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Atlanta's Growing Video Surveillance System

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the since-it-worked-so-well-in-london dept.

Privacy 189

McGruber writes "An Atlanta newspaper reports on the city's 'Video Integration Center,' which allows Atlanta's Police Department to control more than 100 public and private cameras. 'Officials say hundreds or thousands more private-sector cameras will eventually feed into the center.' According to the Atlanta Police Foundation, 'This is going to grow by leaps and bounds over the years. The goal, of course, is to have the entire city blanketed [with cameras].'"

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Camera Vandalism? (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448126)

I'm surprised surveillance networks like this aren't huge vandalism targets. Simple approaches come to mind, such as air rifles or paintball guns.

It seems like such a network would be easy to keep pretty much offline as it takes less time, effort, and expense to disable a camera than it takes to repair it.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448250)

It's my understanding, that in places like the UK, vandals set a tire alight and throw it over the camera.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (1)

OlRickDawson (648236) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448402)

I have a question... Since they are going to commit a crime (vandalism) anyway, why don't they steal the camera instead and sell it? Is the vandalism just more fun for them? Is it too hard to steal the camera, or did they not think of that?

Re:Camera Vandalism? (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448688)

I'd imagine it is more dangerous, a bolted down thingy that is trying to get a glimse of you, may or may not have wireless capabilities of some kind, and knowing the government, specially crafted overpriced devices that are easilly recognizable if found, not like you can walk into a pawn shop with a camera with a severed cord on one end and expect to get much for it.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449330)

Pawn shops here (Georgia) are also required by law to make photo copies of your ID and assign it to whatever you pawn.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449380)

If you only have the goal of disabling cameras in mind, nobody's going to suspect much if you carry something that can be smeared on cameras. Given how some cities operate and their staffing budgets, a little bit can keep a camera down for a good while. Carrying around paint may still get you in trouble, but carrying around something like a sandwich with mayo or something gloppy is effective enough. Stickers bought at a dollar store or from a coin-turn machine are pretty easy to carry around without being suspect as well. Or you can have something that sprays out clear which can easily be mistaken for cleaner and applied in the same manner, but either etches glass/plastic or crystallizes and dries to a satin finish - that's also effective enough with that goal in mind. A super-soaker could also be used to dispense such fluid, if you don't feel like doing the fake cleaning routine.

If you have range in mind, a strong enough laser can be an effective alternative to a paintball gun. Not to mention that such devices are even more easily concealable.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449772)

Spray paint or baseball bats are fast and easy, and a typical problem that criminals have is not how to steal something, but how to not get caught when selling it. I'm not sure how much market there is for police-model closed-circuit TV cameras that, uhh, fell off a truck.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (1)

ScottyLad (44798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448994)

It's my understanding, that in places like the UK, vandals set a tire alight and throw it over the camera.

You're probably thinking of roadside speed cameras, which are almost universally unpopular, and often vandalised using a car tyre and some petrol (gasoline). The City centre operator-controlled cameras tend to be 30 or 40 feet off the ground and have a greater level of public support.

I believe the UK has amongst the highest concentration of cameras anywhere, but to be honest the vast majority of them are unmonitored and only inspected when retrospective evidence is required - with most images only retained for 30 days or so.

The Atlanta system seems more like the city centre schemes we have in the UK - they do actually provide a reasonable benefit in my opinion - especially late night at the weekends where police resources can be concentrated where they're most needed (ie around the bars and clubs) whilst keeping an overview of the surrounding area.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449382)

So far, they haven't decreased the crime rate even a single %. I'll be more interested to see what happens when the first case, whose evidence is the camera feeds, makes it to the state supreme court. Last year, the court declared certain uses of the traffic cameras at stop lights unconstitutional.

Honestly, there are only certain areas that would even need the surveillance, and it wouldn't need that if the cop weren't busy harassing prostitutes for blowjobs.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449680)

So far, they haven't decreased the crime rate even a single %

I know that in Edinburgh the CCTV cameras in conjuction with the Shopwatch systems (all the shops have a radio link back to the CCTV control centre, which in turn can contact the police if the "mall cop" types can't get the job done) has a pretty damn near 100% success rate at getting shoplifters and other "petty criminals" caught.

Sad to say, the conviction rate is almost zero, because in the face of overwhelming evidence against the accused, the courts just issue a small fine which they have no expectation of ever seeing paid.

