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Surveillance Camera Network Coming To New York?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the if-they-can-make-it-here dept.

Security 185

yapplejax writes "New York City is seeking funding for a multi-million dollar surveillance system modeled on the one used in London. Police in the city already make use of the network of cameras in airports, banks, department stores and corporate offices — an arrangement used in cities across the country. This new project would augment that network with a city-wide grid. 'The system has four components: license plate readers, surveillance cameras, a coordination center, and roadblocks that can swing into action when needed. The primary purpose of the system is deterrence, and then an investigative tool.' But is it necessary? Steven Swain from the London Metropolitan Police states 'I don't know of a single incident where CCTV has actually been used to spot, apprehend or detain offenders in the act.'"

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185 comments

Hindsight (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112115)

Yes, never prevented anything.

Re:Hindsight (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112143)

Wrong. Once I put one in my bedroom my wife refuses to put out.

Re:Hindsight (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112229)

Once you "upgrade" your "girlfriend" to "wife", many bad things happen. First the "wife" will double or triple in size. Your credit cards will be maxed out so the "wife" can go shopping. The niceness will fade away into nagging/bitching. Sex will be come rare, if not non-existent. Then the "wife" will cheat on you, and then take half of everything you own and make you pay child support for the next 18 years.

Upgrading from girlfriend to wife is worse than upgrading from XP to Vista.

Re:Hindsight (1, Funny)

panopticonisi (1113137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112289)

I'm all about Girlfriend 2.0, with multiple instance/environment support. If I weren't a geek, I could theoretically juggle multiple installs of Girlfriend at the same time, but my RAM seems to be severely limited. :(

Uh 'supposedly' (3, Insightful)

weierstrass (669421) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112123)

the purpose of the network of number-plate-recognising cameras we have across this city isn't to surveil and 'deter' us, but to charge people who have to pay a congestion charge to drive through the city centre at busy times.
How are they going to justify the Big Brother system in New York? Not only do they not have such a fee, but if they did it would be easily implemented by tolls on the bridges and tunnels that are the only way of getting to Manhattan from outside.

Re:Uh 'supposedly' (3, Informative)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112153)

You're confusing the Congestion Charge cameras with the City of London's "Ring of Steel". Those are not for charging folks, but to look at all cars entering/leaving the city, and to see if there are any suspicious movements. Data is not logged, nothing is stored in the national police computer - numberplates are simply checked against the police database, and any stolen cars or cars with incorrect license plates are flagged, and patrols on the streets are notified. How is that "Big Brother"?

Re:Uh 'supposedly' (5, Insightful)

QMalcolm (1094433) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112159)

Data is not being logged *now*, nothing is stored in computers *yet*. Which do you think is more difficult: convincing the public to install a public surveillance system, or changing how that system operates once it's installed?

Re:Uh 'supposedly' (4, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112179)

That depends on how the police are regulated. If they have decent civilian oversight, then the recording of data can only happen if the population wants it. It sounds like your real beef is with an unregulated police force that can do what it wants, not with CCTV. Perhaps you should try focussing your efforts on fixing the real problem?

Re:Uh 'supposedly' (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112433)

Perhaps you should try focussing your efforts on fixing the real problem?

In an ideal world, that would be the case. But given the level of power-mongering and outright corruption that exists in just about every major American city government, the best we can do is fight the symptoms.

Re:Uh 'supposedly' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112935)

> Perhaps you should try focussing your efforts on fixing the real problem?

In Fantasy land, yes. In the real world, you have to fight every aspect of the world-wide police state that is coming onto us.

All surveillance and data logging system I know of have been abused. There will be no abuse if there is no system. And this should not prevent civilian oversight too. But you know, "something" may occur where some "patriot" could explain that storing the data "will give our intelligence professionals the essential tools they need to protect our nation".

"A TOUT LE MONDE" Dave Mustaine & MegaDeath... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20113539)

1984, & "The Symphony of Destruction"...

"Perhaps you should try focussing your efforts on fixing the real problem?" - by dave420 (699308) on Saturday August 04, @07:29AM (#20112179)

Yea, the Orwellian world... &, it's here (albeit 23 years late)... & Dave Mustaine of MegaDeath said it best:

"You take a mortal man, & put him in control (watch him become a God - watch people's heads a roll). Just like pied piper, led rats thru the streets: Dance like marionettes, swaying to the symphony (of destruction!)"

Fear... & ANY life insurance salesman can tell you? It SELLS, like NO tomorrow... & in this case? Can get abused to no end, think about it.

Everytime I see things like this? I just think of the potential for abuses, FIRST, before I think of how its going to "defend me"!

How's it going to do that, from a knife or bullet: IT'S NOT!

( ... & there is always potential for abuse of it, especially to keep us "nice, silent, sheep".

E.G.-> Let's say, you decide to protest against Mr. Bush's "fine war" (which SHOULD have gotten us cheap gasoline prices for SOMEKIND of "ROI" for our taxes paying for it, but, has done ANYTHING but, alongside our soldiers dying & their families in grief for it, & more etc. et al)?

It probably will be abused for things like this, FIRST, before it's used to "protects your freedoms":

Protesting? Atlanta Police Department is watching

http://foi.missouri.edu/firstamendment/protesting. html [missouri.edu]

WTF! &, I am SURE this is NOT isolated to Atlanta, Ga. (my former home for years thru the 90's), either...

People, I think, have forgotten, that 'freedom' (for whatever that word means, today)? Is NOT a right, you have to earn it AND defend it, starting with yourself first & in your IMMEDIATELY surrounding environment because face it: NOBODY, not even law enforcement, gives a shit about YOU personally, sad to say, even though we PAY them for it... &, to especially NOT live in fear & expect others to fight for you!

(Because face it: One day, you're going to end up in a pine box, like it or not, so about dying? Man, it's going to happen, surveillance cameras or not).

