Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Privacy Government News Politics

Cambridge, Mass. Moves To Nix Security Cameras 366

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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Cambridge, Mass. Moves To Nix Security Cameras

Comments Filter:
  • by Onaga ( 1369777 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @02:46PM (#26831095)
    The cameras were paid for by a grant. Maybe DHS at least wants the cameras back to install in... more understanding neighborhoods. DHS doesn't want to pay for uninstalling something that they wanted installed. DHS won't let them simply turn it off.
  • by El Jynx ( 548908 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @02:56PM (#26831219)
    I agree. Another point which is of paramount importance: who's in control? Why not take the camera's and make them viewable by all, with a backlog of several days? Let people use them as well. Increase social control. Or would this cause some kind of backlash? One could imagine, for instance, dominant insecure alpha men continually tracking their wives as they go shopping and whatnot, while the wives are oblivious. And everyone tells little white lies about where they've been (some not so white, of course). But would that lead to an increase in domestic violence? Or would it mean more crimes would be solved, since more eyes are tracking the streets? Should you take a halfway stance, that only registered users - and ones with a clean police bill - are allowed to use them? My $ 0.02
  • Motive? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by evil_aar0n ( 1001515 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:00PM (#26831259)

    Just a thought, and maybe my tin-foil hat is too snug, but could the local govt find themselves removing these cams because the _police_ didn't like the notion that _they_ might be filmed in public doing things they shouldn't do, like, I dunno, beating protesters? I'm not saying that's happened, but where's the outrage from the police and the protestations that they need these cameras to "protect teh childrenz"?

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:02PM (#26831281) Homepage

    Nope. I can record you every day. and in fact I do to some people, without legal issues.

    There is a bus stop in front of my home, one of my security cameras cover that area and I record every person that get's on and off the bus. (motion recording is passe' record 24-7 and have event markers)

    so wah! and yes I have been asked for video from the cops. I require them to supeona me for my own legal defense.

  • by thermian ( 1267986 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:06PM (#26831359)

    Ask our Nanny State British cousins how much they like their cameras.

    For the most part? We know they are inneffective and almost all are not even watched.
    The main reason they irritate people is the cost of keeping them active, not for 'slashdot modpoint gaining outrage' at the erosion of our civil liberties.

    Our civil liberties are doing just fine thanks, most of the problems we have no are the result of OMG TERRORISTS!!!111ONE pressure from the US, and that again is losing steam at a rapid rate.

    Unlike you, our country once got the shit bombed out of it nightly for YEARS, and we survived, started up a national health service, and began a process of ensuring personal freedoms which we still enjoy today.

    You guys seem to be reacting to one single bombing event by imprisoning your population behind survellance and suspicion for years and removing all pretense of freedom.

    Go you...

  • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:14PM (#26831517) Journal

    bceause the "gubmint" is in a conspiracy to frame you

    Uh, after enough police scandals [], prosecutors knowingly prosecuting innocent people [] (withholding exculpatory evidence showing that the person did not commit the crime []) and D.A.s declaring that they only believe in DNA evidence when it claims a man is guilty but not when it shows that the accused was either of the two men who raped a woman []... I think its fair to say that the people in government are more than happy to frame anyone they wish.

  • Re:Security cameras. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:15PM (#26831545) Homepage

    Speak for yourself.

    My interior security cameras at the house trigger the alarm and page me when motion is detected in zones if the alarm is armed. They also were successfully used as evidence to put away the punk that robbed me. Thieves are brain dead and will look directly at cameras.

    also the driveway camera triggers the doorbell if a car sized object enters the driveway.

    Security cameras are very useful and work great.

    PUBLIC security cameras are useless except for government violation of civil rights.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:17PM (#26831579) Journal

    >>>every single person who exceeds the speed limit by 1 mph even for a few seconds get a ticket? Should every jaywalker get ticketed

    IMHO - yes. Then I'd know I can only do 65, instead of wondering if 70 is "probably" okay, but maybe not, but maybe it is, but who knows? I prefer certainty. If it turns-out that arresting people are 66 is too stringent, then solution is to rewrite the laws to make them effective, not to just ignore them or apply them randomly.

    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.

  • Re:Security cameras. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by icebrain ( 944107 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @03:35PM (#26831887)

    Your ideas intrigue me, sir; I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    How would an interested person go about setting up and installing such a system?

  • by MemoryAid ( 675811 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @05:28PM (#26833931)
    Yes. If you are interested, this book [] has more info on the concept.
  • by Xenophore ( 1260104 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @06:01PM (#26834541)

    Our civil liberties are doing just fine thanks

    What civil liberties? Britons have no expectation of privacy, no right of self-defense, and no right of free speech. As we say in America, "Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

  • by fugue ( 4373 ) on Thursday February 12, 2009 @08:34PM (#26837045) Homepage
    Of course, arresting everybody is a great way to arrest thieves and murderers. But there's a downside. I'll leave figuring that out as an exercise to the grader.

    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.

    Check out Ch. 4 of Freakonomics. It claims (and backs it up pretty thoroughly) that Giuliani didn't do much to clean up New York--the crime wave dropped nationwide at that time. "That time" was roughly 16 years after Roe v. Wade.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...