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Chicago Pondering Huge Camera Network 377

andyring writes "According to ABC7 in Chicago, mayor Daley rolled out plans to install thousands of video cameras in public places across the Windy City. In some ways, I suppose there are positives, as all the existing and future cameras are tied in to the 911 emergency center, allowing a 911 dispatcher to actually watch the area in question when someone dials 911. Dispatchers will be able to control some of the cameras, such as panning and zooming in."
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Chicago Pondering Huge Camera Network

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    1. privacy violated
    2. big brother
    3. evil big government
    4. real time real world quake laser tag finally!
  • move it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ximpul1 ( 607679 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:25PM (#10206808)
    ironically, i got that 'nothing for you to see here, move along' a few times before this story loaded
  • Fuckin' Daley (Score:5, Informative)

    by Naikrovek ( 667 ) <jjohnson.psg@com> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:25PM (#10206811)
    This is also the mayor that destroyed Meigs Field under cover of night and with police protection to keep people away while he did it.

    This guy is a fucker. Underhanded bastard with no concern for the citizens of Chicago.
    • Re:Fuckin' Daley (Score:4, Informative)

      by littlerubberfeet ( 453565 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:45PM (#10207050)
      The destruction of that airfield was fully illegal. It was done with bulldozers in the middle of the night. It was done in the name of "Homeland Security". I think Daley is just an asshole. On top of that, by destroying the runways, he destroyed emergency/alternate landing locations for aircraft with problems.

      Mayor Daley might have kileld people. The fire department's Helicopter squad was based at Meigs. When it was moved, it upped the response time to the lake by 10 minutes. In April? 2004, they were too late in rescuing people off the lake.

      There ware about 15 planes stranded at the field. It costs a LOT of money to have a $250,000 Piper disassembled, shipped, re-assembled and then have the airframe re-certified. Anyone in the AOPA/EAA/ General Aviation community will turn red and rant for hours when one goes and mentions Meigs or Daley.

      Anyway, like the parent post, anyone with such bad judgement should never be alowwed to make important decisions.

      "Fucker" is not a good description. "Murderer" might be more accurate.
      • The destruction of that airfield was fully illegal. It was done with bulldozers in the middle of the night. It was done in the name of "Homeland Security".
        He was right! When Microsoft Flight Simulator first came out, some 20 odd-years ago, I used to take-off from Meighs Field and fly into the John Hancock tower just for kicks...
        • Re:Fuckin' Daley (Score:3, Interesting)

          by wondafucka ( 621502 )
          I work in an aerospace firm. We have a really suped up flight simulator with 3 10'x10' screens, a real cockpit complete with a full set of flight deck controls.

          For whatever reason, this same flight simulator (or one that borrowed the map)is the default loadout.

          Earlier this year, just before a customer meeting, I found out that you could fly the thing using just the throttle and the yoke (I figured you needed extensive knowledge of the rest of the hundred some switches and dials). Initially only one person

    • Re:Fuckin' Daley (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lidocaineus ( 661282 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:49PM (#10207090)
      While you are vocal, you are probably in the minority. Chicagoans seem to love the whole Daley persona, which entails everything from being "connected" (but always just shielded enough by placing plenty of people between himself and the others), to an admittedly hilarious speaking style. Basically, he's the tough guy, and he does a lot of placating efforts aimed at getting lots of public support for him (Chicago is *much* greener than it has been in two+ decades and definitely has a broader appeal because of it, property values have skyrocketed... almost too much in some areas)... so it makes all the shadyness around him more whimsical and laughable than threatening.

      I know, it's strange, but he's got it down to a science.
    • On behalf of Daeleys everywhere, I would like to say first that I'm sorry and second, please note that the extra 'e' in my version of the name means 'not prone to evil shenanigans' in the ancient Irish. ;D
    • So you are saying my copy of Flight Simulator 1 through 5 are now out of date?? :)

      Seriously, the one time I visited Chicago, I fought a losing battle to see Meigs Field, after having performed hundreds of virtual take-offs and landings there. Sucks that I never will.