APK

P.S.=> Yea, ok... "stay the course" alright... right into being caged, little BY little, eroding away your freedoms, & privacy (what little IS left) away! Keep dancing folks, to "the symphony of destruction" & waste, and erosion of your freedoms, Mr. Bush & Mr. Cheney are selling you, YOU, for your tax dollars, so he & his "oil baron" (& no-bid on the job Haliburton bullshit) pals can rob you blind, & enslave you... apk

Are you from London? (5, Informative)

weierstrass (669421) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112349)

Actually, I'm not confusing the two. The article is. Presumably you yourself don't know anything about the subject, since you are too.

The 'Ring of Steel' is not a 'a network of thousands of surveillance cameras that line London's intersections and neighborhoods'. It's a bunch of sort-of-roadblocks which are on most vehicle entrances to the City of London - London's financial district, and very different from Central London. By this I mean the road narrows to a single lane with a bend in it to slow down vehicles, and there's a little booth where (sometimes) police sit and watch you. They keep an eye out for suspicious looking vehicles like 'panel vans' or similar which have been used by the IRA for bombings. Often they are unmanned. The cops might occasionally ask you where you're going, but AFAIK there's no routing logging or looking up of number plates.

There are also cameras as part of the Ring of Steel, but just to film vehicles at these ways in to the City. Note that the Ring only protects the City, which wasn't a target either of the 2005 bombings and failed bombings (except in as much that one of the bombed tube trains, the one at Moorgate, was probably inside the City when the bomb went off), nor of the recent failed firebombings in West Central London. It was set up in the early 90's, when the IRA were very active in London.

As for the 'network of thousands of surveillance cameras' that they are talking about, well it's difficult to say because there are a lot of CCTV cameras in London, installed by many different organisations; local authorities, traffic cops, companies on their private property etc. But I think it's a fair assumption that they are referring to the Congestion Charge cameras, since there isn't to my knowledge another citywide network of cameras, other than the ones on the public transport system, which obviously don't line 'intersections and neighbourhoods'. These are at every street entrance to the Congestion charge zone, a much much bigger area which covers every part of London that could be said to be central; shopping districts, theatre district, all main govt. buildings, royal palaces etc. and track the number plates of every single car going in and out. They also cover many, many locations inside the zone, to catch people who got in without being recorded or who live in the zone (they still have to pay). There are also vans fitted with cameras which drive around filming number plates. The data is kept for quite a while, for billing and penalty recovery purposes among others. There are in fact guys who walk around suburban residential streets outside the zone, taking down all number plates looking for people who have been in the zone without paying (I've met one on the job). The cameras are kept on all the time, even though there is no charge after 7:30 pm or in before the morning rush hour.

When the system was set up, the Greater London Authority promised they would not pass on the information to the police. Then they started to allow access to the police to look at the video afterwards if requested. Since the recent failed terrorism attacks, they now allow the police to watch in real time, but only for preventing and investigating 'threats to national security' - they can't use the info against normal crime.
HTH.

Re:Uh 'supposedly' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112385)

No, I am the 'Ring of Steel'. No-one could consume a Curry as vicious as I did last night without a 'Ring of Steel' to prevent damage to one's Rusty Sherrif's Badge [viz.co.uk] .

Re:Uh 'supposedly' (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113455)

"Data is not logged, nothing is stored in the national police computer"

And you really believe this?

Re:A natural progression (4, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112157)

The article says, "Police officials say the surveillance cameras can help combat crime and terrorism..."

When you start using "crime" and "Terrorism" in the same sentence to justify the actions of government, I think there's a big problem on the horizon. How long will it be before the two are used interchangeably?

Re:A natural progression (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112169)

But they can be used to combat both crime and terrorism. Using two distinct words in one sentence to describe to two different notions is not dangerous. If you're worried about them being contracted to mean the same thing, then maybe you should focus on that, instead of people legitimately using them in their intended meanings? The police combat crime and terrorism - is that dangerous?

Re:A natural progression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20113063)

> If you're worried about them being contracted to mean the same thing, then maybe you should focus on that

Oh, I read that kind of argument somewhere recently. Ah, yes "It sounds like your real beef is with an unregulated police force that can do what it wants, not with CCTV. Perhaps you should try focussing your efforts on fixing the real problem?"

Ok, let me try your way of reasoning:

Dave420, it seems to be that, based on your post history, your real problem is that you would prefer living in a police state, as you have nothing to hide. Why don't you just do that and emigrate to China ?

Or, more appropriately:

Dave420, it seems that you just learn about the False Dilemma and the Red Herring fallacy. Why don't you post in rhetoric newsgroup/forums instead of slashdot ?

Re:A natural progression (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112189)

help combat crime

What exactly is a combat crime and why are the police looking to help people commit them?

Re:A natural progression (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112283)

When you start using "crime" and "Terrorism" in the same sentence to justify the actions of government, I think there's a big problem on the horizon. How long will it be before the two are used interchangeably?

Personally, I only object to the redundancy. Saying that the police will combat 'crime and terrorism' is just like saying they will combat 'crime and murder', or 'crime and counterfeiting', or 'crime and burglary'. Terrorism is just one of many crimes the police are expected to combat, so saying 'crime and terrorism' is redundant.

Re:A natural progression (2, Insightful)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112381)

Not quite correct. Terrorism is subtly different to crime, in that these two behaviors are treated differently with respect to operational methods and policing powers.

Expect to see the defined set of terrorism behaviors gradually supersede that of crime behaviors. As sure as a over-sized violin, you'll then be dispensed with any perception of redundancy: You'll only need to refer to terrorism.

Re:A natural progression (2, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113495)

The reason I made the distinction is because "terrorism" and the so-called "war on terrorism" isn't just a local police issue. It has the force of a huge bureaucracy (DHS) as well as the military behind it.

Bait & Switch (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112165)

How are they going to justify the Big Brother system in New York?

But this is progress. As such, the burden is now on those like you to justify standing in the way of progress. Why are you such a reactionary luddite technophobe? Don't you want rapists and murderers to get caught? We should embrace this and all other technologies which will usher in a brave new world...eh...um, yeah!

