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A Surveillance Camera On Every Chicago Street Corner?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the must-cctv dept.

Privacy 311

Mike writes "Chicago Mayor Daley has stated that if his Olympic dreams come true, by 2016 there will be a surveillance camera on 'every street corner in Chicago.' Just like in London, elected officials all over America appear to be happily advancing a 'surveillance society' without regard for civil rights or privacy concerns. Ray Orozco, executive director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications is quoted as saying, 'We're going to grow the system until we eventually cover one end of the city to the other.'" Chicago has been developing its surveillance network for some time, but it seems they plan to continue increasing the scale.

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The cameras do nothing (5, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940229)

Christ, they put those cameras in several years ago in the most high crime parts of Chicago. And you know what? They're still the most high crime parts of Chicago.

If you want crime to drop, give people a decent education, a decent job, and decent opportunity not to join a gang. And if you really want to increase enforcement, then stick a cop, not a camera, on every corner.

This is nothing more than "security theater" on a city-wide scale.

Re:The cameras do nothing (4, Insightful)

Bazman (4849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940313)

A cop on every corner? Yeah, because cops are reliable witnesses who never lie or 'accidentally' not notice a little crime going on.

What about a cop with a camera on every corner?

Re:The cameras do nothing (1, Flamebait)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940551)

"A" doesn't work.
"B" doesn't work.
Oh, I know! Let's try "A+B"!

Twit.

Re:The cameras do nothing (5, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940791)

"A" doesn't work.
"B" doesn't work.
Oh, I know! Let's try "A+B"!

Twit.

My tires won't get me to work, and my car won't work w/o tires.

I'm actually FOR cops with cameras, and streetcorners without cameras. I've never been arrested by a camera, and wish that when I was, there was one there.

Re:The cameras do nothing (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940583)

What about a cop with a camera on every corner?

Better make it a cheap disposable one - he might get mugged!

Re:The cameras do nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26941181)

what about recognizing that cops can't prevent every crime, even in a police state (which is what you get with a cop on every corner), and stop making it illegal for people to protect themselves, effectively?

Re:The cameras do nothing (0)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940321)

It could be argued they're the most high crime parts of Chicago because the crimes are being spotted more? After all, a city with no police officers at all has zero crime.

Re:The cameras do nothing (2, Informative)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940559)

Crime is not crime as reported by police, it's crime as reported by citizens. This is not a "tree falling in the woods" scenario.

Re:The cameras do nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940757)

Crime is not crime as reported by police, it's crime as reported by citizens.

[citation needed]

Re:The cameras do nothing (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941205)

First, it's done by people reporting being victims of crime; some statistics come from the police(such as arrests, police reports), some come from surveys.

The problem with cameras is that they're expensive to actively monitor; human time is expensive, any one camera is very unlikely to be filming a crime in progress, and a human can only effectively monitor a half dozen or so visuals. A virtually uninhabited building is one thing, you can put motion sensors on the cameras such that a alarm directs the viewer to the most active cameras, but a semi-busy street? Not so much. So identifying a crime in progress is so rare that it made international news one time when they happened to see one live in England - and that was while doing some routine testing of the system.

The second problem, is, Okay, the camera has worked about as well as you can expect it to. Citizen A has made a report that she was mugged in Zone 123, review of cameras shows incident.

Now, in order to bring the criminal to justice:

We have to identify, based on A's testimony and the camera images, just which hoodied and bandanaded thug did it. -Camera may or may not be useful
We have to figure out where thug 45,034 is hanging out this week (traditional police work)
Actually send a police unit out to collect him. (traditional police work)
Build a case and prosecute him (traditional police and prosecutor work)
Punish/Reform him using the standards of the time - Imprisonment, fines(blood from stone comes to mind), etc...

Re:The cameras do nothing (0, Redundant)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940343)

Christ, they put those cameras in several years ago in the most high crime parts of Chicago. And you know what? They're still the most high crime parts of Chicago.

CCTV does not prevent crime. It helps to presecute those who commit it, taking them off the streets.

Re:The cameras do nothing (2, Interesting)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940383)

CCTV does not prevent crime. It helps to presecute those who commit it, taking them off the streets.

I think the point was that if crime is still high then crime evidently hasn't been taken off the street.

Re:The cameras do nothing (4, Insightful)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941095)

That's because "high crime" is a statistic, the more crime reported or monitored, the higher it gets.

Nobody should be worried about cameras on every corner unless they are a criminal worried about being caught in the act.

To run around ranting that cameras invade privacy and erode civil liberties is fundamentally mis-targeted - it's not the cameras that invade privacy, and it's not within the function of a mere imaging device to erode your civil liberties.

To say that a camera does this, implies that you're of the assumption that civil liberties exist to allow you to freely commit crimes, to take the risk if you will.
The topic is right; "the cameras do nothing". They are passive. Put as many up as you like, I don't mind.

What you have to be worried about is the repurposing of the data captured by the camera. This is entirely a "people problem" - people watching the cameras, people putting those images in databases, people cross-referencing that data in ways which DO invade privacy..

