FBI going digital on billboards

by Mark R

FBI billboard

Hey, you know those movies where the main character is a fugitive on the run from the law? Ever notice that these films invariably have the scene where the main character is in a public place and someone else sees the main character’s face appearing in the newspaper or television as a wanted fugitive? Talk about awkward. Especially in Minority Report, when Tom Cruise’s mug shot appears in a TV/newspaper.

Well, thanks to the FBI, movies will now have a new twist on that lovely awkward scene. As the fugitive walks down a city street, his or her face will appear on a digital billboard as a wanted man/woman.

That’s right, the FBI wants to install 150 digital billboards in 20 major United States cities including Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Miami. The purpose of these billboards is to display fugitive mug shots, missing people, and even high priority security messages.

I can see that these things would come in handy in order to catch criminals that try and make a speedy getaway. Like if a bank robber got away, the bank could download their surveillance camera footage right to the billboard. So just when the crook thinks he or she has made a clean getaway, he or she gets their 15 minutes worth of fame on the latest FBI billboard. Of course, I don’t know who would decide what goes on that billboard.

Is it just me, or does this sound like something that Big Brother would use? I’m not going to get into the issues involving that. I’ll let reality sort that out.


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