  • Privacy in public (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeMacK ( 788889 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:26PM (#10206834)
    Some people are concerned about big brother invading their privacy but Mayor Daley says the cameras will be located in public areas.

    So what does that mean, I can't have privacy in a public place?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:28PM (#10206857)
      So what does that mean, I can't have privacy in a public place?
      You can until someone calls 911 to report you for masturbating in public.
    • by Hatta ( 162192 )
      So what does that mean, I can't have privacy in a public place?

      It means that next time there are protests at, say, a political convention in Chicago, they'll be able to track everyone down and arrest them. There will be chilling effects on our 1st amendment right to assemble.
      • by 88NoSoup4U88 ( 721233 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:42PM (#10207023)
        As much can be achieved by photographing/filming them :
        You could also replace the 'protestors' with 'criminals' and your point makes alot less sense.

        I think placing cameras , if properly used by lawenforcements / third parties, can only contribute to cleaning up some foul areas (as seen from first hand experience , in a bad neighbourhood in Rotterdam, the Netherlands) and might come in handy when they are in fact used for 'inspecting the area/accident' in case of an emergency.

        I'm all for privacy ; but it is, and will be , a -public- place : Then again, i think drastic measures like this, should only be done after the city has made a vote for it in a 'referendum' (i am not sure if this is an english word) ; more or less a poll amongst the citizens of the city.

      • Re:Privacy in public (Score:3, Interesting)

        by whovian ( 107062 )
        here will be chilling effects on our 1st amendment right to assemble.

        Camera aren't needed for this. Weren't there demonstrators in the vicinity of the Republican convention who were arrested apparently for no good reason, other than as perhaps a potential threat?
      • It means that next time there are protests at, say, a political convention in Chicago, they'll be able to track everyone down and arrest them. There will be chilling effects on our 1st amendment right to assemble.

        Cameras won't make it any easier to track down protesters. "They're that crowd right there, the one with all the signs."

        In fact, I would submit that protestors want as much public exposure as possible. That is, until they start doing something illegal. (Unless protests have suddenly become i

    • There is no expectation of privacy in a public place as far as the law is concerned.
    • by Cromac ( 610264 )

      Some people are concerned about big brother invading their privacy but Mayor Daley says the cameras will be located in public areas. So what does that mean, I can't have privacy in a public place?

      You can't have privacy or security. England has done the same thing, installed 4.2 million cameras, and according to this article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/08/31/constants urveillance.ap/index.html cameras only drop crime by 3-4% while installing lights dropped crime by 20%.

  • The question... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bloggins02 ( 468782 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:26PM (#10206835)
    ... is not whether such moves are useful. Arguably, almost all privacy-invading programs are in some way.

    The question is: do you trust the government (and the people that work for it!) to use it responsibly?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I for one welcome our new totalitarian overlords.
  • 911 or 9/11? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sultanoslack ( 320583 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:26PM (#10206841)
    I suppose it will probably also be interesting for, uhm, the "national security" folks too. Great. ;-)
  • "Mayor Daley..." (Score:5, Interesting)

    by boomgopher ( 627124 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:27PM (#10206847) Journal
    Sort of off topic, but can any Chicagoans explain this Daley family thing? Is this like some dynasty that won't die?
    I'm surprised this family is still around and in power, am I missing something as to how great they are or something?

    • I'm curious about this too!

      I'll be moving up to Chicago next month, and both times I've visited so far I've seen hundreds of things like "Mayor Daley welcomes you to Chicago!" "This Chicago Transit Authority bus brought to you by Mayor Daley!" "Mayor Daley Police Station #143!"