Seriously though, this is the mentality in a technocratic culture like ours. Tools are worshiped above and beyond any consequences that might proceed from their introduction. For once, I am sort of glad that there are some cranky old men and women sitting on the bench in many places, critical and suspicious of law enforcement and regulatory technology that many others unthinkingly rush to adopt. Many times, admittedly, such elderly crankiness produces decisions that turn upon misunderstandings of the technology. Much of the time, however, their cautious distrust of technology can retard the whole-scale embrace of new invasive techniques and devices for at least a little while. I was pleasantly surprised, for example, when the justices ruled that thermal surveillance cameras of a residence were a 'search' that required the standard warrant and probable cause.

Re:Uh 'supposedly' (3, Informative)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112207)

How are they going to justify the Big Brother system in New York? Not only do they not have such a fee, but if they did it would be easily implemented by tolls on the bridges and tunnels that are the only way of getting to Manhattan from outside.
There actually is talk of possibly instating a congestion charge in Manhattan, but it would only be for higher-traffic areas (i.e. midtown) which is why they're pushing the idea of surveillance cameras rather than bridge/tunnel tolls.

Movin to Montana (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112291)

I might be movin' to Montana soon
Just to raise me up a crop of Dental Floss Raisin' it up
Waxen it down
In a little white box
I can sell uptown
By myself I wouldn't
Have no boss,
But I'd be raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
Raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
Well I just might grow me some bees
But I'd leave the sweet stuff
For somebody else...
but then, on the other hand
I'd Keep the wax N' melt it down
Pluck some Floss N' swish it aroun'
I'd have me a crop
An' it'd be on top

(that's why I'M movin' to Montana)

Movin' to Montana soon
Gonna be a Dental Floss tycoon
(yes I am)
Movin' to Montana soon
Gonna be a mennil-toss flykune
I'm pluckin' the ol' Dennil Floss
That's growin' on the prairie
Pluckin' the floss!
I plucked all day an' all nite an' all Afternoon...
I'm ridin' a small tiny hoss
(His name is MIGHTY LITTLE)
He's a good hoss
Even though He's a bit dinky to strap a big saddle or
Blanket on anyway
He's a bit dinky to strap a big saddle or
Blanket on anyway
Any way I'm pluckin' the ol' Dennil Floss
Even if you think it is a little silly, folks
I don't care if you think it's silly, folks
I don't care if you think it's silly, folks
I'm gonna find me a horse
Just about this big
An' ride him all along the border line
With a Pair of heavy-duty
Zircon-encrusted tweezers in my hand
Every other wrangler would say
I was mighty grand
By myself I wouldn't
Have no boss
But I'd be raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
Raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
Raisin' my lonely Dental Floss
Well I might Ride along the border
With my tweezers gleamin'
In the moon-lighty night
And then I'd Get a cuppa cawfee
N' give my foot a push...
Just me 'n the pymgy pony
Over the Dennil Floss Bush
N' then I might just Jumb back on
An' ride Like a cowboy
Into the dawn to Montana
Movin' to Montana soon

(Yippy-Ty-O-Ty-Ay)

Movin' to Montana soon


Courtesy of Frank the perv.

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vty[p9z8ybvp98tyt rnm,fgnzs;oiuyve sjbh;ip8ytp;zesruvy ubpzuv;lszi ytps98vy zi;luyzpt8vysz bp9s8zybvtitps8byvw98yvth awiuyvtkwuayefgrcnawghrf k76u terleurt W&K^YUcrxviqC^ f kurIK&^crt kurfv kw7urtc zkuztybzs8v yixdktuydlxi8yvbla wiuhgt,.kzuylksib v,zuyzl7iytv l 7uecr g,uyvtfl7ivuytb l,uzvyt ,kuysghli7ustyv bliayu;o8 bv6rkyurgz,sethgg vlsie76s5k,3u4tgnrbd f,j87tesuvg ,kuyv6y lei,uytlbdivhg lbirusdy bldifuhg ,xky nu ftby,fimnf,.8yun vyu.rc yin;lxr,ikbvuy xilrutvbeyl uiybvtilut leurvybirultvy er,itu;o8vyu dxrkvu yneu6v leiulxty vbxdrt lx drbvldlyiubvy tkruthbidvu lxi8bty ;xdrytb

Thanks again Frank!

Re:Movin to Montana (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112585)

Offtopic? My ass. Cameras in New York, thus the desire to move to Montana. You mods here have no of what's on topic or not. Nor do you have a sense of humor. Get over yourselves.

Re:Uh 'supposedly' (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113739)

"How are they going to justify the Big Brother system in New York? "

Set it up for ANPR and cross-reference with insurance companies and the DMV registration database would be a nice, revenue-enhancing start. Uninsured and unlicensed drivers (esp. the drunk variety) are a danger to anyone. Use the system to nail them, and of course the attendant car and personal searches will bag some folks with prior warrants, guns, etc.

Pretty soon we will be saging (1, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112133)

We are at war with al-queda

"No, we are fiendly with al-quaeda. We are at war with China"

We have always been friendly with al-aueda.

Oranges and lemons, said the bells of St clemens

When will I grow rich, said the bells of St Patrich

Re:Pretty soon we will be saging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112305)

Oranges and lemons, said the bells of St clemens

Grats on the excellent political commentary.

What I think you meant is this:

Oranges and Lemons say the bells of St Clements
You owe me two farthings say the bells of St Martins
When will you pay me say the bells of Old Bailey
When I grow rich say the bells of Shoreditch
When will that be say the bells of Stepney
I do not know say the old bells of Bow

mod parent up (1)

Xiph (723935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112321)

Whoever modded this offtopic have no clue, and hasn't read 1984.
please mod parent up

Strunk and White? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112135)

"Police in the city already makes use of the network of cameras"

And Slashdot editors make use of Strunk & White....or not.

This is just big brother and people are buying in.

