Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Privacy News

A Surveillance Camera On Every Chicago Street Corner? 311

Mike writes "Chicago Mayor Daley has stated that if his Olympic dreams come true, by 2016 there will be a surveillance camera on 'every street corner in Chicago.' Just like in London, elected officials all over America appear to be happily advancing a 'surveillance society' without regard for civil rights or privacy concerns. Ray Orozco, executive director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications is quoted as saying, 'We're going to grow the system until we eventually cover one end of the city to the other.'" Chicago has been developing its surveillance network for some time, but it seems they plan to continue increasing the scale.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Surveillance Camera On Every Chicago Street Corner?

Comments Filter:
  • by Lord Byron II ( 671689 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:20AM (#26940229)

    Christ, they put those cameras in several years ago in the most high crime parts of Chicago. And you know what? They're still the most high crime parts of Chicago.

    If you want crime to drop, give people a decent education, a decent job, and decent opportunity not to join a gang. And if you really want to increase enforcement, then stick a cop, not a camera, on every corner.

    This is nothing more than "security theater" on a city-wide scale.

  • by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:39AM (#26940313) Journal

    A cop on every corner? Yeah, because cops are reliable witnesses who never lie or 'accidentally' not notice a little crime going on.

    What about a cop with a camera on every corner?

  • by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:44AM (#26940329)

    and yet the police have much lower corruption that in the US. The Demenzies case got so much focus because it's so incredibly rare for police to shoot someone dead in the UK (happens maybe 2-3 times a year). The police have far more oversight here than in lots of countries.

    Of course that doesn't mean they're not given stupid powers through anti-terrorism laws

  • Waste of time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thermian ( 1267986 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:47AM (#26940347)

    A camara that watches people is worthless unless there is someone to watch the camara output. Citywide survelliance for somewhere like Chicago would need thousands of people if it were to work.

    That means an expensive workforce. This in turn means low wages, which means poor quality.

    This would of course then be something a tech company will say they can do more efficiently and cheaply. The provided system will suck (unless AI has developed beyond our current abilities, and if it has, I missed a paper somewhere). The company will claim IP protection for their tech, and try to hide the snake oil nature of the code.

    The result? an expensive but useless system kept in place to prevent the politicians who put them in from losing face (as in having to explain where those tens of millions of dollars went).

  • by Seriousity ( 1441391 ) <Seriousity AT live DOT com> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:58AM (#26940407)
    It is not the Jews. You've swallowed a big fat lie there my friend. The Jews have been the scapegoat time and time again. Everytime you blame the Jews for something you stop really questioning what's going on and the truth WHOOSHES over your head.
  • Not About Crime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:04AM (#26940439)

    This is not about crime.

    This is a system for assisting in coordinating deployment of riot troops and other resources to control the population in an urban setting when things collapse. The government knows the path we are currently traveling will lead to societies' collapse and the revolt of the population against the government.

    Heck, the FBI is already training first-responders now in dealing with IEDs, although they say "terrorist-planted IEDs" to cover their butts. If a road is well-traveled by law-abiding citizens (and a well-traveled road is the type that would be the best target), terrorists would find it extremely hard to plant roadside bombs without getting reported. So who do you think the government thinks will be planting IEDs? []

    Get ready for super-happy-fun-times.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:34AM (#26940577)

    If you want crime to drop, give people a decent education, a decent job, and decent opportunity not to join a gang.

    Give? Whatever happened to "earn"?

    And if you really want to increase enforcement, then stick a cop, not a camera, on every corner.

    Well, the porkulus bill will take care of that, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:36AM (#26940603)

    It's time we seriously considered two things -
    Legalizing marijuana
    Exiling violent offenders

  • by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:06AM (#26940791)

    "A" doesn't work.
    "B" doesn't work.
    Oh, I know! Let's try "A+B"!


    My tires won't get me to work, and my car won't work w/o tires.

    I'm actually FOR cops with cameras, and streetcorners without cameras. I've never been arrested by a camera, and wish that when I was, there was one there.

  • by NekoXP ( 67564 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:53AM (#26941095) Homepage

    That's because "high crime" is a statistic, the more crime reported or monitored, the higher it gets.

    Nobody should be worried about cameras on every corner unless they are a criminal worried about being caught in the act.

    To run around ranting that cameras invade privacy and erode civil liberties is fundamentally mis-targeted - it's not the cameras that invade privacy, and it's not within the function of a mere imaging device to erode your civil liberties.

    To say that a camera does this, implies that you're of the assumption that civil liberties exist to allow you to freely commit crimes, to take the risk if you will.
    The topic is right; "the cameras do nothing". They are passive. Put as many up as you like, I don't mind.

    What you have to be worried about is the repurposing of the data captured by the camera. This is entirely a "people problem" - people watching the cameras, people putting those images in databases, people cross-referencing that data in ways which DO invade privacy..

