from 16 February www.cato.org


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alan
February 16, 2006, 05:56 PM
Too Candid Camera

“Houston's police chief on Wednesday proposed placing surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets, shopping malls and even private homes to fight crime during a shortage of police officers,” the Associated Press reports.

In “Understanding Privacy -- and the Real Threats to It,” Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, writes: “Whether it is anti-privacy regulation, data collection required by all manner of government programs, or outright surveillance, the relationship of governments to privacy is typically antagonistic. Privacy thrives when aware and empowered citizens are able to exercise control of information about themselves. Thoughtful policymakers should recognize the detrimental effects many programs have on consumers' privacy and respond with proposals that reduce the role of government in individuals' lives.”

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Sindawe
February 16, 2006, 06:54 PM
I did not see anything on the Cato.org site about this, but Googling did find:Houston police chief wants cameras on homes, streets
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston's police chief on Wednesday proposed placing surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets, shopping malls and even private homes to fight crime during a shortage of police officers.

"I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?" Chief Harold Hurtt told reporters Wednesday at a regular briefing.

Houston is facing a severe police shortage because of too many retirements and too few recruits, and the city has absorbed 150,000 hurricane evacuees who are filling apartment complexes in crime-ridden neighborhoods. The City Council is considering a public safety tax to pay for more officers.

Building permits should require malls and large apartment complexes to install surveillance cameras, Hurtt said. And if a homeowner requires repeated police response, it is reasonable to require camera surveillance of the property, he said.

Scott Henson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Police Accountability Project in Texas, called Hurtt's building-permit proposal "radical and extreme" and said it may violate the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches.

Andy Teas with the Houston Apartment Association said that although some would consider cameras an invasion of privacy, "I think a lot of people would appreciate the thought of extra eyes looking out for them."

Such cameras are costly, Houston Mayor Bill White said, "but on the other hand we spend an awful lot for patrol presence." He called the chief's proposal a "brainstorm" rather than a decision.

The program would require City Council approval.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-02-15-houston-cameras_x.htm

Note the old "If you're not doing anything wrong..." line. :cuss:

ArmedBear
February 16, 2006, 07:44 PM
Ghillie suits and quality pellet guns should take care of this.

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