However I cannot think of a single instance where the presence of a camera did any harm to anyone. I can think of several instances where while it may be disconcerting but really all they capture is ordinary life, something anyone can do with a camera phone (the current popular choice for catching a cop beating on some black guy or using excessive force). And if they are capturing criminal acts, well then the people behind the cameras can do their jobs. If they are corrupt, then maybe that footage will disappear; what there needs to be is accountability for the data and procedures in place, and THAT is the important thing.

Let's stop whining about "cameras" and fix the corrupt law enforcement and data-selling practises that come with cameras.

Re:The cameras do nothing, neither do prisons (2, Informative)

korbin_dallas (783372) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940453)

So like this never happens huh?
Doesn't look like incarceration gonna work either.
http://www.reuters.com/article/wtMostRead/idUSTRE5190CB20090210 [reuters.com]

Re:The cameras do nothing, neither do prisons (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940603)

It's time we seriously considered two things -
Legalizing marijuana
Exiling violent offenders

Cameras don't watch people (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940353)

Christ, they put those cameras in several years ago in the most high crime parts of Chicago. And you know what? They're still the most high crime parts of Chicago.

Any technology can be used effectively or not, it can be used for good or bad. Would you also say that they used armed officers in police cars with radios in the high crime parts of Chicago, so they should now use only unarmed cops on foot without radios in those areas?

If you want crime to drop, give people a decent education, a decent job, and decent opportunity not to join a gang.

That's a different dimension. You should do that *AND* have effective law enforcement.

And if you really want to increase enforcement, then stick a cop, not a camera, on every corner.

Why not a cop watching ten cameras, one on each corner? Less expense, same results. Or perhaps better results, depending on the cops. A cop watching video screens cannot shoot first and ask questions later.

Re:Cameras don't watch people (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940443)

Are you saying that you think people will actually use these cameras responsibly? Do I need to even start to point to examples about how unlikely that is?

Law enforcement is not the entire solution, but it is the brunt of the problem, agreed.

Re:Cameras don't watch people (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940503)

If you want crime to drop, give people a decent education, a decent job, and decent opportunity not to join a gang.

That's a different dimension. You should do that *AND* have effective law enforcement.

If you do those things, the bar for "effective law enforcement" is much lower, because they have less crime to fight.

Re:Cameras don't watch people (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940521)

That's a different dimension. You should do that *AND* have effective law enforcement.

Well, it is not a different dimension. Doing both costs money. America already has the highest incarceration rate. Our education leaves something to be desired. Therefore, you get more bang for your buck in education.

Re:Cameras don't watch people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26941025)

Any technology can be used effectively or not, it can be used for good or bad.

Nope, technology carries the *intentions* of the inventors too, and most of the technology has a definite place in some part of the good/bad spectrum.

Sure, a knife can be used to murder or to eat. But a land mine, for example, is definitely on the *bad* end of the usage spectrum.

Also, the theoretical potential of a technology does not matter much, what matters is the practical usage (as deduced by history, statistics, etc). An atomic bomb could theoretically be used to blast a threatening asteroid, for example, but given the stupidity of human governments it will most likely be used for war [alas, it already has].

Re:Cameras don't watch people (1)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941197)

Why not a cop watching ten cameras, one on each corner? Less expense, same results. Or perhaps better results, depending on the cops. A cop watching video screens cannot shoot first and ask questions later.

Less expense, yes. Same results, no. The physical presence of cops deters crime. They can respond to problems immediately, and problems are less likely to occur. This is not true if they are stuck in a control centre on the other side of the city.

We've had this CCTV debate in Britain. Common sense lost, and now we have far more cameras than cops, and crime is still increasing. As a crime prevention measure, CCTV only ever succeeds in displacing crime away from the cameras, and it is nowhere near as good at doing that as having more cops.

Re:The cameras do nothing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940577)

If you want crime to drop, give people a decent education, a decent job, and decent opportunity not to join a gang.

Give? Whatever happened to "earn"?

And if you really want to increase enforcement, then stick a cop, not a camera, on every corner.

Well, the porkulus bill will take care of that, right?

Re:The cameras do nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940589)

"give people a decent education, a decent job, and decent opportunity not to join a gang."

Funny. We used to be a country full of people who largely went out and got these things for themselves. Go ahead, join a gang. I don't give a crap. Just stay off of my property or you'll catch a .45 hollow-point in the grill.

Re:The cameras do nothing (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941103)

No one giving a crap about their community, that's the way to go. It isn't only about keeping yourself safe from gangs, it's also about keeping those lives from being wasted on crime when they could have fulfilling lives and do something productive.

Re:The cameras do nothing (1)

KibibyteBrain (1455987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940607)

Well, throwing up cameras is a cheap and easy way to make it seem like you are actually doing something to stop crime.

Re:The cameras do nothing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940611)

I've lived in London, the most camera carpeted place in the world, even more camera covered than anywhere in the old Soviet bloc.