Interesting... (5, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112137)

... It has been used many times in the UK to stop crimes in progress. For instance, I saw a TV show where the new speaking CCTV cameras interrupted some guy getting the shit kicked out of him. The attacker realised he was on CCTV and ran off. The camera operator simply followed him from one camera to the next, constantly reminding him he's been videotaped, the cops have his description and are en route, and that he really can't get away. He was caught. CCTV is a great technology. People are hesitant to accept it because it can be used inappropriately or illegally, but then so can any law-enforcement technology - does that mean we get rid of police cars, police helicopters, police computers, or even the police themselves? Shooting society in the foot by refusing to tackle corruption when it occurs, and instead taking the easy route of just crying foul when inherently useful technology is made available, is not helping anyone. CCTV, at its worst, gives police a way of seeing a recording of a crime that has happened, and at best gives police a view of a crime in progress. If the problem is the police might mis-use it, then your problem isn't with CCTV but the police. It would be in society's best interests to fix the problem, not limiting the police's efficiency. The cries of "1984! 1984!" are woefully inaccurate, as these cameras are not in our homes, but in our streets, a place the police are 100% free to go. The police have a mandate to use all available technology to protect the public - CCTV is just another tool in the toolbox.

Ya know... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112171)

...the only people I've ever met who were genuinely keen on these systems were police officers and the guys who sell these systems.

The term "do-gooders" comes up a lot in converstions with them, and never in a positive way.

Re:Interesting... (1, Troll)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112175)

You're a fool mr dave420. I'm glad you only smoke pot in the comfort and safety of your own home, and never do anything remotely illegal outside of your front door.

Re:Interesting... (3, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112199)

Could you not be bothered to actually debate what I said, or do you feel calling me a fool is somehow enough to counter my points? Or maybe you're in favour of people being able to do illegal stuff without fear of being caught? Fantastic.

Re:Interesting... (2, Insightful)

deftcoder (1090261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112213)

Show me someone who NEVER breaks ANY laws during their normal, day-to-day activities over the course of a year and I'll show you a bridge that I have for sale...

How does that quote go? "If there aren't enough criminals, there aren't enough laws", or something like that?

Re:Interesting... (2, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113305)

Show me someone who NEVER breaks ANY laws during their normal, day-to-day activities ...

There have been a number of things written about the logical impossibility of obeying all the laws in most jurisdictions. It might be fun to make a collection of examples.

One that was publicised in a state where I once lived (name omitted to make you suspect that it might be where you live ;-) was a pair of laws with "reasonable" interpretations. One was an anti-vagrancy law, in which one of the acceptable kinds of evidence was not being in possession of any money. The other law forbid the possession of unspecified "gambling devices".

It turned out the the police could (and did) charge people with vagrancy if they had no currency on their person. Credit cards weren't accepted; the police couldn't (legally) verify that they were valid. But if you had a few bills, or even a few coins in your pocket, well, you know any of the "coin/bill matching" games? A simple one is: One of us picks "same", the other "different". We both set down a coin at the same time; if they're both heads or both tails, the "same" guy gets both; otherwise the "different" guy gets both.

So coins are legally "gambling devices". Similar gambling games exist for bills, usually based on the serial numbers. It follows that in this state, anyone can be arrested at any time, and depending on the contents of their pockets, they can be either charged with vagrancy or with possession of gambling devices.

What's your favorite set of laws where you live, that can't all be obeyed at the same time, so that you can be arrested at any time and charged with violating one of the set?

(In another place I once lived - Florida - there was a well-known law against "nude bathing". The wording made it illegal to take a bath in the privacy of your own bathroom without wearing clothes. But I liked to reply to this example by saying that I always took showers, and the law obviously didn't cover them, so it was possible to obey this law and stay clean. We never actually found a way to use this law to guarantee that anyone could be arrested. But a lot of people confessed to being nude-bathing criminals. ;-)

Re:Interesting... (3, Insightful)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112341)

It's because your points are so daft they're not even worth countering. The 'nothing to hide' mentality is dangerous as proven by the professor who wrote this paper [slashdot.org] .

The problem with ubiquitous police surveillance is the creation of a Kafka-esque bureaucracy. One that can gather more information on your personal business than you know yourself, that bureaucracy will then judge you using that data--probably without you even realising--and without giving you an opportunity to defend yourself. Particularly with laws that allow the British police to detain suspects without charge [bbc.co.uk] ; this ability was abused in South Africa during the Apartheid era by releasing people then re-arresting them the next day (and holding them for another ~28 days, rinse and repeat). I can see no reason why the same thing couldn't happen in the UK: all the government has to do is cite 'terrorism' and show a picture of some brown person and no-one will complain.

I don't think a talking CCTV camera breaking up a fight is worth the infringement on society's privacy. What a brave politician would do is tackle the causes of that behaviour, why is it so many of the denizens of the UK act like arseholes? Fix that and you don't need the CCTV.

It seems like the same problem and attempted resolution in New York, I doubt it will work there either (although I don't know much about the city).

Re:Interesting... (-1, Flamebait)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112227)

How the FUCK did this get modded insightful?

If you do something ILLEGAL outside your home, you DESERVE to get caught. If not, WHY do we have laws in the first place?

These cameras will not create new laws all by themselves. They will only serve to enforce the ones that exist. Don't ban cameras, ban crooked politicians. Ban crooked laws.

I have no idea why you assumed 'dave420' smokes pot at all, but I have a feeling you think everyone does. There are only a tiny minority of you pot smokers out there. Most of the people out their value either their body or the law enough to stay away from it.

Re:Interesting... (4, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112297)

If you do something ILLEGAL outside your home, you DESERVE to get caught.

Why do you specify 'outside your home'? Don't the laws apply just as much inside? Surely we should also install cameras inside the home. After all, if you're doing something illegal, you deserve to get caught. The cameras won't create new laws by themselves, only enforce the ones that exist. And if you're doing nothing illegal inside your home, you have nothing to worry about.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112567)

I specified it because he did, but there's also the fact that outside is in PUBLIC, under the eye of everyone already. What difference does a camera make to your privacy when you're standing on the street in broad daylight with everyone already watching you? In your home, you have some reasonable expectation of privacy.

Re:Interesting... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112735)

In your home, you have some reasonable expectation of privacy.

But what if putting cameras into homes could save lives? Just imagine if there'd been cameras in 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester [wikipedia.org] . These bleeding-heart privacy considerations are worthless compared to the many lives that could have been saved from a sadistic serial killer! Surely if it saves one innocent life it's worth it, and these civil liberties activists should really start living in the real world.

