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Smile! Urine Candid Camera! 370

Anon E. Muss writes "Just because you can put a camera somewhere doesn't mean you should. Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security doesn't grasp this concept. They've installed video cameras in urinals at Houston's Hobby Airport. At least they weren't sneaky about it — they posted a notice saying 'Automatic infrared flush sensors also provide video monitoring for security purposes.' (Insert bad joke about bashful bladder syndrome here)."


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Smile! Urine Candid Camera!

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  • Simple solution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:05AM (#28064021) Homepage

    Bring some post-it stickers to cover the lens while doing the business - remove&flush afterwards.

  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:05AM (#28064025)

    Well, that just takes the piss...

  • by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:07AM (#28064033)
    If there had to be a camera somewhere in a men's restroom, the safest place would probably be right on the urinal facing straight out, where it apparently is. And if you're blanketing a building with security cameras, how much sense does it make to leave out prominently labelled rooms where any illicit activity can occur under the radar?

    Don't get me wrong, video surveillance is absurd, but cameras in bathrooms isn't any worse than cameras on every street corner.
    • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:11AM (#28064071)

      Except that most people don't walk around on the street corner with their wang out.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I mean right above the urinal of course.

      The camera itself isn't shown in the picture; it's on the wall probably chest-height. That's where the IR sensors usually are. (I don't know how much slashdot females know about mens urinals o.o)
  • There is no way they will be able to escape the public outcry on this one. This is utterly incredible.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The cameras are mounted on the wall above the urinal; they're not staring at you out of the disinfectant cake. The only people with anything to be embarrassed about are the douchebags who lean forward and put their hand on the back wall and roll their head back and make weird facial expressions, and I don't feel sorry for them at all.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I'm one of those douchebags. The ALS [] makes my legs and trunk too weak for me to stand unsupported, and my neck won't hold my head up unless I lean it back far enough to balance. I'll try to piss my pants next time, so as to avoid bothering you.
    • by physicsphairy ( 720718 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:19AM (#28064131) Homepage
      It is a joke. Note how half the lettering is bleeding out? Printed on an inkjet. Also, the suggested idea of combining flush sensors and cameras is absurd in every way. *is thinking about putting up some similar placards at his own airport*
  • by KneelBeforeZod ( 1527235 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:13AM (#28064081)
    "When did we put on yellow lens filters on the cameras?" "We didn't"
  • by cfryback ( 870729 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:13AM (#28064083)
    Hmmm...Interesting - but why only on Urinals? Why not in the stalls in BOTH sexes of restrooms? Either way, this confirms that I don't really want to make the US as a destination when I make trips from Australia to Canada...
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      And in people's bedrooms too. Why not run an EEG scan on everyone before boarding too?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rakishi ( 759894 )

        Have you read ANY of the stories on proposed security measures in the last five years? Only reason they don't run lie detectors on everyone is because it'd take too much time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by dbIII ( 701233 )
          There's one other reason.
          That silly device invented by the writer of Wonder Woman and adopted by the FBI at a time when they were infamous for taking kickbacks doesn't actually work.
    • Even Hitler let you pee in peace ... I'm afraid (very afraid!) that the USA has lost its way.

      It used to be Up, Up and away, but with camera's looking on it really is a Downder ... or perhaps
      Truth, Justice, and the American way!
    • News for nerds, stuff that matters.

    • Female terrorists? Yeah, right!
    • by smchris ( 464899 )

      Why not in the stalls in BOTH sexes

      You don't get out much on the internet, do you? Homeland Security is finally catching up with the pornographers.

  • Bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:14AM (#28064085) Homepage Journal

    Well, just to get this out of the way.. this is bullshit. And dear god when did Slashdot become Digg?

    Anyway, I think the comments are more interesting, especially this one:

    From Inner Loop Realtor:

    Y'know about 3 years ago I was mugged in the Hobby Airport parking garage. I told them at the time that they needed cameras in the garage. This is typical of bureaucratic idiocy. Meanwhile, watch your back.

    1. I thought Houston was in Texas.. why weren't you packing? Defend yourself asshole.
    2. Ya know that security cameras are completely useless for identifying people, right? I mean, if *you* couldn't identify the guy, then how is a security camera gunna help? You don't actually believe that "we zoomed in and cleaned it up a bit" shit that you see on 24, right?
    3. Has anyone ever done a study (a real study) of the effectiveness of security cameras at preventing crime? Any sort of crime.
    4. It's this kind of knee jerk "we need more surveillance" reaction that the DHS contractors are banking on. You are the problem.

  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:16AM (#28064109)

    I'm actually bit jealous of whomever came up with that gag. He sure got a lot of mileage out of it.

    It's clearly just a riff on the "naked X-ray" controversy going around.

  • Illegal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renraku ( 518261 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:19AM (#28064125) Homepage

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this illegal?

    I remember some stores had the pants sued off of them (no pun intended) when people found out the dressing rooms were being monitored by cameras, to prevent theft.

    Lots of high end places have bathroom attendants. Their job is two-fold. I'm not quite sure of the first one, but I know the second one is to make sure people know that it isn't a place where they can go and shit in the sink or assemble guns from the parts they have hidden in their underwear.

    • The first one is to hand you a towel to dry your hands with, and receive a tip for doing so.
      • by Fred_A ( 10934 )

        The first one is to hand you a towel to dry your hands with, and receive a tip for doing so.

