Tip for Julian: Don’t Eat at Popeyes

image courtesy zigazou76

If Julian Assange ever escapes from the Peruvian embassy he may not want – as a fugitive on the run – to eat at Popeyes. And, if he absolutely must have chicken-and-sausage jambalaya, then he better think about paying in cash. Wali Enterprises, a leading Popeyes franchisee, will be rolling out a new video surveillance system – Envysion Insight – to all of their locations.

Already used by dozens of fast food restaurants, Envision Insight allows cash registers to be integrated with video monitoring systems. Now, instead of scanning thousands of hours of CCTV footage, security staff (or the interested police officer) can simply enter a receipt number to call-up a specific section of archived video. And, since receipt numbers are matched to credit and debit cards which match to personal names, it shouldn’t be too hard to get footage of your comings and goings at many retail outlets. What’s more, the footage lives “in the cloud.” In other words, video data from all participating retailers is effectively lumped into a central, national repository; one-stop shopping for the surveillance state. This video from the company shows how the system works.

According to Envision’s website, retail locations that have deployed the surveillance system include Baskin & Robbins, Big Lots, Burger King, Carls’ Jr., Chevron, Chik-fil-a, Chilis, Chipotle, Courtyard by Marriott, Dairy Queen, Del Taco, Denny’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Einstein Bros Bagels, El Pollo Loco, Five Guys, Hardee’s, IHOP, Jimmy John’s, Krispy Kreme, Quiznos, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Manhattan Bagel, Sheraton, Sbarro, Taco Bell, TGI Friday’s and many more. In other words, as long as you spend money, there’s an instantly accessible video archive of your life. Smile!


30 Comments on "Tip for Julian: Don’t Eat at Popeyes"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Mar 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm |

    Ah, dis ain’t the only reason not to eat at Popeyes
    but I have to confess I once was addicted to their red beans & rice

  2. “since receipt numbers are matched to credit and debit cards which match to personal names”

    pay cash, always

  3. I hope someone invents some sort of electrical device that creates a visual white noise. Besides the IR jamming hats we saw here. Kind of like the “invisibility cloak” but for cameras.

  4. VaudeVillain | Mar 28, 2013 at 12:19 am |

    Or they could, you know, look at the timestamp on the receipt and rewind the tape to that point manually.

    This system saves them a minute or two, but it’s hardly a radical change in surveillance capabilities.

    • Accessing the full video surveillance records of every franchise of each of fifty retailers from a single location saves more than “a minute or two.” If you’re talking about fifty outlets x 1,000 franchises for each outlet, that’s 50,000 unique geographic locations at which surveillance footage is stored; it’s essentially impossible to use that footage for endemic surveillance – the manpower requirements would be extraordinary.

      If, instead, all 50,000 locations from dozens of companies have dumped their footage into ‘the cloud’ (i.e. the Envision server) and you can access them all from a single terminal, you now have surveillance and tracking capabilities that are far and beyond anything that existed before.

      • VaudeVillain | Mar 28, 2013 at 12:35 am |

        So the worry is that somebody at Envision is able to watch fifty thousand transactions simultaneously. Sounds riveting.

        Of course, if one target can manage to be in more than a couple of these in less than a few hours, i’m more impressed by their ability and willingness to rapidly and repeatedly appear in fast food restaurants.

        Even if it saves hours per video, you were already traceable with fairly little effort. If you don’t want to be tracked, don’t use a credit card. Pretty straightforward concept.

        • “So the worry is that somebody at Envision is able to watch fifty thousand transactions simultaneously.”

          You previously indicated you understood the concept of the user/receipt search function. Now, by your most recent message, you’re indicating you don’t. Unless you’ve just suffered an epileptic seizure, is it safe to assume you bristled up a bit at being corrected and have decided to just start firing chaff up in the air?

          • VaudeVillain | Mar 28, 2013 at 10:14 am |

            No, I was just being flippant.

            If you read the second half of my comment, i more adequately address your point.

            Since you seem unclear on what I’m actually saying, the point is that this system does not represent a dramatic leap forward in surveillance technology, but rather a mundane collection of relatively simple and common surveillance technologies. there is nothing new about remotely viewing surveillance footage. There is nothing new about timestamping. There is nothing new about cross-referencing other records. There is nothing new about fast-forwarding.