They don't stop terrorism: the terrorists look just like the rest of London's multi-ethnic society. They don't stop muggers, because the muggers wear hoods and know where the cameras are, and the police *cannot be bothered* to investigate anything less than a huge crime, because they're swamped with standing useless guard duty and filling out paperwork. They don't stop drunken yobs, they don't stop shoplifting because they're limited and the police never can be bothered to pull the records or show them to the people who've been robbed.

No, they're useful for political monitoring. Getting pictures of protesters for monitoring. Hey, look kids in T-shirts insulting Gordon Brown near his speech? Send a squad over to disperse them. You're meeting with people from Greenpeace near the nuclear sub launching? Oh, my, we can't have that! Better check their Oyster card (subway pass) records and see where they live.

1984 was writting by a British man for very, very good reasons.

Re:The cameras do nothing (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940745)

The one good thing that has come out of our surveillance society - Sheriff John Burnell (and his amazing hair). Oh, all the other Cops With Cameras-style TV shows too. I'm not sure those shows would work on radio...

Re:The cameras do nothing (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940753)

Disregard that, I cook socks. It's "Bunnell", not "Burnell".

More info on wackypedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bunnell [wikipedia.org]

Re:The cameras do nothing (1)

ryanduff (948159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940625)

Its so they can watch what you do, monitor you, and control you. Its being done under the guise of stopping crime, but those of us that see the writing on the wall know whats really going on. Most likely the whole project is being funded by federal dollars to, and they can tap in and watch. We allow this to happen a little at a time, and get used to it, allowing more to happen. Things like this need to be stopped now. Get out and tell your local government what you think before its too late.

Re:The cameras do nothing (5, Interesting)

cyberguyd (50420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940851)

It's not that people don't have the opportunity. You have to change the culture. For those in the 'hood, if you study, do your homework, work hard, etc., you are trying to be "white". Most want to be a rapper or ball player. The role models that they had until this time is Jesse and Al who continue to preach that they are being put down. Even though I may not agree with everything that Obama is doing, more role models like him are needed.

On a note about surveillance, I am a civil engineer and every city and state building now you have to sign in, show ID, and/or go through a metal detector now. They do it slow, one building at a time. They put up "red light" and intersection cameras which may only have a limited resolution now, but all it would take is quiet change during the nights and then you have system in place. They need the backbone in place. Doing it in the name of public safety is the way they do it.

Re:The cameras do nothing (4, Funny)

ssintercept (843305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941023)

i have to disagree. i am just north of Chicago (Waukegan) and we are experiencing an influx of cameras both in public and private areas. they are trying to rebuild the downtown area, which has caused the street rats (read as homeless, crackheads etc) to migrate to my neighborhood. crime spiked and in came the cameras. the street rats left and crime went back down in my neighborhood. now, i do not know where they went and i don't care. i know that it has become another's problem and that does blow. i do agree with you that the money would be better spent on social/educational programs but i will not say that they do nothing- imho, they are a deterrent to the casual criminal.

downside- my weed dealer no longer makes deliveries to my neighborhood....

Re:The cameras do nothing (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941079)

If you want crime to drop, give people a decent education, a decent job, and decent opportunity not to join a gang.

That's going to take a lot of Clint Eastwoods.

A decent job, and decent opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26941151)

Stop chasing away legitimate business to the suburbs with urban special interest shakedowns, regulations and taxation.

Stop feeding people shit with a no-choice education system.

Stop creating a huge black market drug economy for gangs to exploit.

Re:The cameras do nothing (1)

amclay (1356377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941179)

Camera's do not do much of anything to prevent crime. It just lets the police have evidence.

Sorry to break this to you. (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940233)

There is not a CCTV camera on every street in London.

But, who am I to burst your hyperbole bubble.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940243)

Maybe I should read the whole summary before I post too. :D

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (5, Interesting)

HEbGb (6544) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940247)

There is not a CCTV camera on every street in London.

But, who am I to burst your hyperbole bubble.

London has the highest density of CCTV cameras of any city in the world, and it's ridiculous overkill. Technically they may not be on EVERY street, but damn near close.

But more importantly, it's been shown as completely ineffective. Chicago is going to make the same mistake. Security theater..

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940331)

But more importantly, it's been shown as completely ineffective. Chicago is going to make the same mistake. Security theater..

I thought the tag line to the summary said it all:

from the must-cctv dept

Cleverest dept. yet...

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (4, Informative)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940401)

London has the highest density of CCTV cameras of any city in the world, and it's ridiculous overkill. Technically they may not be on EVERY street, but damn near close.

But more importantly, it's been shown as completely ineffective. Chicago is going to make the same mistake. Security theater..

It hasn't managed to stop a single crime in London either.

I live in a UK town so small that the total population is less than a minor London borough, and we have camera's throughout the town centre, and along all major roads into and out of the town.

Most aren't watched, and the police have had zero luck using them to catch criminals, even when they rob several shops in a row at night.

Muggings? Hasn't stopped one.