The cameras work well. The security guys and the police work well. The courts, they're not so great.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450108)

That's not here in Atlanta... That's in Edinburgh.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449058)

in the UK, you wouldnt have to go too far for those 100 cameras and you can see 100 from any corner on any street in London.

Or lasers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448280)

Isn't it possible to burn out the sensor?

Re:Or lasers. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448744)

The only way to find out is to buy a $1000 wicked laser and go camera hunting. Of course, you risk blinding anyone in the area if they happen to be looking in that general direction.

Re:Or lasers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449220)

Ya, about that, No.

Lasers don't actually work that way, the beam is quite tightly focused and assuming normal atmospheric conditions if your eye isn't on it's axis you will never even see the beam.

This is also a serious problem for a "laser camera killer", the camera will have to be able see you and your equipment for the moment before you damage it.

Re:Or lasers. (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449356)

Lasers in the 1 watt range DO work like that when they hit anything that isn't perfectly matte black. I am not talking about a keychain laser pointer. I am talking about a laser that poses an instantaneous blinding hazard to a range of dozens of kilometers on a direct hit and up to a kilometer from specular reflection.

Re:Or lasers. (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448790)

Isn't it possible to burn out the sensor?

Yes... given the proper equipment.

http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/Spyder_III_Pro_Arctic_Series-96-37.html [wickedlasers.com]

Ahh, to have that given equipment.

-AI

Re:Or lasers. (1)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449796)

*lightsaber

Re:Camera Vandalism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448324)

Most cameras tend to be in somewhat hardened enclosures, for protection against the elements if nothing else. While there are some fairly powerful air rifles out there, I doubt they can do much damage to the enclosure or the glass/acrylic/whatever at any distances that would be practical. And if you're next to the freeway with ANYTHING that looks like a rifle, you might want to think again.

I've wondered how effective ultra-violet or infrared lasers would be against them. Follow that up with an open-source target acquisition system that uses the reflection from the camera lens for sighting... *zzzaaaappp*. (I'm thinking the same technology the military uses to detect sniper scopes, or that some movie theaters are using to detect cameras in the audience).

Re:Camera Vandalism? (3, Interesting)

exploder (196936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448822)

I'm sure your envisioned "open-source target acquisition system" can distinguish between the reflection from a surveillance camera lens and the reflection from my eyeglasses, right?

Re:Camera Vandalism? (4, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448418)

A super Soaker filled with cooking oil will render it unviewable for more then 5 feet. But I am sure that falls under domestic terrorism in most of the "Free" world.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448596)

Like walking around with something huge and colorful like a Super Soaker wouldn't garner a lot of attention... ...although, I never thought of filling one with cooking oil... that's impressive, my good man! :-)

Re:Camera Vandalism? (3, Informative)

Mars Saxman (1745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449410)

A friend of mine used to mix a 50% solution of elmer's glue and water in a spray bottle for a similar effect.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448494)

I'm surprised surveillance networks like this aren't huge vandalism targets.

Probably an EMP would count as large scale vandalism and also would add a new flavour to "nuke 'em".

CC.

I used to be a spy... (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448572)

Michael Weston (Burn Notice) one used a bundle of laser pointers to burn out surveillance cameras. I suspect that would probably work very nicely in real life, too.

Re:I used to be a spy... (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448870)

Or you could buy a single higher-powered infrared laser. Wouldn't recommend a visible spectrum laser (although something in the 35mW range might work) because they could also blind you, given the reflection. The camera might have an infrared filter that could negate the effectiveness, IDK. Not that it would matter with a, say, 200+mW infrared (it would just burn through a filter). I'm not sure a bundle would work very well (the total energy is spread out more, not concentrated on the sensor.) It'd certainly work temporarily, at least.

Re:I used to be a spy... (2)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449064)

Wouldn't recommend a visible spectrum laser (although something in the 35mW range might work) because they could also blind you

Infrared is as dangerous or more than visible light. With an infrared laser you don't know to blink until it's too late.

Re:I used to be a spy... (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449822)

You know, for some reason I assumed IR reflections (i.e. the beam scattering off a surface, which can be dangerous even in a 200mW laser) would be less dangerous than the reflections from a visible-spectrum laser (of course the beam directly into the eyes will still blind), but come to think of it I don't really know and can't find anything with a quick Google search (most sites seem to be explaining the danger of improperly filtered beams letting out more IR intense light and not prompting as much of a blink reaction as they should.) Are scattered IR beams as dangerous (or more so)? Do the beams even reflect well? I had assumed they didn't.

I'd wear protective eye-wear in any case.

