Wednesday, June 24, 2009

State of Insecurity

The Super Secret Camera Spy Center

Okay, so the so the title is actually misleading. I call it "Insecurity", while many others call it "Security." I specifically want your input on this one, AdamS, since I believe that many places in Great Britain have implemented similar systems to their cities.
In Lancaster, PA, the city is "secured" by 165 Live Feed Cameras strategically placed around the city. This city of 55,000 citizens, has more cameras than most major cities, including Boston and San Fransisco!

Now I understand the rationality behind the cameras. It is a social psychology principal. If people see that they are being actively observed, or think they are being monitored, they are less likely to commit a crime.

The cameras are monitored by a watchdog group of civilians. They he have no written guidelines to follow, and official training program on. what is "Good or Bad behavior." It is essentially up to the civilian operator watching the screens to monitor the activity and call police. (Civilian being a member of the city, and not an employee of any kind.) This creates an advanced neighborhood crime watch. The cameras were installed by a private company, and are not city or state ran. (PA/MD CCTV Corporation)


However, there has been great successes in the use of these cameras in Lanaster, as well as England. Success in preventing, or having substantial evidence to a serious crime.

Examples: As for British Security Cameras, I have seen many many many videos of violent, serious fights in the streets that have been used to put the perpetrators away.

As for Lancaster, PA: After a street security camera in Lancaster, Pa., captured the slaying of Solomon Hall’s cousin Tyquan Hall in 2007, the gunman was convicted.

Tyquan Hall, Slain Victim's Family Finds Justice

Now what I find interesting is that according to the L.A. Times, very few of the residents initially found the cameras to be a problem. Now, more and more people find these cameras to be becoming an issue.

Now, play in the principal of social psychology i mentioned. Crime should, in theory, decrease. However, since the installation of the 165 cameras, crime has increased. The operators are calling the police on simple "crimes", from loitering to jaywalking. This to me seems to be OVERKILL of some vigilante moron that cannot find anything better to do but spy on others and try to control others.

I fear that this could, over time, create a "Perfect" society. Where any infraction, minor or major, could be caught on film and prosecuted via mail, if need be. I personally agree with cameras in certain areas. Intersections, for instance, can help clear up confusion about accidents. Outside of bars or specific troubled areas where violent crimes are repeated, are good as well. I fear it is just to hard to draw the line though as to where it is good to have cameras observing innocent Americans in PUBLIC. What one person considers to be a severe crime or a good location for a camera, may be considered a minor crime or not a good location to you or me.
On private property, it should be the owners discretion. (But signs should be posted to avoid "invasion of privacy.") On public property, maybe at government ran institution.
I overall, feel that this is a GROSS violation of PRIVACY, due to the fact that the cameras are at every park, stores, every mall, some restaurants, sidewalks and every major street. I do not want to be observed, even though I am not participating in illegal activities. Remember, soon, if we are not careful, Big Brother will be watching us ALL. Please leave your input, I am very interested to know what you think. Especially, considering some of you may have first hand experience.



  1. zOMG! I do not want to be watched! I know a pervert will be looking through my window on that camera, getting the show of his life...and I wouldnt even know to be perfroming because he is SPYING! WTF?

  2. I would HAMMERTIME those cameras into next year...

  3. I am assuming by Hammertime them into next year, that means use your amazingly huge muscles to punch em or something? That would be neat. I'm sure the camera operators would notice a 10 foot goliath walking towards the camera before smashin em...then when they know you are 10 feet and all muscle, i'm sure you will be easy to pick out of the general populace...

  4. This is bad for my buisness. What if they notice the invflux of people visiting me?

  5. Nice post NoV!

    I have written about CCTV today:

    From which I quote:

    "It is widely known that Britain has a burgeoning nanny state. The hi-tech Big Brother measures deployed here are amongst the worst in the world. In particular, the density of CCTV cameras is the highest in the world - all in all, the population in the UK is a little over 60 million, who are surveilled by an estimated total of 4 million CCTV cameras. One camera for every 15 people."

  6. HOLY SHIT!!! I knew it was bad, but not THAT bad! Ya'll need to start vandalizing those cameras or something. Sheeesh... I couldnt do it.

  7. Big Brother is no beuno. I like my privacy, and it's something we are intitled too.

    However, camera's in public places and outside bars have been useful in the prosecution of criminals in the UK - just like you said.

    A friend of mine is a cop in the UK, and he told me about a rape that was caught on tape. The rapists tried to claim innocence, but were prosecuted because of the evidence provided by the tape.

    I also think they use some dicretion. I can't tell you how many times I flashed those CCTV cameras and never got a notice in the mail or had a squad car come pick me up.

    I also had one catch me peeing in public and clinbing a public monument. Nada happened.

    What scares me though, is who is going to monitor that these camera's aren't invading privacy? The government? Yikes.

  8. discretion - oopps. stupid spelling.

  9. HAHAHA sure the government will monitor them...and soon they will control the temperatures in our houses.

  10. There was an proposed bill in California a year ago, trying to give the State Government the ability to regulate temperature within your house. Fines would be implemented by offenders. This was for attempted powersaving due to massive brownouts.

  11. excuse me... fines would have been given to the offenders.

  12. Feel the eyes burning in the back of your neck yet? I do.

  13. Privacy is not a right in this overpopulated world. Our supervisors dig through our e-mail, the government has information well beyond our knowledge, and our landlords can come searching in a moments notice.
    People in general think that being alone and silence is a god given right. If it were killing would be okey dokey, because the world is not quiet
    Do not get me wrong, I have extreme problems with privacy; I'll skip eating to get away from my roommates in order to be away from people. For all the rapes, assaults, and crazy violent crimes that might get caught on camera, is it worth the billions of dollars spent and some social *dirtbag* so intrigued in my life that he will call the cops on me. What happens when these dirtbags get off from their glorified watchdoggyness? Will they be looking in my window with binocs over fed by power, and lusting to catch one more bad guy?

    Cameras are bad in public space. For the sake that if privacy is a right, then the public should be blind. Cameras are not selective, they see everything they look at. For anyone in the city the possibility that one of these *very expensive and most likely HD tele-photo* cameras could be aimed to read your newspaper on your nightstand.
    I guess the real question is, If the crime is so bad that we have put up cameras everywhere, why are we paying cops? Why do we have 1 cop for every 500 people? *at least in duluth we do* When will the revenue collection end!?

  14. Alright, fuck it. I wrote a long, elaborate reply to your post, Ontag....BUT apparently when I hit backspace, it went to the previous page, erasing all I wrote.


    I like tacos!