      It seems like one can hardly go 5 feet without seeing a Mayor Daley sign :-p
      • It's kind of hard to explain... all I have to say is that once you've lived here awhile (can be less than a month really), you'll understand it... and you'll either really really REALLY love him... or you won't. Not many fence-sitters in this town...
    • Re:"Mayor Daley..." (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's just one of those Chicago things. Chicago is one of the worst cities in the US in terms of under the table politics and they're kinda like the Chicago version of the "Kennedy Family". They hav ealways been "friendly with the right people and they're very good at keeping the right people around/under them.

      The current mayors dad was the one that setup the dynasty in the 60's or 70's, and he did a very thorough job.
      • Heh. I got some news for you. We got Kennedys in Chicago, too. You may have heard of Marina City and The Marina Towers (also called the "Corn Cob" Towers) built in the '60's; the Kennedys owned them (but I heard they were sold recently). They also own River City here, a newer condo/apartment development at the South end of the river by Harrison and Wacker.

        But the reason that Daley is so popular as the parent said is due to his dad, who set up a well connected political machine. This, although somewha
  • by rackhamh ( 217889 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:29PM (#10206864)
    Caller: Operator, help, I'm being chased! I'm at the corner of 7th and Broad!

    Operator: Okay, I see you. Oh wait, hold on, the camera's stuck.

    Caller: Forget the damn camera, I need help!

    Operator: Maybe if I press this button... these stupid things always lock up right when you need them...

    Caller: Help! He's gaining on me!

    Operator: Hey Bob, can you come over and have a look at this? Camera 76 is stuck again.

    Bob: Yup, we should have a tech out there some time tomorrow.

    Caller: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuugggggh!
  • Hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by EvilGoodGuy ( 811015 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:29PM (#10206866)
    It sounds like a great idea if used properly, but then again so does communism. Tin hat crew stear clear of Chicago
  • by joelparker ( 586428 ) <joel@school.net> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:29PM (#10206872) Homepage
    How will these cameras affect our freedom?
    For some good ideas, read some David Brin:
    The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? [davidbrin.com]
    • Last I checked, there was plenty of freedom before cameras even existed.

      Stuff like this limits our privacy AND freedom.
      • by joelparker ( 586428 ) <joel@school.net> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:45PM (#10207049) Homepage
        Last I checked, there was plenty of freedom before cameras even existed.

        There are major exceptions: places where there's minimal freedom until cameras arrive. -Joel

        A Lens on the World: Musician Peter Gabriel Provides Human Rights Activists With Cameras for the Cause [changemakers.net]

        By Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Nov 21


        For the past decade, activists and nongovernmental organizations all over the globe have taken up video cameras to document injustices in their countries, sometimes risking their lives to bring human rights abuses to light.

        Women in Afghanistan used hidden cameras to capture the depredations of Taliban rule and, later, the aftermath of the U.S. military campaign. Garment workers in the U.S. territory of Saipan smuggled a camera into sewing factories where women worked 14-hour shifts under lock and key, often without pay, to make clothes for the Gap and other American retailers. In Sierra Leone, young women spoke publicly for the first time about the rapes they endured during a brutal 10-year civil war. In Burma, civilians who are being forced into relocation camps by that country's military regime are filming the activities of the very army that threatens to kill them.

        What these and more than 150 other groups have in common is Witness, a nonprofit group founded by musician Peter Gabriel in 1992 that provides cameras, technical training and distribution support to people whose stories would otherwise most likely go unheard and unseen.

        The more than 25 documentaries co-produced by Witness have been broadcast on television, used in network news stories, shown at film festivals and meetings, streamed on the Web and presented as evidence in federal courts, international tribunals and the United Nations. Though only one film has resulted in the filing of criminal charges, many have been used as evidence in war crimes trials or have prompted long-awaited policy changes. Others have simply spurred progress toward collective healing. Nearly every Witness film has illuminated crimes, injustices and crises that otherwise would have been known only by their perpetrators and victims.