Re:I used to be a spy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449110)

Infrared will blind you, too, and is actually more dangerous because it won't trigger the blink reflex.

Dangerous idiot! (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449866)

Infrared will blind you just as effectively as visible light lasers, and with visible light you can see the colored dot that tells you where you pointed it. If you can't aim at targets, you can't tell that you're hitting a target you weren't aiming at, and at least somebody who has a red dot show up on his chest knows to evade whoever's doing it.

I agree with you that bundles sound unlikely to be useful.

Re:I used to be a spy... (1)

The Pirou (1551493) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449070)

I could be wrong, but I don't think the actual application of laser pointers to cameras does any burning out of the hardware.
As for Burn Notice, with many of their stunts leaving out crucial middle steps or over-exaggerating the effects, I think a more likely true usage of bundled lasers would be through the utilization of multiple colors (red, green, blue) to prevent analysis/countermeasures that apply color specific filters. (like using red to still figure out that was M. Westin in the corner using a bundle of red lasers)

Here is an example of one gentleman's pursuit in defeating cameras with lasers/light:
http://www.naimark.net/projects/zap/howto.html [naimark.net]

Re:Camera Vandalism? (4, Interesting)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448686)

A few years ago I ran into a guy from Arizona and he was telling me how they put post-it notes on the traffic cameras [thenewspaper.com] . It actually went to court and a judge decided that the post-it notes were not vandalism.

Re:Camera Vandalism? (0)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448796)

There are a million ways to get rid of a camera, here's a bunch
http://www.wikihow.com/Blind-a-Surveillance-Camera [wikihow.com]

The problem is that the camera feeds into a security center and say you disable it, you have 30 seconds before the security guard runs outside, if your just looking to vandalize this is acceptable, however security cameras are usually used to secure something rather than spying.

Taking the concept straight out of movies into real life, it is possible to have a camera "loop", but not the way most movie goers imagine it. You'd need 2 things...
a loop that can pass for the regular feed from the camera, very good networking knowledge of the dark side. Also, the camera must have it's own IP, most camera's don't, newer ones mostly do, so you must know what camera it is, this is easier than it sounds. You'd have to use something like ettercap to ARP poison the network, jack the video stream, and replace it with your own. Sounds hard, but really its a combination of ettercap and [video injector software you find yourself].

Never tried it, have no reason to, probably never will, 100% theoretically possible, requires a lot of prep work.

4th Amendment (2)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448140)

And since the cameras are technically privately-owned, there's no need to worry about a warrant!

Re:4th Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448474)

Warrants are for "security in your persons, papers, and effects". They have nothing to do with your public behavior in view of the world.

Re:4th Amendment (1)

GritsConQueso (1988804) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448802)

Arguably, you could have a legitimate expectation of privacy (and therefore 4th Amendment rights) in your friend's home. If your friend has voluntarily linked his webcam to the police system, your privacy rights could be violated. Regardless, I wanted to follow up on my earlier post that a private individual likely becomes a government agent for 4th Amendment purposes if he voluntarily links his camera to a police surveillance system. "For a private person to be considered an agent of the government, we look to two critical factors: (1) whether the government knew of and acquiesced in the intrusive conduct, and (2) whether the private actor's purpose was to assist law enforcement efforts rather than to further his own ends." United States v. Simpson, 904 F.2d 607, 610 (11th Cir.1990).

Re:4th Amendment (3, Interesting)

GritsConQueso (1988804) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448524)

In cases where the government argues that the 4th Amendment exclusionary rule does not apply because the search was conducted by a private party, the government loses if it can be demonstrated that the private party was a de facto government agent, or acting at the behest of a government agent. Surely it would be the same with cameras?

Re:4th Amendment (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448914)

It's a public area, privacy in a public area is not reasonably expected (OP is flamebait). Not to say the cameras are good or even perfectly legal, just that this isn't a "search" that would require a warrant.

First post... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448146)

but you saw that coming, of course.

Open it to the Public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448168)

It's the only way to ensure that recordings of police officers committing criminal acts don't disappear.

Re:Open it to the Public (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448268)

Open the camera control room to the public. They watch us, we watch them.

Re:Open it to the Public (4, Interesting)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448780)

Personally I have to agree with that one, I am all for a public DVR database where anyone on the street can just pop in, cut to 3:53 corner of north main and broad street, and see exactly what happened. It even eliminates the cops 1/4th legitimate complaint of civilians filming them (cops claim the civilians may be cutting out the suspects attempts to attack or run before they use force), If the camera is opened to the public, then both the civilians and the cops adn judges can see the entirety of what happened. Unfortunately in general the right to pick only the evidence that helps their case and hide the portion that contradicts is something the police will always want to have exclusively in their hands.

