July 30, 2007

Love those....

... surveillance cameras.

83 comments:

TMink said...

I have conflicting thoughts on this issue. On the one hand, nothing will happen if the camera is used to track innocent people as the ACLU fears. Innocent people are innocent!

On the other hand, this smells and looks and feels like big brother. And I cannot imagine how many hours it would take to go through all the footage. It just does not strike me as effecient. How much does it cost to purchase, service, and staff, and how many beat cops could you hire for the same amount of money.

Trey

Palladian said...

People that think that England, its people and current society are something we should emulate haven't been there lately.

Alas, I'm afraid that nothing will stem this ill tide. More surveillance, more government, less privacy. And where can we turn? Neither viable political party is anything less than abysmal on these issues.

NSC said...

I'm all for them. While they don't stop crime or terrorism they certainly assist in the investigation after the fact. And since a big part of fighting terrorism is folding-up terrorist cells, capturing these guys quickly after an attack is vitally important.

As to the civil liberty issue - as long as the cameras are up in public places for the life of me I cannot see the problem. You have no right to privacy in those places and one shouldn't be picking one's nose in public if they don't want it seen.

Hoosier Daddy said...

More surveillance, more government, less privacy.

How much privacy does one have on a public street? I can hardly walk down the sidewalk naked and be indignant that people are violating my privacy by looking at me.

What is the difference between a camera on every corner vs a cop standing there watching eveyone?

paul a'barge said...

Love them. Bring them on. Hurry, hurry.

Film me. Listen in on my telephone conversations. Check out my background. Pull my credit history. Question my friends and neighbors. Investigate my organizations.

To the nimrods who want to blow us up and the morons who support their rights ... sorry, but you don't have a right to go about your evil business without us trying to catch you.

First we film you, then we catch you, next we torture you and then we kill you.

AllenS said...

My thoughts parallel Paul's.

Palladian said...

Sorry, but I don't share all of your unbounded enthusiasm for surveillance. You seem to assume that the "right people" will always be behind the lens. What happens when that isn't the case? In a hypothetical for conservatives, what happens when we have a left-wing government that decides it would be good to use the cameras to track people for other purposes? You say "well if you're innocent, what do you have to worry about?"

But who decides what is "innocent" behavior? Who's to say that an "innocent" activity will always stay that way? Who's looking at all this footage? How long is it kept? How secure is it? Am I being assumed guilty by being filmed?

There's a difference between having legitimate surveillance of a place like the Capitol Grounds or a military base or power plant. But that's not what London-style surveillance is. America doesn't have the horrible social problems that England does, nor have its people traditionally ceded as much power and control to the State as the royal subjects have.

The presence of 100000 cameras didn't stop the London train bombings. The things that stop bombings are good intelligence, good investigative techniques and proper profiling.

vet66 said...

Paul:

I agree also. A CCTV tape of a perp in action has to be a trial lawyers worst nightmare.

But then let's not talk about John (I'm for the poor) Edwards, the ACLU, CAIR, communist dockworkers in San Francisco, la raza/reconquista, trial lawyers association, and every pot smoking, pachouli smelling hippie still lost in the killing fields of Viet Nam/Cambodia.

Bring it on!

MadisonMan said...

Americans traditionally love things that make them feel secure. Alas, feeling secure and being secure are two different animals, as Palladian notes.

paul, your post is delightfully vague.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

What I would've given for a camera in the parking lot during my recent armed robbery!

Hoosier Daddy said...

In a hypothetical for conservatives, what happens when we have a left-wing government that decides it would be good to use the cameras to track people for other purposes?

Such as what? Left or Right government is irrelevant. I am of the opinion that unless I am going underground, the government can pretty easily follow me around simply by my debit card use or listening in on my telephone calls. If they were going to go to that effort, there are already more effective ways in which to 'track' me than filming me on the corner of 5th and Ohio Street.

But I would agree that they won't prevent terrorism/crime but are a valuable form of forensic evidence. Case in point was that girl who was abducted outside of that Target store a month or so ago. Store camera picked up the guy who did it and at least they were able to track him down.

Balfegor said...

People that think that England, its people and current society are something we should emulate haven't been there lately.

I was in London recently, and while you can see the cameras everywhere, and the atmosphere seemed rather more militarised than you'd expect in a Western capital, it's not actually all that obtrusive. That said, the path that Britain is taking -- with autonomous hovering surveillance drones and speakers on the cameras to scold the rabble -- is not one we should take, and it's easier to forestall those kinds of developments if we prevent the first step. Namely, the installation of thousands on thousands of video cameras covering all of public space.

birdie bob said...

I have a slightly mixed view. I have no problem with private individuals and businesses installing cameras. I am opposed to stop light cameras installed by police forces because of due process concerns. I'm also opposed to the stop light cameras because they assume guilt until you can prove innocence and they seem to be intended to raise money rather than enforce traffic laws.

Palladian said...

"I was in London recently, and while you can see the cameras everywhere, and the atmosphere seemed rather more militarised than you'd expect in a Western capital, it's not actually all that obtrusive."

