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Cambridge, Mass. Moves To Nix Security Cameras 366

Posted by timothy
from the buncha-lefties dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Citing privacy concerns, the Cambridge, Mass. City Council has voted 9-0 to remove security cameras scattered throughout the city. 'Because of the slow erosion of our civil liberties since 9/11, it is important to raise questions regarding these cameras,' said Marjorie Decker, a Cambridge city councilor. Rather than citing privacy, WCBVTV is running the story under the headline 'City's Move To Nix Security Cams May Cost Thousands.'"
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Cambridge, Mass. Moves To Nix Security Cameras

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  • wankers (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2009 @02:22PM (#26830719)

    Cambridge MA is full of a bunch of nerds and malnourished artist types.

  • by Chyeld (713439) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dleyhc.> on Thursday February 12, 2009 @02:26PM (#26830785)

    Additionally, often things like city wide security and red light cammeras are not monitored by actual government employees but companies sub-contracted out to do the job. Canceling the contract generally has a penalty involved.

  • by lupis42 (1048492) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @02:36PM (#26830925)
    The cameras were bought with a DHS grant, which my have to be repaid.
  • by kcurtis (311610) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @02:36PM (#26830931)

    It isn't stated explicitly, but it appears that the city used part of the grant already to install the first few cameras.

    It isn't that the physical removal will cost money, but that they may have to reimburse the feds for the grant money now that they have opted out of the program.

    Also, this is not certain -- which is why it "may" cost thousands.

  • by chicago_scott (458445) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @02:42PM (#26831041) Journal

    Except cameras don't catch people "redhanded". If they catch people at all it's almost always after the crime has been committed and the criminal has fled. Beyond that statistics show that public surveillance cameras do not reduce crime. Many studies of surveillance cameras have shown this to be the case.

    CCTV Cameras
    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/06/cctv_cameras.html [schneier.com]

  • Re:Call sign... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:07PM (#26831393) Journal

    So who was the bright spark that thought up the idea of representing "east" with a "W"? Now what can we use for "west" - dammit "W" is taken!!

    The International Telecommunication Union. [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Great News (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shihar (153932) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:09PM (#26831451)

    There is more than one sane city council. Somerville, the next town over from Cambridge, just recently passed a similar law. I believe that the Somerville version halted the camera instillation, killed plans to put up more, and put them under review as to if they want to keep few that are already up.

  • by chicago_scott (458445) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:17PM (#26831571) Journal

    Yes, it it. If that happens. But so far it looks like that's not the case:

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/06/cctv_cameras.html [schneier.com]

  • by xenocide2 (231786) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:34PM (#26831867) Homepage

    Christ. Ever heard of the IRA? They're a recognized terror group [homeoffice.gov.uk] residing within the UK.

  • by meadowsoft (831583) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:00PM (#26833467) Homepage

    While we are discussing costs, let me get this straight - $264,000 spent thus far, and there are only (6) cameras installed. At an average cost of $44,000 per camera I would $hitcan this program too.

  • by steelfood (895457) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:45PM (#26834243)

    BTW arresting jaywalkers is how Rudy Giuliani cleaned-up downtown New York. It may seem anal, but in the process of arresting jaywalkers and subway barrier jumpers, he also caught a lot of thieves and murderers.

    If you think he arrested every jaywalker and that such a broad act would have any positive affect on city life, I'm afraid you're sorely mistaken. Not to mention that the penalty for both offenses is a fine and not arrest.

    No, he just separated all of the really the bad neighborhoods from the good and fringe neighborhoods and then made the city too expensive for anybody making less than $60K a year to stay in. Oh wait, that last bit was Bloomberg's bright idea.

    For fringe neighborhoods, Giuliani kept throwing cops into the area until it became safe. Which basically meant, certain neighborhoods had a squad car sitting at every other corner 24/7. This confined the riff raff to doing their business inside the projects instead of outside, making the neighborhoods appear safer. The entire thing coincided with Clinton's welfare reform, which meant no more producing more babies for a larger check, and no more sitting around at home not doing anything (bored, and hence more likely to cause trouble), and with an overall improvement in the city's economy. These are important points, because not all people who commit crime want to be criminals but are forced into it by hunger or whatnot, and not all high-risk kids would be committing crimes if they had better things with which to occupy their time.

    The other thing Giuliani did was ship all of the homeless to Cali. This improved the quality of life, thus changed people's attitudes towards their neighborhood and reduced the potential for trouble.

    As for the subways, yes, there was an increase in the fining of toll booth jumpers. This was the consequence of putting police in the subway stations to make them safe (see above). But at the same time, new toll booths were installed that made it much harder to jump. And the metrocard came into being, reducing the annoyance that was tokens. Nowadays, people just walk through the handicap entrance/emergency exit.

    Maybe you should get your facts straight about New York City before using it improperly as an example.

  • by mikey_by_crikey (1188647) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @08:31PM (#26836989)

    You do realise that during the Second World War the United Kingdom locked up a lot a people who had any connection with Germany. Just like the United States locked up anyone related in any way to Japan.

    So are you saying that the US should arrest who isn't white or English speaking? Hang on you do that already - especially those nasty blacks! Or just send them to Guantanamo.

    Possibly the United States should just arrest anyone called Hussein, especially if it is a middle name? Barack Hussein Obama, anyone?

    What exactly are you trying to argue? "Poor me, I'm American and someone tried to bomb me. Once. A long time ago."

  • by mikey_by_crikey (1188647) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @08:38PM (#26837099)

    At least with a hosptial I can say, "No I don't want that procedure" or "No I think I'll try a different hospital".

    Do you think that really works when you've just been hit by a car and can't talk let alone think straight? "No, I'll have my heart bypass somewhere else" or "No, it wasn't a stoke. I'm just a little paralysed on one side. It'll clear up soon."

    I imagine all those tests and procedures just get added to your bill. A very, very large bill, especially if my minimum wage job doesn't provide insurance. I'd much rather have my NHS than worry that I might not be covered if I burn myself on some scalding coffee.

  • by Grimbleton (1034446) on Friday February 13, 2009 @06:40AM (#26841085)

    Sounds like my last ticket. I opened the throttle on my bike to get through an intersection I'm always wary of, having seen MANY accidents there, in what I thought was a 35, and ended up hitting just under 40.

    As it turns out, the day before they changed the speed limit to 25, and I got hit for a 15-over.

    I fought it, since I had no opportunity in the under-24 hours since the change to even encounter a speed limit sign, since there were none between my street's intersection with that road and my destination that day. The lowest the court would drop it was to a 5-over, which was STILL an $88 fine.

    They accepted that that's a high-risk intersection, and that the speed limit was just changed. The reason they stuck with it? They're ticketing everyone to make sure the word gets out about the speed limit change.

    Fuck them.

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