        The very concept of tipping someone for picking up a towel has always baffled me. But then I never understood the purpose of the guy who was there to point out the bathroom in your hotel room either (ooh, so *that's* what a bathroom looks like !). Both services are worthless.

  • by Cyberllama ( 113628 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:24AM (#28064155)

    Am I the only one who thinks this is just some prank pulled by some kid with an inkjet printer and some label paper? It would take 2 minutes to make that sticker and just slap it on a few urinals for giggles.

    Like, I realize some ridiculous crap has happened in the past few years, but are we all so jaded we just automatically assume that this sort of thing is real?

    • are we all so jaded we just automatically assume

      You must be new here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mattwarden ( 699984 )

      If it is a joke, I bet someone goes to jail.

    • Am I the only one who thinks this is just some prank pulled by some kid with an inkjet printer and some label paper?

      My printers and label paper were not involved with this prank.

      It would take 2 minutes to make that sticker and just slap it on a few urinals for giggles.

      I would prefer to buy them in bulk, on eBay.

      And I think that all the gents who got the joke and pissed on the stickers, had a hell of a laugh.

      Like, I realize some ridiculous crap has happened in the past few years, but are we all so jaded we just automatically assume that this sort of thing is real?

      Let's just hope that the security folks don't read Slashdot. This prank might give them so ideas.

      Is it illegal now to shake it more than three times?

    • I realize some ridiculous crap has happened in the past few years

      The surveillance tapes show the crap was actually pretty ordinary. Oops, you weren't supposed to know about those cameras...

    • Hail Eris.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by grcumb ( 781340 )

      Am I the only one who thinks this is just some prank pulled by some kid with an inkjet printer and some label paper? It would take 2 minutes to make that sticker and just slap it on a few urinals for giggles.

      No way it could be a fake. If somebody tried to plant those stickers the urinal cameras would have identified him immedi.... Oh. Hang on....

  • by MindlessAutomata ( 1282944 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:25AM (#28064161)

    Source is just blogspam and image could easily have been faked in photoshop. The government is stupid and paranoid and not deserving of our love but this is might be just a wee bit over the top at this point in time...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      image could easily have been faked in photoshop.

      Indeed. This looks shopped. I can tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time.

    • Wee over the top - good advice.
  • Would it be a felony for me to piss on the cameras?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I was thinking the same thing, but I'm wondering if this would get us on at least TWO no-fly lists.
  • What happens when the video from one of these cameras gets leaked onto the Internet ?

    I get a lot of money and someone ends up scrubbing the urinals for the rest of their life instead of monitoring them, right ?
  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:26AM (#28064173)
    turn into "criminal? I think this is over the line.

    If businesses in the United States cannot put video cameras in their bathrooms (and they can't), then neither can Homeland Security. They can't have it both ways.

    If I found such a camera I would put duct-tape over it. That's just too damned far.
    • Seems to me that is prima facie discrimination.
  • I smell a prank.

    Oddly, the prank smells a lot like asparagus.

  • Use them for target practice.

    • After about 13 minutes of sitting in the stall, the police officer observed Craig lingering outside and frequently peeking through the crack of the door on the stall.

      No doubt wondering WTF was taking the officer so long...

      At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. ... The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area. Craig then proceeded to swipe his left hand under the stall divider several times, with the palm of his hand facing upward.

      More like a signal that he was out of toilet paper (which explains why he was "lingering outside" prior to the foot tapping).

  • by JimBobJoe ( 2758 ) <swiftheart&gmail,com> on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:30AM (#28064205)

    I had this idea once for a short youtube feature.

    It would show the normal black squares found on automatic toilets and urinals. But it would move into the wall to show employees sitting behind those squares, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being a unionized toilet flusher.

    Think of it done in the style of the BBC's remarkable Look Around You series.

    I have found people surprisingly creeped out by this idea.

  • DHS - We're Watching You Pee!

  • They're a bunch of cocksuckers, why would it be a surprise that Homeland Security drones are trying to get information from urinals? J. Edgar Hoover was the head of the FBI when they did crap like this, and he used to prance around his office in ladies' dresses.

    These guys are obviously cut from the same cloth.

  • by Phat_Tony ( 661117 ) * on Saturday May 23, 2009 @02:48AM (#28064297)
    I'm sure this is a prank. Since this is generating bad publicity for the DHS, they will probably catch the person who put these stickers on the urinals after reviewing the video from the real, covert hidden cameras they have covering the urinals.
  • I bet a shiny quarter it was a college student from a fairly liberal school that is anti-police, anti-taser, etc... Probably an art student.

    Clever prank, I guess. It would probably spook me out of peeing in that bathroom.

  • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @03:26AM (#28064451) Journal

    The guy that printed/posted these is sitting somewhere laughing his fool arse off. Srsly - it's obviously a fake, and it made /. front page!

    Ever wonder about the dark red glass on the I/R sensor? It's ridiculous to think there's a camera in there...

    chuckle chuckle...

  • (By approaching this urinal you agree that all photos, video, artists renderings, and other visual media of your genitalia are (C) Wolfram Alpha LLC. We reserve the right to redistribute this media for any purposes.)

  • correct me if i'm wrong but isn't filming the genitals of the under age considered pedophila in the states? this means the federal goverment is commiting this exact crime.
  • by MasterOfDisaster ( 248401 ) <kristopf&gmail,com> on Saturday May 23, 2009 @08:00AM (#28065627) Homepage Journal

    What's with all the unnessicary bolding that seems to occur ever three or four words. It almost seems like their word processor is trying to speak like Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle