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Old June 13th, 2003, 01:47 PM   #1
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XL1s In Use in the War on Terrorism

I recently loaned my XL1s to a good friend who works for one of our more "secret" Federal law enforcement agencies. He needed a video camera for surveillance, and the one they have is a little palmcorder that has a street price of under $500. Given his need, I really didn't feel like I could refuse the request, even though he couldn't offer me any 'official' assurance that it would come back in one piece.

He's had it two days and reports excellent results so far, and his boss really likes the resulting footage. He said he'd consider buying one for the LA office if the next few days go well for the unit.

I'll let everybody know how the story comes out. So far, so good.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 02:01 PM   #2
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Your more trustworthy than I am. Lending a camera out to a spook? Who knows what dodgy ops it might be risked in.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 02:25 PM   #3
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Be sure to let him know that if he really wants to get spooky with an XL1, just add an EF adapter and any 35mm EOS telephoto lens... then it's a video telescope, the ultimate surveillance tool.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 03:21 PM   #4
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Well I find it hard to believe that the "'Secret' Federal Law Enforcement Agency" cannot afford a camera of their own. Why go and borrow one from a friend when I'm sure the company would give them a camera. Justin have you looked out your window? Maybe your friend is checking up on you...hehe. Well as long as he is having fun with it.

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Old June 13th, 2003, 03:30 PM   #5
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Me too, I'm kind of surprised. Besides a XL-1 is hardly concealable.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 04:23 PM   #6
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Maybe it's a 'behind the mirror' dealie. Or just to record them extracting a confession.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 04:44 PM   #7
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XL1s In Use in the War on Terrorism? or on a common drug bust. Law enforcement here have all sorts of tiny, James Bond-like cams. LA doesn't? Come on.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 04:44 PM   #8
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You would be surprised how limited law enforcement budgets are. Add to that the amount of red-tape and justification required to get a new piece of equipment and it really shouldn't surprise anyone that this guy would want to borrow his buddy's XL-1. If you think low-budget filmmaking is a guerrilla undertaking, you should do a ride-along or two with your local law enforcement agencies. Ask those guys about how much support they get from their departments. If you want a real eye-opener, ride with a sheriff's dept. Those guys are all broke.

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Old June 13th, 2003, 05:14 PM   #9
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Brad is absolutely right, what's funny about most Sheriff's Offices is that they have the ultimate authority in law enforcement but usually the least amounts for budget. Getting a camcorder like the XL1S for short-term use can be like pulling teeth; for temporary use, it's easier for an agency to borrow one from a friend, as above.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 05:30 PM   #10
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I'll be able to share a few more details about this specific operation (how the camera is being used and what it's being used for) once it's over, probably on Monday.

From what I've seen of their operation, they are massively underfunded. In Hollywood movies, they have neato spy gadgets and cameras and heat-shielding body suits...in the real world, many agencies require officers to pay for their own weapons and ammunition, kevlar vests, flashlights, handcuffs, boots/shoes, etc. This is true at the both the state and Federal levels of law enforcement.

LAPD is one example, locally for me. Officers have to pay for flashlights, training ammunition, shoes, cuffs, and backup weapons, as well as any larger caliber handguns they want to carry aside from what they are issued. I was flabergasted to find this out, but it's the truth. If you asked an officer if they could get their hands on an XL1s for a stakeout or surveillance (assuming they knew what one was), they'd just laugh.

Call your congressman if you want, but the truth is less sexy than fiction in this case.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 06:16 PM   #11
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even the CIA

Even those department that supposedly are on the forefront of the 'war on terrorism' do not have the most up to date technology or practices.

Read this BBC article about the CIA and how backwards they are:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/2965620.stm
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Old June 14th, 2003, 05:28 AM   #12
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There is a real issue here. We probably do not want a govt. with enough of the latest toys to watch everyone, even if we could afford it. The ptemptation for for abuse would be great, especially if ther was no need to prioritize among cases to work. Idle hands are the devil's playground as they say.

Also, they people in government, including decision makers, are just as astute as the people we work with every day at the office, the check-out counter, etc.

And now you know a good bit of the story why government works so well.
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Old June 14th, 2003, 11:08 AM   #13
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It is true you have to watch where you throw technology these days. A while back my company had an interesting contact from the Middle East who wanted to license our live web streaming product to monitor an airport. This was just on the eve of the war! Of course we carefully had to determine for just what purpose this was being requested without offending the contact. As it turned out, it was entirely legitimate. But we had to make sure.
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Old June 14th, 2003, 05:16 PM   #14
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funny you guys bring these experiences up! just 2 weeks ago, i was at the filipino independence day parade in downtown manhattan. i had been using my xl1s all throughout the day. upon entering the midtown tunnel, i had the xl1s on my lap, unknowingly recording the entire drive through the tunnel. just to prove the credibility of new york law enforcement, you can bet that the minute we exited the tunnel, we were kindly asked to pull over to the side of the road. my xl1s was confiscated, i was told to record over all footage taken inside the tunnel, my xl1s was taken a second time, brought in for inspection, myself and all passengers had to produce identification. after 2 hours, we were let go. thankfully, my xl1s wasn't seized, and we didn't receive any fines. my 2 cents!
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Old June 14th, 2003, 05:23 PM   #15
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Hmmm that kind of puts a crimp on all the Lady-X filmmakers in the United States!
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