Dark Net (2016) s02e06 Episode Script

My Home

1 [ maniacal laughing] [narrator] We all yearn for a place to call home our very own castle, intimate and safe.
Today's homes are more wired than ever, connecting us and protecting us, but are all these devices securing our homes, or making them more vulnerable, creating peepholes we never imagined? Will we ever be able to draw the curtains again? [Johnson] Home, to me, is the place where you feel safe.
You don't have to talk a certain way, dress a certain way, be a certain type of person.
It's the place where you can be 100% yourself.
[narrator] Eight years ago, Tiffany Johnson bought a home in Cooper-Young, a middle-class neighborhood in the heart of Memphis.
[Johnson] I don't have much, but this is mine, and I'm gonna fight for it.
I would dare someone to try and take it from me.
[James] My dad grew up in the house here.
And I actually grew up in this house across the street.
[narrator] This is Aaron James, an architect whose family's roots in Cooper-Young go back more than a century.
This historically hip enclave has become a desirable place to live in Memphis, but as property values have risen here, so has property crime.
[James] Right over there, right across the tracks, is a whole different universe.
[Johnson] You jump across the railroad tracks, and you go from being in, you know, nice kind of middle-class neighborhood to the hood.
[James] We're just one little part of the world, and we're trying to make it a little safer.
The way that I say it, semi-tongue-in-cheek, is I don't want to be 70 years old, chasing some crackhead down the sidewalk, but I simply don't want to be anywhere else.
This is where I've decided to make a stand.
[narrator] Tiffany met Aaron where she's met many of her neighbors online on Nextdoor.
[Johnson] It's basically like Facebook for your neighborhood.
People can post things that range from, "I'm putting a mattress out on my curb," to, "There's a creepy dude looking in people's windows.
Everybody keep an eye out.
" Aaron posted about possibly restarting the neighborhood watch, and I immediately responded to him and said, "Hey, I'm all in.
What can I do to help?" [narrator] Home invasions are evolving.
Criminals break in, not just through windows and doors but through cables and code.
[Clark] I lived in that house for 4 1/2 years, so I felt very safe.
I was looking at my Facebook, and I had a message from a name that I didn't recognize.
The entire profile was all different photos of Heath Ledger as the Joker.
I opened up the message and saw these photos of me and my boyfriend sleeping in bed and was just like, "Oh, my god.
Who saw me sl Like, what else did they see?" [narrator] A three-word message accompanied the photographs.
[Clark] I had no idea how someone could have gotten those photos.
How did that happen? [narrator] The photos of Chelsea Clark and her boyfriend were taken two nights earlier, while they were watching a movie.
[Clark] My boyfriend and I had gone to bed, getting tired, ready to fall asleep, watching TV on my computer, like everyone else.
Everyone has a laptop in their home, and you don't think of it because it's such a commonplace item.
But there's still that potential of it becoming a window for someone else.
There was a third person with us in the bedroom that we had not invited, and they were watching and paying attention to what we were doing, totally unbeknownst to us.
Who would do this? [Michael] I think there's an urge within people to peer on others, to know what others are doing, and technology sort of dangles that forbidden fruit in front of us.
It opens up these new doors, these new windows.
[narrator] For Michael, the new window was voyeur porn.
[Michael] For the most part, I only ever looked at normal porn, but sometimes, you see different categories that you click on.
And then you look at other stuff.
[narrator] The "other stuff" had been captured allegedly by cameras that were hacked or hidden in bedrooms, closets, bathrooms, then posted on web forums that trade in invasions of privacy.
On August 2, 2013, Michael took his curiosity one step further.
He hosted a party at his home and hid his smartphone in the bathroom, setting it to record his female guests.
[Michael] I knew that it was an invasion of somebody's privacy in a setting where they have every right in the world to have that privacy.
I'm not sure why I pushed myself to do that.
[narrator] A camera connected to the Internet a tool of perversion in the hands of one user, a tool of protection for a city besieged by crime.
[reporter] The FBI's labeled Memphis the third most dangerous city in the country.
[reporter 2] It was another weekend of violence.
[reporter 3] Right now, Memphis is averaging around four murders a week.
[reporter 2] The city's homicide rate shows no sign of slowing down, and many of the killers still roam the streets.
[James] It's just insanity.
It's absolute insanity.
People getting shot right on the street.
[narrator] Outgunned and outmanned, the Memphis Police Department has deployed a sophisticated network of cameras, called SkyCop.
It can analyze gunshots, track suspicious objects, and every license plate captured can be instantly cross-referenced for outstanding warrants, criminal records, and unpaid tickets.
[computerized voice] You are trespassing on private property.
You must leave immediately, or the police will be called.
You have 5 seconds to comply.
[narrator] SkyCop has been credited with reducing crime by as much as 90% in some areas, and that success has created high demand across Memphis.
There's just one problem A single SkyCop camera costs nearly $10,000.
