This isn't Venice's first online surf watch — but in the wide world of webcams, the brand-new Venice Beach Live Cam, sniffed out by crime blog Venice 311 today, is certainly king.

And it does a lot more than surf watch. With insanely high resolution, this thing will zoom, pan and rotate at an Internet creeper's every whim. If that whim happens to be staring down some Minnesota high schooler's touristy spaghetti-strap…

… then so be it. Because from the king of all webcams, no seagull dingleberry nor V.I.P. rooftop party can hide.

It debuts at a great time to watch monster waves, but an awkward time for Venice's privacy-versus-policing debate:

Rumors that Alex Thompson, behind the 311 blog, was going to have access to LAPD security cameras all up and down the boardwalk sent the community into a tither earlier this year. (And her videographer sidekick, Tony Vera, is definitely planning to install one along Pacific Avenue.) It's part of a new state of paranoia — in some ways silly, in other ways quite concerning — that has begun to reign in the free-lovin' vibes of a classic West Coast beach town.

But back to the “badass” cam at hand. Thompson, who neighbors often accuse of being too nosy, is no doubt living her dream right now — tracking criminals up and down the Walk from the comfort of home, never having to leave her LAPD scanner's side.

Credit: Screen shot via Venice311

Credit: Screen shot via Venice311

However, we know for a fact that the dude who's streaming this thing mostly just set it up as a service to wave-watchers, and perhaps to make some money in advertising while he's at it. (Hence the “SPOTLIGHT YOUR AD HERE” graffiti littering the site.)

Still: We don't see Big Brother complaining any.

All right kids, get to peeping. Might we recommend “SurfBreaks and Sunsets” mode, which peers idyllically through some palm trees, or — for the voyeurs among you — “Muscle Beach” or “Vortrex Balcony.” Insert catcall here.


LA Weekly