1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448176)

I think it's time we read some lit in our classrooms! Orwell's 1984
We should not be ok with this!

Re:1984 (0)

MichaelKristopeit407 (2018814) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448452)

who is "we"?

you are exactly what you've claimed to be: NOTHING.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

One nation under surveillance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448190)

So Atlanta is leading the charge in becoming a police state. Lovely.

Re:One nation under surveillance (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448478)

Atlanta is leading the charge in becoming London.

Re:One nation under surveillance (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449992)

Here in a major US college town, there are frequent armed robberies of students as they walk home unaccompanied in the early hours of the morning, often on otherwise major routes for vehicles and pedestrians. This is happening within a mile of campus.

Whatever your view of these cameras, it's worth bearing in mind that such robberies are significantly less common in areas of the UK covered by cameras.

I think it's important to weigh just how much of an expectation of privacy you have when walking on a public street (it's okay for Google to photograph it for maps, but not the police for public safety?) and also consider the potential benefits.

Personally, I have little objection to police monitored CCTV. I think the real concerns are things like automated facial recognition and data retention policies. So I don't object to the police using the video to watch for robberies as they occur or returning to video after an incident for evidence. I do object to any use of the database to profile where people are walking or to monitor and/or track people as they move about.

NOW if only they'd guard our politicians thus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448198)

As well as policemen, if not wealthy who REALLY "RUN THINGS" out there, etc., as well (Right kids?)...

I.E.-> "Who guards the guards??" Fucking NOBODY!

Which is why the U.S.A.'s only a SHADOW of her former self...

We've been run into the GROUND by greedy no good swine who change the laws to THEIR advantage (after going into politics) for whatever business they're involved in, only to come back out of the "revolving door" to reap the benefits of their crookery (top that off with lobbyist activity they sponsor, might as well call it "bribery" & be honest about it, unlike they, with their "new buzzwords" to lessen the blow of what it is they are ACTUALLY doing that is)).

Obama's new attempt @ evening the playing field here:

White House Proposes "Wealthy Tax"

http://politics.slashdot.org/story/11/09/19/1316234/White-House-Proposes-Wealthy-Tax [slashdot.org]

The TRUE "powers-that-be" will NEVER allow it... like anyone is fooled by who REALLY RUNS THE SHOW OUT THERE, especially nowadays.

I hate to say it, but I am nearly convinced that unless Obama can MAKE them knuckle under to bills like that one, to go into ACTUAL LAW?

We're (the USA) going down...

Re:NOW if only they'd guard our politicians thus (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448386)

White House Proposes "Wealthy Tax"

As I learned from the news here (Europe), this ensures that the 'wealthy' pay a little less less than the working class. You must admit that things cannot develop better, otherwise you would live in a communist state, would'nt you?

CC.

Apparently U don't understand the games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448566)

E.G./I.E. Look into the major pharmaceuticals' taxes, or other LARGE "industrial concerns" as well. Case in point, iirc, Squibb + other large pharma claim R&D costs in the USA (which counts as a write-off/benefit/tax break to they mind you), but claiming losses as a result ON U.S. SOIL... but, their foreign based subsidiaries (wholly parent company owned, same one that claims ALL R&D in the USA itself noted above)? Show profits... profits that DO NOT GET TAXED! Thus, they evade taxes on their actual profits by "cooking the books" (keeping 2 sets, the REAL one, & the bullshit one, and they DO DO that).

Do you understand the "game" now, in tax evasion by wealthy concerns?

This goes on, like MAD...

Now, as I stated earlier?

This only gets "compounded" by folks like "DARTH CHENEY" (who is wanted by interpol from what I understand, not a joke), who go into politics as a career, while moving in and out of office to change things to their, or their companies' favor, and when they get out? They go right through what's called "the revolving door" right back into corporate america, to reap the gains.

Top that off with LEGAL BRIBERY (lobbyist actions they also sponsor) and one can see the game the wealthy cheat and steal with...

I mean doesn't the Goldman-Sachs rape of the USA taxpayer via the 'bank bailout' (which they misused and the tops of those banks got their "HUGE" bonuses and golden parachutes from) also stand to reason as another evidence thereof ontop of the unjust wars (lots of "WMD's found", not) also?

