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NEWS: LAPD Installs Surveillence Cameras In Downtown, NYC Likely To Follow.

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posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 02:21 AM
L.A.P.D. with the help of the M.P.A.A. have begun installing surveillance cameras in the Los Angeles downtown fashion district under the premise of catching individuals selling pirated DVDs. Four cameras are currently operational with six more scheduled for installation in coming weeks amounting to ten in total. If proven a success, L.A.P.D. plans to expand the system. Like in Los Angeles, N.Y.P.D. wants to install surveillance cameras, but hundreds in it's commercial district and other busy areas throughout the city serving as a possible deterrent to crime.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles is installing a network of surveillance cameras intended to catch street hawkers selling counterfeit goods, especially pirated copies of Hollywood movies on DVD.
The Motion Picture Association of America, which represents major movie studios in government matters, contributed $186,000 to help pay for the system, which was unveiled Tuesday by Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton.
Four cameras are already operating. Six more were scheduled to be installed in coming weeks, Bratton said.

The digital cameras beam pictures to a police precinct where they are monitored by an officer who can dispatch undercover police to the location.

NEW YORK -- The nation's largest police force wants to install hundreds of surveillance cameras in busy commercial districts and other areas where there have been spikes in robberies and burglaries. [link below]

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Like the heavily monitored United Kingdom, major US cities seem to be following suit. I find this to be a very alarming trend and a strong indicator of what else might lie ahead. It is also interesting to note that the Motion Picture Association of America values an artistic creation over a living being's right to privacy.

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posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 02:33 AM
The truth is that we are followed by cameras all the time here in the US and the vast majority of them are privately owned. Adding a few municipal cameras is not likely to make much difference, except in the case of traffic cameras.

They have been installed here in ABQ for about a year, I guess, and until very recently only warnings have been issued to those who run traffic signals. Now, you get a ticket. They had to change a law that required a police officer to witness the infraction for a ticket to be issued.

The only reason this bothers me is not because I run traffic lights, but because the still camera cannot interpret a situation. It happens that traffic stops and leaves you stranded in an intersection sometimes and if the light changes when your in the middle of it, you're stuck.

The ACLU plans to challenge the new law and the camera system. One of the few rational causes they have championed in some time. So far I have just avoided the intersections with cameras, but now they are beginning to spread.

[edit on 05/6/1 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 04:32 PM
Yes, they have red-light cameras here and violators caught on camera are sent a $50 citation in the mail. A superior court judge here ruled the cameras are a violation of state law because the "clear proceeds" generated by these cameras are to be allocated into the school system for educational needs. This is not happening, the private company Peek Traffic currently receives $35 of each $50.00 fine collected, a handsome 70 percent cut. The municipality gets $15.00 in ''free money'' every time a fine is paid. Income (greed) is clearly the motivation here, not safety.

The fatal flaw in the system is the presumption that an owner of a motor vehicle is guilty of an offense if his or her car is photographed by a red light camera. Thereafter, a financial penalty is imposed, and based on an absolute presumption of guilt, there is no judicial review. This system strikes at the heart of 800 years of Anglo-American jurisprudence. A system that presumes guilt, Mr. Chairman, even on a $50 traffic ticket, violates due process. Senator Daniel Webster said, across the way, once upon a time, ''Ours is a system of law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry, and renders judgment only after trial.'' In sharp contrast to these principles, red light camera programs condemn vehicle owners behind closed doors and denies them a trial. Frightening throwbacks to the days of the divine right of kings. The techno-tyranny of red light cameras invites continued erosion of individual liberties.
In a civilized society where ordered liberty must prevail, unreasonable government regulations and police powers must be limited by the Constitution. If necessary, these limitations and protections should be enforced by this Congress. Many observers, and you've heard it today, laud the safety record of cameras, and every rational driver wants safe roads. But not every safety benefit befits a free society.
The word safety is not a magical incantation that permits government functionaries to do as they please. In plain southern English, when the government puts its hand in the pocket of a citizen and extracts a monetary fine, the government must follow the rules. With red light cameras, both the government and its contractors have an immense financial stake in the violation of traffic laws. What fuels this flawed system is not a desire for safety, but a hunger for profit at public expense.

Affiliated Computer Services, the Dallas-based information technology firm that runs the cameras also happens to provide information technology outsourcing solutions to commercial and government clients worldwide.

Even so, it's still a huge leap from monitoring traffic intersections to the real-time surveillance of citizens going about their daily private lives. You can guarantee the eyes behind these cameras wouldn't like our eyes in their bedrooms, bathrooms, or catching them in their not-so-proudest moments.

[edit on 1-6-2005 by Vajrayana]

posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 05:04 PM
That's why them rednecks been done practicin' with dem paint-ball guns!

'Beware govt that would protect you'- Jefferson

[edit on 1-6-2005 by Chakotay]

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