Well, I didn't just mean the state of the State, I also meant in terms of the various social problems that were the major concern that prompted the British to install their surveillance state in the first place. Those problems haven't gone away. There's still a radicalized Muslim population that's literally and figuratively a ticking time bomb and a huge underclass of loutish, cynical yobs and priggish Euro-socialists determined to finish off whatever remnants of that once-great nation remain after the dust from the explosions settle.

davidc. said...

I consider it to be an absolute waste of money. A good example of a similar situation is street lights. I read an article on light polution a few years ago and they had a study that demonstrated that street lights were more of a hazard than a help. The color even made people more anxious. Basically the light helped the criminal more than prevented a crime. The same could be said for cameras, the mention of the cameras associated with street signals brings up another article of recent publication that demonstrated that they actually caused more traffic accidents than prevented them and that rather than be used for the intended purpose, they were simply another method for the government to extract more money from its citizens with excess fines. I can think of several ways that the government could use even survalence cameras in a similar manner. The basic criminal will not be stopped as he will simply done a disguise.

If you ask cops what helps the most in terms of stopping crime they say guns and dogs. If you are armed, your chance of being a victim drops to close to zero and dogs are strictly avoided by all criminals.

The Drill SGT said...

NSC said...
I'm all for them. While they don't stop crime or terrorism they certainly assist in the investigation after the fact.


I think there are 3 impacts:

1. recordings for catching and convicting. (GOOD)

2. real time monitoring. Not likely for most situations, but it does give police an instant read of the situation if there is a riot, bomb, traffic tie-up, it. This is where most folks have privacy issues, but frankly, there never will be enough folks watching all those cameras to catch a single armed robber in the act. (GOOD and bad)

3. deterrence. criminals can't assume that nobody is watching or that tape isn't being kept. they do deter some crimes. (GOOD)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have no problem with them in public places. There is no expectation of privacy in a public area, on the street or in a place of business like a bank or store where the cameras are for security.

The presence of cameras would act as a deterent to crime, we hope. The ability to review actions after a crime has been committed would aid in catching the perpetrators. If you are not doing anything illegal, what's the big deal?

I have a friend who owns a laundromat. After the installation of security cameras vandalism went to almost zero.

Palladian said...

"If you are not doing anything illegal, what's the big deal?"

If any phrase should strike fear into the heart of someone who loves liberty it should be this one.

Zeb Quinn said...

The thing to fear is not the presence of the cameras. They are already there to a massive extent, and what we are talking about is going from massive to overwhelmingly massive. There's NOTHING any of us can do about that. It's the way of the world. It's going to happen. The thing to worry about is the misuse of those cameras. Putting those safeguards into place is where the action is on this issue.

The comparisons to Big Brother and Orwell in inapt. In 1984 the most offensive and frightening thing was that the cameras were in people's homes. That's not what's going on here, or anything close to that.

Eli Blake said...

I feel uncomfortable with the state watching every corner of every street, and it seems like that is what we are coming to. That is different than a private business putting cameras up in his/her business for security reasons, but we now have cameras on traffic lights, telephone poles and other places where the government has put them.

I will say that I am pleasantly surprised to see some conservatives on here, who I've in the past clashed with on issues like warrantless surveillance, the Patriot Act, indefinite detention without charges and the use of secret evidence in trials, do finally share some of the concern that I've had for awhile that in our headlong rush to protect ourselves against a couple of thousand bad guys, we are changing the essence of what makes America a free nation.

And the idea, espoused by some, that if you are 'innocent, then why worry?' shows a very shallow level of understanding.

Laws can always be changed, and if the state is now allowed to collect the evidence retroactively, then we are far closer to a Soviet, police-state type society than you can imagine.

Palladian said...

"Laws can always be changed, and if the state is now allowed to collect the evidence retroactively, then we are far closer to a Soviet, police-state type society than you can imagine."

Very wise words. This should absolutely not be a liberal vs. conservative issue.

Eli Blake said...

By the way, the ACLU doesn't file frivolous lawsuits.

If you want an example of what I would consider a frivolous lawsuit, consider the Chinese lawyer who is suing McDonald's over a receipt printed in English.

The amount he is suing for: 13 cents.

Maxine Weiss said...

Our Social Security

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social
Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

1.) That participation in the Pr ogram would be
Completely voluntary,

2.) That the participants would only have to pay
1% of the first $1,400 of their annual
Incomes into the Program,

3.) That the money the participants elected to put
Into the Program would be deductible from
Their income for tax purposes each year,

4.) That the money the participants put into the
Independent "Trust Fund" rather than into the
General operating fund, and therefore, would
Only be used to fund the Social Security
Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and,

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees
Would never be taxed as income.



Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are
Now receiving a Social Security check every month --
And then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of
the money we paid to the Federal government to "put
Away" -- you may be interested in the following:
-------------------------------------------------------------
Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the
Independent "Trust Fund" and put it into the
General fund so that Congress could spen d it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically
Controlled House and Senate.
---------- ----------------------------------------------------------
Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax
Deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social
Security annuities? !

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the
"tie-breaking" deciding vote as President of the
Senate, while he was Vice President of the US..
-------------------------------------------------------------------
AND MY FAVORITE:


Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving
Annuity payments to immigrants?

A: That's right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party.
Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65,
Began to receive Social Security payments! The
Democratic Party gave these payments to them,
Even though they never paid a dime into it!
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Then, after doing all this lying and thieving and violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!
And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it!