[James] There's very few neighborhoods that can afford that sort of technology, especially on any scale that would be of value.
[narrator] Aaron is proposing a bold solution to construct a do-it-yourself surveillance network, controlled not by the police but by Aaron and his neighbors.
For the cost of one single SkyCop, we are essentially covering the entire neighborhood with off-the-shelf technology.
Roughly 85% of our criminal activity is perpetrated by people outside of the neighborhood, so the strategy then becomes, we create a virtual tripwire around the perimeter.
[narrator] Cameras will stand guard on porches and eves, trained on stop signs and traffic lights, all of the entry and exit points in the neighborhood.
[James] As a pedestrian or a vehicle approaches a stop sign, the camera automatically records a 30-to-45-second video.
[Johnson] If a neighbor's been victimized, the footage will be able to identify folks who don't fit in.
[James] Feels like Christmas.
Ha! got it.
[man] All right.
Right on.
[James] Once we catch two or three of these criminals, the word is going to get out.
[narrator] In Cooper-Young, not everyone shares Aaron and Tiffany's enthusiasm about the camera network.
That includes Nick Cantarochi, a Vietnam veteran hoping to turn the tide against the program.
[Cantarochi] I'm a patriot.
I want only the best for my community, you know.
I don't want to live under a police state.
How these cameras are going to be used, when they're going to be used, and who has access to these feeds, and how long are they going to keep the feeds for? I think we're approaching George Orwell's worst nightmare, and we're becoming more digitized every day.
Some people have lost sight of what They don't understand what freedom is.
I mean, Christ almighty! I don't think some of them can even spell freedom anymore 'cause they're too busy texting.
[Johnson] Just because technology is misused by some people in some instances doesn't mean that I should shun it in some symbolic act of indignation when, in fact, that same technology could be an advantage to me.
[narrator] For Tiffany, this isn't an abstract debate.
It's personal.
[Johnson] Security was not always high on my priority list.
But when I was in law school, my best friend was murdered in a home invasion.
I consider James to be a brother.
We went to junior high and high school together, and we were very, very close.
At that moment in my life, I was in a rebellious phase in terms of technology, and so when James was shot, my brother was desperately trying to reach me.
I had a pager at the time, but I hated the thing, and it was turned off.
So once I found out, I realized that he had been alive [voice breaking] through much of those hours when I was, um when I had my pager turned off.
I had disconnected, and that was a time when a connection would have really been invaluable to me.
[normal voice] That was when personal security became real for me, became palpable.
[gun cocks] You really only got two choices in life.
You can either sit idly as life happens to you, or you can take a more proactive approach and make decisions that shape your own life, which is all the camera program is.
[indistinct talking] [narrator] Tonight, Tiffany's neighbors will have the opportunity to make their own decision at a community meeting to address concerns about the camera program.
[James] I know a lot of times, when people just hear the word camera, they automatically think the worst.
They automatically think Big Brother where it's a whole wall full of monitors.
That has absolutely nothing to do with our camera program, okay? My house was burglarized twice and my car once.
There are clearly people monitoring our behavior - Oh, absolutely.
- in the interest of robbing us, and if we don't monitor theirs, we're idiots.
[James] Right on.
Thank you so much.
If, for any reason, we just so happen to see something unrelated, somebody not picking up their dog poop, we could care less.
[Cantarochi] What happens to this material? Does it get bulked? Does it go into a central It gets written over.
You know this for a fact? Okay.
It's important that this stuff does not end up being compiled into a central point.
No one is ever going to be monitoring the cameras.
[Cantarochi] I like Aaron.
He's a good guy.
I think he has the community's interest at heart, but there's a possibility that, down the line, these cameras could be used so something else than stopping crime.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? [narrator] In Toronto, Chelsea was confronting a very different kind of camera program.
Something or someone had infected her computer and turned it into a peephole.
[Clark] I was put in touch with a few people who work as hackers or who have insight into this community, and I sent a few of them the photos to see if they were able to trace it.
I wanted some peace of mind or some understanding.
I didn't see any other recourse.
[narrator] According to her contacts, Chelsea's laptop was infected by a RAT a remote access Trojan, malicious code that hijacks computers and smartphones and takes control.
Hackers who deploy RATs are called "RATters," and their targets are called "slaves.
" Any camera that's connected to the Internet is vulnerable and there are cameras watching us everywhere At coffee shops on the streets in our homes more cameras, more windows, more peeping Toms.
And some of them do more than peep.
Sausarge is the alias for a camera troll.
He doesn't just peer into people's lives.
He enters their conversations.
But it's not hacking as he sees it.
[man] [distorted voice] People think that I'm some sort of glamour hacker when all I'm doing is clicking a link.
I just scroll down the list and wait until I see a camera in an office or a living room.
You just click it, and you're connected to their camera.
[narrator] Sausarge locates his targets through Shodan, a website some call the scariest search engine on the Internet.
It was intended as a tool for admins and developers to scan the growing Internet of Things.
