Police Cameras and Crime

Can a surveillance state make us safer?

If you want to be on TV, don't go to Los Angeles or New York. Come to Chicago, where your wish is certain to be fulfilled. In fact, you couldn't avoid it if you wanted to, thanks to the nation's most extensive network of police surveillance cameras. Anytime you walk out your door, you may find an audience.

This is one of Mayor Richard M. Daley's proudest achievements, but the estimated 10,000 devices now in operation are not enough for him. He once expressed his intention to keep adding cameras until there is one "on every street corner in Chicago."

His obvious error is to assume that if some cameras are good, more are better. Daley's policy also rests on a plausible but unproven assumption: that cameras reduce crime by deterring criminals and helping nab those who aren't deterred.

If you are going to spend millions buying, installing and monitoring this technology, you had better be able to show it yields some positive results in practice. Given the experience in this country and abroad, skepticism is in order.

The government of Britain, where cameras are ubiquitous, concluded they have had "no overall effect" on crime. Researchers at the University of Southern California looked at two neighborhoods in Los Angeles and found no visible benefit from this sort of surveillance.

Even in the studies that show cameras help, the question arises: compared to what? Any funds spent on this gadgetry cannot be spent on beat cops, probation officers, laboratory gear, or jail cells. The challenge for enthusiasts is to show the technology outperforms other options.

On those issues, the jury is still out. But the latest discoveries, from Chicago, are bound to encourage the spread of surveillance video in law enforcement.

Nancy La Vigne, director of the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, has directed a study of the impact of cameras in Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Her preliminary findings, due to be finalized and published this year, are that they can indeed curb crime—and at a bargain price.

Her team of researchers looked at two high-crime neighborhoods on Chicago's West Side, Humboldt Park and West Garfield Park. In Humboldt Park, she told me, they found "a significant decrease in total monthly crime numbers," including both property crime and violent crime. They found no evidence that the cameras merely pushed crime into other areas. In West Garfield Park, on the other hand, they saw "no impact," possibly because there were fewer cameras.

On the cost-effectiveness test, though, La Vigne says the cameras were a solid success. For every $1 of costs, they yielded $4 of societal benefits (reduced crime, savings in courts and corrections, less suffering for victims), despite their failure in West Garfield Park.

In Baltimore, where cameras are concentrated in downtown and monitored actively 24 hours a day (as distinct from the more passive approach in Chicago), La Vigne found the impact on violent crime was even greater—and the benefits exceeded the costs by 50 percent. (In Washington, which deployed only a small number of cameras, they found no effect.)

All this may confirm those who see this technology as an unmixed good. But La Vigne herself worries that too much will be made of these results.

"I'm sure there are diminishing marginal returns," she says, meaning that each extra camera achieves less than the one before. "I'd expect very little impact on low-crime areas." If we have cameras on every corner, many of them will be the functional equivalent of potted plants.

Even if cameras have benefits, they narrow the scope of personal privacy, which should not be sacrificed without a compelling reason. In a crime-infested neighborhood, the loss may clearly be modest compared to the dangers of violent perforation. In more tranquil locales, the burden of proof should be on the supporters.

When cameras are used, common-sense restrictions should apply. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois recommends that police show probable cause that someone has committed a crime before they use facial-recognition software or conduct nonstop video tracking of an individual. Another proposal is to delete images after seven days unless there is reason to think they document a crime.

The ultimate question is not whether cameras work. It stands to reason that they can work when used wisely—just as a hammer works for certain tasks. But not everything is a nail.

COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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  • Rather||

    Happy President's Day but don't celebrate till you read the

    bad news ;-(

    BTW, I like those security cameras, except for the ticket/red-light type

  • JOhnny MAckson||

    Bite my shiny metal ass. LOL

    Jess
    www.anon-4-lulz.com

  • Rather ||

    woman VS. Robot will end badly for you bucket of tin-back off

  • Watson||

    Most amusing.

  • Rather ||

    What is the conficker virus?

  • Watson||

    What is narcissism, Alex?

  • Daily Double||

  • Pip||

    You background makes the text totally unreadable. I'd like to thank you for that.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Conficker®.

    My lawyers will be contacting you.

  • Final Jeopardy||

    What is Rather PWN'd by a copyright?

    Watson, of course, wins.

  • Alex T||

    What is the bitch ran circles around you?

  • Final Jeopardy||

    BZZT!

    What is only in your in depraved, lonely and pathetic mind.

  • Watson||

    You don't have to be me to get that one right.

  • hmm||

    Anon bot - 1
    Blogwhore - 0

    That was awesome.

  • rather||

    what is the little boys sticking together, and not admitting they had their ass wiped?

  • ||

    It is nothing for you to be upset about Rather. Someone would have to want to have sex with you and be willing to do that act for this study to have any effect on you. So don't worry you thick little head a bit.

  • Rather ||

    John, unlike you, I am having sex-good luck with the wife

  • ||

    I guess denial and projection are common ways of dealing with such problems.

  • Rather ||

    don't make me search your frigid wife comment

  • Rather ||

    Holy shit, all your wives are frigid-I got two hundred hits on the Reason search box

  • ||

    Dear,

    Fat ugly grating and incompetent is no way to go through life. I am sure if you try, you can escape being a FUGI.

