Terrorists are winning - Security Cameras Multiply in Manhattan (Drudge)


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hifi
August 13, 2005, 06:36 PM
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050813/D8BUSA2G0.html

Security Cameras Multiply in Manhattan


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Aug 13, 6:01 AM (ET)

By TOM HAYS
NEW YORK (AP) - Six surveillance cameras could be seen peering out from a chain drug store on Broadway. One protruded awkwardly from the awning of a fast-food restaurant. A supersized, domed version hovered like a flying saucer outside Columbia University. To the dismay of civil libertarians and with the approval of law enforcement, they've been multiplying at a dizzying rate all over Manhattan.

"As many as we find, we miss so many more," Alex Stone-Tharp, 21, said on a recent afternoon while combing the streets, clipboard in hand, counting cameras in the scorching heat.

A student at Sarah Lawrence, Stone-Tharp is among a dozen college interns enlisted by the New York Civil Liberties Union to bolster their side of a simmering debate over whether surveillance cameras wrongly encroach on privacy, or effectively combat crime and even terrorism - as in the London bombings investigation, when the cameras were used to identify the bombers.

The interns have spent the summer stalking Big Brother - collecting data for an upcoming NYCLU report on the proliferation of cameras trained on streets, sidewalks and other public spaces.

New York City police detectives regularly rely on private security cameras in a bid to solve crimes.

After makeshift grenades exploded outside the British consulate in midtown Manhattan on May 5, they studied scores of videotape and concluded that a still-unidentified cyclist likely tossed the devices before fleeing.

In London, British police used videotape from some of their Underground system's 6,000 cameras to help identify the suicide bombers on July 7 and the suspects in a failed attack on July 21. But as the bombings showed, the cameras do not deter determined attackers.

At last count in 1998, the New York Civil Liberties Union found 2,397 cameras used by a wide variety of private businesses and government agencies throughout Manhattan. This time, after canvassing less than a quarter of the borough, the interns so far have spotted more than 4,000.

The preliminary total "only provides a glimpse of the magnitude of the problem," said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. "Nobody has a clue how many there really are."

But aside from sheer numbers, the NYCLU says it's concerned about the increasing use of newer, more powerful digital cameras that - unlike boxy older models - can be controlled remotely and store more images.

The group expects to eventually publicize its findings to convince the public that the cameras should be regulated to preserve privacy and guard against abuses like racial profiling and voyeurism. Privacy advocates have cited a case earlier this year in which a police videotape that captured a suicide at a Bronx housing development later turned up on a pornographic Web site.

The NYCLU plans to post an interactive map on its Web site pinpointing the location of each surveillance camera, and it may include a feature for the camera-shy that would highlight the least-surveilled route between two points.

But the map could be obsolete on arrival.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to spend up to $250 million (euro200 million) to install new surveillance cameras in the city's vast subway system. The New York Police Department also has requested funding for about 400 digital video cameras to help combat robberies and burglaries in busy commercial districts.

Police officers already watch live feeds from hundreds of cameras in city housing projects throughout the five boroughs, where "they are a proven deterrent," said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

Elsewhere, Chicago recently spent roughly $5 million (euro4 million) on a 2,000-camera system, which has been credited for reducing crime to its lowest point in some 40 years. In Washington, D.C., Homeland Security officials have announced plans to spend $9.8 million (euro7.8 million) for surveillance cameras and sensors on a rail line near the Capitol. And in Philadelphia, where the city has increasingly relied on video surveillance, cameras caught a murder and ultimately led to the capture of a suspect.

The NYCLU's Lieberman concedes the cameras can help solve crimes. But she claims there's no proof that they deter terrorism or more mundane crime, and some critics say it just pushes crime to where the cameras aren't.

"No one's saying there should be no video cameras, but let's not look at them as a quick fix," she said.

Whether the cameras threaten or protect society, the interns have encountered hurdles in their counting.

At one point, uniformed officers outside the Federal Reserve Bank demanded identification and warned, "if the information we had fell into the hands of terrorists, it would be a problem," said Peter Pantelis, 20, a student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Susanna Groves, 19, of the University of Michigan, recalled finding herself staring up an ornate streetlight, convinced a hidden camera was snapping pictures of her.

"I know I'm getting paranoid," she said. "But I also know there are a lot of cameras out there."


I think the saddest thing may be that these kids are being conditioned to think deep down that they're being paranoid.

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Crosshair
August 13, 2005, 08:07 PM
Anything that these cameras capture should be inadmisable in court. Basicly I view it as a search without a warrant. Store cameras I have no problem with, they can't throw you in jail unless you steal something.

The people who say that "it just means that the police can be in more places at once and keep us safe, bla bla bla" I can drive up and down every street in town myself and not be doing anything illegal. If I try and set up my own camera on every streetcorner to keep an eye on things, my ass would be in jail before I even had the first one installed. If I can't do it, they shouldn't be able to do it. Stores can do it on their own property because it's their own property. I can put all the cameras in my house that I want. Police can have cameras in their cars because it is their property, so can I. But PUBLIC areas like streets, parks, etc should be OFF LIMITS. :fire:

hifi
August 13, 2005, 08:35 PM
^^^^ Couldn't agree more..

Standing Wolf
August 13, 2005, 09:47 PM
Would someone tell me, please, how cameras prevent crime and acts of terrorist savagry?

gm
August 14, 2005, 10:05 AM
with all the latest infringments, we are becoming exactly what we fight against.

sometimes I wonder what ever happened to the constitution, to some,it must not be worth the paper it was written on. sometimes I wonder where we are headed when there are folks that are willing to excuse blatant violations in the guise of security.

kinda reminds me of "animal house" and the powers that be and their super secret probation.

fourays2
August 14, 2005, 11:42 AM
someone should post that quote about giving up liberty for perceived security.

Flyboy
August 14, 2005, 12:59 PM
Somebody should write a SQL trigger to automatically post it any time the thread starter mentions "cameras," "security," "screening," or a few other keywords.

Rebar
August 14, 2005, 01:03 PM
So you all are saying a private individual cannot buy a camera with their own money to put on his own property?

hifi
August 14, 2005, 05:02 PM
So you all are saying a private individual cannot buy a camera with their own money to put on his own property?

Typical form response from the police state patriot. Read the thread and get back to us!!!!!

Rebar
August 14, 2005, 05:09 PM
Typical form response from the police state patriot. Read the thread and get back to us!!!!!
Typical response from a DU troll. The article clearly mentions private cameras on private property as part of the "problem".

hifi
August 14, 2005, 05:09 PM
Typical response from a DU troll. The article clearly mentions private cameras on private property as part of the "problem".

So you've still failed to read any of our responses?

Am I to assume that you agree with every word of every article you post?

RON in PA
August 14, 2005, 05:36 PM
Suppose that cities had the money and manpower to have a policeman posted every 50 feet on each street in the city. Would anybody make a stink?

dpesec
August 14, 2005, 05:44 PM
instead of bla, bla bla, perhaps a better phrase would be:
bah, bah bah. :D

Actually, here in Ohio some cities, like Columbus, tired to make red light cam legal. Well, the the state legislature decided, it was ok, as long as you have a LEO standing there to write the ticket. A red light cam by itself wouldn't be legal in court.

Perhaps that's an approach. Problem is it will not happen on a national level. Too many politicians see the need to keep us under the watchful eye of big brother :fire:

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