The Most Dangerous (and Easiest) Way To Export Surveillance VideoBy: Brian Karas, Published on Mar 11, 2016
Most DVRs/NVRs and VMSes have options to limit video export to external devices, but none of them can fix the analog hole.
Circumventing Security via Cellphone
Facilities may implement security policies for user logins that prevent exporting or sharing of video, but that does not stop an operator from making a video with their cellphone.
Video of high-profile people can net a security guard a payment that could be more than a year's salary, as in the Ray Rice video.
The Jay Z elevator video is rumored to have gone for $250,000.
Other times the video might be exported just for fun:
It can be difficult to track down the source of cell-phone video leaks, making it tempting for employees to export video this way. The leaker of the Jay-Z video was found out and fired, but the leak behind the Ray Rice video was never identified.
Another example: The Ft Lauderdale shooting video has been released, via a cellphone recording, again from TMZ:
Easier than Clumsy Systems
Sometimes cellphone recording and sharing of clips is to make up for clumsy or inefficient export functions. If you are trying to send a short clip to someone in a hurry, this method can be much faster than going through the process of selecting video for export, letting the export process complete, converting video to non-proprietary format and then emailing the clip.
For short videos, where the story is more important than the details in the video, screen recording via camera is effective. Videos of the brawl captured by the FLIR/Costco DIY system fit this example.
Often Used By Police
Police often complain about difficulties with exporting video. If video stored on citizen NVRs/DVRs cannot be intuitively exported in a simple format police officers have had to resort to using cellphones or body cams to record directly from monitors. This method reduces the quality of the video from the native format, but may be the only practical option in those cases.
No Cell Phone Policies
Privacy-conscious organizations have implemented "no cell phone" policies for operators that routinely work with video surveillance systems. Many video monitoring central stations prohibit operators from having cell phones in their possession while on shift.
With cameras built into phones, tablets and laptops it can be very hard to completely close off the analog loophole and prevent employees from recording on-screen video.