Paper accepted for publication in IEEE ISWC 2001, for being presented
The Witnessential Net
Steve Mann and Robert Guerra
Assistant Mailroom Clerk
Facility Garden, 111 Shaukiwan Road, Unit 9A, Block 4, Hong Kong.
The Witnessential Network for the protection of Human Rights workers, and
others who may be subjected to violence, is achieved through a new kind
of imaging and hierarchical architecture having special properties ideal
for defense against unaccountability of attackers. Incidentalist video
capture and self-demotion are introduced as new collegial forms of
defense against unaccountability. Results of various experiments
conducted worldwide over the past 20 years, on the inventing, designing,
building, and using of wearable photographic apparatus having these special
properties are also described. Other fundamental concepts with respect
to a Personal Safety Device suitable for Human Rights workers are
Protection of human rights,
Augmented Reality (AR),
Introduction: The need for Witnessential Computing
There have been previous
attempts to equip Human Rights workers with
hand-held cameras so that they can document violence, and many of these
attempts have even been backed with massive corporate funding:
We began when Amnesty International
invited us to be the sole sponsor of Human
Rights Now!, a 1988 world concert tour
which reached millions of young people on
In partnership with musician Peter Gabriel and the
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights we founded
Witness, a program that equips frontline
activists with hand-held video cameras to
document human rights abuses.
Unfortunately, in many situations, the mere presence of a video camera
results in immediate violence directed to a person with a camera.
Thus hand-held cameras often serve to provoke rather than deter violence.
For more information on the Witnessential Network, visit a
brief description of the Witnessential project.
The Witnessential project is also described, in detail, in
Cyborg: Digital Destiny and Human Possibility in the Age
of the Wearable Computer.