        • by Dyolf Knip ( 165446 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @08:00PM (#10207785) Homepage
          Absolutely correct on all counts. Injustice withers under the light of the minicam. Now, can you identify the utterly critical difference in how those cameras were used and how Chicago's cameras will likely be used?

          The audience.

          A video only has power if it's publicly accessible. If all the camera feeds go straight to Police HQ where they disappear into vaults forever, they will be, at best, totally worthless and more likely to be abused as others have described.

  • by anthonyclark ( 17109 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:30PM (#10206874)
    well, I had thought moving to the US would've let me escape pervasive closed circuit cameras, ah well...

    The problem with blanket-covering an area with cameras is that after a while, the criminals simply go elsewhere...

    Maybe it's like Go; we place our cameras around the country and slowly force the criminals into one little area and take it over?

    About as absurd as thinking cameras will solve crime problems...
    • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:34PM (#10206934)
      The problem with blanket-covering an area with cameras is that after a while, the criminals simply go elsewhere...
      Somehow, this doesn't sound all that bad to me. Tell you what: let's put cameras on my street, and let the criminals migrate to your street.
    • Good idea, let's do it like Go:
      Put cameras on the 4 corners of the city and all the criminals will gather at the center of the town. We'll just have to catch them with a net (oh my god, best Go pun ever...)
    • > Maybe it's like Go; we place our cameras around the country and slowly force the criminals into one little area and take it over?

      Won't work. If anything, cameras attract criminals. Just watch C-SPAN. :)

  • by ElForesto ( 763160 ) <elforesto @ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:30PM (#10206877) Homepage

    With the pan/tilt and zoom features, what's to stop a camera from peering into a window? How long until they start adding things like infrared or night-vision? Maybe I'm just speaking for the tin-foil hat brigade, but these questions need to be asked.

    This says nothing of the rights of the accused to face their accuser. When one of these systems is used to, say, issue a traffic citation, who's the accuser? You have no witness to the crime. It opens up a whole new can of worms, IMO.

    • by Peyna ( 14792 )
      If your window shades are open, the cops can look in. If they happen to see your stash sitting on the counter, they have probable cause.

      The fact that the witness to the crime is not a person is irrelevant. If the videotape shows that you did indeed run a red light, and the facts are indisputable, what does it matter that a cop didn't see it? Just because a police officer didn't see it, doesn't mean that you didn't break the law.
      • You know as well as I do that digital imagery is easily forged, often with convincing results. Putting all the trust into "infallable" digital systems is lunacy. It's usually easier to out a person as a liar than a computer.
      • If your window shades are open, the cops can look in. If they happen to see your stash sitting on the counter, they have probable cause.

        And what's to prevent them from watching someone who forgot to close their shades while dressing?

        The fact that the witness to the crime is not a person is irrelevant. If the videotape shows that you did indeed run a red light, and the facts are indisputable, what does it matter that a cop didn't see it? Just because a police officer didn't see it, doesn't mean that you
      • More correctly, the operator of the vehicle broke a law. Funny how the citation is in the owners name though.
      • In Sacramento, the red light cameras were leading the red lights. Over a thousand cases were thrown out. Of course after the victims of injustice had to pay excessive fines for not committing crimes.
    • There is already a court ruling on using heat seekers or infrared to peer inside houses. It has already been ruled illegal search. Therefore, if they add infrared on those cameras, it would be illegal.
    • Here in the good old UK, there is a CCTV network in the town centre. I've been in the control centre and had a good old play around with it!

      Apart from being fun, it was pretty educational. They use some kind of system (I'm low on details) whereby the windows of residential properties are actually blacked out with these worrying black squares when you pan over them.

      The black squares appear on the stored video and everything.
      Obviously the tin foiled lunatics will still hatch conspiracies about the blac
    • Actually, I know of a case concerning a camera and a window in Chicago.

      I knew a consultant who lived with a couple of roommates in an apartment on Sheffield avenue, directly across from the Wrigley Field (Cubs, ya know) bleachers.

