Daily Archives: September 9, 2004

Cameras, Cameras Everywhere…..

Via Talkleft I see that Chicago will soon have 2000 operative video surveillance cameras:

Officials said the bulk of the cameras already are in use at O’Hare International Airport, on the city’s transit lines and in public housing, parks and schools, along with 30 police are using to try to curb violent crime. An additional 250 surveillance cameras still to be bought will raise the number available to more than 2,000. Locations for the new cameras have not been determined.
Of course, we should not have any privacy concerns:
Daley dismissed privacy concerns, saying the only places where the city installs cameras are public spaces. But he said private companies could choose to join their cameras to the network – for a yet-to-be-determined fee – so that 911 operators would have access to those cameras should something go awry in a private building.
If I were a private company I’m not at all sure I’d want to connect my system to a government operated system. The latter is bound to be innefficient and operated with different goals then I would have.
This does suggest to me that perhaps we private citizens ought to consider making use of this type of technology. I’m thinking of a somewhat enhanced Neighborhood Watch that will assist us in identifying and perhaps preventing crimes by individuals, gangs or government in our local neighborhoods. Perhaps street level cells could be combined with others to form a community network.
Since our current governments seem most concerned with victemless crimes we might even want to consider setting up a program that uses private organizations to identify perps and private court systems that use restitution to victems as the key “punishment.” Of course, perps who do not want to participate in this system can be turned over to government folk to rot in jail.
And, you know, if we can keep enough perps out of jail via restitution then, perhaps, we can start eliminating the police-corrections complex that has led to the US incarcerating over 2,000,000 people in jails.