There was a murder along one of these monitored streets, and the culprit has never been caught. All we got was wooden placards from the police asking if anyone had seen something.

The take home from this is that in the UK, cameras are put up to 'fit the mood' of the political times, but few councils have the money, or the will, to employ them on a day to day basis.

The government, in typical UK style, decreed that cameras would make use safer, but declined to provide sufficient funding. Any council that did nothing would have been deemed to be putting its people at risk, but if cameras were put up, but mostly unused, the blame could be placed on the governemtn again, for failing to provide the funding.

Its a farce. The loss to our freedom? negligable, barely noticable, if it exists at all. The loss to our pocket through wasted taxes? Millions, and thats far worse.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940465)

I think you have a point.. if they're watching "everybody" then they're really watching nobody.. because the caliber of the people they can afford for the task can't do that job.

The problem is that is RECORDED footage... meaning one day somebody WILL figure out how to enforce the law with them.. and it will be retroactive.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940595)

They'll also lower the threshold for what is a crime. That, too, will be retroactive.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940773)

It hasn't managed to stop every single crime in London either.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940885)

Has it stopped many? The point is that cameras don't necessarily do any good, they just make some people feel good.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26941115)

Yo cunt, this isn't mfh, even if he's a cunt. Your signature shows how much of a cunt you are, now fuck off and die.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (4, Interesting)

FridgeFreezer (1352537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940965)

I also live in a small UK town with lots of CCTV cameras. However, I have worked on those cameras and in control rooms and have seen how they do work and can work, if they're allowed to.

Sure, if no-one's watching (or there aren't enough people to watch effectively) then they're useless. If the video is so bad you can't see what's going on, they're useless.

BUT when the CCTV guys have a direct radio link to the police (and even better, local businesses too), when they have the staff to watch the cameras and catch people committing crime on video which conclusively shows them doing it, then the criminals are f**ed. The best lawyer in the world can't get you off when the police have video of you committing the crime. It also means the police don't even have to catch you doing it - they can walk past you an hour later in the street and slap the cuffs on before you know what's going on.

I would be wary of saying I'm pro-cctv, but with an effective police organisation behind it it's a very effective tool in the fight.

Case in point: The control guys spotted a gang of kids going into a shop, so they radio the shop security and tell them to stand back and just watch. Shop security backs off and watches them stealing stuff. CCTV tracks them out of that shop and into the next, same deal, kids are now getting well pleased with their haul, repeat for a few more shops then off to the bus station to catch the bus home with all their swag. As the bus pulls up, cops stroll out from three different directions and grab them, and all their gear, before they've even realised. No running, no chasing, no throwing the stash away, no arguing. In court, on video, case closed.

London's cameras have a good deal going on with car number plate recognition software, as soon as you drive a stolen/dodgy car into London it's just ticking down the minutes till a police car happens to appear from a side street and pull you over for a chat. No high-speed pursuit required.

Cameras that don't scream Big Brother (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940985)

I have a suggestion to both make those cameras cost effective and remove the Big Brother onus from them at the same time: make their use democratic rather than autocratic. Have you ever heard of Neighborhood Watch? Perhaps you don't have such efforts in the U.K.?

The correct use of those cameras is to wire them up to the Internet, and make it so that ANY concerned citizen can monitor the cameras in a Web browser, or perhaps a dedicated app. Leave it up to concerned citizens watching a camera to call the police and report what they have observed. Best of all, give them a tool - Firefox extension? - that lets them record what they're viewing, so they have some form of evidence to give police, not just hearsay.

That approach would incur no additional municipal cost for monitoring, and any misuse of the cameras would be the responsibility of individual citizens, not Big Brother. Would citizens actually do it? I think they would, in high-crime areas or areas where crime is rising.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941191)

Agreed about the lack of loss of freedom. Agreed about the waste of tax money.

The problem with montoring a street full of shops is the people involved are about [---] this big on the camera which is not enough to discern an actual individual. You could say, there are 4 people raiding the shops.. they're wearing black hoodies.. that's about it.

However you could make a case that if they added more cameras the cross-referencing becomes easier. 4 guys in hoodies is useless in the UK as a decription of a small gang of criminals - that would account for 20% of the jerks who walk through the town every day.

But if they tracked everyone who parked nearby and took the license plate and watched them getting out... 50 minutes later when 4 guys in hoodies rob a shop, it's a pretty safe bet it's the same 4 guys in hoodies who got out of that car. And then got back into that car and drove away with some stolen goods :)

The real problem is that when a small town gets a CCTV system they have one or two police offers assigned to watch it, the entire day is taped, and they're using their little jog shuttle and joystick to watch what is going on right then and there. There is no big effort to cross-reference or track or any automated heuristic detection system.

When a crime happens one of these officers gets to sit behind - at worst, a tape deck and at best a PC with a DVD drive and a copy of Windows Media Player) and watch 9 hours of footage from each of 15 cameras.. it's quite obvious they prioritise other things and I am not sure any CCTV-monitoring police officer has the nous to work out theories on the route the criminals took, the most likely place they parked the getaway car, which camera might have gotten the best footage of their faces, and their license plate.

