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Chicago's Camera Network Is Everywhere

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the oh-it's-just-you-big-brother dept.

Privacy 327

DesScorp writes "Over the past few years, the City of Chicago has installed video cameras all over the city. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that the city has not only installed its own cameras for law enforcement purposes, but with the aid of IBM, has built a network that possibly links thousands of video surveillance cameras all over Chicago. Possibly, because the city refuses to confirm just how many cameras are in the network. Critics say that Chicago is becoming the city of Big Brother. 'The city links the 1,500 cameras that police have placed in trouble spots with thousands more—police won't say how many—that have been installed by other government agencies and the private sector in city buses, businesses, public schools, subway stations, housing projects and elsewhere. Even home owners can contribute camera feeds. Rajiv Shah, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who has studied the issue, estimates that 15,000 cameras have been connected in what the city calls Operation Virtual Shield, its fiber-optic video-network loop.' There are so many camera feeds coming in that police and officials can't monitor them all, but when alerted to a situation, can zoom in on the area affected. The ACLU has requested a total number of video feeds and cameras, but as of yet, this information has not been supplied."

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327 comments

city of big brother? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150320)

London has been that way for years.

Re:city of big brother? (2, Insightful)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150470)

That's why America declared independence.

Smash em. (4, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150582)


You were at your finest when you told us (Brits) where to stick it. You seem to have lost your way a bit since, unfortunately. You should try and rediscover that spirit and turf out the current lot of people trying to control your lives. Don't be fooled into thinking because they say their your countrymen it makes a difference to whether or not they can tell you what to do. It all still comes down to what you're willing to stand for.

Re:Smash em. (3, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150610)

Chicago has been violating the civil rights of it's residents for years in ways that are far more obnoxious than recording public spaces. What makes you think the good people of the windy city are going to grow a backbone at this point?

Re:Smash em. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150756)

He doesn't think they will. He's just saying that they should.

Re:Smash em. (3, Funny)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150788)

Chicago has been violating the civil rights of it's residents for years in ways that are far more obnoxious than recording public spaces. What makes you think the good people of the windy city are going to grow a backbone at this point?

Hope?

Re:Smash em. (2, Funny)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150976)

Hope?

I hear he is currently President and came from Chicago.

;)

Re:Smash em. (0)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150926)

You should try and rediscover that spirit and turf out the current lot of people trying to control your lives.

We try. And then we're called "racist." [sigh] It ain't easy...

Re:Smash em. (1, Interesting)

evil_aar0n (1001515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151104)

Racist? How so? If anything, we're called "un-American" for asserting our individuality. Isn't _that_ the height of irony?

The R's continually asked why we hated democracy, freedom and America, when we dared question Bush's strategy.

Re:Smash em. (2, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151022)

You wouldn't want to run for US President, would you? :P

Seriously though, it's true. I think we were pretty good at other times in the past 200 years, but I really dislike the "Europe is where it's happening, why can't we make America more like [insert European country]?" Europe is why people CAME to America...

Not to say anything a European country does is automatically bad, of course. I guess the main push right now is socialism, which some European countries have *ahem* presumably *ahem* implemented with some success. But just because it is successful doesn't mean it's good. I don't think socialistic government is the way to go. However, that's just being a stick in the mud, I'm told.

Did the Brits call us sticks in the mud back in the 18th century, too? ;)

Re:Smash em. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30151134)

You were at your finest when you told us (Brits) where to stick it. You seem to have lost your way a bit since, unfortunately. You should try and rediscover that spirit and turf out the current lot of people trying to control your lives.

We tried that in the 1860s. It didn't turn out so good.

Re:city of big brother? (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150862)

Yes. This is very bad. It means the Americans must also be constructing interlinked networks of basilisk guns. http://www.goldengryphon.com/Stross-Concrete.html [goldengryphon.com] . They must think that the awakening of the Great Old Ones is near. Maybe it will occur in December of 2012?

Re:city of big brother? (1)

wolfsdaughter (1081205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150998)

Ia Ia D'aley fhtagn

That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150328)

The corrupt democratic machine has ruled Chicagoland for years. Obama was part of it.

More importantly, the experience with England clearly shows that cameras don't do much to prevent crime. Isn't there anything useful that Chicago can spend their money on?

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (0, Flamebait)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150410)

Typical crack pot post
You must have been sleeping the past 8 years
Bush and the repubs started the police state trend in 2001.