Eli Blake said...

No, Palladian, it should not.

Ben Franklin (who lived before modern liberalism or conservatism had any meaning) said,

"Those who would trade freedom for security, deserve neither."

Eli Blake said...

Maxine:

No contention about Johnson, which was a huge mistake and used to finance Vietnam without making it clear what it was costing us.

However, your point about immigrants is misleading-- only legal immigrants are issued SSN's, and they do so at the age when they become legal immigrants. Sure, there are some who may come and become citizens when they are already 65 (and so don't pay into the system) but prior to Carter, there were also people working legally and paying in at age 25 without any expectation of getting anything out, even if they were still legally in the U.S. Or do you consider that to be fair? As to the view that most people have of immigrants (the illegal ones) they don't have Social Security numbers and generally seek employment using someone else's number (generally stolen or by chance matching up with someone else) so they pay taxes in but any payout is made to whoever's number it is. So your whole 'immigrant' post is highly misleading.

As far as Republicans wanting to take away Social Security, well I'd only point out that two years ago it WAS Republicans and Bush who proposed to do exactly that! I know (I was then 42) that under the Bush privatization scheme if I decided to remain under the current system (which I would have) then my own payment would (with the adjustments they proposed to make to the current system) have gone down compared to what it will be otherwise.

So my response to your line,

the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!

would be "uh...yeah. Because they DID try to take it away!"

NSC said...

Ben Franklin (who lived before modern liberalism or conservatism had any meaning) said,

"Those who would trade freedom for security, deserve neither."


I agree with Ben, only I can't see anyone losing any freedom from having cameras in PUBLIC places. What are you giving up, exactly? The right to not be observed in a public place? I don't think that right exists. The right to not be observed by the state in a public place? Again, no such right exists. The right not to have your picture taken in a public place? I could be wrong but I am unaware of any such right (although there may be some state laws that prohibit that?).

There is no loss here that I can find.

vet66 said...

Eli's Coming;

Maxine is right on! Apparently you have never gone through the pants pockets of a Mexican, legal or illegal! Every hear of phony Id's? Stolen SS numbers? Drivers license or ID cards from sanctuary cities that can be copied on a printer at home using adobe photoshop?

The Railroad Retirement System recently removed their billions from the general fund. The scam, whether it be Railroad Retirement or Social Security, is for the government, usually democrats, to request a projection of how much will be needed to cover payouts. The rest goes to earmarks, etc. Then they give us a "French Kiss" and pay no interest on the monies collected throughout the year. The Railroad Retirement monies are now invested in mutual funds gaining market interest.

vet66 said...

Speaking of cameras, they are not the only source of surveilance. The ubiquitous cell phone triangulates your every move in relation to any cell towers within broadcast range. Soon coming to a cell phone or GPS device near you is the ability to transmit your position back to the satellite so people can find you when you get lost.

The banks follow your activities and many require you to input your zip code when making retail purchases outside your computer generated normal operating area. I call my credit card company when I go on vacation so they know my card hasn't been stolen.

I'm glad someone is watching out for Maxine and Me!

Fred said...

I trust the government about as far as I can overthrow it! Our justice system is so easily corrupted by politics, otherwise, I might be willing to listen to the arguments. Why do 75% of Americans think this is a good idea? Maybe, it's because they've been conditioned to be afraid. Fear is the best way to hold dominion over a people, why do you think terrorists do what they do?

Revenant said...

What is the difference between a camera on every corner vs a cop standing there watching eveyone?

I don't want a cop on every street corner either.

Fred said...

After reading about England, the last thing on my mind was "I hope America becomes like them."

on surveillance, privacy

Jeff said...

"What is the difference between a camera on every corner vs a cop standing there watching eveyone?"

No difference. That is the problem.

Revenant said...

Ben Franklin (who lived before modern liberalism or conservatism had any meaning) said, "Those who would trade freedom for security, deserve neither."

No, he didn't. What he said (in 1755) was:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." (emphasis mine)

Only an fool would think that all exchanges of liberty for safety are unacceptable, and Franklin was no fool. A government is, after all, a means of trading liberty for safety. Franklin's statement was a warning that we shouldn't sell our liberty too cheaply.

In any case, the sentiment doesn't tell us much about the surveillance issue, which doesn't directly relate to either freedom or liberty -- or even privacy, really, since the areas in question are public ones.

Roost on the Moon said...

There is a tremendous amount of faith in the federal government around here. It almost seems it's a simple trade-off. The more power we give them, the safer we are.

Ugh. This stuff brings out my inner-paranoid libertarian. My inner gun-nut. My inner slippery slope surfing, tin-foil coiffed survivalist. Be forewarned, the rest is all him. I'm about to go off the deep-end, here. Should be good for a laugh.

More and more, information is power. Our rate of technological advancement will make these questions of privacy come up more and more in the coming years. It will always be for our own good. The innocent will never have anything to worry about.

Already, we can "tag" people surgically to make them trackable via satellite. Politically, widespread use of that is a tough sell, and logistically, it pretty much requires consent. But it won't be long before we can "tag" someone non-surgically, painlessly, and even without the subject's knowledge.

We could openly tag ex-cons as a condition of release. Or Arab immigrants/visitors as a condition of entry. Sound good? We could tag everyone on a Terrorism Watch List, without their knowledge. Will we need a warrant? Well, we'll see.

