and got beaten by the police for filming them how they beat up some hooligans they had arrested. Fortunately, another guy filmed it all with his mobile…
    I don't want to say that Germany is particularly bad in this respect, I rather believe it is a more general problem that these auxiliary forces of the police (riot control) are not quite known for their compentence. To me they rather look like what you can get when you pay half the sallary of a cleaning maid for a job where you can expect getting hit by stones or even molotovs.
    Those thugs get their confidence from their uniforms and weapons. Any anxiety will compensated by aggression. The best example I have seen on tape was a guy trying to ask a cop at a road block how he should get home and the cop kept shouting at him STFU and F-off. The guy had his hands full of shopping bags and his housedoor was 10m behind the police-line. He tried to ask again and got pushed over and the cop draw his batton…

  33. Positive or negative,thumbed video down because of introduction. Why must all negative energies be from Africa? By the way,Africa isn't a country. You should have said: Mary from Africa or Mary from such and such country in Africa. Why not start with your racist country,Israel? Why don't you go to Brazil and document the countless abuses going on there? I would like to have one of these cameras.

  34. the only ruling party is the us uk federal reserve corporation (the vatican one world banksters ) every evil you know has been caused by these banksters no one else who ever you think it was there is a trail to the banksters .

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