Actually it has been going on for many years but got into full blown wire tapping & surveillance with bush & co

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150482)

Typical crack pot post
You must have been sleeping the past 8 years
Bush and the repubs started the police state trend in 2001.

No, it long predates W. The FISA courts [wikipedia.org] started up under Jimmy Carter.

And the fact remains, Chicago has had a large, powerful, very corrupt democrat machine in power for a very long time.

I remember Jon Stewart sadly joking that you have a greater chance of going to jail as governor of Illinois than as a murderer.

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (0, Troll)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150654)

As I stated, it's been going on for years
I'm not defending Obama, just stating the obvious fact of the matter
Although stories like this will bring out the "Obama did it conspiracy" crack pots

The police state America really got under way with Patriot Act, DHS, AT&T wire tapping, etc etc under bush/cheney

Although if I lived in Chicago, I would probably welcome greater surveillance as a deterrent to violent crime. Glad I don't ..

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150678)

Although if I lived in Chicago, I would probably welcome greater surveillance as a deterrent to violent crime.

Might prove cheaper and more effective to end their obnoxious and unconstitutional ban on private handgun ownership.

Just sayin'

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150712)

You have a constitutional right to own a handgun? really? where is that stated?

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150738)

Try the 2nd and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution.

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150840)

I don't see handgun mentioned there. Ctrl-F yields no results in the entire document. How odd.

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (-1, Flamebait)

AmyRose1024 (1160863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150916)

The second amendment is about militia members having the right to bear arms.

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150972)

You are obviously completely ignorant about the history of the constitution and the meaning of basic english.

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151100)

The second amendment is about militia members having the right to bear arms.

The Supreme Court of the United States disagrees [wikipedia.org] .

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150928)

Ah yes, the "the right to bear arms of your choosing shall not be infringed" amendment.

How's that nuclear warhead shooting range coming along?

(Posting because "well you can choose something else" has been used to trample on rights since forever (eg "free speech zones"), so therefore it would be natural to say that the law only allows you to arm yourself with BB guns, but your "right to bear arms" has not been infringed because you can still bear BB guns.)

(Posting AC because I believe I have the right to bear any gun of my choosing but not the right to bear a nuclear warhead, but cannot explain the Sorites paradox that separates those choices and don't feel like getting into some inane argument over cannons, RPGs, Davy Crocketts, et cetera.)

Re:That's what you get with corrupt democrats... (3, Insightful)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151012)

Might prove cheaper and more effective to end their obnoxious and unconstitutional ban on private handgun ownership.

Agreed! Private handgun ownership is a great deterrent to violence.
In Fairbanks we all own handguns. We even have the right to carry them concealed (no permit required) anywhere w/ exception of federal buildings such as the courthouse, banks, & schools.

Point being, we have very little violent crime. Fairbanks is pretty redneck w/ no gangs. I doubt if gang members would last long here. Thinking of robbing everyone's favorite liquor store? You won't even make it out the door ..

I seriously doubt handgun ownership will work in Chicago though. I would imagine the population would be reduced dramatically overnight if handguns were permitted, which would also solve most of your crime problem, after you clean up the spent carcasses.

Good (0, Troll)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150330)

Maybe the amount of rats that infest the city will finally go down. And I'm not talking about rodentia.

In that case... (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150500)

In that case, let me mount a camera pointed at your house. I'll be able to watch you come and go, I'll know when you're at home and when you're away, I'll sometimes catch glimpses of what you're doing through the windows, I can watch you in your sweaty glory while you're mowing your lawn, I can watch your friends and family when they come over (yay, Uncle Bob is there!), I'll know whenever you get a package from Amazon, with good enough resolution, I can probably even see who some of your mail is from. For good measure, I'll even record it all in case I want to go back later and watch something interesting.

Wouldn't that be great? You'd be able to rest easy while I'm always watching, knowing that you don't have to worry about being robbed.

Re:In that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150558)

sounds good. where do i sign up ?

Re:In that case... (3, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150596)

sounds good. where do i sign up ?

...says the Anonymous Coward.

Re:In that case... (2, Funny)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151056)

At least he's not Anonymous Cowardon anymore. ;)

Re:In that case... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150572)

While I see the point that you're trying to make - I really wouldn't mind that. If I'm not doing anything illegal, then I don't have to worry about being arrested. Why would someone be AGAINST security cameras being pointed at their property, when other people pay hefty sums to set them up for security?