  • Rather ||

    Fail

  • ||

    Search away.

  • Rather ||

    John|3.20.10 @ 4:42PM|#
    I seem to get my women the same way I get my coffee, cold and bitter.

  • ||

    It is a joke dipshit.

  • Rather ||

    John don't make me give you another-even though I would enjoy slapping you around

  • Rather ||

    John|3.20.10 @ 4:42PM|#
    I seem to get my women the same way I get my coffee, cold and bitter.

  • ||

    I read it on the side of a coffee cup many years ago. I always thought it was funny, which it is. Give it up.

  • ||

    I prefer the term "bitter and murky", which does a much better job of describing cuntpickles. But I guess it's really just semantics.

  • ||

    I like my women like I like my coffee: ground up and in the freezer.

  • Lorena B||

    I feel the same way about sausage

  • Pip||

    ^^THIS^^

  • Pip||

    AT GB, BTW.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Rather,

    BTW, I like those security cameras, except for the ticket/red-light type


    They make your exhibisionism that more appealing - wider audience, quicker kicks.

  • ||

    Those criminals smart enough to realize there are cameras everywhere will do their crimes indoors, where there are no cameras, or they'll find a way to surreptitiously disable those cameras that would record their actions. I don't see how this stops crime; it just drives it out of sight.

  • ||

    Yes Britain really is bad, the cameras are everywhere, shockingly the crime rate has not dropped.

    The fact that there has been no major outcry about cameras everywhere probably will lead to even further surveillance. I can already see how the future apologists could potentially defend cameras in peoples homes: "Well if you got nothing to hide, then you should not worry, we only want the cameras in your rooms to make sure that no terrorist bombs are being built there, we will not disclose any of your private actions to others unless it is illegal, society will be better off, we all win this way".

  • Rather||

    I noticed the cameras all over London and I thought it would be great to have the technology to be tracked as a tourist. Of course, it would be voluntary, and personally activated but I can see a future without the need for personal photography. You could pick up your travel souvenir upon leaving Heathrow

  • ||

    Because nothing preserves those precious vacation memories quite like a government-provided CCTV collage.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I noticed the cameras all over London and I thought it would be great to have the technology to be tracked as a tourist. Of course, it would be voluntary

    Well, OF COURSE it would! :facepalm:

  • Desperately Seeking||

    Where can I find the list of police-camera abuses? Or is this more of a budget thing?

  • Crickets||

    Us.

  • MNG||

    I always ask supporters of police cameras to follow their logic through. Cameras in public stop crime, why stop there, how about cameras in everyone's front yards? Or living rooms...

  • DNS||

    I always ask supporters of police cameras to follow their logic through.

    I would think because the supporters believe that they have nothing to hide and are willing to trade their freedom for a false sense of security. Unfortunately, this pervasive belief knows no ideological flavor. The magical thinking here is "But I am not doing anything wrong, it's those other hoi polloi."

  • Mr Whipple||

    "But I am not doing anything wrong, it's those other hoi polloi."

    They're not doing anything wrong until the government passes a law that says they are doing something wrong.

  • DNS||

    They're not doing anything wrong until the government passes a law that says they are doing something wrong.

    All it takes is a nanny, control minded individual to gather support to criminalize behaviors that they don't like. Eventually it will come to them.

  • Ron||

    Such as smoking or the even vile use of Soda's

  • ||

    Or they're already unwittingly breaking one of the tens of thousands of federal crimes on the books.

  • ||

    Have you ever had a supporter follow the logic ? I suspect the answer would be, well that's just stupid. THESE cameras are a reasonable, common sense response to crime. Camera's in the living room ?...you're just being paranoid.

    amiright ?

  • Yup||

    ^

  • Reeeealy Paranoid||

    Michelle Obama wants cameras in all bedrooms. No bedtime snacks.

  • Edwin||

    uhhhh... I DO have cameras on my jobsites, and we're going to be putting them up in our new office building.
    They've proven very useful, both for security and site management.

    As to the nanny-state issue, I'd say that publicly-bought cameras aimed at people's yards is actually invading privacy (and a waste of money), whereas public spaces, are, well, public spaces.
    But I'm Not saying I'm for public cameras...

  • ||

    Cameras on private property without the consent of the owner violate property rights. Cameras on public property do not. It's really not hard.

    Sort of like a cop standing on the sidewalk looking around is OK, but a cop standing in your bedroom looking around (without a warrant or your permission) is not.

    Even sadder than MNG's continued willful stupidity is the fact that none of you are calling him out for it now that he's on your side of an issue. Shame on you all.

  • MNG||

    The better analogy would be a cop posted at all times in public places, constantly watching. Like watchtowers. If you're going to get your authoritarian freak on Tulpa why not go for watchtowers?

  • ||

    There's nothing authoritarian about having cops in every public place. Obviously a corrupt cop on every corner who beats innocent people up and demands bribes would be a problem, but a camera isn't going to do that.