      One of her roommates used to have a window facing the closed circuit security camera under the bleachers (don't know exactly where, don't know what kind of camera it was, either). The camera was remotely controlled, and the girl noticed that the camera swivelled towards her bedro
  • Where this goes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:30PM (#10206878)
    Eventually, they'll be able to tie these cameras into face recognition software-which will mean that anybody with a warrent out for them will have a _very_ hard time anyplace cameras like this are deployed.
    • Man would I be in trouble.

      My handle "Evil Twin Skippy" comes from the fact that I have a face with such average features that everyone swears they've met me before. I've had at least one "twin" me in every school I've attended, and every large office.

      The problem with face recognition software is that while there are only a finite number of ways in which human faces are assembled. Even if the total combinations number in the millions, there are 250 million people in the United States. The probability of

  • Already done (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:30PM (#10206879) Homepage Journal
    In Oregon, ODOT has cameras all over the state- though mainly in the Portland Area. Tripcheck [tripcheck.com] gives up to the minute road conditions in a number of weather and traffic sensitive areas around the State.
    • Can those cameras give any detail more precise than "There is a red car in the center lane of I-5"? For example, can they be used to read license plates?
      • No. Though that's just a matter of time. Of course, for ODOT's main purposes (managing the COMET Incident Response trucks and giving the public a view of what's happening on the roads) that kind of detail isn't a business requirement.
    • Those cameras have about the same resolution and picture quality as an analog 8mm.
      I presume Boston will think of deploying something a bit better in the quality department.
      • Or Chicago. Depends on the purpose though. The lower the resolution, the lower the bandwidth on the fiber, and the more cameras you can afford to deploy. Cost in money and bandwidth will be an issue on any such network.
  • Cool...! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Zaranne ( 733967 )
    Now my stalking can take on a whole new dimension.

    Notes to self:
    1. Hack into the Mayor Daley's databases.
    2. Download photos of person to be stalked.
    3. Fly to Chicago and track him/her down.

    *evil laugh*

  • by irn_bru ( 209849 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:33PM (#10206915)
    I am sure that it will be very comforting to know that when you've been shot/stabbed/assaulted that you'll end up in the police departments Christmas Video and very possibly even get to star in some highly 'educational' Fox 'documentary'.

    The perfect dying thought I'm sure you'd agree...
  • by ARRRLovin ( 807926 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:34PM (#10206929)
    How will that let 911 operators do their job better?
    How does *almost seeing* the situation help? I mean, granted, they're probably not going to be the crappy webcam quality cameras we think they are, but still it escapes me how this will actually proactively help an 911 operator help a victim. It might help them after the fact, but not before or during.
  • Zooming cameras eh? (Score:4, Informative)

    by loraksus ( 171574 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:35PM (#10206947) Homepage
    "Dispatchers will be able to control some of the cameras, such as panning and zooming in."

    Yeah. On tits and ass.

    (search for breasts)
    a la http://www.aclu.org/NationalSecurity/NationalSecur ity.cfm?ID=10059&c=111

    This is just another case of law enforcement making up (or wanting to) for gross incompetency by using technology.
  • by coyote_oww ( 749758 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:39PM (#10206992)
    /flame-retardant suit on

    This doesn't bother me as long as the cameras are completely public. That is, they are essentially web-cams whose content is recorded. Anyone can review any part of any recording. Anyone can make/keep their own copy of the video. CRCs digital signatures stored as "official copies" in multiple locations, etc. (e.g. some protection against screwing with the images after the fact.)

    I like the idea of a transparent society. Let's be as transparent as possible - that is the best way to weaken entrenched power.

    But then, I'm the guy who's number one desired feature on my next car is the ability issue tickets around me for bad driving. I want to be able to turn into a cop, only with the paperwork automated. Having full time camera on every inch of roadway is the closest I can get for the moment...