Each one of those things is HIGHWAY ROBBERY of the general American/U.S. Taxpaying public/constituency. All the politicians? Bought & paid for too... we truly have "the best politicians MONEY CAN REALLY TRULY BUY" in other words. They're placed there by "big money" & the wealthy anyhow.

I know 1 thing: IF you take disposable income, which comes from GOOD PAYING JOBS, not hand-to-mouth minimum wage bullshit ones, away from the masses of people (poor to middle class)? You CANNOT HAVE AN "ECONOMY" and what folks used to spend on things beyond food, utilities, and rent/mortgage, robs small businesses and their suppliers too all the way back to YOU as a citzen!

Re:NOW if only they'd guard our politicians thus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448600)

Actually, it is wrong. The rich guys' income is mainly from investment, which is flat-taxed at 15% (or not at all, depending of how smart they are), and is not going to be affected by this so called "new law".
Or as one famous writer put it, they are just "moving the air".

Incorporating head office offshore's another trick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448962)

See how the TRUE "powers that be" beat taxation THAT WAY TOO and IF they can't "pull that off", they incorporate in Delaware (very "pro business" which is why it's so popular to do), per my subject line above, in addition to what I put down earlier here as well: http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2435698&cid=37448566 [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] the things mentioned there (Goldman-Sachs robbery of the U.S. taxpaying public and the "bank bailout", the bogus wars (how many WMD's found? ZERO), and corporatocracy placement of politicians to "bend the rules" so when they end office they go back into "korporate amerika" to reap the ill-gotten gains, etc.)? They are going to END this nation... mark my words. The jig's up, and the game's coming to an end. This? This IS the final price of greed.

Re:NOW if only they'd guard our politicians thus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448574)

Go away, APK.

Re:NOW if only they'd guard our politicians thus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448832)

Nobody obeys your orders. So take your own advice, flea. It also seems that something the original poster you replied to had said has upset your sensibilities. I can see that what with that reply and others beneath is giving away the dirty tricks the wealthy play on the less fortunate. Can't have that now, can we?

Re:NOW if only they'd guard our politicians thus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449216)

Someone doesn't want your posts' content to be seen judging by the downmods put on them with no reasons why. As to what you wrote in them all, I totally I agree with you. Especially the latter two I suspect you did here http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2435698&cid=37448566 [slashdot.org] and here http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2435698&cid=37448962 [slashdot.org]

Job of the Future? (2)

rocker_wannabe (673157) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448218)

I guess that eventually one half of the population will be watching the other half....Actually, if you include YouTube, that might already be true.

"Excuse me sir. What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a professional voyeur!"

Re:Job of the Future? (2)

Beorytis (1014777) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448810)

I guess that eventually one half of the population will be watching the other half...

Or one half of each person will be watching the other half. Read A Scanner Darkly [wikipedia.org] . There was a movie too, but I haven't seen it.

Re:Job of the Future? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450088)

I guess that eventually one half of the population will be watching the other half...

Or one half of each person will be watching the other half. Read A Scanner Darkly [wikipedia.org] . There was a movie too, but I haven't seen it.

Well, half of you hasn't seen it, at any rate...

Re:Job of the Future? (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448834)

That will never work. Too much overtime. It will burn people out. You have to have 3 shifts, and some week-end part-time shift work, or maybe 4 shifts on rotation. So, seems the me the best you could achieve is to have one fourth the population watching the three fourths that are off-duty.

1984 arrives only 30 years late (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448228)

Read Orwell's 1984 if you don't understand how evil and dangerous this is. It is a really sad commentary on today's America that law enforcement officials no longer seem to be aware, much less actually care, about the principles of liberty that they trample on in the name of catching the bad guys or making our cities safer.

There are few places safer than a cattle ranch, if you happen to be cattle. Of course, they chop you into little pieces eventually, but up until then, you have few worries.

Re:1984 arrives only 30 years late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448424)

There are few places safer than a cattle ranch, if you happen to be cattle. Of course, they chop you into little pieces eventually, but up until then, you have few worries.

Sounds you might want to add The Time Machine [wikipedia.org] by H.G. Wells to that reading list too.

Re:1984 arrives only 30 years late (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448760)

The TIME DOES NOT MATTER it picked a slightly clever but meaningless date without thought about actually when it would happen; surely not in 1984...

Written in 1948 (hint: flip the 48,) Orwell was merely thinking of the result of progress about how realistically we may achieve "Utopia" (which is almost always the excuse) as his response to the much more naive book he read years before called "Brave New World."

