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posted by janrinok on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:30AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the I-can-see-you dept.

McGruber writes:

"The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Atlanta Police plan to have as many as 12,000 cameras installed in the city.

'Atlanta is really on the leading edge of work in this area,' said William Flynn, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deputy assistant secretary of infrastructure protection. 'We spend a lot of our attention on preparedness, protection, prevention. This kind of technology is the best use of those efforts and the best use of our resources.'

We've even been able to capture a murder on film,' said Atlanta Police Lt. LeAnne Browning, a supervisor at the video integration center where footage from more than 2,700 cameras is monitored.

I'm sure that was of great comfort to the murder victim and his/her loved ones."

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:37AM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:37AM (#9402) Homepage

    We've been able to witness a murder on camera, but we won't send any actual cops over there until the perp gets away. Then we'll keep the video as evidence, if we ever catch they guy. Which we probably won't. But hey, police work is dangerous work!

    Hey, good citizen, Atlanta P.D. *Flashes badge* we're here because you were listening to N.W.A.'s "Fuck the Police" [youtube.com] on your phone, at the intersection of 34th and Orange after a murder occurred. *shoots your dog, burns down your house* It was self-defense.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by rev_irreverence on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:09AM

    by rev_irreverence (144) on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:09AM (#9407)

    According to the article, "new technology is being developed to help police track perpetrators in cars, identify suspects in a crowd and tell police where crimes might happen".

        Just wait until the police have the ability to completely track a person's movements, store it indefinitely, and retrieve it on demand. I'm sure divorce lawyers are salivating at the mouth just thinking about being able to subpoena this information. I'm sure this data will show up in all kinds of unintended places.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:25AM (#9413)

      Fuck that, people will just never get married.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by SacredSalt on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:10AM

    by SacredSalt (2772) on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:10AM (#9409)

    license plate readers. The rest of the cameras will be at such low resolution to only provide a blurry image of muggings, knockout game victims, murders, assaults, robberies, and autothefts. Yes, it will help a few times for when someone uses the "my car was stolen" lie, but it will end up used to track the movements of anyone with a car guaranteed.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by juggs on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:03AM

    by juggs (63) on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:03AM (#9419) Journal

    "We've even been able to capture a murder on film,' said Atlanta Police Lt. LeAnne Browning, a supervisor at the video integration center where footage from more than 2,700 cameras is monitored."

    All I can say is - welcome to 1984 surveillance and welcome to UK levels of camera installations. This is complete fuckwittery, it solves nothing.

    It seems the focus of law enforcement these days is punishment after the deed is done rather than prevention or discouragement of the deed being done in the first place.

    With that in mind - here's a thought;
    perhaps we brought this on ourselves (in part). Bear with me before you go into an apoplectic rage.

    We demand freedom to go about our business as we please, to not be questioned, to not be searched, to not be interfered with, delayed or otherwise inconvenienced by those we (indirectly) employ as Policy Officers.

    In itself that causes a dichotomy. On the one hand we want a structured, orderly society in which to conduct our business, reasonably safe from being physically maimed should things not quite work out as planned. On the other hand we want to be left alone to to do what we please - including wandering around with maiming devices.

    So what is a Policy Officer to do? They are charged with enforcing Policy, yet they are effectively unable to do so by the very Policies they have to uphold. So they hold their hands up, watch the screens, wait for a Policy violation to occur and try to hunt down the perp after the fact. They can't prevent it because we as a society will not allow them to.

    There need not be a confrontational front between "the people" and "the police" in a working society for the society sets the rules and the police are there to rein in the odd madman operating outside those rules.

    This article just makes me think that perhaps it is time to re-think what kind of society it is that we wish to live in, rather than knee-jerk to the obvious reaction "cameras bad" "police bad" - let's take a breath away from the ludicrous pace of life to consider perhaps it would be better to redefine society.

    In short - rather than expend your energy railing aginst the injustice you perceive in the society around you, turn that energy to forming a new society.

    I await the downvotes :(

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Lagg on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:45AM

      by Lagg (105) on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:45AM (#9427) Homepage Journal
      While I think your post is interesting I don't appreciate the reverse psychology at the end and therefore will post instead of moderating either way. This isn't reddit. There aren't downvotes. That isn't how it works. Anyway, yes I am seeing some pretty creepy shit here. They're basically saying they made a snuff film and... Nothing else. Catching the murder on film is fine as evidence but how would that assist in catching them in a way not already possible without the sacrifice of privacy is the real question. Though your argument kind of falls short in that police aren't exactly "throwing their hands up". I don't need to tell you about the massive militarization of the police in recent years. SWAT raids on people suspected to be growing weed? Come on now, that's anything but being restricted by society.
      --
      http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Angry Jesus on Sunday March 02 2014, @11:01AM

        by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday March 02 2014, @11:01AM (#9505)

        > SWAT raids on people suspected to be growing weed?

        How about SWAT raids for "barbering without a license" and underage drinking [reason.com]

      • (Score: 1) by juggs on Wednesday March 05 2014, @04:36AM

        by juggs (63) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @04:36AM (#11173) Journal

        While I think your post is interesting I don't appreciate the reverse psychology at the end and therefore will post instead of moderating either way. This isn't reddit. There aren't downvotes. That isn't how it works.