    No, I don't value your "privacy" on public roadways. Its a public space. You don't get to be private in public. You have to play nice with the other kids.

    I'll take off the flame-retardant suit in a few days. Maybe.

  • by Hollins ( 83264 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:42PM (#10207025) Homepage
    In May, Chicago tested a red light camera system for two weeks then started using it to issue citations.

    On August 28, I received a citation in the mail for a red light violation. The photo was taken May 12 and showed that I coasted through a right-on-red at a blazing 11mph instead of coming to a complete stop. For this, I am fined $90.

    From articles in the Chicago Tribune, it is clear that the photo was taken during the 'testing' period and that the city has since gone back to those test shots and issued citations, in my case three and a half months after the fact.

    I'm now more careful to come to an absolute complete stop when making a right on red (in Chicago during rush hour, this will often elicit a honk from the driver behind you), but I'll dread checking the mail for the next three months.
    • by javaxman ( 705658 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:02PM (#10207220) Journal
      let the bastard honk. As a frequent pedestrian, I can't tell you how many times I've almost walked *into* the car of some jerk-off rolling a red light right-hand turn. It's a lame thing to do- enough people do it, you'll find right-on-red illegal.

      You're *supposed* to stop at red lights, it keeps people from getting killed, that's why they're *red*.

      Drivers in Chicago anyway, jeesh...

    • For Chicago, that's nothing unusual. Just ask this guy [freeadvice.com]. This happened to a friend of mine too. Sold the car a couple of years ago, but they still get tickets in the mail that list the old license plate number. The city doesn't care that they sent in proof of sale, because there is a budget deficit at the moment and having a fair appeals process for traffic tickets would decrease the amount of revenue they bring in. Lesson learned, remove your old license plate when you sell a car.

      In addition, your story h
  • by IvyMike ( 178408 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:47PM (#10207059)
    Here's what scares me: all of the money rapidly being poured into surveillance today is creating an industry that will (obviously) lobby for more and more surveillance tomorrow. I don't see our freedoms stabilizing; I see the emergence of a business model that relies on stripping away our privacy.

    And yes, I know that privacy has been eroding for a while, but it feels like it's getting much worse, much faster, now.

    More scariness in Emerging 'Surveillance-Industrial Complex' Is Turbo-Charging Government Monitoring, ACLU Warns in New Report. [aclu.org]

  • Masks Illegal (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pentalive ( 449155 )
    I wonder with these cameras springing up in more and more places and the spectre of face recognition software being added, I wonder if masks will become illegal...

    With this stuff going on perhaps there is a need for a new fasion statement, Burkas for everyone (you know those head to toe concealing black robes with only eye slits covered by lace worn by women in the more "strict" islamic cultures)
    • Yep, I was going to post the same thing. Once this technology becomes annoying in any way, people will begin to wear identity-obscuring clothes.

      It's just like the way people would obviously cover their license plates in their cars if it were legal.

      But once we get the RFID implants I guess it won't matter if we wear cloaks and masks or not.

      See you at the nearest mountain stronghold! :)

  • You know what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheDarkener ( 198348 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:51PM (#10207110) Homepage
    I actually wouldn't have a problem with cameras in public places, as long as EVERYONE HAD ACCESS TO THEM. Think about it - if you could see what "they" could see, then it would take away a lot of the privacy concerns. Not all of them, of course, but at least the people being monitored would have access to the same information that "they" do.
  • A system allowing 911 to use the caller's cell phone's camera (should the user allow it) would be much less intrusive (and technologically neat!)
  • by RexRhino ( 769423 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @06:52PM (#10207118)
    OK, so it might sound 1984ish to have cameras everyone in public. Certainly it makes me nervous. But how is this survailence worse than what the IRS has been doing for the last 20 years at least? The IRS is already entitled to every bank and ATM transaction, every credit card transaction, a record of all the charities you give to, a record of all income you make, and if you are a buisness, a record of everything you spend your money on. All this long before The Patriot Act or 9/11 or George W Bush or the War on Terror / War on Drugs.

