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NYC Police Comm'r: Privacy Is 'Off the Table' After Boston Bombs 508

Posted by timothy
from the for-your-own-safety dept.
An anonymous reader writes "New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly thinks that now is a great time to install even more surveillance cameras hither and yon around the Big Apple. After the Boston Marathon bombing, the Tsarnaev brothers were famously captured on security camera footage and thereby identified. That just may soften up Americans to the idea of the all-seeing glass eye. 'I think the privacy issue has really been taken off the table,' Kelly gloats."
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NYC Police Comm'r: Privacy Is 'Off the Table' After Boston Bombs

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  • by roman_mir (125474) on Friday April 26, 2013 @12:16PM (#43557469) Homepage Journal

    Never mind privacy, all of your rights are off the table. I imagine that fighting this is a bit like fighting windmills, but all this oppression does is it creates more negativity and more negativity will cause more violence.

  • What we learned... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @12:16PM (#43557471)

    What we learned from Boston was that there is no reason for centralized surveillance. Privately owned cameras (around businesses) provided enough coverage. And the police were then able to provide warrants to acquire the video. It worked perfectly from a privacy standpoint and in providing necessary information to law enforcement.

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday April 26, 2013 @12:18PM (#43557507) Homepage Journal

    On the one hand, this is the U.S. and we have a 4th amendment to our constitution, that does being secure in ones person in addition to papers and effects, which draws a pretty clear line(though not clear enough) about when a warrant is required. On the other hand, if you expect to have privacy on the streets of New York City you're dangerously crazy.

    It just leaves the open question of whether there's a limit of what we'll late the state do beyond what we'll let the public at large do.

  • by DiEx-15 (959602) on Friday April 26, 2013 @12:18PM (#43557511)
    You chose.

    Frankly though, why bother with CCTV when most people have cell phones with cameras? Instead of a governmental body being Big Brother, the citizens of the society do the monitoring for them?
  • by dmomo (256005) on Friday April 26, 2013 @12:21PM (#43557579) Homepage

    Then, any cameras being placed should be openly accessible to the public in real time. I won't like the presence of cameras, but at least this is consistent with the sentiment that public places are not to be considered private.

  • What we learned from Boston was that there is no reason for centralized surveillance. Privately owned cameras (around businesses) provided enough coverage. And the police were then able to provide warrants to acquire the video. It worked perfectly from a privacy standpoint and in providing necessary information to law enforcement.

    To clarify his point (yours is valid but you're not addressing his claims fully):

    Could more cameras in New York City help prevent attacks like the one at the Boston Marathon? That's what Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the NYPD is looking into.

    The department already uses so-called smart cameras that hone in on unattended bags, and set off alarms.

    Emphasis mine. I totally agree with you but the argument here is that they could prevent attacks. I find that argument specious and foolhardy in that a bomb could be disguised as anything and a suicide bomber (as these individuals clearly had no intention of surviving a police encounter) would simply continue to wear the explosive into the crowd. I think they need to reevaluate what little benefit it would provide against the massive issues and rights violations it could cause system-wide.

  • by Raisey-raison (850922) on Friday April 26, 2013 @12:36PM (#43557851)

    I really hope they don't put up ever more cameras. We don't need them. Crime has been falling since 1988 and the US murder rate is around 5.4 / 100,000 people. And that is close to its all time low. And terrorism is rare and unlikely to kill or hurt anyone. When can we start rolling out policy based on data and evidence not on fear?

    As far as cameras looking at police officers. We need a lot more of that. Police routinely 'beat people up' and conduct illegal searches. They need to be put on a short leash.

  • Re:no problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lgw (121541) on Friday April 26, 2013 @01:12PM (#43558563) Journal

    You have no privacy in public spaces.

    So pitting camera in PUBLIC space is, by definition NOT an invasion of privacy

    Bullshit. I can expect plenty of privacy in public places. I can expect anything I do that's not too attention-getting to be ignored and forgotten. Only children think in terms of absolutes: "it's not absolutely private so it must be absolutely public".

    There's a huge loss in privacy between having a searchable archive of ubiquitous surveillance, and what people normally see and remember. Privacy is valuable, because it's an important part of dignity. I'm not going to give up any privacy without getting a large and proven increase in security, and maybe not even then.

  • Pick up that can. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @01:28PM (#43558791)

    As far as cameras looking at police officers. We need a lot more of that. Police routinely 'beat people up' and conduct illegal searches. They need to be put on a short leash.

    Pick up that can.

    Seriously, this country is fast turning into a giant open-air penitentiary where the gov and police are the wardens and guards and all the citizens are considered the same as inmates.

    It's easy to understand now why the gov is so ravenously desperate for gun control and elimination of our 2nd Amendment RKBA. When that's gone, then they can finish eliminating the 1st, the 4th, the 5th, etc.

    I used to think the right wing gun nuts were all paranoid delusional whacko's but more and more I begin to see that perhaps they may have been correct all along.

  • Privacy? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jhon (241832) on Friday April 26, 2013 @01:40PM (#43558989) Homepage Journal

    Is this really about PRIVACY? Or ANONYMITY?

    If strangers have the right to "see" me with their eyes as I walk the street and walk in to a store, is it so different if that "seeing" is recorded? Is that REALLY a violation of "privacy" when one is in a public place? I don't see a huge difference nor do I see it as a 'privacy' violation.

    I think what the "privacy" crowd wants is a right to "anonymity". And I'm not sure we have a right to "anonymity".

  • Re:Privacy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:11PM (#43559419) Journal

    I have read several different science fiction stories based on real technology, where face recognition tracks individuals and stores it in a database, along woth car tracking.

    One story even did a Google Earth kind of things and tracked you inside buildings as well. Type in a name, boom! Exactly where you are, and were, is known and logged.

    We do not want to give government this power.

  • Re:Privacy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mlts (1038732) * on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:23PM (#43559565)

    Actually, it would be a third right: The right to have data destroyed.

    Right now, it is almost a mandate for businesses to keep as much data as possible indefinitely.

    What is needed is a discard date, just like with HIPAA patient records. For example:

    Camera footage has to be chucked after 30 days unless there is an active investigation (civil/criminal) in progress.

    Browsing records also get chucked after 30 days. This is long enough for a party to do a motion of discovery.

    These dates do not reset when the info is rented or sold, so an ad company with browser data has to purge it or else.

    Finally, information should have a copyright belonging to the person it is about. That copyright begins the day after the info expires. This way, if someone has expired camera footage, a simple DMCA takedown request will purge it.

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