If they did they wouldn't have been shoved on CCTV duty, they'd be in the CID..

It may be that the Demolition Man-style automated monitoring system and global tracking of cars, faces and what clothes you're wearing on every camera image is exactly what will save our tax money, but nobody would dare implement it. What needs to be done is some computer flags that "a crime happened" - an alarm went off at some store on the high street - and then an officer reviews the captured data and can go back and pull out the data involved around that - based on the computer identifying 4 individuals at the crime scene and tracking back to the last time it saw 4 individuals in similar getup on the scene.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940613)

Its not overkill. The system was set up to track IRA tuck bombs.
A ton of fertilizer-based explosives, in booby trapped trucks.
Phone in a warning (great for PR) and clear a city center.
As this now seems a distant memory for some, the push is still on to keep the network of cameras operational.
From automatic number plates scans to audio gun fire triangulation , any reason is suggested to keep the system funded and updated.
The CCTV system was never about 'you', just protecting corporate real estate.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (2, Informative)

nogginthenog (582552) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940731)

Every street corner? Nowhere near. Maybe in the City of London (the 1 square mile financial centre) but not the suburbs. The majority of CCTV cameras in London are privately owned.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940833)

But more importantly, it's been shown as completely ineffective.

Yeah, tell that to Winston Smith.

Re:Sorry to break this to you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26941057)

London has the highest density of CCTV cameras of any city in the world, and it's ridiculous overkill. Technically they may not be on EVERY street, but damn near close.

But more importantly, it's been shown as completely ineffective. Chicago is going to make the same mistake. Security theater..

Yeah, but in your country you don't have the NSA and its ability to literally copy the entire internet. While the data will probably get saved in some dark corner, should anyone ever really make it big it could be dug up and manipulated to embarass/blackmail anyone.

Mistake? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941281)

It all depends on what the true intent is. And ill give you a hint: its not really about preventing crime.

Just like London (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940239)

Full city coverage, yet whenever there is evidence of wrongdoing by a city official, or complaints over police behaviour, the footage mysteriously becomes 'unavailable', or the cameras weren't working that particular day.

Re:Just like London (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940271)

It's to monitor DISSENT, and nothing else. The government won't lock up criminals for any decent length of time, so even if you were stabbed in the street, and it was all on CCTV, the criminal would only get a year or two in prison, and then be allowed out to do it again.

Whereas, if you were to put up a poster saying something 'anti semitic' or, heaven forbid, anti muslim, or 'racist', you would be facing years in prison for a crime which NONE of the population had any vote on. These 'crimes' have been invented by the tyrants in power (the Jews...)

It's the JEWS, stupid.

Who benefits from this surveillance? Who's stealing your tax dollars in the U.S.? The JEW.

Re:Just like London (2, Insightful)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940407)

It is not the Jews. You've swallowed a big fat lie there my friend. The Jews have been the scapegoat time and time again. Everytime you blame the Jews for something you stop really questioning what's going on and the truth WHOOSHES over your head.

Re:Just like London (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940635)

The Jews have been the scapegoat time and time again.

Tell me, when a particular group of people have been in conflict with pretty much everyone else on the face of the earth, is that a problem with that group, or everyone else?

Re:Just like London (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26941157)

you just described the USA ... and we're perfect, soo...

what about these FACTS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26941267)

How do you explain that the board of governors of the Federal Reserve system, a private entity which controls the U.S.A. are Jews? How about the other cartels we complain about on Slashdot, the MPAA and RIAA, all executives are Jews. deBeers diamond cartel, Jews. The financers of the slave trading of the 17-19th century, Jew bankers and investors. The list goes on and on......

Re:Just like London (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940329)

and yet the police have much lower corruption that in the US. The Demenzies case got so much focus because it's so incredibly rare for police to shoot someone dead in the UK (happens maybe 2-3 times a year). The police have far more oversight here than in lots of countries.

Of course that doesn't mean they're not given stupid powers through anti-terrorism laws

Re:Just like London (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940409)

I don't think the number of people shot by police shows 'corruption' although I am very glad that the Police and population in the UK have resisted most attempts to expand the deployment of armed officers. Ultimately, there is going to be more people shot by the police in a country that has more people with guns and a much higher number of killings with guns in general.

Efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940937)

Pish-posh, the UK just needs to get more efficient with its meager stock of guns, to become world class once again. Murderers need to go after victims who are already queued up for something and work methodically, and the unarmed police need to beat the bushes and herd suspects into narrow corridors where their armed police brethren can get more shooting practice.

Re:Just like London (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26941113)

The de Menezes case resulted in absolutely no consequences whatsoever for the murderers or the instutitions encouraging the murder. Not even a health and safety violation.

A few weeks ago in America, some transport police pig shot an unarmed, unresisting guy who was on the floor in the back. Claimed he was reaching for his taser. He's been fired, and charged for murder.