Both authors do the same thing as far as how technology and psychology will change the world but Orwell saw that control was obtained by negative feedback for the greater good (his experience, history's lessons, etc.) as opposed to working control obtained by positive feedback and too much self gratification as "Brave New World" fixated upon... that story was on the premise of us getting all we wanted with technology; the "Utopia" of that time. One can draw parallels between the USA for "Brave New World" and China or Brittan for "1984". The two approaches will hybrid quite possibly coming from the UK who is doing the most 1984 technologies while giving people a lot of what they want to placate them (instead of "beating" them into submission, brainwashing of a sort is in effect; its far less authoritarian.) Classes will exist, upward mobility will not exist - either approach - human problems will emerge no matter how much technology (until the technology replaces humans....)

Surveillance of public areas OK (2)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448342)

However, they must not be used to prosecute or investigate any crime or attempted crime other than serious assault, murder, and rape.
It should not be used to fine people for littering or even peeing.

Re:Surveillance of public areas OK (5, Insightful)

sheepofblue (1106227) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448470)

However, they must not be used to prosecute or investigate any crime or attempted crime other than serious assault, murder, and rape.
It should not be used to fine people for littering or even peeing.

Yet it WILL be used for that and a ton of other things. Self control and self regulation is not something the government does even moderately well.

Re:Surveillance of public areas OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448544)

add destruction of property, theft, narcotics, and organized crime to the list
Anything not violent, causing immediate loss to others, or a felony should be ignored by automated systems.

Re:Surveillance of public areas OK (1)

sehlat (180760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448554)

Beware of "Mission Creep"

Littering and peeing are trivial.

Sooner or later, high-gain audio sensors and computer voice processing will be added, and then you can be prosecuted for "cursing in public."

And if they add environmental chemical monitoring, since methane is classed as a "greenhouse gas," we will have the delights of getting tickets in the mail for "farting in public."

Re:Surveillance of public areas OK (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448604)

Sooner or later, high-gain audio sensors and computer voice processing will be added, and then you can be prosecuted for "cursing in public."

You are fined one credit for a violation of the verbal morality statute...

Re:Surveillance of public areas OK (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448652)

We need a constitutional amendment that says this. I'd be happy with something like, police can watch the last 7 days and prosecute anything they want, but need a warrant for anything before that, and if they don't find that they want, they can't use what they do see to get another warrant or otherwise in court. We would also need something like releasing these videos is a felony and they should all have a watermark on them for the viewer (presumably laced into the image, not just in the lower right).

Re:Surveillance of public areas OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448700)

Why? If a cop sees you do those things in person you can be fined for it.

Re:Surveillance of public areas OK (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449068)

Yay, the worst of both worlds: no privacy and no law enforcement.

Cripe people, wake up and stand against this crap (3, Interesting)

metalgamer84 (1916754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448428)

It blows my mind that people think this is a good thing. Why are people so damn eager to give up freedoms, liberties and privacies? Why do people want to live under constant surveillance? Why are people so eager to be cattle led to slaughter? FFS, crap like this should be causing outrage and riots. Instead people are complacent and eager for it.

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (5, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448698)

Extremism doesn't help here.

Standing up for privacy where there is a reasonable expectation for privacy is entirely reasonable. People expect privacy in their homes. People expect their personal correspondence to be private (e.g. phone calls, letter mail, email). The same goes for things they stuff in their bags or cram onto their computers because whatever is inside forms a sort of private space. We see those boundaries to privacy being violated all of the time, and I think that most people would be supportive of protecting privacy in those spaces.

But the moment that you start screaming about privacy in places where there isn't a reasonable expectation for it, a lot of people just tune out. They will either assume that you are an antisocial nutbar, a paranoid nutcase, or a criminal. Streets, parks, transit, and businesses are places where you don't have a reasonable expectation for privacy because you are interacting or intermingling with other people. Most people recognize that, and behave accordingly.

So if you want to do everyone a favour, argue for privacy but do so on reasonable grounds. The moment you adopt an extremist position, you are fighting the battle for the other side because you will lose legitimacy in the eyes of the people who you are trying to persuade.

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449132)

When I'm in a park I have an expectation of privacy, if I don't see people looking in my direction. I don't think that's unreasonable either.

I also don't think it's unreasonable that I expect the majority of my actions in public will be unnoticed and unrecorded.

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449550)

There is no fundamental right to get away with petty crimes when no one's looking.

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449188)

There is a big difference between, you are in public nothing you do is private and you are in public you are under constant surveillance and the government can know where you are at any given time if it so desires.