Instead, it's exposed a vast Internet of threats millions of unsecured devices, from lightbulbs to power plants.
IP cameras are the tip of an iceberg.
[man] [distorted voice] I've got to admit, the primary reason is for a bit of a giggle.
[speaks indistinctly] Ghost! It's basically like a prank phone call.
I do have some sort of morals and standards.
If I'm given the chance, I will tell them how to password their camera.
[man] Nope.
- Bye.
- Later.
[distorted voice] I have seen some weird cameras in people's bathrooms.
I have no idea what they're trying to secure.
I get the impression someone set up those cameras to spy on people themselves, which is pretty creepy.
[Michael] At some point, somebody did use the restroom, and they could see the iris of the camera on the phone, so they knew that it was in there.
[narrator] Michael got busted, and on July 3, 2014, he was convicted of one count of invasion of privacy.
Because of new state laws, his offense was labeled a sex crime and Michael an SVP.
I am now lumped in with the worst of the worst types of sex offender the child molesters, the rapists.
I'm looked at in the same way.
You have to give the state police your e-mail address, whatever passwords they want, any social media, the vehicle you drive, license plate number, who owns it.
Every single aspect about your life is given to the state police, and they will use that to keep an eye on you.
[narrator] And there are GPS-enabled smartphone apps that allow everyone to keep an eye on offenders, like Michael.
Wherever he goes, his records follow.
[Michael] I was charged with invasion of privacy.
The irony now is, for the rest of my life, I don't have any privacy.
[beeps] The guilt of what I did will live with me for the rest of my life.
It was wrong.
It was horribly wrong.
Now I'm sort of living in this window where everybody can view me at any point in time.
I constantly feel like I'm on public display in the world's worst freak show.
I live in digital hell.
[drill whirring] [James] Okay, We have a camera mounted.
[narrator] With the support of most of his neighbors and a $15,000 grant from the city of Memphis, Aaron's controversial camera program is finally coming to life in Cooper-Young.
Tiffany's home will host the first of 72 cameras that will form the neighborhood's digital perimeter.
To ensure that community members don't abuse this technology, they've created a series of bylaws to keep the program honest.
Rule number one The cameras are never monitored.
[Johnson] If nothing happens, no one ever sees what's on these cameras, and the footage is constantly rewritten.
[narrator] Rule number two The footage is only pulled when a neighbor reports a crime to the police.
[Johnson] A neighbor can't say, "Hey, I think my husband was cheating on me.
Can you check the cameras from 3:00 yesterday morning and see if somebody pulled in my driveway?" No.
[narrator] Rule number three If the cameras capture a suspect, the footage is immediately handed over to the authorities.
[James] We will never upload videos of any individual who simply appears to be acting suspiciously.
We have to stay as far away from the concept of vigilantism as possible.
[narrator] Aaron also claims to have hack-proofed the system against invaders like RATters and camera trolls.
Each camera has its own router that can only be accessed from within 75 feet.
[James] The way that we currently have this camera program set up, I don't see any reason for concern.
[narrator] Chelsea Clark has reason for concern.
Her hacker friends never located her RATter.
There's no way of knowing if he lived 10,000 miles away or just 10 houses up the street.
[Clark] I find it a very unnerving thought that you're not necessarily alone in your home, but we're not going to regress to the point where no one's using this technology anymore.
You just kind of have to live with the idea that this is just the darker side of it.
The entirety of my security now is a Band-Aid over the camera on my computer.
I don't know what to do about the microphone, but we literally got a Band-Aid fix over the whole thing.
[narrator] Almost a year after the cameras were installed, it's a brave new world in Cooper-Young.
According to Aaron James, home burglaries are way down.
Now other Memphis neighborhoods are looking to Cooper-Young and Aaron for tech support.
[James] If we only do it in Cooper-Young, we haven't accomplished a single thing.
We have to share that with the entire city.
We have to let the criminals know that they are being watched.
[Johnson] At the end of the day, humanity needs technology, and as long as we are careful in how we manage that relationship, I think it's beneficial.
What would be going too far, in my opinion, is if we started doing precisely the things that we vowed not to do.
[James] What we've discovered in the course of reviewing footage is that, every single night of the week, we have what we're referring to as lurkers, and that's people who are just out and about.
This particular suspect fits that criteria to a "T.
" Here it is.
It's 12:30 at night.
He's just sort of lurking along.
He's obviously not just walking from point A to point B.
I don't recognize the guy.
We're going to post that video on Nextdoor, asking our neighbors to identify this person.
That's the very next step in the evolution of this program.
We have to send the cockroaches back into the crevasses to where the people who want to live in those neighborhoods can do so in peace without fucking getting shot at.
We have to be a gang.
We have to fight just like the gangs fight.
[train whistle blares] [narrator] Our homes may be more vulnerable than ever before, but is it the network we need to fear or each other? [Johnson] We're just sort of peering over the edge between being a user and being used.
[ maniacal laughing]