    Certainly tracking a person's every financial transaction is far more dangerous to democracy - (Did you order those movie tickets to Farienheit 9/11 by phone? The government has a record! Did you donate to the Green Party, or the Natural Law Party, or The Libertarian Party? Who you vote for might be secret ballot, but the government knows who you donated to! Did you fly out and rent a hotel to participate in a protest? The government knows! Pay by credit card for your web server? Don't think your controversial political web blog can't be traced to you!).

    You never hear a peep from so called "Civil Libertarians" about what I mentioned above... probably because challenging the complete and total financial survailence of every American means that it would be hard to tax people, and be hard to pay for those expensive government entitlement programs that have so effectivly eliminated poverty, racism, and war (yeah right!).

    Having cameras in public places is more akin to having a police officer on every corner. Yes, it can (and probably will) be abused... but people are regularly abused by Police officers without using any hidden cameras. And at least in public places, there is the understanding that you are in public and can't expect total privacy.

    It seems to me that people are OK with Big Brother, so long as Big Brother will give us the illusion of "freedom". The government can know everything single detail about your political, social, and economic life. But god forbid they catch you on camera picking your nose or something!
  • The question is, do cameras like that help reduce crime? London and parts of England are blanketed with these types of cameras, and while they have been shown to cut down on vehicle thefts, the statistics show no affect on violent crime.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?P a ge =%5CForeignBureaus%5Carchive%5C200206%5CFOR2002062 8c.html

    However, that is from 2002. Can anyone find more recent data?

    The two areas I think would be of interest are:

    Do they help prevent crime? and Do they increase t
  • UK has this in most cities and it help solves hundreds of crimes and is used quite often on Crime watch (A VERY sucessful police program which shows serious crimes they need help with).

    All the tinfoil hatters will complain about this but I'd much rather have it then not. I'm not doing anything illegal in the areas (at home.. well thats another matter) and if I got assaulted or raped for example they would have CCTV evidence and I wouldn't have to prove anything because the camera would of done it for me.

    • Re:UK has this.. (Score:3, Informative)

      by 0123456 ( 636235 )
      And the violent crime rate in the UK is growing fast. You see, crooks don't care about being photographed, particularly when they're wearing hoods and masked, whereas they do care about police patrols catching them in the act. Replacing police patrols with people sitting in a room eating donuts and oggling girls' boobs on CCTV does nothing to reduce crime.
  • CCTV (Score:4, Informative)

    by flossie ( 135232 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:04PM (#10207243) Homepage
    We have almost saturation CCTV coverage in the UK. It doesn't make a great deal of difference. You just find that all the kids who want to cause trouble are all wearing grey tops with hoods and/or baseball caps. There is not a lot a camera can do when they all look the same, all over town, every day.
    • Re:CCTV (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzybunny ( 112938 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:23PM (#10207441) Homepage Journal
      You do, and it would bug me tremendously. There are a lot of shows on German TV (which we unfortunately get here) using footage from surveillance cams, to show evil-doers getting their just rewards, and showing private security and police types making snide comments and basically abusing their powers. A tremendous percentage of the clips they show are from cams in the UK--you can tell from the license plates on cars.

      The most blatant one (don't remember the exact title, I turned it off after about 5 minutes of disgusted fascination) was something along the lines of "look at all these people doing embarrassing things caught on CCTV", like having sex in cars by the roadside, etc.

      If that sort of shit doesn't adequately sum up all that can potentially go wrong with CCTV coverage, I despair of finding a more serious argument against it.
  • Seriously, putting these cameras in public places will just increase your awareness that you are being monitored when in most places you go it is already the case.