More seriously, the chief problem with cameras is that they're asymmetric. Put a policeman on the street and he can see us, and we can see him. We know he's there and we act accordingly. Put cameras everywhere and they can see us and we can't see them. We have to assume we're being watched the whole time, and if coverage is continuous, being tracked from one screen to the next. Putting cameras everywhere isn't the equivalent of putting a uniformed policeman on each street - it's the equivalent of putting a secret policeman out there to follow you everywhere you go. Logging your every move in detail for future reference. Keeping a file on you.

Re:Interesting... (0, Offtopic)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112309)

dave420

Anyone with 420 in their username is pretty much assured to either currently smoke pot, occassionaly poke smot, or has smoked pot in the past.

Re:Interesting... (2, Insightful)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112969)

there is a quote running about that states "have the most honest man write 12 lines and i will find something in them to hang him for"

given the laws complexity (approaches and sometimes exceeds a rubiks teseract) everybody sometime does something worth time.

so you saw a TV show (1)

Petkov (1011081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112185)

was it a Reality TV or a made up fiction like MOST of what the Gov says and the corporate media repeats? In fact, wasnt there a case recently in UK where a girl was kidnapped right off the street and somehow by some coincidence she happen to be kidnapped right at the exact spot where the CCTV camera had a "blind spot"?
Mode me -1 troll. Who cares. This is only /. after all

Re:so you saw a TV show (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112235)

By coincidence? Are you really that daft? The kidnappers weren't stupid. They KNEW there was a blindspot there.

And you actually think Reality TV has any bearing on reality? Most of it controlled, and the rest, merely because they KNOW they are on camera, is altered. And if you're talking about those 'Scariest Police Chase' shows, the narrator makes up most of his 'facts' on the spot. They're even less truthful than the evening news.

Re:Interesting... (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112201)

from the summary: Steven Swain from the London Metropolitan Police states 'I don't know of a single incident where CCTV has actually been used to spot, apprehend or detain offenders in the act'."

The first five sentences in your post appears to contradict him. Care to elaborate?

Re:Interesting... (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112211)

I did elaborate. I told you what I saw. He doesn't say it's never happened, just that he doesn't know about it ever happening. Our positions are not mutually exclusive.

Re:Interesting... (1)

^Case^ (135042) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112203)

If the police is omnipresent you're basically living in a police state IMHO. I don't care if it's a camera on every corner or a policeman on every corner. And "fix the police if they're corrupt" is just not an argument for giving the police unlimited power. Things that were totally accepted 10 or 20 years ago are illegal today, who knows what it'll be like in another 10 to 20 years. That's why I oppose giving unlimited power to the police at least.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112393)

The difference between a state with such a surveillance network and the traditional kind of police state is still the legislation, i.e. which actions are punished and which aren't. Germany is much closer to a police state IMHO since they are always videotaping public (peaceful) demonstrations, so people feel threatened and/or punished for participating. The catch here is that with the individual powerless to display its opposition to the government's actions in relative safety and privacy, he will also become powerless to prevent the introduction of totalitarian laws, so a true police state is just a matter of time (if desired by politicians, anyway).

Re:Interesting... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112225)

"Will we now create false gods to rule over us? How proud we have become, and how blind."
-- Sister Miriam Godwinson, We Must Dissent, on the Self-Aware Colony

Re:Interesting... (1)

panopticonisi (1113137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112251)

You have a point, in that police officers have the right to patrol the streets, but putting a camera at every intersection is definitely a violation of our reasonable expectation to privacy. Video cameras aren't the threat, but the next step is. How long before, in the interest of public safety, the system of monitoring is revised to allow recording and maintenance of an easily searchable database? But it's okay, it's only the bill of rights. inbeforeigetmoddeddownandlabelledatroll.

Re:Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112275)

Yes, it will help to reduce crime. BUT THIS IS NOT THE END! It will progress until we have cameras in every single room of our homes. That too will help to reduce crime. Where do you draw the line? Freedom is not free. It is expensive, and it has nothing to do with money.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Fnagaton (580019) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112285)

Indeed, I have also seen where CCTV has been used to spot a crime actually in progress and to dispatch police to arrest the criminal. The statement from Steven Swain is being misinterpreted.
CCTV Does help detect crime and does help catch criminals, that is a fact that. In London for example the automatic systems regularly catch criminals who have recently stolen cars which. This is because when cars are reported stolen the CCTV systems will automatically flag the car for interception. Amazingly enough some car thieves forget this fact.

Re:Interesting... (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112327)

The 21st century privacy problem isn't cameras. It's networks.

Being observed by a camera in a public place is no big deal. Being followed by the video surveillance network is.

Re:Interesting... (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112461)

Wish I had a mod point or two. Of course, not all networked surveillance has to do with cameras, as witness the NSA wiretapping fiasco. Advanced communications is a two-edged sword all right.

Another example (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112401)

Another example (possibly from the same problem). A girl was walking down a dodgy road alone, a CCTV operator noticed she was incredibly high risk to be attacked, trained cameras on her as she walked through a crime hotspot, noticed a guy clearly following her, called the police and talked them through what was happening. The guy then forced the girl into a nearby bush out of sight of the cameras but got spooked by the police sirens and ran off before he could do anything.

I'm of the mind that you've little right to privacy in a public place.

I also find it amusing that people always bring up 1984 in regards to CCTV when the main point of 1984 wasn't the surveillance but the use of propaganda and a false war to keep citizens in tow.

Re:Another example (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112479)

I also find it amusing that people always bring up 1984 in regards to CCTV when the main point of 1984 wasn't the surveillance but the use of propaganda and a false war to keep citizens in tow.

Apparently we have that problem as well.

Re:Another example (2, Insightful)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113025)

>I also find it amusing that people always bring up 1984 in regards to CCTV when the main point of 1984 wasn't the surveillance but the use of propaganda and a false war to keep citizens in tow.

The main point was that if you give the government that much power over your lives, they will abuse it. The surveillance *was* one of the main points - you never knew when Big Brother was watching for subversive activities.

Re:Another example (2, Funny)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113257)

>> but the use of propaganda and a false war to keep citizens in tow.

