timothy from the oh-it's-just-you-big-brother dept.
DesScorp writes "Over the past few years, the City of Chicago has installed video cameras all over the city. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that the city has not only installed its own cameras for law enforcement purposes, but with the aid of IBM, has built a network that possibly links thousands of video surveillance cameras all over Chicago. Possibly, because the city refuses to confirm just how many cameras are in the network. Critics say that Chicago is becoming the city of Big Brother. 'The city links the 1,500 cameras that police have placed in trouble spots with thousands more—police won't say how many—that have been installed by other government agencies and the private sector in city buses, businesses, public schools, subway stations, housing projects and elsewhere. Even home owners can contribute camera feeds. Rajiv Shah, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who has studied the issue, estimates that 15,000 cameras have been connected in what the city calls Operation Virtual Shield, its fiber-optic video-network loop.' There are so many camera feeds coming in that police and officials can't monitor them all, but when alerted to a situation, can zoom in on the area affected. The ACLU has requested a total number of video feeds and cameras, but as of yet, this information has not been supplied."
The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos.
-- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981