I don't know if I'd prefer to live in a country where it happens less, or a country where there are actually consequences for the police if it happens. But dear Christ, don't be thinking that we are any better.

Re:Just like London (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940543)

I just have to point out that the obscene amount of video footage available didn't help Tupac [gwhatchet.com] . (I'm not having much luck finding out what's happened since that bill was passed.)

Surveillance solves crimes (1)

evil_arrival_of_good (786412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940253)

In my casual reading of local crime cases, the majority of crimes solved rely on surveillance footage. I don't mind being filmed/monitored in any public space, and I vote.

Re:Surveillance solves crimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940345)

In my casual reading of local crime cases, the majority of crimes solved rely on surveillance footage.

I don't mind being filmed/monitored in any public space, and I vote.

So, you're an ardent supporter of the NSA grabbing your phone billing data and putting together your social network? Just like our current President is, right?

Because guess what: you have no expectation of privacy for your phone billing records.

Re:Surveillance solves crimes (2, Funny)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940371)

mmmm straw man.

A call is not public, it's an encrypted transmission or through a non-public circuit. When you're in public anyone can see you and you'd expect people to be able to see you. When you're on the phone, especially in a private location, you don't expect people to be able to listing in fully (other than people nearby hearing you talk).

It's the same distinction that makes taking someone's picture legal but sticking a camera up their skirt illegal.

Re:Surveillance solves crimes (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940425)

When you're in public anyone can see you and you'd expect people to be able to see you.

It's the same distinction that makes taking someone's picture legal but sticking a camera up their skirt illegal.

Actually, what you said implied that covert filming in public should be legal as "you'd expect people to be able to see you.". Fortunately this isn't actually the distinction used to make that filming illegal.

Re:Surveillance solves crimes (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940495)

Yeah, in public I expect the PEOPLE around me to see me, sure.

I don't expect SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS run by government hired employees, to snoop on my movements and my conversations. ( What good is a camera without a microphone?)

I'd like to see a cost/benefit analysis.

What's the dollar value of the alleged benefit, and what's the dollar value of the costs?

Re:Surveillance solves crimes (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940797)

What good is a camera without a microphone

It can take pictures, moving and/or still depending on the type.

I'm kind of surprised you didn't know that.

Re:Surveillance solves crimes (4, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940389)

As long as the system is open. Problem with digital evidence collected on such a wide basis, is the external view of you day can be selectively edited to present what ever they want to present and any information that may work in your defence is not made available. Where many elected officials are involved in the legal system and the pressure is on them to get convictions, whether the individuals involved are guilty or innocent, be very careful about how much additional power you give them.

If politician and law enforcement are so hot on surveillance lets start with them first. What would be wrong with a web cam in every politician's office monitoring their actions and accessible by the general public, after all they are meant to be working for the public so the public should be able to supervise them. The benefits of dash cam in police vehicles has been demonstrated, (although some thugs in uniform seem to develop a mental block and forget their actions are being recorded), so the system should be extended to a cap/hat/helmet cam, perhaps with a camera mounted to their head, they wont forget it is there and will adjust their behaviour accordingly.

You know the saying, who watches they watchers, everybody else. So before they start trying to surveil the public 24/7/365, let's test the system out on them first.

Re:Surveillance solves crimes (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940567)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. These cameras do not just record criminals, and there is nothing stopping them from being used on ordinary citizens.

First, the cameras will be used to catch the dangerous guys: murderers, armed robbers, rapists, etc. Then, realizing that the ROI was not what they expected, the government will use the cameras to catch people for ticketable offenses: spitting, littering, not cleaning up after a dog, etc. After a while, a politician, playing up the "tough on crime" angle, pushes laws that make it illegal to circumvent the surveillance (for example, shining a laser pointer into a camera to overload the CCD), and some time after such a law is passed, someone is prosecuted for wearing a mask in public; the law cannot be used against everyone, of course, so specific groups of people become targets (depending on their skin color, religion, etc.).

Of course, that would never happen, because the privacy advocates are there to defend you. They are the people who DO mind being filmed/monitored in any public space.

Seems it's just elected officials with the "D" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940255)

Gee, ain't Chicago politics grand?

Where "economic stimulus" means "give lots of taxpayer money to political allies", where "outraged over 'illegal' wiretaps" means "put a camera on every corner".

Re:Seems it's just elected officials with the "D" (5, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940423)

It's OK. Here in Chicago, the surveillance cameras will be coin-op. You can pay your bribe up front, saving on manpower.

I'll say one thing for this idea: at least cctv cameras can't torture suspects*

(* for the full story. google "Chicago Police Torture".)

There is a simple solution to this problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26940299)

The solution is vandalism. Vandalism and destruction of city property are misdemeanors, and most people won't get caught. These cameras should be vandalized at every opportunity in every city.

Re:There is a simple solution to this problem... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941087)

The solution is vandalism. Vandalism and destruction of city property are misdemeanors, and most people won't get caught. These cameras should be vandalized at every opportunity in every city.

You know those big, clearly-visible CCTV cameras on poles? They're dummies. You can knock the shit out of it all you want, the real camera is tiny and is filming you doing it.

Blind Them!!! (1)

mwilliamson (672411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940305)

Here's a neat idea. I really want to do the same with my license plate for the stupid redlight cameras in my city, but was thinking a few strong camera strobes with an IR filter set up as a slave flash would work better.

http://www.hacknmod.com/hack/blind-cameras-with-an-infrared-led-hat/ [hacknmod.com]

This IR hat hack is cool, but needs to be modified to regulate the current through the LEDs or they'll burn out quickly.

Re:Blind Them!!! (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940365)

I love it. It's like a tinfoil hat for proactive people.

Waste of time (2, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940347)

A camara that watches people is worthless unless there is someone to watch the camara output. Citywide survelliance for somewhere like Chicago would need thousands of people if it were to work.

That means an expensive workforce. This in turn means low wages, which means poor quality.

This would of course then be something a tech company will say they can do more efficiently and cheaply. The provided system will suck (unless AI has developed beyond our current abilities, and if it has, I missed a paper somewhere). The company will claim IP protection for their tech, and try to hide the snake oil nature of the code.

The result? an expensive but useless system kept in place to prevent the politicians who put them in from losing face (as in having to explain where those tens of millions of dollars went).

Re:Waste of time (1)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940435)

Except most of the cameras aren't going to be used for prevention of crime. They're there for two purposes.

1. When a 911 call comes in, to recon the area in advance for the police.
2. After the fact analysis and evidence.

Hmmmm...if they're going to run cameras and cables to every street corner, how about attaching a wi-fi node at the same time? You already are running the power and cables. Might as well have a city-wide mesh network at the same time.

You don't understand the point of the system (2, Interesting)

n0-0p (325773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940497)

The primary purpose of the cameras is not for detection of crimes. It's to help investigate and prosecute reported crimes. For example, over the last several months there have been three women raped on their walk home from the el stop that my wife and I use. The victim accounts support the position that it's one guy, and the police have some grainy footage of him from a few security cameras, but they can't make out his face or figure out who he is.

Were this system in place, the job of catching the guy is likely to be a lot easier. I know that would make my wife and I feel a lot better about her safety. And personally, I don't see a problem with cameras in public places where you never had a reasonable expectation of privacy anyway. If they were invading my privacy I'd be the first to protest, but you can't claim to have privacy on a street corner.

Does she carry a gun? (1)

bobbuck (675253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940579)

Did you wife start carrying a gun?

Re:Does she carry a gun? (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940989)

Don't be ridiculous - this is Chicago. The only people allowed to carry are cops, who never ever beat up a bartender because they're drunk and having a bad day.

Re:Does she carry a gun? (1)

n0-0p (325773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941019)

Could you please explain how the answer to that question has any bearing on this discussion?

Of course (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940393)

there can be an upside to this, if they record the video:

1. Somebody decides to payback a political enemy by releasing a video in the company of someone who is not their partner... (This is Chicago, after all)

2. The video is used in a case where the city is sued

The list could go on and on. Remember, every sword is dual edged.

Not About Crime (3, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940439)

This is not about crime.

This is a system for assisting in coordinating deployment of riot troops and other resources to control the population in an urban setting when things collapse. The government knows the path we are currently traveling will lead to societies' collapse and the revolt of the population against the government.

Heck, the FBI is already training first-responders now in dealing with IEDs, although they say "terrorist-planted IEDs" to cover their butts. If a road is well-traveled by law-abiding citizens (and a well-traveled road is the type that would be the best target), terrorists would find it extremely hard to plant roadside bombs without getting reported. So who do you think the government thinks will be planting IEDs?

http://www.upi.com/Emerging_Threats/2008/03/24/FBI_begins_IED_training/UPI-26431206400450/ [upi.com]

Get ready for super-happy-fun-times.

Strat

Re:Not About Crime (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940815)

I read somewhere that some guys coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan who are a bit more morally flexible than your average Joe have been making and selling IEDs to gangs.

Just saying I read it somewhere, not saying that its necessarily true.

Never enough cameras (1)

rshah (29912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940449)

The cameras currently cover a very small part of the city. The stated goal of Daley is to cover the city in cameras. If a camera can only cover 50 yards, this means you need at least 1200 cameras per square mile. Keep in mind the city of Chicago is on the size of 227 square miles. Theoretically to blanket the city, you need at least 272,400 cameras. The city has at most 15,000 cameras at its disposal, so at best 5%. The camera network would have to be greatly expanded before there would be good coverage of the entire city. Also, remember the new cameras the city uses cost at least $5,000 each. (So adding another 100,000 cameras would cost 500 million dollars - that is just the physical cost of the cameras.) from http://www.smartcamerasblog.com/2009/02/surveillance-cameras-911/ [smartcamerasblog.com]

Re:Never enough cameras (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940593)

> cost at least $5,000 each

They are willing to spend every penny you have, and then some.

