Saving the world with your phone and the Internet

New York Mayer Michael Bloomberg wants to start fighting crime with cell phones. Sounds good to us.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
CNET Networks

Witnessing a crime in New York is unfortunately common. Luckily, so is having a camera phone.

To take advantage of that, last Wednesday New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a program that lets witnesses of crimes or other "dangerous living conditions" use their camera phones to transmit images or video to the police by using 911 or by uploading their shots to the city's Web site.

I propose New York creates a mashup of sorts. Think Flickr and Yelp together. A place that lets people easily tag and geotag their media, along with creating an easy way reach consensus about places or people in their area. As far as videos or pictures of violent crimes, it's a thin line of privacy and decency vs. many people helping you find a perpetrator's identity. It will be interesting to see what kind of system the city comes up with and how long it takes for the first Hollywood screenplay about a camera phone witness protection program.