We could tag everyone. We could connect those tags to huge amounts of data. This could be used to keep us safe. Kidnapping would become absolutely impossible. Missing kids would be a thing of the past. A Fed agent could look at a local map and see all ex-con sex offenders that are within 20 feet of a child <12.

Or, we could locate all people who have checked out the writings of Said Qotb OR visited aljazeera.net AND own a gun. You could keep track of all people who visit both Mosques and shooting ranges. Your internet browsing history could be stored at the pentagon and tied to you physically via the tag. Want to see all fundamentalist Christian gun owners within two blocks of an abortion clinic? We can do that.

We could collect guns, too, install those tags in your guns. The feds could have a great big database with the location of every legal gun in the country. It would make raiding methlabs a lot easier. Cult compounds, too. Raids of all kinds, for that matter. Only "guilty" houses, of course. As ever, the innocent would have nothing to fear.

The technology to do this stuff already exists or will soon. What's missing to do this is the will, not the means. Pushes for more and more invasive tactics will come. We do need to draw some serious lines around our privacy. "The innocent have nothing to fear" will not cut it in a nano-tech world.


First we film you, then we catch you, next we torture you and then we kill you.


Don't forget that that's the state, Paulie. It's not you and your patriotic buddies at the bar. That's the state. And if it's not afraid of it's people, we ought to be afraid of it. When accountability ends, so does Democracy.

They flouridate the water, too, you know. There is no escape. Ok. Now I'm kidding.

Jeff said...

"there were also people working legally and paying in at age 25 without any expectation of getting anything out, even if they were still legally in the U.S. Or do you consider that to be fair?"

Yep. If you want to come over here only to work. If you want to become a citizen, then you get your benefits.

I was also 42 when Bush talked about fixing SS. I would have opted out of it and invested my money instead of giving it to the government. Funny.

"So my response to your line,
the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away!
would be "uh...yeah. Because they DID try to take it away!"

You left out ".....and replace it with something better that WONT bankrupt the government down the road." When my FICA goes up to 20-25% or more of our income perhaps more people will be willing to take care of themselves rather than have the government dole out our little SS checks. Well, except for the "rich" of course. Not only will they be paying SS tax on all income by then, but they will be "means" tested so they wont see a dime of it. Just considered that a extra retroactive 15% income tax bump. Plus the 28% to 35% federal rate. Plus the increase that is coming so that you "pay your fair share" of taxes.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ben Franklin (who lived before modern liberalism or conservatism had any meaning) said,

"Those who would trade freedom for security, deserve neither."


Thanks. I’ll remember that quote the next time I’m told that private gun ownership needs to be banned so we’ll be more secure from people like Cho Seung-Hui.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't want a cop on every street corner either.

Reverent, if you lived in Indianapolis and watched our skyrocketing crime rate, you'd be surprised how many people are asking for exactly that.

Joe R. said...

My fear with the cameras isn't a loss of privacy, because in reality, privacy is a high virtue for the immoral and criminals, but I fear the loss of autonomy. The government (or who ever is on the other end of the cameras) won't be content to watch the 99% of people engage in lawful activity. They'll want to intervene (it will give their cctv watching meaning) and help us 99% be better people. That's when the speakers will be installed. "Hey you--don't ya know shorts are not acceptable attire. You look like a little boy--go inside and put on some pants."

Revenant said...

Reverent, if you lived in Indianapolis and watched our skyrocketing crime rate, you'd be surprised how many people are asking for exactly that.

I wouldn't be surprised by it at all. I'm used to people making idiotic demands on the government in response to whatever's bugging them this week.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I wouldn't be surprised by it at all. I'm used to people making idiotic demands on the government in response to whatever's bugging them this week.

I'm not talking about univeral health care or some other nanny state handout. I don't think it's an idiotic statement to demand increased police protection when kids in our residential neighborhoods are being snatched from thier front lawns or bus stops by pedofiles or women getting raped on the way to thier car after work.

Last time I checked, I thought it was the state's job to provide for public safety.

MadisonMan said...

I don't think it's an idiotic statement to demand increased police protection...

And do cameras provide that protection? That's the question I've never seen a satisfactory answer to, although they can be great for after-the-fact evidence.

Revenant said...

I'm not talking about univeral health care or some other nanny state handout.

No, you're talking about something worse: spending an enormous amount of money for little actual benefit at all, just so anxious voters can have their irrational fears slightly assuaged.

The "a cop on every street corner" strategy is one of the most wasteful uses of police manpower imaginable*. Its great if your goal is a sharp increase in jaywalking tickets and parking citations, but counterproductive if your goal is catching rapists, murderers, and thieves.

And yes, I know that police organizations generally support it. That's because police organizations represent police interests, not public interests, and there is an obvious police interest in spending lots more money on police who do little but stand around all day waiting for something to happen. It is safe, easy work that pays well.

danny said...

Just an observation, not just on this post but many of them, a general thought:

this blog seems to attract the most frightened people in the world. I mean, I don't know if many of you live in a city bigger than Madison, but man, really, it's not that scary!

But Paul a'Barge takes the cake! There is one scared mf'er!

Balfegor said...