    Personally, I'd prefer if several independent organizations (or ideally, everyone with an Internet connection) had access to all public space surveillance cameras, rather than just giving police access; that would limit the impunity of police misbehavior.

  • ||

    I should clarify that we're talking about public property, not public spaces in general. The government should not require the installment of cameras in private property, even if it is open to the public (eg malls, university campusses, etc).

  • T||

    How about if the government simply demands at-will access to the privately installed camera feeds? Is that kosher?

  • ||

    Of course not. Privately installed cameras are private property and cannot be accessed by law enforcement without owner permission or a warrant.

    Obviously they can subpoena camera records if there's significant reason to believe they "witnessed" a crime, but that's usually not necessary, as private parties usually voluntarily comply with police in a crime investigation.

  • ||

    in US cities in general (not speaking for chicago), private industry (little brother) has many more cameras and far more camera coverage than big brother (govt.). we frequently follow leads based on privately owned cameras, much more rarely on public ones, since many many more crimes happen in view of private cameras, to include public spaces (like the sidewalk fronting an ATM for instance).

    we have set up cameras in regards to specific crime complaints for short periods of time

  • Edwin||

    5th amendment

  • ||

    but GPS on ur cell is ok? get real

  • ||

    Was somebody here defending government access to personal cellphone GPS data? No, didn't think so.

  • Old Mexican||

    Leave it to clueless statist fucks to come up with stupid non sequiturs like the one OhioOrrin forwarded.

  • ||

    point is ur pissing in the wind since ther's so many ways one's privacy is already compromised. and that's not to mention voluntary compromises including facebook.

  • ||

    So let's just install mini CCTV camera implants in every newborn baby. If we're simply pissing in the wind anyway, let's go all in.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    point is ur pissing in the wind since ther's so many ways one's privacy is already compromised


    One time, I asked a friend why didn't he use a helmet when riding his bike, and he told me that one can die so many ways. I thought his non sequitur was much less silly than yours, OO.

    You see, oh subnormal, the installed cameras at taxpayer expense were purported to reduce or deter crime and they haven't. What does this lousy return for investment have to do with GPS on your cellphone?

  • Cyto||

    You can't piss in the wind any more. That'll get you on a sex offender registry. More so in the omnipresent camera world.

  • ||

    good point

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    good point


    Sir, two of you would not create a halfwit.

  • Mr Whipple||

    I suggest a national "Wiggle Your Dick/Tits/Both At A Police Camera Day".

  • DNS||

    I suggest a national "Wiggle Your Dick/Tits/Both At A Police Camera Day".

    That is everyday. I assume you are familiar with the TSA and the nudie cams. That would merely give the police even more free jollies at the expense of the citizenry.

  • Mr Whipple||

    The difference is who initiates it. They only get their jollies when they are in control of it.

  • No control||

    that's fun too

  • ||

    Paint ball guns with laser sights. Blind then cripple.

  • ||

    OH, that's a paddlin'.

  • Ms. Radoo||

    Spoken like a true patriot.

  • Jackrungh||

    If I were a Brit I would go around disabling cameras in this manner without committing any crime. As fun as this activity would be aside from the message it sends, I'm surprised we don't see it all over the place.

  • pAnCaKeS||

    I don't care if it's George Washington Lincoln Roosevelt's birthday, WHERE ARE MY BREKFAST LINKS!

    I'm getting restless
    I'm on a rampage!

  • Brett L||

    One of us! One of us!

  • Mike M.||

    Yeah, is Reason seriously taking the day off or something? I thought they took pride in not worshipping at the cult of the presidency around here.

  • ||

    Seriously, I thought the only people who actually take off today are government stooges and/or union folks. Plus don't many of the contributors work from home anyway? Take pity on those of us stuck in our offices!

  • Mr Whipple®©™||

    If anybody is looking for a job, Subway® is looking for some "unique" individuals.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-T8uy.....nation.jpg

  • ||

    I don't see what you mean (heh, heh)

  • Stevie Wonder||

    Me neither.

  • ||

    No way I'm undergoing a painful and dangerous shortening surgery just to shill bad sandwiches.

  • Old Mexican||

    The government of Britain, where cameras are ubiquitous, concluded they have had "no overall effect" on crime. Researchers at the University of Southern California looked at two neighborhoods in Los Angeles and found no visible benefit from this sort of surveillance.


    There's a good reason for it - because monitoring is not the same as enforcing. The ONLY thing cameras can deliver is making crime literally more visible, compared to what's available through complaint statistics, but not necessarily deliver faster and more aggressive police. If the police forces remain the same underperforming collection of taxfed leeches, then no amount of cameras is going to help.

  • ||

    because thugs are aware the crime moves elsewhere.

  • Ska||

    Cool, because getting mugged on 30th street is far more preferable than getting mugged on 34th Street.

  • ||

    That, er, camera on 34th St moved the crime to 30th St. We'll get a camera up there as well. As we erect more cameras, we will move all of Springfield's crime to, uh, Shelbyville..

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    because thugs are aware the crime moves elsewhere.


    You mean thugs learn to operate beyond the cameras' visual range?

  • JD||

    Well, police have already learned to beat someone down out of view of their dashcams. Why would non-taxpayer-punded thugs be any different?

  • Final Jeopardy||

    If the police forces remain the same underperforming collection of taxfed leeches, then no amount of cameras is going to help.

    Therein lies the rub Old Mexican. The police get the best of both worlds: the citizenry get the false sense of security from both the cameras AND they don't have to lift a finger to respond to crime. All the police have to say is "We need more cameras and staff." It would be a perfect storm of perception v. reality.

  • cynical||

    If they make the camera feeds public, at least vigilante lynch mobs can protect neighborhoods.

  • creech||

    Don't leave home without a good disguise.

  • Gregory Smith||

    I hate the stupid cameras, next thing you know you'll be forced to wear a camera on your head so the government can see what you're doing.

    COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS HECKLE WAR HERO.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl.....-hate.html

  • ||

    Is masturbating a crime?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: troy,

    Is masturbating a crime?


    Not in my book.

    [meaning: don't masturbate in my book because I will make it a crime and get medieval on your ass.]

  • Bucky||

    once more liberals enforcing their free speech rules...

  • True Fact||

    Inbreeding over time results in a mentally incompetent culture.

  • Warty||

    This place is really getting nasty toward our resident narcissist whore, isn't it? It's a beautiful thing.

  • ||

    I'm waiting for the first cop to sue his own department for videotaping him in public.

    Better still, I'm waiting for the first cop to beat the shit out of someone filming him with their cellphone while standing under a police camera, then feigning outrage over his privacy rights while on patrol.

  • ||

    I am pretty sure something like what you describe has already happened. The footage got 'lost' though.

    Unless it was a security camera?

    I'd try to find the story, but I have to run...someone else?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Exactly my thought here. If you can be arrested and prosecuted in IL for violating a cop's "privacy" as he engages in a very public act in public, how is it that surveilling private citizens in public places *not* a violation of the law?

  • ||

    I guess it's because the audio is being recorded by private citizens while the copcams only record video.

    Or, that's what they'll tell you.

  • JD||

    Some animals are more equal than others.

  • ||

    Because the IL law is insane? I thought that was our general position.

    Also, most surveillance cameras don't record audio, which is treated differently in some jurisdictions.

  • ||

    true, and of course the IL case is stupid. police are public officers. all police contacts should be subject to video/audio by police and any involved parties and interested onlookers.

    i know cops who audiotape every traffic stop, to protect themselves from false claims. more power to them. people stopped by cops should have the same right to do so.

    it protects good cops from false complaints, it helps punish those who make false complaints, and it helps punish bad cops. win/win/win

  • ||

    ""i know cops who audiotape every traffic stop, to protect themselves from false claims. ""

    Does your area allow this or are wiretap laws being broken?

  • nicole||

    For every $1 of costs, they yielded $4 of societal benefits (reduced crime, savings in courts and corrections, less suffering for victims), despite their failure in West Garfield Park.

    Do those costs include the cost of reduced privacy? I mean, if we can come up with a number for suffering by victims, less come up with a number for the suffering by the millions of new victims the cameras create.

  • DK||

    That's already been accounted for. The crazy Ivy League idiot (I'm just assuming here - seems like a reasonable guess) who computed these numbers already figured in the cost of privacy lost and found it to be $0. This is probably in line with the value most people place on freedom from governmental interference. Sad but true.

  • ||

    "Even if cameras have benefits, they narrow the scope of personal privacy"

    I fail to understand the above. We have the right to privacy on our own property, but not in public, so by choosing to leave our property we are doing so with the awareness that others will see what we are doing and that we are giving up certain elements of our privacy.

    And don't say this is just a problem of the commons. because if own property, say a road (that I am charging people to drive on), then I am going to want to monitor that property to ensure it is not being damaged, and that my customers are not being endangered by others, which could harm my profits.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Do you want the government watching you?

    WHAT IS SHARIAH LAW?
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl.....h-law.html

  • Old Mexican||

    Read: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, by Robert Spencer.

  • Gregory Smith||

    I read "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is the PIG guide any better?

  • DNS||

    I read "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is the PIG guide any better?

    Yes. By orders of magnitude and give an excellent and concise history of Islam.

  • Bucky||

    it is a real layman's book...
    it also know to incite violence just appearing on one's coffee table...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Gregory Smith,
    I don't know, I haven't read Infidel. The PIG book is very good, shows you the creepiest aspects of Islam, the anti-intellectual bend (which is universal) and how muslims have destroyed previously thriving Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian communities around the middle East, through discriminatory, coercive tactics that would make Stalin blush. It is NOT a good religion for liberty-minded people, not even close.

  • DNS||

    the anti-intellectual bend (which is universal)

    It is universal; however the book debunks many a myth of how Islam is credited with pure and applied intellectual, artistic and mathematical achievements.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: DNS,

    It is universal; however the book debunks many a myth of how Islam is credited with pure and applied intellectual, artistic and mathematical achievements.


    Sorry, I meant it is universal within Islam. I should have been more specific.

    And the book debuked that myth for me, as I really believed muslim philosophers had kept Westren humanism alive until the Mongols and Tamerlane, but I was totally wrong - their view of the universe is TOTALLY alien to the idea of a rational universe driven by a rational God.

  • Gregory Smith||

    In that case I will find it and read it. Thanks for the tip.

  • Krazy Kartoon Muhumet||

    I have my Islamik Kameras aimed at all of you.

  • ||

    We have the right to privacy on our own property, but not in public,

    Charges have been brought against people for videotaping cops in public places, so apparently there is a right to privacy in public.

  • DNS||

    Charges have been brought against people for videotaping cops in public places, so apparently there is a right to privacy in public.

    1. All animals are equal

    2. Some animals are more equal than others.

    -George Orwell

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Fuck the pigs!

    -George Orwell

  • ||

    Those charges are bullshit, though.

  • ||

    "'Those charges are bullshit, though."'

    Unfortunately the money required to fight them is not.

  • DK||

    You're saying we don't have any privacy expectations in public? Is that why you get stopped and searched on a regular basis by beat cops? Would it be alright if the cameras were assigned to track your movements through the city (not out of the realm of possibility in some highly monitored cities like London)? Despite what you claim, you do have an expectation of a certain amount of privacy in public. Don't cede any more ground on this matter.

    It's a totally different matter on a (hypothetical) private road. In such case, I can form a prior contract in which I either consent to the rules of the road (which may include monitoring) or use one of the myriad other private roads available. With roads owned by a state, there is no freedom of contract.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: DK,

    Despite what you claim, you do have an expectation of a certain amount of privacy in public. Don't cede any more ground on this matter.


    I don't think he means that one cannot expect to be secure in his person and possessions anymore, merely that if human eyes area are already upon one when walking a street (especially if one is a knockout chick with short shorts), when what difference does it make if the seeing is being done by a camera? It's the same thing.

    I am against cameras not because they infringe on my privacy when I am walking or using public property (roads, sidewalks, parking lots, you name it), but because I am paying for them unwillingly, through state-sanctioned thievery. Let private parties install all the cameras they want, with THEIR FUCKING MONEY.

  • ||

    Correct. I am in no way saying that my person can be violated, merely that if anyone can see me, then the same with a camera, I have not had my privacy violated.

    As for having the choice of roads,DK, what model do you think will actually do better in a totally free market? I would put my money on one that is monitored, and the non-monitored ones going under. I know that I would like the jerk who weaves their bike in and out to be penalized, the same with the guy cutting me off and putting me at risk.

  • nicole||

    merely that if anyone can see me, then the same with a camera, I have not had my privacy violated

    What if the camera can pan to you and zoom in on your face or some object in your possession at the whim of its operator? What if that operator then begins to track your movements from camera to camera as you move through the city? What if he compares your face to previously recorded faces? What if he keeps the recording indefinitely?

    This is one of the more insidious things about these cameras. We are used to dealing with other humans' ability to watch us in public. But if a human wants to follow us around, we can notice and take measures to avoid it. If someone starts taking a particular interest in what we're doing in a way we find creepy, we can move or leave or stop or put our possessions out of sight.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: nicole,

    What if the camera can pan to you and zoom in on your face or some object in your possession at the whim of its operator?


    Why would this be different from people locking their own EYES on your face or some possession?

    What if that operator then begins to track your movements from camera to camera as you move through the city?


    Again, why would this be different from someone following you? The act of following you with eyes or cameras may be impolite, but it is not inherently immoral. Cogent arguments against installing cameras in a city are elsewhere. "Expectation of privacy" or "privacy rights" are not good arguments:

    There's no "right to privacy", as such would place a burden on someone else to keep YOUR privacy. YOU certainly have a right to your property, your life and your freedom, and you have a right to keep your stuff under wraps, but you cannot compel by coercion another person to look the other way or not hear what you say - that responsibility falls on YOU, not someone else.

  • nicole||

    Again, why would this be different from someone following you? The act of following you with eyes or cameras may be impolite, but it is not inherently immoral.

    Well, I just explained why it would be different: if someone was following you, you could notice and take steps to prevent them continuing if you so chose. If someone in a basement somewhere is following me everywhere I go without any outward indication thereof, I can't. Would you feel that your expectations of going out in public were the same if, every time you left the building you live in, a cop was assigned to walk around behind you all day? Would "going out in public" mean the same thing if someone was tailing you all the time vs. if you just knew that various people on the street might see or notice you from time to time?

    This isn't about a blanket right to privacy, but a reasonable expectation of what privacy we give up when going out in public. Going out in public has traditionally meant giving up a certain amount of privacy, which people have spent hundreds of years considering reasonable; with cameras on every corner it means giving up much more of it, at the sole discretion of the state.

  • ||

    Well being the incredibly handsome stud that I am, I would expect the camera to zoom in and track me, I have just gotten used to it.

    I would still contend that it's not a privacy issue (assuming your normal camera that would see what is visible without being something like the AITs), and that abuse of these devices would be a separate issue. The abuse issue would be something dealt with by appropriate laws, and by appropriate laws I include laws that are not conducive a police state.

    Frankly, I would contend that monitoring, such as electronic monitoring is not the same as searching and seizing, as searching and seizing is something that happens in a snapshot of time, not over a continual period.

  • nicole||

    The abuse issue would be something dealt with by appropriate laws, and by appropriate laws I include laws that are not conducive a police state.

    Well, you know, get back to us when that works out for other abuses. To assume the issues I mention are "abuse" rather than the system working as designed is, I think, misguided. Laws not conducive to a police state, for me, would not put a camera on every corner to begin with.

  • ||

    These aren't mutually exclusive, etc. under no rational theory are cameras in all publicn spaces a violation of privacy rights. it does not therefore follow we should have them. they are constitutional. They are not good policy

  • DK||

    I would put my money on one that is monitored, and the non-monitored ones going under.

    I doubt it. Did all stores which don't monitor criminal activity get displaced by ones that do? No. It's all a matter of trade offs between the added layer of security and the potential lost merchandise. You can also add the fact that, due to local laws, stores are limited in the actions they can take against offenders. Why should roads be different?

    In fact, wouldn't it be less likely for a private road to have mass camera surveillance, as there's a lot more area to survey? Add to that the fact that, in a private road system, the road owners would not likely be held liable for the stupid actions of drivers, and I highly doubt they would be monitored as intensively as you presume.

  • DK||

    Point is that it doesn't matter which model for road security is ultimately chosen by any particular firm. The point is that I have a choice between different models on different road systems and can choose to drive on those which suit my privacy comforts. Not the case with state-owned roads.

  • ||

    You're saying we don't have any privacy expectations in public? Is that why you get stopped and searched on a regular basis by beat cops?

    No, but a cop walking down the street is not violating your privacy by noting your external appearance and objects you are transporting in plain view. ie, the same things a camera would see.

    The point of a search is to see things that are not otherwise visible. You do have privacy rights regarding those kinds of things even when walking in a public area.

    Would it be alright if the cameras were assigned to track your movements through the city (not out of the realm of possibility in some highly monitored cities like London)?

    It's not a privacy violation to have a cop car follow you through the city, so why would it be a violation to use a camera network? The logistics of tracking everyone this way would be utterly intractable, so in practice only a few people could be selected for that (just like the old method of following suspects in cop cars).

  • ||

    generally speaking, this analysis is correct. there is a new theory called the mosaic theory (covered on volokh.com pretty well) that lends some new insight.

    also, just because something is constitutional does NOT mean it's generally "ok". iow, even given the fact that it is constitutional to have govt. surveillance cameras on every corner in public does NOT mean it's good policy.

  • ||

    As a reminder these cameras are not being put up by the federal government, so constitutional would vary from state to state.

  • DK||

    Why is this the case? I'm pretty sure that incorporation through the 14th Amendment covers any of these issues, at least if they're brought up under the heading of search and seizure (where they pretty obviously belong). Relevant cases are Mapp v. Ohio (4th Amendment applies to states), Aguilar v. Texas (requirements for warrants), and Ker v. California (standards for whether a search is unreasonable).

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Len,

    I fail to understand the above. We have the right to privacy on our own property, but not in public, so by choosing to leave our property we are doing so with the awareness that others will see what we are doing and that we are giving up certain elements of our privacy.


    Actually, you're quite right about this. If one lives in a veritable Meerkat Manor, what expectation of privacy could you have?

    Appeals to privacy are not proper when arguing against the cameras. The Largess they represent should be one proper argument; their extremely lousy return on investment another; the fact that they are paid with stolen money at gunpoint (by jackbooted, taxfed thugs) yet another.

  • Ska||

    I think you can tie in the double standard about recording cops in public vs. cops recording you in public.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Ska,

    I think you can tie in the double standard about recording cops in public vs. cops recording you in public.


    Agreed, cops like everybody else cannot expect "privacy" when in a public place. Can they require bystanders to shut their eyes while the taxfed, jackbooted leeches commit one of their perpetrations? If they can't, then they cannot expect not to be recorded. The fact that some courts do not agree with this is more an indication of the spiraling down of this country towards totalitarianism rather than any philosphical issues surrounding privacy rights.

  • ||

    it's proof that some states suck. record away in my state.

  • DK||

    Dunphy, have you ever actually state which state you're in? I'd like to look up the statutes for my own reference (and possibly move there). Thanks.

  • DK||

    *stated which state*

  • DNS||

    their extremely lousy return on investment another

    The proliferation of red light cameras negates this one. They are an excellent return on investment. And the solar powered ones are green!

    the fact that they are paid with stolen money at gunpoint (by jackbooted, taxfed thugs) yet another.

    Also negated as the sheeple feel they are being robbed one way or another and will willingly give up money to the Jackboot Thug Union™ in return for a false sense of security.

    The Largesse argument should be directed towards Jackboot Thug Union™ a la Child Indoctrination Union™ argument on display in WI. Make the police justify their pensions and benefits.

  • ||

    Excellent return for who? The companies that run them?

  • ||

    Preventing and punishing crimes is a legitimate function of government, so I don't see the beef you have with spending taxpayer money on cameras. And each police officer probably costs 100x as much as the cost of purchasing, installing, and operating a surveillance camera over the course of his or her career.

    I would think libertarians would prefer cameras over cops, given that cameras don't beat innocent people up, demand bribes, and ignore any police brutality they see.

  • ||

    red light cameras also don't racially profile or give special favors. fwiw, where i live if a cop isn't "running code" (lights/sirens) and trips a red light camera, he gets a ticket just like anybody else. whatever you can say about red light cameras, they are impartial

  • ||

    Really? I assumed whoever looks through the red light photos would just claim they couldn't read the plate if it was a cop car.

  • ||

    well, i personally know two cops who have received such tickets, so that's not the case. you have to give the red light camera thing props for being impartial to race, attitude, and all other factors that could play into a cop's biases. and again, if a cop runs a red light and IS NOT running code, he SHOULD be cited.

  • Ray||

    Move to New Hampshire, move to New Hampshire, move to New Hampshire, move to New Hampshire, move to New Hampshire, move to New Hampshire, move to New Hampshire. We need folk like you all up here. Ecxept for Rather and Tony, et al, and we can actually start implementing steps for a more liberty oriented society. For god's sakes, move to New Hampshire.

  • waffles||

    It's cold in New Hampshire...and bears.

  • DK||

    And where am I supposed to work in NH? The best I can think of is live somewhere near the NH-MA border and commute in to Boston for work. But it's a 40 min drive w/o traffic, probably double that w/ traffic, and I'm not sure about transit options. Does anyone have any ideas about this? I'm seriously considering moving out that way after I get my PhD, have lots of job opportunities in Boston, and want to avoid MA laws as much as possible.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    What do you do for work? Many people who live south of Manchester are commuting into MA, but not all are heading all the way to Boston. There are actually quite a few employers along I-495 and I-95, which are north of Boston.

  • ||

    Show me where I can get a good Italian beef, and attract a few professional sports teams, and then . . . I'll still probably stay where I am.

  • Ray||

    It is bitterly cold. But the summers are pure heaven.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    (mention the foliage, too)

  • T||

    It is bitterly cold.

    And right there you lost me.

  • Pedobear||

    POLICE CAMERAS WILL ONLY MAKE IT EASIER FOR THE POLICE TO OPPRESS CHILD-LOVERS!
    COME TO NEW HAMPSHIRE AND FIGHT FOR YOUR SEXUAL RIGHTS! WHILE YOU'RE NOT HERE YET YOU CAN LISTEN TO FREE TALK LIVE TO JOIN IN THE REVOLUTION!

  • Ray||

    Child lovers? I was unaware of that problem...

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    His ad hominem nonsense still stinks to high heaven...seriously, though, couldn't he come up with *something* better?

  • Follower||

    I'll go as soon as 20,000 other people go.

  • PabloKoh||

    They don't lower crime, they just move it to a different corner. The unseen benefit is the connected contractors who design, sell and install the system make a bundle, and kickback campaign contributions.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: PabloKoh,

    They don't lower crime, they just move it to a different corner.


    Probably, but that fact would still show just how ineffective police forces are; if the cameras were really funneling criminals towards certain areas, wouldn't that make it easier for police to ambush and capture them?

  • Chupacabra||

    It would, but they're too busy ticketing people for not wearing seat belts.

    Catching violent criminals is HARD.

  • Old Mexican||

    Well..... yeah.

    :D

  • ||

    Catching violent criminals is HARD.

    Especially when you spend most of your time chasing non-violent "criminals" for having too much cash or smoking pot.

  • ||

    do you honestly believe CPD officers spend "most" of their time chasing people who have "too much case" or who are "smoking pot?"

    i highly doubt it.

  • ||

    They don't lower crime, they just move it to a different corner.

    In order to commit a crime at a place, you need a victim to be there. Obviously some corners are more likely to have potential victims present than others, and that's where you should put the cameras.

  • Old Mexican||

    Presidents Day Prayer:

    "Great Leader, who art in Washington,

    Hallowed be thy name.

    Thy empire come,

    thy will be done,

    on earth as it is in the Oval Office.

    Give us this day our daily dole.

    And forgive us our late tax filings,

    as we forgive the IRS for refunding our overpayments without interest.

    And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from the DEA.

    For thine is the federal prison system, the FBI, the military, the CIA, the regulatory agencies, the Surveillance State, and all the rest of the tyrannical apparatus under which we groan, not to mention

    the power and the glory,

    for ever and ever (unless justice is done sooner).

    Amen."

    (Robert Higgs, The Beacon http://www.independent.org/blog/index.php?p=9435 )

  • Michael||

    Her team of researchers looked at two high-crime neighborhoods on Chicago's West Side, Humboldt Park West Bucktown and West Garfield Park. In Humboldt Park West Bucktown, she told me, they found "a significant decrease in total monthly crime numbers," including both property crime and violent crime. They found no evidence that the cameras merely pushed crime into other areas. In West Garfield Park, on the other hand, they saw "no impact," possibly because there were fewer cameras.

    Anybody that's familiar with Chicago's real estate trends of the past decade will understand why the results of this study should be considered highly suspect. One of these neighborhoods has enjoyed a steady rate of redevelopment and gentrification while the other remains adrift up the economic creek without a paddle.

  • Libya...Wisconsin...whatever!||

    From the Friday, February 18 NBC Nightly News:

    BRIAN WILLIAMS: Good evening. From the Mideast to the American Midwest tonight, people are rising up. Citizens uprisings are changing the world. As we’ve witnessed from Tunisia to Egypt and now tonight from Libya to Bahrain, where today there was a violent crackdown and our reporters and cameras were there when shots were fired. But tonight we're going to begin in Wisconsin...

  • Old Mexican||

    Ned Ryun, who was on the ground in Madison organizing American Majority's Tea Party movement counter-protest, told TheDC that he was amazed that 10,000 grassroots conservatives got to Madison in such a short timeframe to show on-the-ground support for Walker. He believes it is a sign that the American people like what the Tea Party movement stands for.

    "We announced the rally just 48 hours beforehand and 10,000 people showed up," Ned Ryun said in an interview. "I thought it was just a fantastic show of support for these guys."


    Oh, shit. This is going to get good.

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/02.....z1Ec5iWXlY

  • hmm||

  • Bucky||

    oh, i get it! let's stop the cameras that stop sheople from running red lights! those evil red light cameras cause rearenders because sheople slam on their brakes 'cause the light changed and now sheople could get an evil ticket...

  • hmm||

    the word is sheeple...

  • Pip||

    [citation needed]

  • Bucky||

    sue me

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Even if cameras have benefits, they narrow the scope of personal privacy, which should not be sacrificed without a compelling reason.


    It requires a reasonable expectation of privacy, which is pretty much non-existent on a public street.

  • ||

    i think a concept that is interesting to look at is the "mosaic" theory of privacy. of course one has no expectation of privacy from being viewed on a public street. however, when there is a web of security cameras capturing one's every move, at least an argument could be made that this type of surveillance is unreasonable.

    the mosaic theory is the one that has been used against GPS surveillance of motor vehicles on public roadways, fwiw. I think it is an interesting way to look at things.

    but yes, generally speaking, if you do it where others can see you, don't complain about others --- seeing you

  • ||

    i think a concept that is interesting to look at is the "mosaic" theory of privacy. of course one has no expectation of privacy from being viewed on a public street. however, when there is a web of security cameras capturing one's every move, at least an argument could be made that this type of surveillance is unreasonable.

    the mosaic theory is the one that has been used against GPS surveillance of motor vehicles on public roadways, fwiw. I think it is an interesting way to look at things.

    but yes, generally speaking, if you do it where others can see you, don't complain about others --- seeing you

  • ||

    Well, GPS surveillance has other issues. A stronger argument would be that attaching a piece of equipment to private property without the owner's consent constitutes a seizure and requires a warrant. Especially since the newer GPS trackers are hooked into the vehicle's electric system rather than running off their own battery -- you really are seizing the vehicle owner's battery power in that case.

  • ||

    the case i am referring to, the GPS tracker was self powered and as long as the LEO's attached it while the car was parked in a public place or a right the public has access to as invitees or licensees, it would be a tough case. the seizure argument failed. it was the mosaic argument that is the most likely ot be successful. a case like this in WA was held against the LEO's but note that we have an explicit right to privacy, not present in the federal constitution

  • Sudden||

    So this is the only article on H&R so far this morning? Does Reason take off for president's tyrants day or did Gaddafi shut down teh interwebz?

  • waffles||

    I think H&R is on strike. Something about pensions, universal health care, and not getting enough of that "internet money".

    Sometimes I swear they're just as bad as the Canadians/Cheeseheads. Time to find me some SCAB bloggers to get my fix.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Nah, they're probably all just at a Koch party.

  • MNG||

    "I think H&R is on strike."

    Atlas has finally shrugged.

  • Atlas||

    meh.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Sudden,

    So this is the only article on H&R so far this morning? Does Reason take off for president's tyrants day or did Gaddafi shut down teh interwebz?


    Well, how about making H&R our own, at least for today?

  • ||

    Does anybody have an admin password? ;-)

  • ||

    I do, but I'm saving it for posting Ben Roethlisberger's wedding night video.

  • ||

    Does anybody have an admin password?

    Try "password".

  • Or||

    "jacket"

  • ||

    that actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

    www.being-anon.tk

  • ||

    *so* unsurprised that this comes in a city run by a statist democrat. If statist democrat, isn't redundant.

  • ||

    I don't have a problem with we the people putting in cameras to monitor public spaces. As long as we the people can look through them anytime we want.

    We have the technology...

  • Phuc.Yew||

    Welcome to 1984

  • pepbac||

    Mayor Richard has trued so much and he need to be call a hero because not many people across the world has managed to do it like him, This is very good because there no much worries and thugs are easy to catch exactly at the scene and security is well organized, nowadays the police has less work to do.

    directtohomeappliances.com directtohomeappliances

  • Kevin||

    No reasonably secure and independent person wants to be spied on by the government with security cameras. Only those who live in constant fear of crime -- and statistically that is not a reasonable fear -- welcome security cameras. After all the security measures the US has installed in airports we have caught and successfully prosecuted exactly ZERO terrorists.

  • nike running shoes||

    is good

  • دليل||

    asvascv

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