    However I cannot think of a single instance where the presence of a camera did any harm to anyone. I can think of several instances where while it may be disconcerting but really all they capture is ordinary life, something anyone can do with a camera phone (the current popular choice for catching a cop beating on some black guy or using excessive force). And if they are capturing criminal acts, well then the people behind the cameras can do their jobs. If they are corrupt, then maybe that footage will disappear; what there needs to be is accountability for the data and procedures in place, and THAT is the important thing.

    Let's stop whining about "cameras" and fix the corrupt law enforcement and data-selling practises that come with cameras.

  • privacy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jipn4 ( 1367823 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:56AM (#26941111)

    You have no expectation of privacy on a public street. Why should you?

    Trying to create such a right to privacy on public streets would be quite harmful to the interests of citizens in a democracy; we want to be able to record, document, and share what happens in public.

    The real problem with surveillance cameras is that they are not public, so the police can use them against you, but you may not be able to use them against the police or government. Video from surveillance cameras should be publicly accessible by everybody.

  • by NekoXP ( 67564 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:41PM (#26941437) Homepage

    Public access only works if all the public watching aren't nutcases.

    Just imagine what public access surveillance would do to the "stalking industry", or people who prey on others (even such stuff as seeing who got a hell of a lot of money out of an ATM, or had a nice shiny car and is busy getting his eyes tested).

    It's probably best not to throw the entire thing out to the public.

    But it does basically throw up the accountability issue; the data and the people behind the data and using the data need to be regulated and accountable. The public is not regulated OR accountable.

    The problem with cameras right now is that cameras are AWESOME, but you got some lazy fat donut-munching wanker behind the desk with the little joystick, zooming in on some pair of tits instead of watching and acting on the mugging going on down the street. Or worse, a lazy fat donut-munching wanker who is taking bribes to "lose" footage when it's inconvenient.

  • Screw you, Daley. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by porcupine8 ( 816071 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @12:54PM (#26941539) Journal
    We've got buses and train tracks falling apart, we have to beg the state and even federal government for money so that the public transit system doesn't completely shut down and the city with it - but hey! Clearly what the Olympic committee wants to see isn't a CTA that can actually handle the number of tourists required for this event - no no, I'm sure what they really want is a promise to pretend to prevent crime.

    I am so glad I'll only be living in this city for a couple more years. There are some really good things about it, but they're not anything that can't be found in any reasonably-sized city.
  • by Man On Pink Corner ( 1089867 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:13PM (#26941707)

    Nobody should be worried about cameras on every corner unless they are a criminal worried about being caught in the act.

    If you live in the US, you're subject to about 40,000 pages of Federal, state, and local law.

    Trust me. You're a criminal, as am I.

  • by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <> on Saturday February 21, 2009 @01:33PM (#26941873) Homepage Journal

    so they have some form of evidence to give police, not just hearsay.

    So the police set up a system, the people record the system, then give the police their own feed? Instead, set the system up so that it records the previous five minutes. If someone is watching and sees a crime, they can hit a button on the website (which would use either AJAX or Java) that would start extra recording for that particular camera. After it's all gone down, they hit the stop button (or it stops after X minutes automatically) and they are given a video ID and a little form to fill out to explain what they just saw.

    When they submit the form, the information is sent to a rookie/veteran stuck in the office whose job it is to watch the feeds and read/respond to citizen alerts. (If it doesn't work out to have the same person behind the desk 24/7, just make it a rotating shift where each cop takes 6 hours a week at it.) If a lot of citizens suddenly flag a camera, an alert is sent to both the cop on duty, the police chief, and an SMS is sent to any cop in the immediate area of that camera. Cops hopefully have access in their vehicles to the cameras, so they have to check the feed before speeding off (to stop /b/-style raids or some gang using social engineering to move cops from another area).

    But getting the citizens interested might be a bit hard... so, instead of Neighborhood Watch, make it Neighborhood Survivor, or Neighborhood Real World, or Neighborhood Big Brother. Glitz the page up, and let people create accounts that can be tied to their successful report rate. (Make sure it has the ability to automatically downgrade reports from an abusive account or IP.) Have a weekly show on local cable about various incidents and those who reported them, along with the ability for people to "vote" on which camera area should get a make-over (regular city stuff, like re-paving a road, fixing fences/house sides, etc.) which will help to boost morale in an area.

    Also, some comment on Chicago trying to outdo China on more than just the Olympics.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @02:25PM (#26942215) Journal
    And that is the problem you should be addressing.
  • by Hooya ( 518216 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @02:25PM (#26942223) Homepage

    > The topic is right; "the cameras do nothing". They are passive. Put as many up as you like, I don't mind.

    I would like to put one up. In Daley's office.

I've got a bad feeling about this.