The "a cop on every street corner" strategy is one of the most wasteful uses of police manpower imaginable*.

Well . . . every streetcorner, maybe. I don't think it's a bad thing to have a little mini-station in every neighbourhood open 24-7, though -- something within running distance.

Re:Danny

I think Paul A'Barge is being ironical.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And do cameras provide that protection? That's the question I've never seen a satisfactory answer to, although they can be great for after-the-fact evidence.

Will cameras prevent all crimes? Probably not, but they will be a deterrent to some people. They will also make people change their patterns of behaviour. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe not.

I do know that they work to deter crime and vandalism in the areas that they are prominently seen to be used. In places such as banks, atm machines, my friend's laundromat and at several local parks and plazas in my geographic area crime has gone down because the cameras are there. Possibly the criminals have just moved locations, but they do work.

Roost on the Moon said...

I'd like to echo Danny.

Violent crime rates have been dropping precipitously for years. Nobody can get together on an explanation, but I haven't seen anyone dispute the facts. And yet,
somehow we're always at the breaking point. I hear people lament how you can't let your kids play outside anymore. I blame sensationalist news. (Adults can watch too much TV, too.) There aren't more kidnappers and pedophiles now than there were when you were a kid, just more tv specials about it. More Nancy Grace, more Dateline. Be careful, take precautions, give your kid a cel phone. Teach them to stick together and don't go anywhere with strangers. But then give 'em their bikes back. They're safer than ever.

hdhouse said...

Great point Hoosier.

Then you won't have any issues with us putting a webcam on your sidewalk and training it on your front door so we know when you are home or not, who is visiting etc.

Seems fair to me that you don't mind it and if you aren't doing anything wrong you can't have any objections.

hdhouse said...

or we could stick it up your ass and see what you are thinking...ohhh that was perhaps over the top. forget that. apply it to cousin cedarford

Cedarford said...

I have conflicting thoughts on this issue. On the one hand, nothing will happen if the camera is used to track innocent people as the ACLU fears. Innocent people are innocent!

On the other hand, this smells and looks and feels like big brother. And I cannot imagine how many hours it would take to go through all the footage.


I tend to agree. There is little that tells a child molester and killer and 100 other potential monsters like him that the odds they will be fried or beaten to death by other inmates better than the abjuction being video'd.

Cameras are great for that and other felonies. You're hosed, dude. Your lawyer said prosecutors aren't interested in a plea, they have a 30 minute case with the smoking gun.

Where I have a problem is with the Big Brother aspect being used for state revenue-raising or chilling the population by allowing vaster punishment of minor infractions.
We don't want it so you get 2-3 letters from the State every week for fines between 60 and 1200 dollars for "You were among 433 cars noted at I-5 exit 34 going in excess of 68 MPH. Pay 140 dollars or your license will be suspended and your insurer notified." "Camera mounted at Elm noticed you jaywalking to shop between stores rather than use the State-authorized intersection 500 feet away. Pay 75 dollars, which will be used to hire more heroes in uniform to keep you safe, or appear in court, where you could pay up to 250 dollars for this reckless safety deviation, plus court costs..."

****************
I want them all over to stop terrorism and felonies - but I don't trust the State not to use them as a pervasive oppressive tool to monitor and harass the population and fine them so as to grow power-thirsty cop and state agencies with the added money ripped off from citizens. The temptation is too great. Only with a clear line greedy, revenue and staff-hungry cops and others cannot cross defined by legislation and courts. Yes to cameras busting a molester in a park, no to cameras used to bust 45 people at a picnic of 100 dollar fines because the camera noticed unauthorized beer on the table and "unsafe food handling and barbequeing practices"

*************
Palladian - The presence of 100000 cameras didn't stop the London train bombings. The things that stop bombings are good intelligence, good investigative techniques and proper profiling.

It sure ID'd the parties fast, though. If it had happened in an American subway, we would have been clueless about who did it and got blown to bits for a long time, other than hack FBI profilers telling us "I see angry white men. Likely loners..."
And the UK would have had enormous difficulty ID'ing the 4 suicide bombers whose backpack devices failed to detonate, so they dropped the backpacks and fled anonymously...except for cameras. Not to mention the last Islamoids with their Mercedes car bombs tracked from Scotland to London by cameras..

THe cameras will never stop "suicide bombers" - but may nail their confederates through quick ID of the perps and through them, associates.
Just as in America, it will deter, but never completely end, the stupidity of Ghetto thugs that decide to shoot the storeowner after getting the money - on camera - signing and sealing their dumb, evil asses over to the State and their free lawyers to squabble over the fate of..

******************
Eli Blake - Ben Franklin (who lived before modern liberalism or conservatism had any meaning) said,

"Those who would trade freedom for security, deserve neither."


Lefties and Libertarians that haul out their trust Ben Franklin platitude to ward off the evil Bush-Hitler and protect infringements on terrorists rights - tend to ignorantly or deliberately misquote it, as Revenent reminds us, leaving out the common sense qualifier and making it into a mindless "either/or" exercise in absolutes.

They also tend to know nothing about Franklins' activities after the 1755 platitude - which showed Franklin recognized war was fundamentally different from peace in the ethics and norms applied to security and liberty. Lefties and Libertarians badly fail to cognate that anything in war or peace should be any different.