    I tend to look for cameras everywhere I go because I worked at a place where I monitored the security cameras for a while so it always interests me in where companies install them and where they are pointed (no, I am not a thief, I promise!). The other day I noticed that my local post office had cameras watching the mail boxes and also several
  • And again, Chicago (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Trailwalker ( 648636 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:09PM (#10207294)
    Brings back memories of Chicago 1968 [cnn.com].

    Those of us who watched events unfold on television, can never forget the name Daley or the Chicago Police Force. This was one of the defining events of my generation.
  • positives my ass (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:20PM (#10207406) Homepage Journal
    There is no positive side to inavasion of privacy..

    Yuu only *think* you will be safer as that is what the government has told you...

    You will be no safer, and much less free.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:38PM (#10207599) Homepage Journal
    The US pioneered the division between public and private spaces, with different rights in either. The 20th Century came and went, without updating our defense of our rights to accommodate the time dimension of these spaces. While public appearances aren't protected by privacy, we have come to expect freedom from recording without our knowledge or consent. Recording and playback were the major technological innovations of the last century. While our expectations of freedom have developed in that new context, the laws that document, and protect, those rights have lagged. We need to ensure that public information expires after a reasonable time, and can be accessed only through a reasonable process of law. This might be an application of copyright on our public image: our appearance is to be recorded and used only for the specific purpose for which we appeared, like safely travelling to work, or getting a tan at the beach. Otherwise the technology, and our use of it, threaten our freedom more than they protect it.
  • by Remik ( 412425 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @07:54PM (#10207733)
    I can't believe the hypocrisy here. If a Republican official tried to do this, it would be the end of privacy...every possible reference to 1984 would be made. But, since it's all done under the watchful eye of his majesty King Daley II, it's "I suppose there are positives".

    The last thing Chicago needs is another pet project for King Richard to pour tax payer dollars into...we're still pulling our pants up after Millienum Park.

  • Let's make a deal! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by syukton ( 256348 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @09:39PM (#10208572)
    How about this: You can have your cameras in public places if everything that they record is released to the public as well, free of charge.
  • Lets clear this up (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ph0rum ( 714668 ) on Thursday September 09, 2004 @10:38PM (#10209066)
    Let me start out by saying that I'm not at all in favor of this move and I'm not much of a fan of Daley.
    But lets clear up a couple of things:

    He isn't planning to "install thousands of cameras." He's planning to centralize the monitoring of the existing cameras, while installing "a few hundred" more. Yes, "a few hundred" is vague, but the significance of this move is NOT the installing of these cameras, but rather the centralization. He could have installed those other hundreds of cameras without saying a word. Centralizing them, though, becomes a big deal, because it creates the "Big Brother" possibility. Bottom line: Most of these cameras already exist.

    As for Daley himself: There are a lot of replies about Meigs and about all the bullshit Daley pulls. For background on this, read Boss by Mike Royko [amazon.com] or read any and all of John Kass's columns in the Chicago Tribune [chicagotribune.com] (there is a particularly good recent one about his long-standing "freindship" with Daley) (free reg. req.).

    On Meigs: The closure of Meigs did NOT place any further burden on any other airports. Meigs was ONLY general aviation and provided NO long-term parking. Furthermore, Meigs was scheduled to be closed in 2005. I, myself, was sorry to see it go (I have taken off and landed from Meigs only a couple of times, but they were plenty of fun). It WAS shady how he closed it, but you get over that. That's how politics work in Chicago.

    Chicago wouldn't be Chicago without Chicago politics. City Hall is corrupt. Corrupt as hell. But it works. And it is a government of the People. Daley is from Bridgeport, a blue collar neighborhood southwest of downtown. You'll see truck drivers, construction workers, factory workers who are better connected than the richest businessmen in the city. In some sense, its the universal equalizer.

    Chicago politics are great; great in a neverending-amusement way. But while you can bitch and moan about civil liberties in relation to these cameras (I'll be there right along with you), pay attention to what actually is being done here: The innovation here is CENTRALIZATION, not INSTALLATION.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"