Hmm... thank goodness that could never happen in real l... err... wait a minute...

My experience as a crime victim in London (5, Interesting)

fantomas (94850) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112471)

5 years ago I was cycling home down a side street in London back to where I lived in one of the not so rich parts of town (Hackney) and 4 teenagers ran up to me and dragged me off my bike, kicked me in, and demanded my wallet. Luckily a woman in a flat overlooking the road saw what was going on and shouted down to tell the kids to stop, and I shouted up for her to call the police. The kids got scared and ran off with my bike (incidently, for the first time in my life, I'd like to say "thank you Nike!" - when I was a teenager Doc Martins and steel toe capped boots were the fashion - I am so happy troubled teenagers prefer soft padded trainers for kicking people in the head these days, probably saved me a lot of damage). I got up just as a Hells Angel kind of guy came past on a motorbike and I flagged him down and asked him to chase the kids - well I started climbing on the back before he could say no! and he spotted the kids going into a dark housing block stairwell. For some mad reason I chased them in, and I think they were so suprised to see me, combined with the fact that I was covered in blood and swearing at them and my friendly biker was outside pointing his headlight in and revving the bike engine, that they let go of the bike and I marched outside (phew, laptop and other valuables still in the panniers). Friendly biker drove his bike alongside me until I was back on the big roads and by chance a French couple were cycling past and stopped to check out I was ok and agreed to cycle home with me.

When I got back I reported the incident to the police, and got myself sorted out at the local hospital.

The police had CCTV footage of a lot of the above - but they said the footage was too poor to make a positive identification.

So there ya go. CCTV didn't stop the crime in progress, and it was completely useless to catch anybody afterwards. What saved me from getting completely beaten up, helped retrieve my possessions, and got me home afterwards was a random mix of good hearted locals and passers by.

Keep talking to your neighbours and help people you see in trouble, one day it could be you. I don't know any of the names of the people who helped me - but thanks to all of these kind strangers. Don't rely on CCTV, even when they've put it in, it might be useless.

CCTV in Hackney didn't help me....

Re:My experience as a crime victim in London (1)

dogger (151449) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113001)

wicked story man, glad you got your bike back. I always wonder why passer bys don't help in this situation but it warmed my heart to hear that they did.

Mixed message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20113099)

So what you are saying basically is the low-res CCTV is useless and they need to install proper high-res cameras that capture digital images to HD (reason security footage is often so poor is that it is taped to eh tape many many times and tapes wear out pretty fast). Oh and also more cameras to catch multiple angles.

Because what you are telling is with your story is something like this. I was a in a car accident hit from the rear and got a whiplash. The airbag did nothing. Airbags are therefore useless.

CCTV is not a solution, it is a tool, tools are NEVER a complete solution that will fix all of your problems STOP WATCHING AMERICAN DAY TIME TV. Oprah is never right, you can't fix everything with one solution.

Re:My experience as a crime victim in London (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113335)

Shame you can't get a concealed carry pistol permit over there like in some parts of the USA. I'm sure after you kneecapped one of the kids, the rest would decide it was a bad idea to mess with you and run away. And the one with a missing kneecap would have a lasting reminder of why being a chav can be painful and unpleasant.

-b.

Re:My experience as a crime victim in London (2, Insightful)

finkployd (12902) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113575)

Carrying a concealed firearm is not an automagic "get out of street crime free" card, you have to know how to use it (under stress, not shooting at paper at the range on a sunny day), and just as important, when to use it. You cannot go kneecapping anyone who makes you nervous on the street, but you also do not want to wait until you are getting pummeled when it would very easy for one or your assailants to disarm and shoot you.

Also, let's not for a second pretend that the police, media, and public would view you as a hero for shooting a kid in the kneecap. After all of this friends testified that they were on their way to volunteer at the homeless shelter and this angry mean bastard on a bike tried to molest one of them and then shot him in the leg as he tried to escape, you would be vilified in the media and possibly facing hard time. Ironically only video cameras would be able to exonerate you (unless you had witnesses, but street thugs tend to avoid place with lots of witnesses).

Point being, if you are going to carry a gun, get lots of training (should be mandatory). It should be more/better training that police officers get. I've been to ranges with many of them and their safety practices and general incompetence regarding their sidearms is often downright frightening. Also assume that if you do fire on someone, you are going to spend the rest of your life in jail (makes no difference if you are in the right or not). So do not do so unless it is a matter of life of death (not bruised ego).

Finkployd

Re:My experience as a crime victim in London (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113705)

Point being, if you are going to carry a gun, get lots of training (should be mandatory). It should be more/better training that police officers get.


Agreed with you, disagree about the police part. It should be THE SAME as cops get; but cops should have better training for them mandated. Raise the standards of both cops and the public.


-b.

Re:My experience as a crime victim in London (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20113371)

there are lots of cases where poorly thought out solutions by a higher government
authority trumps well thought out solutions by lower governments, so a problem gets
worse. (ONE example: in the US, New York state used to have construction site inspectors
that would visit every week or so; when the US law that established OSHA was passed,
New York state cut back, and only federal inspections, every month, if that, were
done.)

It seems to me that bad laws drive out good ones.

Of course, single federal laws can be neutered by special interests a lot more easily
than 50 state laws.

Re:Interesting... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112645)

> For instance, I saw a TV show where the new speaking CCTV cameras interrupted some guy getting the shit kicked out of him. The attacker realised he was on CCTV and ran off. The camera operator simply followed him from one camera to the next, constantly reminding him he's been videotaped, the cops have his description and are en route, and that he really can't get away. He was caught. CCTV is a great technology.

CCTV is indeed a great technology. Even with a crappy usb camera an old laptop and an always on internet connection one can monitor his home. On linux there is the simple "webcam" software and the sophisticated http://zoneminder.com/ [zoneminder.com] .

But does a great technology makes a great deployment? A hi tech camera network can be used for all sorts of misdeed, it all depends on who's managing it. Will it be the police? will it be private employees, like it happened in a delicate operation like Iraq war?