To be honest, I think being able to go down to my local police station, saying "My house got broken into this weekend, could you guys check the tapes" would be WAY more convenient then the quote unquote "inconvenience" of being watched.

What pray-tell, directly disadvantages the average citizen if they were to be watched at all times?

Re:In that case... (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150658)

I really wouldn't mind that. If I'm not doing anything illegal, then I don't have to worry about being arrested.

Yeah, because nobody innocent has ever been arrested.

Why would someone be AGAINST security cameras being pointed at their property, when other people pay hefty sums to set them up for security?

Maybe because they value their privacy more than the value the "security" of video recording?

What pray-tell, directly disadvantages the average citizen if they were to be watched at all times?

I guess that depends on how good looking your wife is and what sexual positions you use ;)

Re:In that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150892)

what "privacy" do you have outside your house ? The police can easily do this RIGHT NOW and its legal for them to film the outside of your house 24x7. they do it to some criminals already.
you have no rights to anything that is viewable from a public place outside your property.

Re:In that case... (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150682)

If I'm not doing anything illegal, then I don't have to worry about being arrested. Why would someone be AGAINST security cameras being pointed at their property, when other people pay hefty sums to set them up for security?

Man, I could write a book about that. Seriously. It would take me at least an hour to explain if you really can't see what's wrong with what you're saying. Out of personal convenience, I'm going to let someone else hopefully field this one.

Re:In that case... (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150698)

I don't know whether to congratulate you for the best troll post I've ever read, or to quake in my boots because you are serious.

Just, ... wow.

Re:In that case... (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150726)

If I'm not doing anything illegal, then I don't have to worry about being arrested.

What if you want to do something illegal? What if something you do is made illegal? What if you want to do something that isn't illegal but is disliked or held against you by others, including those in power. What if the government starts doing things that you disapprove of and you want to discuss it with people but you know everywhere you go and everyone who comes round is monitored and recorded. What if you have an affair? What if your partner has an affair? What if a policeman has a grudge against you? What if the minimum wage lad paid to watch the cameras has a grudge against you? What about when all these things don't apply only to you, but to your neighbours and your friends and your family until everyone is living with the knowledge that they're being watched all the time or at any time? Do you think the climate of fear and of being judged the whole time wouldn't stifle life? Look at what has gone on in even such a blessed country as the USA just in the last half-decade and consider the use constant surveillance would make if the government wasn't your friend (or more precisely, if you didn't consider the government your friend).

You acknowledge that the cameras grant power to the authorities. Consider also that the abuse of authority proceeds to whatever extent it is able to get away with. Permit authority to establish increased power over yourself, and expect that power to be taken advantage of.

If you want to understand why many of us dislike the cameras, just realise that we (a) consider the removal of our privacy to be a threat to our lives and freedom, and (b) are the sort of people who are always looking over our shoulder at history and seeing what dark periods we have had to fight our way out of each time we allowed the steady encroachment of forces establishing power over ourselves.

Re:In that case... (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150826)

Maybe that says more about the sheer helplessness and apathy towards their own life than you want it too...

Re:In that case... (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150904)

And even if you ARE doing something illegal, you have no reason to expect privacy in a public domain. Do your illegal activities inside the house behind closed curtains.

What REALLY pisses me off is when various citizens, trying to protect themselves from police abuse or to document police activities, are told THEY are not allowed to use their video cameras. If it's okay for the government to watch us on the public street, then it's equally okay for us to watch THEM with our handycams. And yet time-after-time I see videos on youtube where cops tell citizens "turn that off or face arrest". These cops not only violating our rights to document what we see on public streets, they are being hypocritical, and need to spend a couple weeks in jail as punishment (violating constitutional law).

I also see these citizens placidly complying, but I'm afraid I'd be spending a night in jail. I will not comply with illegal orders from cops that violate my natural, innate rights to observe and report what I see in my own city

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcWFmGtsTxg [youtube.com] - man arrested for taping in public area
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdlkKsyZY5w [youtube.com] - woman arrested for posting video taken *inside* her own home
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQvHWgaVACE [youtube.com] - another wrongful arrest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NASIcf-LCyM [youtube.com] - I can't find the original video but this guy was arrested for using a camera in a public hallway - the same thing local news shows do every, single, day.
and on
and on
and on
Why is it necessary to record the police? So you can document abuses like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMB6L487LHM [youtube.com] - Young man detained, refused right to travel, and interrogated because "you're carrying too much cash" ($4000). Last I checked it's not illegal to carry money from St. Louis to Arlington Virginia.

Re:In that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150918)

If your life is so inconsequential that you have no enemies and no people who envy you, you might benefit from being under constant surveillance. On the other hand, how likely is that? Most people have crossed through other people's plans at some point, intentionally or not. Have you successfully contested an incorrect traffic ticket and pissed off a cop? Well, too bad he can see when you leave your house. How would you like to be in a "routine" police inspection every week until your "friend" finds something that will stick? What if a corrupt cop gives information about your regular schedule and the angles of the surveillance cameras to the people who break into your house? That doesn't even take into account the many implementation mistakes which cause video feeds to end up unencrypted on public frequencies or badly protected wire connections, which enable mischievous people to get to You-TV directly.

Re:In that case... (1)

psYchotic87 (1455927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150986)

While I see the point that you're trying to make - I really wouldn't mind that. If I'm not doing anything illegal, then I don't have to worry about being arrested. Why would someone be AGAINST security cameras being pointed at their property, when other people pay hefty sums to set them up for security?

To be honest, I think being able to go down to my local police station, saying "My house got broken into this weekend, could you guys check the tapes" would be WAY more convenient then the quote unquote "inconvenience" of being watched.

What pray-tell, directly disadvantages the average citizen if they were to be watched at all times?

Your point of view is that if you're innocent, you shouldn't mind having every single bit of privacy taken away. This really pisses me off, as it is tantamount to saying someone is guilty simply by virtue of desiring privacy. Just imagine applying this exact same way of thinking to criminal law: you are guilty until proven innocent.

Re:In that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30151096)

Who watches the watchers?

I see problems either way:
either,
a) through access to information laws, anyone can look at the video feeds, including examining where the police are at any given time, who makes deposits at ATMs and how do they get there from their home, etc. but there is oversight (if the police are beating someone for looking at them funny, it'll be evident [unless, knowing they're being watched, they do it behind an obstruction])
or
b) only the privileged few have access to the feeds, which means nobody else knows exactly what information they have, or how they're using it. Everyone knows that pictures can lie... moving pictures can lie at 30fps.

Re:In that case... (4, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151120)

What pray-tell, directly disadvantages the average citizen if they were to be watched at all times?

Simple. There are many things that are not illegal but are still problematic.

Your wife wants to know why you have been getting home so late every night. She checks the cameras at your office and sees you drive out at 5:00, then park in front of a pay-by-the-hour hotel and meet a woman who is old enough to be your daughter.

Your boss asks why you were late to work. You tell him or her that traffic was bad. Your boss looks at the traffic records and sees that you left home late because you overslept.

You have a car accident because someone pulls out in front of you. The accident is not caught on tape, but about half a minute earlier, you are caught on tape traveling over the speed limit. The person who pulled out in front of you manages to get you blamed for the wreck even though you were not speeding at the time.

You are a pizza delivery boy. You deliver a pizza to the house of a mob informant. The mob informant is later found dead. The only person seen on video approaching the house (from the front) is you. There are no cameras pointing to the back of the house and no signs of forced entry. Guess who gets charged.

Someone gets murdered in a neighborhood along your drive to work. The neighbors see a person who vaguely matches your description get into a white minivan of unknown make. You also drive a white minivan. You happen to drive past a security camera that puts you a block away from the scene of the crime shortly afterwards, traveling away from the location of the crime. You have no connection with the victim, so you would not have been a suspect otherwise, but now the witnesses pick out your car in a lineup and they arrest you under suspicion of murder.

Put simply, there's a reason that you have to have probable cause for searches and seizures. It is specifically to prevent people who are unlikely to have any association with the crime from being charged due to random circumstance. Cameras significantly increase the risk of random circumstantial evidence being available and being introduced.

Also, the temptation is too great to use these sorts of technologies to try to have perfect prosecution of every crime down to the smallest infraction, which invariably causes serious harm to society. For example, in Eureka, CA, you aren't allowed to kiss a woman if you are wearing a mustache. There are tens or even hundreds of thousands of these silly laws on the books. Were it possible to record everybody doing everything, then everyone would have record of these pointless crimes. Make the wrong person mad and suddenly they can abuse that to fine you $150 for picking up litter in a national forest in New Hampshire... or worse, fine you for driving your car on a Sunday. (Apparently, operating machinery on a Sunday is illegal in New Hampshire.)

And surveillance doesn't generally prevent crime. It just shifts it to some other place that isn't being watched so carefully. It's just like burglar alarms. They don't prevent people from breaking into houses. They just cause people to break into other people's houses. Unless they are ubiquitous, they are useless, and if they are ubiquitous, they are also prone to abuse.

Finally, people tend to act in ways that mimic how they are expected to act. If you treat people like they are law-abiding citizens, most non-sociopaths will behave accordingly. If you treat people like criminals, a fair number of people without any natural criminal tendency will tend to act the part. Don't believe me? Check out the Stanford prison experiment. Thus, a surveillance society is likely to result in a higher crime rate in the long run, not a lower rate.

Re:In that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30151200)

Chicago's been putting up cameras for a lot longer than a few years. When I lived there ten years ago, they were already well under way with their blue light cameras. Basically the "bad neighborhoods" would get a camera put on a pole with a blue light on it, and the idea was that the drug dealers would then abandon that corner, and the local businesses and residents could get on with their lives without the criminal element being out in public. The cameras consistently marched westward from there.

Then came the cameras at traffic lights.

Justifiable, perhaps, but certainly lacking the panache of thousands more check-capped cops in the city.

Use it or Lose it (3, Insightful)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150334)

They're going to have to disclose them, sooner or later, if they want to use them as evidence.

With the cameras, wireless technology, and storage so cheap, I've got to think Chicago won't be the first. Some areas in Philly sure could use something like that.

The SBIR program issued several requests to do something similar in Bagdad, although I don't know if it ever got done.

They wanted the ability to see a car of bad-guys do something, and follow them in reverse-time back to their hideout.

Re:Use it or Lose it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150536)

gcmtravel.org has many idot/tollway cameras (as well as traffic/construction data etc), though they only show still shots through the web, a lot of them are full tilt/zoom cameras routed to the idot control center.

Take that, you dirty rat! (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150662)

They're going to have to disclose them, sooner or later, if they want to use them as evidence.

they are probably afraid that if the people of chicago know where they are, they will get stolen....

Richard M. Daley needs to go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150338)

From the toll road he leased away to a private company, to the parking meters he did the same to, to this. Enough already. We need a new mayor. And a new contract with the police union.

Re:Richard M. Daley needs to go. (1)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151182)

Don't forget that lovely midnight raid on Meigs Field that ended up costing the city $1,000,000 & change in FAA fines and repaid grants. All in the name "ZOMG TEH TERRISTS!!!!!"

A little over 40 years ago (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150356)

the cry in Chicago under Mayor Daley was "The whole world is watching..."

Now it looks like his son is having the last laugh!

Monitoring (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150364)

We had about 200 traffic cameras in my last job. Experienced operators would let the video switch cycle between cameras, one per second. If anything strange happened the change in the regular pattern would be immediately clear.

Going beyond 200 cameras per person would be difficult IMHO and you couldn't pick up small incidents this way. It was mainly for big changes in traffic patterns like a car crash.

A new stimulus program? (2, Insightful)

Alpha Soixante-Neuf (813971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150388)

That's 75 new high tech jobs created just in surveillance using existing infrastructure. Vote for the big brother stimulus package today!

Re:A new stimulus program? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150460)

Really just low tech jobs. You are just using human brains as pattern recognition devices. They could outsource the whole job to India, or these days use AI, which might be more expensive.

Re:A new stimulus program? (1)

Alpha Soixante-Neuf (813971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150504)

Not if you're trying to pass a bill they aren't. Uses technology (including the wheel, the stick, or straw) in any way to carry out your daily activities: that's high tech jobs for the economy!

Re:A new stimulus program? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151108)

Where do I apply?

No on second thought I'd rather work at Walmart. At least there I could flirt with the cute 20-something girls. "Do these shoes fit me?" No. Bend over and try these on instead. "Thanks!" Ahhh yes that's a good view.

Re:Monitoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30151078)

It's not designed to have operators watch the cameras in real-time. The IBM system runs video recognition on the streams and indexes the results to create a massive video database. The database can then be queried to bring up relevant clips, for example "show all video containing red cars with a letter X in their license plate".

The idea is to eliminate the human effort involved in doing searches through hundreds of thousands of hours of video footage.

How does this compare to London? (2, Interesting)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150368)

London has had the status of having the most CCTVs per capita for ages. Does anyone have a comparison between the cities?

Re:How does this compare to London? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150424)

How would there be a comparison, the public does not know how many cameras are connected. The only number provided is a college professors estimate.

Re:How does this compare to London? (2, Interesting)

debrain (29228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150516)

Indeed. Not that it's had any discernible effect on crime rates [thisislondon.co.uk] in London.

In my humble opinion, the money wasted on video cameras would be better spent on health & education for the poor, incentivizing smart people to become police officers by paying them more, and vocational rehabilitation of offenders.

Re:How does this compare to London? (2, Funny)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150580)

In my humble opinion, the money wasted on video cameras would be better spent on health & education for the poor, incentivizing smart people to become police officers by paying them more, and vocational rehabilitation of offenders.

Or the money could be given to decent people who can't afford to move to a better city.

Re:How does this compare to London? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150608)

vocational rehabilitation of offenders.

I was with you until there. I'm not sure some offenders actually want to be rehabilitated. Seems repeat-offenses, especially of violent or sexual crimes, is pretty high...

Re:How does this compare to London? (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150874)

Seems repeat-offenses, especially of violent or sexual crimes, is pretty high...

Spend a few years locked up in a confined, overcrowded place with a lot of other moderately violent people and no contact with women, and you'll bet people come out keyed for violence and with trouble relating to women.

Re:How does this compare to London? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151130)

Spend a few years locked up in a confined, overcrowded place with a lot of other moderately violent people and no contact with women, and you'll bet people come out keyed for violence and with trouble relating to women.

So what caused their "trouble relating to women" in the first place?

Rape isn't having "trouble relating to women," by the way. It's having no respect for women (or men, or children, or whatever).

I'm all for rehabilitation, if possible. I'm also for justice. Rehabilitation should occur after justice. Rehabilitation does not negate justice. Sexually violating a woman, scarring her emotionally (and physically, for that matter) for life, completely messing up her life, etc... that's a lot to be punished for. Now, if the problem is that you fundamentally don't think punishing for a crime is the issue, that's a different topic...

I personally don't think people in prisons should be allowed to simply live off taxpayers (in other words, have some sort of labor that they can do to help the country in some way. No, not concentration camp style). I think rehabilitation should come after you have paid for your crimes - rehabilitation is not justice. Basically... if you punishment for rape (as the example here) is low, then it shows what society thinks about women (or rape victims in general) and what respect society as a whole has for their fellow humans. And if "oh, but he shows good behavior now" lowers your punishment, then that means that society has deemed the "wellbeing" of the victimizer to be somehow more important than justice for the victim.

I have very little sympathy for murderers and rapists. Probably about as much sympathy as they had for their victims. Just reading about what they are willing to do, especially men to women, sickens me... and reading about so-and-so getting out after 15 years (or less, on good behavior) is very sickening. It brings up, hm, feelings of injustice.

Re:How does this compare to London? (2, Informative)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150804)

"Smart" is not a desired quality [ananova.com] in police officers.

Re:How does this compare to London? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151228)

London has had the status of having the most CCTVs per capita for ages. Does anyone have a comparison between the cities?

This whole point of this article is that nobody knows exactly how many cameras the city is looking at, since they won't disclose the number.

So I'm pretty sure nobody has a comparison between the cities.

Center of Crime (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150380)

Chicago is notorious for mob crimes. Only makes logic hollywood sense to start big brother there, where the FBI [sandiego.edu] was focused in the 1920s...

Criminal Prosecution (2, Funny)

hex444b (1606083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150384)

I think this is pretty great, seeing how it can aid in the quick prosecution of criminals, provide evidence for a whole array of crimes... and all that jazz.

Re:Criminal Prosecution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30151070)

do you really thing that is either (a) what the footage is going to be used for, or (b) the real reason for them actually doing it?

Obama is from Chicago (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150404)

I sure he fully supports invading everyone's privacy.

Oh wait he does, he extended the patriot act and has kept in place all the intrusions of privacy Bush set up.

Watch out UK! (1)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150406)

So you thought you could outdo us on Big Brothering, but we're catching up!

Public Disclosure? (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150412)

I wonder if you could get the raw footage in a public disclosure request. A lot of fun mischief could be had with that data.

Re:Public Disclosure? (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150480)

I think there was a band in the UK which filmed a public performance that way. They just applied for the footage after the performance.

Re:Public Disclosure? (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151206)

I think there was a band in the UK which filmed a public performance that way. They just applied for the footage after the performance.

The band claimed they obtained the CCTV footage.

But, they really didn't. It was just a publicity stunt:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1048686_band_in_the_frame [manchester...news.co.uk]

Apparently, it worked. Lots of people remember the video and the claim of how they got the footage. Very few seem to be aware that the alleged source was subsequently refuted.

las vegas has more camers in side the casinos (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150418)

las vegas has more camers in side the casinos.

also they have cltv there is that the feed that is not uses for csn+ and has cltv 24/7?

I want cltv on direct tv in Chicago land.

I formally request access to the logs... (5, Funny)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150448)

Mr. Orozco dismisses worries about privacy abuse. The department logs in all users and can monitor what they are doing, he said, assuring accountability. He also said access to the command center is tightly controlled. He declined to discuss specifics of who is allowed inside the center.

Awesome! In that case, I formally request access to the logs.

Re:I formally request access to the logs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150544)

Mr. Orozco dismisses worries about privacy abuse. The department logs in all users and can monitor what they are doing, he said, assuring accountability. He also said access to the command center is tightly controlled. He declined to discuss specifics of who is allowed inside the center.

Awesome! In that case, I formally request access to the logs.

HMM

WTF

Re:I formally request access to the logs... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150772)

Well, only people who are logged can read the log. This is to protect accountability and uhhh ensure log integrity.

Scary if "The Man" does it... (2, Insightful)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150578)

*awesome* if Google does it; video will be streamed live to overlay on Google Earth and Street View images. It will happen. Privately owned cameras streaming feeds of public spaces (or privately owned spaces owned by the same organization as the feed) are legal and many exist in the form of security cameras, webcams. The technology to do it is almost available [newscientist.com] and if it can be done it will be done. Soon (many decades) all public space in major urban centers will be visible to anyone, anytime. Okay, maybe *awesome* and scary.

Re:Scary if "The Man" does it... (1)

Persol (719185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150702)

That's a GOOD thing. It's available to everyone, and privacy concerns are well known.

With it limited to only certain people, nobody knows quite the capabilities. It can be used against the public, but not by the public.

Re:Scary if "The Man" does it... (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150932)


Are you telling me you can't think of people you know that you wouldn't want being able to follow you everywhere about your daily business or track down where you are or were at any time? And who with? Are you telling me you don't know anyone who wouldn't be vulnerable because of that?

So (2, Interesting)

jlechem (613317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150594)

What's the crime rate like now? I'm seriously on the fence about this one. They put in new cameras in Pioneer Park (SLC, Utah) and supposedly the drug/gang/prostitution rate dropped dramatically. Of course now everyone pisses and moans because they just moved over a few blocks to the residential neighborhood. So I'm curious how a city wide effort would work and what its results are.

Here we come UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150638)

At least you know how many camera's exist in your part of the world. I suspect that Chicago is not going to be too far behind. Let's race, shall we?

I might take my vacation in the UK just to get some privacy. :-)

A disappointed Chicagoan.

PS: The bot validation word is: "violates" how appropriate.... lol...cry..lol..cry..

In related news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150646)

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/11/rash-of-violence-spreads-throughout-city-overnight-after-stop-the-violence-day.html

Good thing all those cameras lower the violent crime rate. Right? Right?

Crap (1, Funny)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150700)

How am I supposed to commit my crimes in privacy now?

Big Brother? How? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150708)

I think this is making a mountain out of a mole hill. If you want a real taste of Big Brother, attach a monitor playing Fox News to each of the cameras and arrest people who don't watch and applaud with everything said. Instead of going to the police stations, the video feeds would go to the mayors office.

Big Brother is all about political mind control. Crime cams are about catching felons who steal our cars, kill people, and take our stuff. And usually the same people complaining about Big Brother are the same ones shouting about how the government can't do anything right - yet somehow are able to manage to do the Big Brother thing perfectly and in complete secrecy.

If you want to run around screaming Big Brother, look at some major corporations as well as the government. Private Industry is much more Big Brother than any government agency I have seen.