In Franklins case, he supported the arrest and imprisonment of "dangerous loyalists" without trial, including his son, Richard. Franklin headed the Committee on Secret Corespondence, which eavesdropped and opened the mail of suspected foreign agents and members of the Continental Congress suspected of not safeguarding war info. Franklin also supported military tribunals Washington set up, and the Revolutionaries burning of Loyalist newspaper presses.

paul a'barge said...

Palladin: ...You seem to assume that the "right people" will always be behind the lens...

It's not the "right people" behind the camera that you should be worrying about, it's the "wrong people" in front of the camera, plotting to blow up your sorry self.

Get your priorities straight. Innocent people are dying, and you're fretting about who is behind terror surveillance cameras?

Do you have even a vestige of an objective self-observer in there?

Cedarford said...

Henhouse - or we could stick it up your ass and see what you are thinking...ohhh that was perhaps over the top. forget that. apply it to cousin cedarford

Nice to see I was able to penetrate the unctuous smokescreen of smarmy moralizing you did so long and reveal the BDS-afflicted, Lefty You...

Roost on the Moon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roost on the Moon said...

I can't tell, Balf, is A'Barge still being ironic?

hdhouse said...

Cedarford is the epitome of the industrial revolution. 2 moving parts. brain and ass. both interchangeable.

reader_iam said...

Me, I juggle my priorities. I worry about the people behind the cameras AND the people in front of them. All of them.

igbalonigbanlo said...

I second readeriam, I don't blindly trust someone because they've got 60 college credits a coupla months of academy training and a shiny badge. I've met way too many cops with some serious attitudes to trust the people behind the camera and I've met way to o many ass*!#%s to trust the people in front of the camera. For those who don't see the problem with slippery slopes check this out, Automatic scanners. Like someone else said upthread, it's time to start thinking of how to word limits into the laws that enable these things.

Revenant said...

Then you won't have any issues with us putting a webcam on your sidewalk and training it on your front door so we know when you are home or not, who is visiting etc.

HD -- stay off my side of this argument, please.

Revenant said...

For those who don't see the problem with slippery slopes check this out, Automatic scanners.

Er... that's a slippery slope?

Machine monitoring of license plates is a hell of a lot less intrusive and privacy-violating than human monitoring of video feeds. It involves a lot less sacrifice of privacy and allows police to focus their attentions away from me and on to actual criminals.

The worst-case scenario would be if the machine actually kept a record of ALL cars, and police could inspect the record to see when my car had driven past a specific point. Not exactly 1984 material.

Adam said...

Roost on the Moon's post regarding our ability to track everyone, everywhere, all the time was interesting. I'm actualyl little unsettled becaus eI fouind myself yearning for that kind of world after initally reading his post. I'd love to to have to worry about terrorism anymore (I live in Boston and spend significant amounts of time in downtown, and on the T). If only we could tag everyone...and that is where Big Brother wins. Wher eoyu give in a love him, as long as you give up yourself to him.

We need not look too far in our counrty's past to see that if the government has the power and ability to do something, that power will likely be abused. I don't have a problem with public cameras, but the world that roost on the Moon describes is not one I want to live in.

Roger said...

HD: how's that actionable thing going? still playing jack palance to cedarford's shane? We're waiting for the big showdown.

Hoosier Daddy said...

MM said: And do cameras provide that protection? That's the question I've never seen a satisfactory answer to, although they can be great for after-the-fact evidence.

I honestly don't know. I don't think that most perps commit crimes with the end result in their being arrested so if there was a device that is 'watching them' perhaps they would.

The point being, I simply don't see it as an invasion of my privacy. I don't have any privacy walking down a public street so if there is a camera there, I'm not certain how I am losing anything.

Reverent said: No, you're talking about something worse: spending an enormous amount of money for little actual benefit at all. The "a cop on every street corner" strategy is one of the most wasteful uses of police manpower imaginable*.

On every street is a turn of phrase naturally, I trust you didn't take it literally. However, while violent crime may be down nationwide, in my corner of the universe it has skyrocketed. To say that additional police would not cut down on crime is the equivalent of adding 20,000 troops to the surge and claiming it won't work.

there is an obvious police interest in spending lots more money on police who do little but stand around all day waiting for something to happen. It is safe, easy work that pays well.

Think I'll throw the BS flag on that one. If you think police work is safe and easy work then you are living in a different realm of reality than I am, considering my old man was a cop and I know personally two polices officers killed in the line of duty.

hdhouse chimed in:Then you won't have any issues with us putting a webcam on your sidewalk and training it on your front door so we know when you are home or not, who is visiting etc.

My house is my personal property. The public street is public property. I'm entitled to privacy on my property but not entitled to it on public property.

I know you're a liberal house but even you can understand that one.

Seems fair to me that you don't mind it and if you aren't doing anything wrong you can't have any objections.

Never used that line of reasoning myself but as I said, on public streets, I nor anyone else has any entitlement to privacy. On my own property and in my home I and you do as well.

Again that should be easy enough for even you to understand but if not, I can draw you a picture.

Hoosier Daddy said...

or we could stick it up your ass and see what you are thinking...ohhh that was perhaps over the top.

Hey, don't let me stop you hdhouse, you're on a roll making those sound coherent arguments which have the rest of us in awe at your crack intellect and wit.

By the way, as you are a rabid advocate of our individual liberties and don't think we should trade freedom for security, humor me this: Do you defend my right to private gun ownership to defend my family and myself or do you think the Government which you fear will be watching us all the time, should own them all?

I would love to hear your thoughts on that one.

TEAL said...

If a woman has the right to abort a baby due to privacy concerns - I should have the right to walk down the street without making America's Funniest Street Videos.

I am [i]arguably[/i] causing less damage with my use of privacy than the woman does her pregnancy.

hdhouse said...

Roger said...
HD: how's that actionable thing going? still playing jack palance to cedarford's shane? We're waiting for the big showdown."

when cedarford stops being such a chickenshit i'll let you know. right now he is hiding behind someone's skirts. what a little crapper.

hdhouse said...

Hoosierass ...its not the same. you mentioned earlier that your home entrance was private property but it would take a well aimed street camera just to capture the street and the sidewalk with no privately owned buildings...but the distinction of your private property v. other's private property is lost on you i'm sure.

guns aren't cameras.

Roger said...

HD--"actionable" is not the way you call someone out--totally lacking in any kind of testosterone factor--Makes you sound like a lawyer

Chip Ahoy said...

Don't you love it when the catch a perp because of the CCTV? In those cases the authorities asked for the tapes from the owners who recorded them with their own equipment, and not because of being tracked by an overarching network of cameras controlled by the authorities. Frankly, I'd like to know who's been stealing the furniture from the lobby, and I'd like to have the person (people?) who threw up in the elevator evicted. See. they've done this twice on a weekend so it makes it bad for everybody. Wouldn't cameras owned by management be useful for things like that? At the FRB we lived and worked observed on camera at pretty much every moment which begins before entering the building. It was a little bit like Hillary feeling herself at 19 a girl observed by heaven through the gaps of light in the canopy of an oak.

igbalonigbanlo said...

Revenant I said slippery slope exactly because there's no limit on how long the data is retained and that goes for data for non-flagged plates. It's not the plate scanning that's the problem, that's the govts property and there are already laws to ensure that the plates are visible and not obscured it's the no limit holding of data and what could be done with it that I was refering to.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't see surveillance cameras really cutting down on crime directly. They might move it around a bit, as criminals attempted to avoid being surveilled.

The place where they would be very helpful though is in catching perps.

I am reminded of a relative of someone I know who ended up murdered in Nevada. They suspected that she had been in a casino, and so checked the video there, and found her. They were able to follow her around for awhile, saw her meet a guy, and the two of them ultimately leaving together. Not only did they have good shots of his face, they also had this license plates, and, as a result, had in in custody w/i 48 hours. With his DNA under her nails, he sits on death row.

The original CSI shows a lot of looking at video camera recordings. That is not surprising, since the casinos in Nevada are likely the most heavily videotaped locations in the country. I was just struck by how automatically the police in Nevada go for the video, and how fast they can process it.

Chip Ahoy said...

Now I'm certain. I'm about to create a theory that shall be named after me. As any given thread gains contributors, chances increase for a post to appear that can be identified by its l-e-n-g-t-h and by its being only tangentially related to the original idea. I see posts picked from saved files copied and pasted, all the more efficient to inculcate the weltanschaaung. Oh, for a genuine original thought.

Hoosier Daddy said...

hdhouse said: Hoosierass

Come on hdhouse, is that the best you can do? I am sorely disappointed. I was expecting something better than that but its getting late and you probably used all your good material on Cedarford.

...its not the same. you mentioned earlier that your home entrance was private property but it would take a well aimed street camera just to capture the street and the sidewalk with no privately owned buildings

And this hurts me how..?

...but the distinction of your private property v. other's private property is lost on you i'm sure.

Whose other private property? You keep building this strawman argument about cameras on a street corner vs one on my subdivision sidewalk aimed at my front porch. Fine, if the government wants to watch me cut my lawn, go for it. The local cop driving by sees it all the time and I don't go running for cover.

guns aren't cameras.

Nope they sure aren't. But are you advocating taking away my right to defend myself and my family and leave it in the hands of our government which you seem to think is a fraction of a second away from creating the 4th Reich? I mean you referred to Bush as the 'Fuhrer' in another post so I have to think you would want the citizenry to be able to defend itself?

Or are you just full of it whining about Bush's police state when in reality, your life and liberties haven't changed one whit and we're no closer to a police state than Luxembourg.

Roost on the Moon said...

Adam, thanks for wading through my nutty rant. I'm glad someone got something out of it. As Chip's embarrassingly-well-founded (but wrong Chip, I swear!) suspicion confirms, I should have reigned it in a bit.

I've been thinking about the security cameras though, and I think I have an idea worth considering. If we must have our public spaces blanketed in surveillance, here's a solution that minimizes both potential for abuse and intrusion into your romantic champagne-and-lobster picnics:

Nobody gets to see the tape. Bear with me. No real-time monitoring. The footage all gets encrypted and archived, but decryption and retrieval require a warrant. No one person has a complete password. The warrant must specify time, location, and what it is you're looking to find.

If a bomb goes off, you can get footage of the surrounding area going back a week, more if you need it. If there is a violent crime or a burglary, you can specify the time and location, and unearth the specific footage. No browsing. No trolling. You always have a reason, on the record, with maximum transparency (or, if legitimate national security concerns warrant, meaningful oversight in the place of transparency).

So, what do you think? It's a compromise. It won't catch anyone in the act, granted, but it also doesn't make us completely redefine our idea of what it means to be in public.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If a woman has the right to abort a baby due to privacy concerns - I should have the right to walk down the street without making America's Funniest Street Videos.

Try to walk normally without falling down or losing parts of your clothing.

I don't think many women abort their children on public streets or in the mall.

John Burgess said...

A question for Eli Blake:

Exactly what kind of evidence is gathered prior to a crime, event, experiment? Evidence is always gathered 'retroactively'.

I have no problem with surveillance cameras. I have some concerns over what is done with the taped materials.

The suggestion that they all be locked away, available only through a warrant isn't bad, but not quite good enough.

The UK does use real-time reactions to cut down on, if not crime, the results of crime. When a break-in is reported, the police will access cameras in the area to see what's going on. Sometimes they see the act in progress and can hustle a squad over right quick. They use them regularly to break up fights outside pubs and clubs. These are legitimate uses of real-time monitoring.

Surveillance cameras are unlikely to prevent a terrorist event. But as numerous others have noted, they can do a damn fine job of rewinding the event, leading back to very useful information.

That's good enough for me. Even if I might inadvertently get caught in an awkward situation by an unfortunately placed camera.

Galvanized said...

Still...I'm buying a flyswatter tomorrow...just in case.

Revenant said...

Think I'll throw the BS flag on that one. If you think police work is safe and easy work then you are living in a different realm of reality than I am, considering my old man was a cop and I know personally two polices officers killed in the line of duty.

You misread what I wrote. I said that the specific kind of police work you're advocating here -- mall rent-a-cop nonsense -- is safe and easy work, which it is.

Real police work can most definitely be dangerous, and doesn't pay any better than the "sit on your ass staring at a tv screen" kind. This creates an incentive for police organizations to support the latter.

Revenant said...

Revenant I said slippery slope exactly because there's no limit on how long the data is retained and that goes for data for non-flagged plates.

The term "slippery slope" refers to slightly bad things paving the way for worse things to come later. So I still don't see the slippery slope here. Saying there's a slippery slope from "cameras on every corner" to "the government tracks your license plates" is like saying there's a slippery slope from homicide to jaywalking. The latter isn't nearly as bad as the former.

In any case, say the government retains the information forever. Well... I give up. How's that bad for me?

Michael said...

By all means, put up all the surveillance cameras you can afford to; I'd love the target practice.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You misread what I wrote. I said that the specific kind of police work you're advocating here -- mall rent-a-cop nonsense -- is safe and easy work, which it is.

I think you are also taking too literally the term cop on every corner. What I advocate is for an increased police presence in terms of patrols and/or beat walking not just standing on the corner of Main and Elm street watching traffic go by.

Again, to say that increasing the number of police patroling the streets will not deter crime is the pretty much saying 20,000 additional troops in Bagdad won't have any impact.

Maxine Weiss said...

Bergman is too dry for me. Frank Capra was far more prolific.

Franco Zefferelli's 'Endless Love'---"Nobody will ever love me like that". Cry-worthy.

'The Way We Were'--"Wouldn't it be lovely if we were older, we'd have survived all this". Cry-worthy.

'Ordinary People'....much better than anything Ingmar Bergman did.

There's nothing that grips me, or that I find compelling about a Bergman film. And, I never found Liv Ullman to be very charasmatic.

Maxine Weiss said...

Cry-worthy: Scott Spencer's novel 'Endless Love'----the movie by Franco Zefferelli.

Spoilers: The final scene when Brooke Shields goes to see her lover in jail: "Nobody will ever love me like that".

Mother took to her bed for days over that one. That was powerful, the double meaning of that line.

Revenant said...

What I advocate is for an increased police presence in terms of patrols and/or beat walking not just standing on the corner of Main and Elm street watching traffic go by.

Ok, time out. Your initial statement was this:

What is the difference between a camera on every corner vs a cop standing there watching eveyone?

That's what we're talking about. If you want to change topics and talk about police patrols, that's fine. But that's an entirely separate conversation. What we're talking about here is, quite literally, police standing on the corners watching people. I said I didn't want that, you said that people in Indianapolis did, and I said that was a foolish thing to want.

If you meant that people in Indianapolis want increased police patrols in problem areas, well, THAT makes sense. But that's nothing at all like the "security cameras on the streetcorners" suggestion that this thread's about. Security cameras don't patrol, and they don't shift neighborhoods day to day in response to shifts in criminal activity. They just sit there, spying on people. There's a world of difference between someone constantly watching the front of my house (camera/cop on the corner) and someone occasionally driving past it to see if anything's wrong (patrols).

Hoosier Daddy said...

What we're talking about here is, quite literally, police standing on the corners watching people. I said I didn't want that, you said that people in Indianapolis did, and I said that was a foolish thing to want

It was a turn of phrase. Cop on every corner, chicken in every pot, that kind of thing. Naturally we can't have a cop on every corner. I'm sorry the term was taken so literally.

But I simply can't get my civvies in a bunch over a camera scanning a public street. That's just me.