Second is: "I saw this piece on TV where CCTV stopped a crime...". One episode amplified by the media might be significant, it might also be mere propaganda. This one smells of propaganda: once the speaking camera stopped the crime, the operator should have simply followed the perpetrator. Telling him he's framed makes him more alert, more likely to think about ways to defeat the system (getting in smaller roads, stealing transport, clothes.

Also, if a system is made to fight terrorism you simply don't tell the public it's been deployed for that purpose. Make it a system to check traffic violations or regulate it. To defend private buildings. It will be more effective. Well terrorism seems to me the troll that lets the governments do whatever they like so this one point is irrelevant.

I do this for a living - It's bs (2, Insightful)

cusco (717999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113497)

The problem with security cameras lies between the chair and the keyboard. One operator can watch up to eight monitors displaying nine images each for up to twelve minutes. After that he'd better take a half hour patrol, because his brain's mush. Your example is one of those rare moments of serendipity where everything worked. It's not likely to be repeated more than a couple times a year. By the way, very, very few CCTV cameras are installed with audio features unless the vendor happens to be friends with the purchasing agent and so can ramp up the price.

Analysis software is still considered bleeding edge technology, and as such doesn't work well most of the time. It's good for a situation where lighting is constant, activity is regular, and backgrounds are plain. In other words, it works well for finding people loitering in stairwells, and sometimes prowling parking garages, but is useless on a city street. I know this for a fact, since one of our customers just coughed up $50,000 for the top-of-the-line system to automate 130 of their cameras. After three months of tuning it in (by the manufacturer, not the guards) they've turned off monitoring of 3/4 of their cameras because the false alarms were constant and the actual incidents were getting missed.

By and large, I'd have to say that NYC is jumping the gun on this technology, probably by about a decade.

Re:Interesting... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113511)

The cries of "1984! 1984!" are woefully inaccurate, as these cameras are not in our homes, but in our streets, a place the police are 100% free to go. The police have a mandate to use all available technology to protect the public - CCTV is just another tool in the toolbox.

The problem is that are not if the police misuse the technology, but rather someone down the road who decides to do away with democracy.

Even though it is minor, these things build up over time so it has to be fought at every step of the way.

As we all know.. (0)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112163)

.. no crime can be punished on evidence. People have to be stopped in the act.

Re:As we all know.. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112311)

.. no crime can be punished on evidence. People have to be stopped in the act.

If you are the victim, which would you choose? To see your attacker stopped in his tracks or wait for his arrest while lying in the morgue? Mall camera catches 2 men kidnapping woman [msn.com]

Re:As we all know.. (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112727)

I don't think you understand me fully.

My post was directed at the quotation in the description about CCTV surveillance rarely stopping people in the act.

Re:As we all know.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112719)

But then again, prevention beats redemption any day, doesn't it?

Cameras are OK :) (1)

brys (151801) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112317)

This system works well in London. It's like street crime vaccine.
Only people with paranoia don't like it :-)

Extremely efficient ... (2, Interesting)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112363)

Those CCTV networks are extremely efficient, esp. when they can also look through your windows and in the next step in 10-20 years they have cameras in your house as well.

With so much crime-preventing technology everywhere, the criminals will have but one choice: to infiltrate the police...

Re:Extremely efficient ... (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112565)

... the criminals will have but one choice: to infiltrate the police ...

But ... that's always been the case. Either they infiltrate the police (difficult but not impossible) or, more commonly, simply buy them off or blackmail them. Either way, cops are supposed to be held to a higher standard but frequently are not.

Widespread surveillance may have a positive effect on petty crime (or it may not, I've yet to be convinced either way, and even if it does ... is it worth the economic and social costs?) but it will have little effect on the big boys. We could probably get the same effect on the small-time hoods by just putting more cops on the beat, and it would probably cost less money and have less impact on privacy. I don't know, but the blanket assumption that "cameras=less crime" is as unproven as "fewer guns=less crime". I don't trust anything anyone says on either subject, because everyone seems to have an agenda that precludes honest and rational discourse.

What will probably happen is that the State will find a way to monetize privacy. Don't want a camera in your home? Well then, you'll have to pay a Risk Tax, because, well, everyone knows that people who live unmonitored lives are more likely to commit crimes, and those people should be forced to pay for the social costs of their privacy. Or something like that. I know, go ahead, laugh. Make jokes. But that's the kind of mindset that rules our government(s) these days. I know this is America, but I've long since shed my comfortable belief that bad things can't happen here, because too many of them already have.

Really, it's time to take the rose-colored glasses off and see the people in power for who they truly are. It ain't pretty.

+0.5 Scary; +0.5 Insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20112833)

nothing to see here...

How do cameras deter terrorists? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112563)

Those people blow themselves up when they attack! What will the cam do but record it for the evening news? Yell at him "stop, or I record you!"?

Cameras don't prevent crimes. No single camera in history stopped a junkie from taking a granny's purse. No camera will ever prevent a terrorist attack.

Re:How do cameras deter terrorists? (1)

westyx (95706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112815)

The camera's do not stop the crime, just as having police patrol areas doesn't stop crime. The cameras allow the authorities to record who it was that blew themselves up (such as in the first wave of suicide bombings in london) and to capture the images of the second lot of suicide bombers who failed.

Re:How do cameras deter terrorists? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113059)

Police could actually stop a crime. A policeman can draw his gun and offer the suspect the choice between freezing and enjoying the kiss of accelerated metal. A cam cannot. A cam can, at best, record it.

Re:How do cameras deter terrorists? (1)

GregNorc (801858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113429)

No not really. Only special units in the UK carry guns, not normal beat cops.

Re:How do cameras deter terrorists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20113485)

No, you say, "Stop, or I'll shoot you! With a camera!"

Deterence is the WHOLE idea (2, Insightful)

redelm (54142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112609)

... and not just with CCTV but the whole law enforcement system, cops through courts to jail. Punishment is a grossly net-negative payoff exercise. Stopping crime in progress not only requires CCTV and many operators, but a large ready-reaction [idle] police force. Expensive and more likely to get into mischief.

Privacy is a right based on defending yourself against prejudice and [info]predators. It is not any right to break the law. There is no right to break the law if you won't get caught.

In a public place, a reasonable person has no expectation of privacy and ought to conduct themselves to public standards. There might be an expectation of anonymity in our modern big cities. Historically unusual and decried. While anonymous writing is protected (but can be pierced), anonymous actions cannot be without lawlessness.

Public surveillance cameras (3, Insightful)

defile (1059) | more than 6 years ago | (#20112945)

I think a massive surveillance camera network would create a safer, more open society so long as one key condition is met: the public and the police share access. I should be able to hit nyc.gov and view any camera at any time, including past recordings. Give me that and the police can install as many cameras as they want.

Re:Public surveillance cameras (1)

Tangent128 (1112197) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113531)

Sounds fair. If the actions recorded are indeed public, and thus legal to record, then the public should have access.

Prevent Terrorism? (4, Interesting)

Smarty2120 (776415) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113005)

It's always a prevent terrorism vs. protect privacy argument by politicians, but for the most part, this is a fallacy. The cameras can't physically stop people from committing crime any more than the RFID scanners at the mall keep you from shoplifting. It's the threat of those devices alerting authorities nearby enough to stop or apprehend you that makes a difference. In all likelihood, these cameras will be deployed with no additional manpower to do anything in real time with the information. They'll likely just help authorities prosecute crimes after the fact or figure out what occurred (as happened with the London transit bombings). When you ask people about this privacy vs. prosecution tradeoff (if there's anyone left to prosecute), many fewer people respond "put us on camera" than when you claim it can help "prevent terrorism."

The best part is that the system will protect the new Freedom Tower. It's not a Ring of Steel, it's a Ring of Freedom. I don't think we've taken the Freedom Fries legacy far enough. We should have Freedom Checkpoints at the airport, and Freedom Routers to sniff our e-mail, and Freedom Inquiries into our financial records. We spread Freedom all over Iraq and look how well it turned out.

Useful - but ends do not justify means (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20113019)

There is no question that CCTV recordings have been useful in the prosecution of crime here in the UK (just go down to the average court room and see how often CCTV is used in evidence). Occasionally cameras have detected crime in progress, and allowed dispatch of police. And ANPR (automatic numberplate recognition) cameras may help with detection, deterrence and intelligence.

The question is, at what price ? Is the erosion of our liberty (our right to go about our lawful business without the state intruding) acceptable ?
Are these powers ones that we would trust the state with, no matter who is elected ?

Just keep they digital eye out of my house! (1)

UberDragon (952311) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113067)

I'm not surprised to see this going forward in NYC, especially after the recent attacks. Frankly, I don't see it as a bad idea. The cameras will deter many crimes from taking place in those areas, though it certainly isn't going to stop another airplane falling from the sky nor the jacked up terrorist hell-bent on blowing up himself and everyone else he can get in range.

My concerns lie in how this technological advantage will be abused, how long will it be before the police have a camera on my block with remote controls allowing them to point the camera anywhere with surely high-powered zoom. I have enough neighbors looking into my business I certainly don't need the eye in the sky making it worse.

And if you are having a hard time believing the police would do such a thing, let's assume for a moment it would be impossible for the police to use this technology for anything sketchy.... What's going to stop the teen down the street from hacking into the surveillance system and posting your most recent extra-marital affair to your neighborhood church...

Don't get me started on the security of it all..

Re:Just keep they digital eye out of my house! (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113385)

Frankly, I don't see it as a bad idea. The cameras will deter many crimes from taking place in those areas, though it certainly isn't going to stop another airplane falling from the sky nor the jacked up terrorist hell-bent on blowing up himself and everyone else he can get in range.

Will they also deter public expression (street theatre, etc) and protests in public spaces like parks? One of the great things about NYC is that cool stuff goes on in public -- it would be a shame to see that curtailed. And, quite frankly, Rudi and Bloomy were the two worst things that happened to NYC in a long time.

Fortunately, the other great thing about NY is that all laws aren't too vigorously enforced.

-b.

useless ? dont think so. (1)

voraistos (1128439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113179)

"Steven Swain from the London Metropolitan Police states 'I don't know of a single incident where CCTV has actually been used to spot, apprehend or detain offenders in the act'."

Perhaps this guy should start doing his job then. Because strangely, each time MI5 (or whoever does it, the Scotland yard people), catches a terrorist, or anybody attempting to do something bad, we see it on TV, and those images we see are CCTV, which they can use as proof.

"Crime prevention" means that at the end, there is no crime, so its probably difficult for them to arrest and prosecute a long bearded guy who was seen putting a gas bottle in his car boot. As far as i know Anyone can own gas and anyone can have beard - the hair that grows naturally on your face-. However that same guy might move around, and, knowing where he is going, the secret services people or just the cops might install other devices to hear them say "I plan to get rid of the queen" or "hey lets go bomb McDonald's ! ". On another hand the same guy could have a friend who ran out of gas a mile away and just wanted to give him a hand, something one can easily see on camera and think "shit we gat the wrong guy".

Movie publicity campaigns (1)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 6 years ago | (#20113415)

This is getting a little out of hand; painting 7-11s to look like Kwik-E-Marts was one thing, but this is a bit too far. Guys, I've already seen Bourne Ultimatum, don't need this stunt...

Oblig. Simpsons (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20113451)

FTA "Kelly disagreed, pointing out that it is practically impossible to know what has been deterred. 'We don't know acts that may have been planned that -- because of the surveillance and deterrence systems that are in place -- did not go forward.'"
Good lord, is Homer the New York City Police Commissioner?

Homer: Ah, not a bear in sight! the Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
Lisa: That's specious reasoning dad.
Homer: Thank you honey.
Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Oh how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work.
Homer: uhuh.
Lisa: It's just a stupid rock.
Homer: uhuh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around here, do you?
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

Maybe I should try selling my ROCK based anti-terrorist system to all major cities of the world.

They Already Have It in NY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20113557)

There already is a network of surveillance cameras in New York, it's just not city-wide. But the whole West Village has these things; they're mounted on light posts and monitored by cops. It was part of Giuliani's unsuccessful ploy to drive marijuana out of Washington Square Park.

Here's a link to a reprint of a Village Voice article [notbored.org] ; there have been others.
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