Not Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150740)

Chicago is the CITY OF FAIL. I mean damn, they couldn't even win an Olympics bid. Every single person I've known from Chicago has been so full of themselves and hateful toward outsides (especially southerners) when the city doesn't even really offer much that's relevant anymore. The local music scene is shitty, the crime rate is outrageous, and the the only thing that the city seems to be keeping a tradition of is organized crime and shitty bands.

Fuck you, Chicago.

Btw... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150846)

Your beloved pizza tastes like vomit.

Scanner Darkly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150820)

Those pics look like a scene from "A Scanner Darkly"

People Tracking (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150866)

It's not just the street corner cameras and private cameras that are linked to the system, it also includes the red light traffic cameras, which are popping up everywhere.

I work for a utility company in Chicago and I attended a presentation about a year and a half ago where the Office of Emergency Management and Communication (OEMC) was bragging about what they can do with their camera network. They can already track a license plate from camera to camera throughout the city, and within the next year or so (if not already) they’ll be able to do the same with facial recognition.

Have you parked recently in front of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) for more than a few minutes? If so, the OEMC is keeping an eye on your car.

Not tightly controlled (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150898)

I've actually been inside of the NOC where all of the camera feeds come in. There are random terminal sitting around that anyone with NOC access can just walk over and use. There is no log in, or they were already logged in and left logged in all the time.

The emergency response HQ in Chicago is just what you'd expect, full of arcane, insane, nonsensical rules and procedures that are so bad if you fell down the rabbit hole you'd be less confused.

There's no way having this much surveillance in the hands of the state should be acceptable unless all private citizens also have the same access. If, as Mr. Orozco stated, that all cameras are located in an area where the public has no expectation of privacy, then why shouldn't anyone in the world be able to see any camera at any time?

The whole city government in Chicago is nothing but a bunch of bottom feeding tax sucking bureauRats lying through their teeth on a daily basis.

La Jolla, CA (92037) has it (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150938)

We have it here. It is not widely public but we have it.

The control room is down on prospect behind a stairwell. If you watch you'll see people darting in and out of a door that seems to go no where. It's the monitor room for the cameras which are all over the city.

Obviously it's used to watch the homeless more than anything productive...

The real infringement on your rights... (3, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 4 years ago | (#30150994)

... is not the cameras. In the US, wherever you go there are armed police who are allowed to shoot and kill you, for any reason they feel like. Fix that, then worry about CCTV cameras.

Re:The real infringement on your rights... (1)

jecowa (1152159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151170)

Are they really allowed to? I think it's just that they can do it, and their police buddies will cover for them and come up with a lie they will all agree to it.

I'm not quite sure what to say... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30150996)

As a resident of the city this is terrifying.

With a Mayor who basically bulldozed an airport in the middle of the night, who sells publics assets off with no notice, and who is about as crooked as you can get as well as a police force that has a brutal record of torture, harassment, and assholery, this is scary.

I admit to getting a red light camera ticket last night, but now not only could they do this but they could send tickets for all sorts of minor offenses. If I decide to do a U-turn? Ticket. I J-walk? Ticket. I pick my butt in public? Indecency! A ticket. I understand the desire to try and curb crime, but this is ridiculous. The crime will just move to other uncovered areas, which are currently the safe ones!

I just mentioned to my girlfriend that, despite my work being concentrated in Chicagoland, we might consider a move to another city in a couple years. The city budget is collapsing, the government is horribly backwards, hell the public transit can't even stay in business. Does the city want to squeeze even MORE people out of Cook County into the suburbs?

I suppose some people will view this as keeping them safe, but I worry that it will be used not only for that but to track people that King Daley doesn't like (in fact it's a guarantee).

This about seals it. It might just be time to pack up and go, as much as I love Chicago.

Rust... (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151014)

Have no fear, the whole system will rust out and degenerate into a massive maintenance head-ache in no time, at which point it will be quietly put out to pasture.

ACLU is bad? (3, Funny)

s800 (940543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151114)

Some republican wanna jump in and tell us how the ACLU is the source of all that is anti-American?

As a Chicagoan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30151158)

...let me say that this is embarrassing, and I apologize.

Governor's Mansion? (1)

hemp (36945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30151252)

I hope they have several inside the Governor's Mansion. The are guaranteed to catch a felon there.

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