If you're outdoors, you have no privacy. (0, Redundant)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940657)

I really, really don't get all this wingeing about privacy rights on the public streets. Here's a tip: if you're outdoors, you're not in private. Anybody can look at you. Anybody can take your picture. If you don't like that, stay inside. Celebrities deal with this all the time and you don't hear them asking the government to prevent it.

Mentally ill? (0, Flamebait)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940679)

I did a tiny amount of research on this, but I would love to write a book. I think Mayor Daley is mentally ill. He is the digital version of those people on those shows who pack one end of their house to the other with junk, to the point you have to walk through little trails to get to a room.

If you search for the term "digital packrats," you will find an acknowledgment of the problem.

I'm kind of one myself, but the difference between me and Daley is that I'm not on some kind of power trip, and I don't have unlimited amounts of taxpayer money.

I have some experience in Oil and Gas. Daley should get into that. He could make some companies rich in his quest to pull in useless data. In that setting, I wouldn't mind working for him.

As a mayor, with access to public funds, he should be removed.

Privacy? (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940785)

To start, I'm not a fan of this surveillance society and I'd oppose this if it ever came to my town.

Having said that, I'm somewhat puzzled by the claims that this would violate privacy. There is no privacy in public. The street corners and intersections are simply not private.

There is a bizarre misuse of the word which seems to stem from the belief anything you do, regardless of where you do it, is private unless you want other people to know about it. It does not make any sense.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940903)

There is no 1 cut and dry concept of privacy, and this is something people who justify the idea of CCTV on the lack of privacy ideology miss. While people can see you, you are under n obligation to say everything about yourself, to let people stalk you just because you are in public. In that sense, there is privacy in public.

tied into private networks (1)

ssintercept (843305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26940805)

i was watching the early news this morning (ABC7) and the ultimate plan is to tie them into private cctv surveillance for use with first responders and such. i got the feeling it is more for intel on in-progress crimes than actually watching (spying) on us poor slobs. the Chicago Police have had some success lately with using these cctv's to ID suspects after the fact. cctv proliferation in Waukegan is picking up, both in public and private areas of town. Waukegan and Chicago have way bigger problems than can be fixed with some cctv surveillance.

It's Not About Privacy (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941039)

There is no expectation of privacy when one is walking down the street or driving on a public road.There is also no right not to be studied in close detail by either the government of private citizens.
          I'm certain that cameras will not stop abnormal criminals from committing crimes but criminals with somewhat normal minds that have any hope of a future will surely curtail their crimes when cameras dominate an area.

Open and democratic city camera systems (5, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941049)

The correct use of those cameras is to wire them up to the Internet, and make it so that ANY concerned citizen can monitor the cameras in a Web browser, or perhaps a dedicated app. Leave it up to concerned citizens watching a camera to call the police and report what they have observed. Best of all, give them a tool - Firefox extension? - that lets them record what they're viewing, so they have some form of evidence to give police, not just hearsay.

In the United States we have Neighborhood Watch groups, many of which would no doubt find cameras on every street invaluable: they could sit home warm in their jammies and still help keep their neighborhood safe, instead of being out roaming the streets in the harsh cold with the crooks, risking being shot-at.

That approach would incur no additional municipal cost for monitoring, and any misuse of the cameras would be the responsibility of individual citizens, not Big Brother. Would citizens actually do it? I think they would, in high-crime areas or areas where crime is rising. That approach would be democratic, rather than autocratic.

Next years fashion craze... (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941099)

Sunglasses 24 hours a day and large brimmed hats pulled down low.

privacy? (3, Insightful)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941111)

You have no expectation of privacy on a public street. Why should you?

Trying to create such a right to privacy on public streets would be quite harmful to the interests of citizens in a democracy; we want to be able to record, document, and share what happens in public.

The real problem with surveillance cameras is that they are not public, so the police can use them against you, but you may not be able to use them against the police or government. Video from surveillance cameras should be publicly accessible by everybody.

If his Olympic Dreams Come True??? (2, Informative)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941183)

LOL... that's awesome. If his Olympic dreams come true...? Let's get real here shall we? Whether or not those Olympic dreams come true, Mayor Daley will implement the cameras anyway. That level of control is something he's always craved. It's only a matter of time before this surveillance is extended to microphones (at least) in every living room.

Sorry, I frequented Chicago as a tourist for years until Daley killed Meigs airport... then we saw the reality of the control freak he is. The only time I've been there since has been on business... I'll take my tourism dollars somewhere slightly less corrupt. Like Mexico... ;)

Daley is the epitome of the corrupt politician, just like his father was. He's one of the primary reasons I never moved to Chicago.

Already exists (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26941277)

If you look around nearly every corner has one or ore camera pointed at it.

They may be 'private' but they are still there, and the images can fall into government hands rather easily.

Remember the tracking of that one 9/11 terrorist they showed on TV again and again.. from bank machine cameras, cameras at gas stations..etc? Its already there, just moves like this make it more public.

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