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449360)

Exactly. It is reasonable to assume that you may be under occasional surveillance by a person, say, a police officer, because, say, you look like you might be committing a crime. It is completely unreasonable to think that all of your movements outside of your home are watched, tracked, or otherwise observed in their entirety , 100 percent of the time. That, my friend, is no way to live. Not now, not ever.

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449914)

You're not important enough for the government to care. Sorry to bust your bubble.

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449252)

A camera is just a high tech window, nobody goes ape shit because a cop in a donut shop can see you run that red light out the window.

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449268)

The camera is analogous to having a police officer standing in that park, or the bus. Would you want a police officer standing at every location one of these cameras were installed (computers can scan the video btw)? Whether or not you have a reasonable expectation for privacy, this is plain wrong. Privacy is not defined by having nothing to hide. This entire subject is so ridiculous, what is the matter with all those lazy non-critical thinkers out there!

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449444)

It's my opinion, that people who are against video cameras have never been assaulted on the street. When that happens, trust me, you'll feel very safe and secure being watched by those cameras.

Oh, and if you want to help remove those cameras, then you should help the police. Most people think that because marijuana and other drugs are light then they should be ok. Well, they're illegal, meaning they're provided mostly by the same people who provide the "other" drugs. If you help protect them while providing you with weed, you're also protecting them for the other things as well.

So yeah, there are a lot of arguments why cameras should have a place on the streets and even more why they shouldn't. But they're not going away, statistics show that while the odds for abuse are fairly small, their usefulness greatly outweigh those costs.

Seeing as technology evolves faster and fast, this will only pick-up pace. The only catch is, not to reduce the number of people you need to go through to work with that system, in fact add even more people, making abuse of any kind very hard to keep hidden.

Ask any hacker, social engineering works when the power is held by only one (idiot).

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449448)

But the moment that you start screaming about privacy in places where there isn't a reasonable expectation for it, a lot of people just tune out. They will either assume that you are an antisocial nutbar, a paranoid nutcase, or a criminal.

Right...

Unless you're a cop [forbes.com]

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449494)

There's a difference between being in the view of the public and being under police surveillance.

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450022)

Yes,
  But he has a point. As is often noted here, everyone is a criminal if only for the sheer number of laws and a basic inability to track all of them. I forget where, but it is illegal to chew gum on Sundays (some township in Georga, IIRC). Cameras everywhere is open to being used as a dragnet, which while not strictly violating the 4th amendment, certainly violates the spirit as written by the founding fathers. The fastest recording media for images was a hand drawn sketch, which took minutes, while a nice color painting would take days. They likely couldn't even fathom a still camera, let alone a full motion video camera.

I understand that people tune out, but really, the idea of cameras covering all sorts of public places is repugnant to me.
At risk of falling down the slope (due to liberal greasing, making it slippery), private property cameras are ok. poorly patrolled moving objects (trains, busses) I sort of understand. Government buildings, while technically public property... maybe ok.
beyond that I really start to have a hard time accepting it.
Speed cameras, license plate tracking, red light cameras, street corner cameras, special event cameras on portable trailers.. not so much with the ok bit.

Re:Cripe people, wake up and stand against this cr (1)

imric (6240) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449336)

Atlanta needs this to fight against Obama and his Socialist Army who are Destroying Business by supporting Corporations in a Secret Islamic Kenyan Plan devised by Fundamentalist Christian Preachers and carried out by ACORN. Why, without heavy surveillance, Yankees might invade, with their cynical insistence on PAYING for Government Services via TAXES imposed by FORCE, instead of the Patriotic Ideal of paying for debts by using funds Dedicated to those non-productive sick and retired citizens looking for the Free Ride they already paid for.

Big Brother (1)

surefooted (826448) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448522)

How's that working for London?

Re:Big Brother (1)

ScottyLad (44798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449224)

How's that working for London?

Well there's places in London I occasionally walk though alone in the evening, where I find the presence of CCTV reassuring.

We have a new nickname for Atlanta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37448540)

We'll call it 'Little Britain'.

In the area, unfortunatley (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448650)

This is being construed as a job creator in the local news, actually, along with "making the streets safer". Brilliant. Amazing how repetitive the rhetoric of newscasters is when you actually listen instead of using it as background noise.

Re:In the area, unfortunatley (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450264)

Oh don't forget, the news chick here said that the London riots were caused by the police beating an "African American" man.... Yes, they are just that stupid.