            You seem to have just realized that the water is boiling, but the heat’s been on for a long time now.

          • Hi VaudeVillian – if you’d like to converse, it would help the process if you could cool down a bit and organize your thoughts. You’re kind-of bouncing off the walls and It’s difficult to follow your train of thought long enough to carry-on a conversation. I’m sorry you’re so upset and angry but, please understand, it’s very hard to respond to these kind-of stream-of-consciousness comments. Thanks.

          • VaudeVillain | Mar 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm |

            I’m neither upset nor angry. I am sorry that you cannot follow what I’m saying, but I don’t know how to put it more simply for you. I could try being more condescending and arrogant, I don’t know if that is your preferred way of communicating, but I’m pretty good at that when I want to be.

    • Neither is it a radical philosophical shift from a homeowner’s right to have security cameras in order to safeguard his house. I imagine that a lot of us would support a private citizen’s right to have their own cameras covering their property, to include the interior of our cars when and if we have to have a roadside chat with the Highway Patrol. Consistency requires that we recognize the right of commercial property owners to do the same.

      If you’re going to do something that makes a wanted fugitive out of you, steal enough money that you don’t have to eat at Popeye’s.

      • “If you’re not a criminal you have nothing to fear.”

        In the state where I live I can’t make an audio record of another person on the telephone without their permission. And yet I own the phone and I’m in my home. So to suggest there is a fundamental property right that allows property owners to engage in endemic surveillance and compile digital records on individuals (which sounds like what this is, since it is creating records and moving them to third-party storage locations; versus the latent observation of localized storage, decentralized CCTV systems) displays particularly acute and terrifyingly unusual ignorance of the limits of property rights.

        • My point is: do you think that you should have the right to protect your property with security cameras? Would it be sinister of you to think that you do have that right? Is it reasonable for your state not to recognize that right?

          On an off topic note, are you, eric82, able to have a disagreement with someone without accusing them of being disabled? Is mistaking politeness for weakness something that you do a lot of irl?

          • Hi Daniel Reasor – I’m sorry you’ve become so wound up. To answer your questions:

            #1 – People have the right to protect their private property, but not through “any means convenient.” In Spain, the right to freedom from endemic surveillance is codified in the Declaration of Rights. I note the case of Spain only as example; this is a universal human right, it just so happens Spain has put it in writing, but it exists even without codification.

            #2 – I don’t believe I accused you of being disabled. While I’m sorry to hear you’re disabled, I’m not sure what that has to do with the topic of this thread.

          • In order:

            #1 – Your right to privacy ends where another’s right to not be robbed begins.

            #2 – I understand you’re conceding that you’re not able to disagree with somebody without resorting to personal insults. I’m sorry to report that I find your trolling to be lazy and ineffective. I’ve been called far worse by far better.

          • Hi Daniel Reasor:

            #1 – I acknowledge you have a belief system to which you subscribe.

            #2 – Once again, I’m sorry you’ve become so terribly upset at this conversation.

        • Calypso_1 | Mar 28, 2013 at 8:47 pm |

          You may own the phone but you only lease the line. If it is a right you hold dear, there are single party consent states.

          • OK. You may have title to property, but you don’t have territorial sovereignty over it. I can compare and contrast, too. *yawn*

          • Calypso_1 | Mar 29, 2013 at 8:57 am |


            I am the Heliogabalus of my own estate.

  5. What all of you guys are missing is that the resolution is not good enough on the cameras to positively ID anyone. So rather than buy all new cameras, this is easier. The nice thing is that they can then trace you wherever you go through the RFID chip in the credit card you use, or the one in your license plate tab, or the one in your phone…

    But wait… If they can do that to find you now, why do they need this? Oh, I know, so they can send coupons to your house. Okay, now it all makes sense.

    Ever since I saw “Supersize Me” I have not stepped foot in a fast food joint. The stuff is poison!

  6. Rex Vestri | Mar 28, 2013 at 9:30 am |

    Great. Keep it to yourself. Just because your brother makes money shoving large objects inside himself for money on gay cam sites, it doesn’t mean we’re interested in hearing about it.

  7. Alexander Schaffer | Mar 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

    “Peruvian” embassy?!

  8. assange is in the embassy of ecuador no peru

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