Chicago has 15,000 cameras networked (3, Informative)

vinn01 (178295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448768)

"The city links the 1,500 cameras that police have placed in trouble spots with thousands more... Even home owners can contribute camera feeds....
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704538404574539910412824756.html [wsj.com]

If you link your camera to the city "highly trained crime surveillance specialists will have access" ...
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/oem/provdrs/tech/svcs/link_your_cameras.html [cityofchicago.org]

IBM press release about it's Chicago's video analysis software that "detects suspicious activity and potential public safety concerns " ...
http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/22385.wss [ibm.com]

Great Gear (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448862)

Notice that people want crime stopped but will whine when they are the ones who might be caught. Think of not having to worry about your home or car being ruined, burgled, or tampered with. Think of schools being able to determine who threw the punch.
                          If there is a legitimate gripe it rests in the types of crimes that poor people commit falling to electronic detection while the crimes that the rich commit will usually not be detectable on film or in public areas. The rich man can still cheat on his taxes or alter his books for his business. What we may create is wealth being like a permit to commit crimes.

Re:Great Gear (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449416)

If there is a legitimate gripe it rests in the types of crimes that poor people commit falling to electronic detection while the crimes that the rich commit will usually not be detectable on film or in public areas. The rich man can still cheat on his taxes or alter his books for his business. What we may create is wealth being like a permit to commit crimes.

So, this must be that "class warfare" that the Republicans are all hotted up about.

Private Cameras...faking evidence? (3, Interesting)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37448972)

So if private feeds are coming in, what's to prevent a malicious private party from staging anything from a robbery to a murder and editing the footage to implicate their choice of targets and splicing said footage into the feed?

Other than tampering with evidence (and the actual crime), I doubt it would even be illegal since they own the feed.

Re:Private Cameras...faking evidence? (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449756)

So if private feeds are coming in, what's to prevent a malicious private party from staging anything from a robbery to a murder and editing the footage to implicate their choice of targets and splicing said footage into the feed? Other than tampering with evidence (and the actual crime), I doubt it would even be illegal since they own the feed.

Why don't I just kill the person I don't like. Other than the murder, it wouldn't even be a crime!

Re:Private Cameras...faking evidence? (1)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37449826)

Try reading what you quoted before you post...

My point is that tampering with the feed wouldn't be illegal since you own it, but the cops could, and likely would, use it for evidence in the event that it caught a crime. How are they to know whether the footage is legitimate or has been tampered with? Would they even question its legitimacy?

Re:Private Cameras...faking evidence? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450246)

"tampering with the feed wouldn't be illegal since you own it"

Interfering with a police investigation is always a crime, and since you willfully provided the false feed, it could be argued that you provided false information. There are plenty of other catchalls as well.

Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449300)

Bet you wont be able to get the video of cops beating a citizen.

Blue code of silence is unbeatable.

FBI still watching people have sex? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37449510)

Not sure if anyone is aware of the history behind much of the surveillance that has existed within the US. Since before the FBI existed (around WWII) bases would keep black books with people's sexual habits and general identifying characteristics (based on 1972 investigation into US history of surveillance). This was meant to track who they were and how trustworthy they would be, based on their associations. J. Edgar Hoover was very concerned about sexuality with his obvious paranoia of his homosexuality and tendency for appearing in drag, in addition to the war on communism.

So, it seems these cameras are part of an extension of the previous surveillance efforts: Track people's relationships which are not present online. Track any protests or civil unrest so they are easier to suppress. Use facial recognition to track criminals. Win the war on terror.

The US's unique paranoia combined with the widening disparity of wealth will encourage the formation of a stronger police state. Possibly, this might increase the number of people within the prision system which is a slave labor workforce, capable of better global competition. Ideally, for a US police state, entire areas of the country would be put under martial law as a type of prision. However, with cameras, I am sure we will be safe.

Re:FBI still watching people have sex? (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450300)

Possibly, this might increase the number of people within the prision system which is a slave labor workforce, capable of better global competition.

Only individual states can enforce a prisoner - labor force. The fed does not as far as I am aware. Most states these days just keep their prison's locked up night and day. Occasionally you will see a few on the road picking up trash, but even that is becoming a rarity. Most of the time, it's just people doing community service for some petty act like speeding.

Not moving to Atlanta... (1)

DigiTechGuy (1747636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450294)

I've been wanting to move down south for a while now and it's getting closer to becoming a reality. GA is still on the list, but I will not live or work in Atlanta after reading this, that much is for sure.
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