        By reverse psychology, were you referring to my expecting downvotes? It wasn't meant to be disingenuous if so - I see (on the mighty interwebs) a great deal of constructive ideas about how to reform policing immediately downvoted, it seems simply for having the audacity to suggest that in a civilised society (which by definition has common rules and regs) we will require someone to enforce them if someone steps out of line - I'm not sure I see any alternative other than vigilantism.

        As for my understanding of the moderation system here - I must apologise - I was a long time lurker on /. - the crescendo of yo mamma, frosty piss and outright trolling and flaming comments caused me to not engage. I must have come late to the party!

        They're basically saying they made a snuff film and... Nothing else. Catching the murder on film is fine as evidence but how would that assist in catching them in a way not already possible without the sacrifice of privacy is the real question.

        A good point. It is only useful if it is high def and allows the perp to be clearly identified in cases where otherwise they would have escaped unseen and scott free. I have no idea what %ge of cases that currently applies too. From my anecdotal findings in the camera swathed UK, it is a vanishingly small %ge because the cameras are low res so we end up with a blurry freeze frame animation of someone attacking someone else. The only outcome is - we know they had a hood and we ~usually~ know they were white or non-white - oh and a vague height. That's it, that's all our cameras have to offer. So on the one hand it is not really helping reduce crime and on the other it is so inept that it is hardly a risk to anyone's privacy - unless you actually do have a pixellated face, in which case you're in a lot of trouble.

        It's an interesting subject because it opens all kinds of avenues on what technology we should allow our police forces (as if we had a choice), whether we are destined toward "pre-crime" units and constant high def monitoring etc.

        I don't need to tell you about the massive militarization of the police in recent years. SWAT raids on people suspected to be growing weed? Come on now, that's anything but being restricted by society.

        UK police aren't massively militarised (yet). Sure they do dawn raids, knocking doors of hinges and storming in to arrest people while they are still sleepy, but on the whole they aren't going all out armed SWAT. That dawn tactic is more to prevent people flushing or otherwise disposing of evidence than anything else. An unarmed populace brings an unarmed police raid. It also makes for a potentially very cowed populace. It's all just a different way of adjusting the balances to end up at a functional society. Has any of us got there yet?

    • (Score: 2) by Angry Jesus on Sunday March 02 2014, @11:11AM

      by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday March 02 2014, @11:11AM (#9510)

      In itself that causes a dichotomy. On the one hand we want a structured, orderly society in which to conduct our business, reasonably safe from being physically maimed should things not quite work out as planned. On the other hand we want to be left alone to to do what we please - including wandering around with maiming devices.

      It causes a false dichotomy. The idea that the police must regularly intrude into the lives of citizens in order to do their job is begging the question. Framing the situation that way is great for police budgets, but not so much for crime prevention. It is the falsehood of "thin blue line" that stands between an ordered society and chaos. It isn't policing that prevents chaos, it's the fact that practically everybody just wants to get along with their lives and isn't interested in chaos.

      There will always be miscreants, but their numbers aren't even close to justifying wide-spread police intrusion into our daily lives be it in person or electronically.

      • (Score: 1) by juggs on Wednesday March 05 2014, @05:27AM

        by juggs (63) on Wednesday March 05 2014, @05:27AM (#11188) Journal

        I agree - practically everybody does just want to get along with their lives and be left the hell alone.

        Likewise - I agree the numbers of actual miscreants are witheringly small and not even worth noting.

        The problem seems to be a very vocal, small minority demanding "action" and "clamp-downs". In the UK they seem to cluster around the The Daily Mail (paper) and Mumsnet (some web portal / forum thing that the Prime Minister thinks is important to secure him the next vote).

        The vocal seem to get a disproportional amount of indulgence. Long has been the case no doubt.

        What I was trying to get across in my commment was that society as a whole needs to take a moment and take a long hard look at what exactly it is they are letting out of the genie's bottle before letting this "CamerasCosPaedoTerrorRapeDeathKillKeepMeSafeLOLUN ICORNS" chimaera loose. It is not going back in the bottle once it is out, now is the time to debate it.

    • (Score: 1) by sjames on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:55PM

      by sjames (2882) on Sunday March 02 2014, @05:55PM (#9679) Journal

      That's a bit of a false dichotomy. It is possible to have police presence without the stop and frisk. It was called walking a beat, and it worked.

      If the police can find their way back to protect and serve, it can work again.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by epitaxial on Sunday March 02 2014, @07:26AM

    by epitaxial (3165) on Sunday March 02 2014, @07:26AM (#9437)

    that all these cameras are worth a lot in scrap value or on eBay. Hilarity will ensue.

    • (Score: 1) by Angry Jesus on Sunday March 02 2014, @07:07PM

      by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday March 02 2014, @07:07PM (#9708)

      Or make it a meme like "planking" was to flash the cameras.

      There will be enough kids under 18 doing it to flood the system with child porn.

      Not so disruptive, but a really clever form of protest: Have your band perform in front of the cameras [telegraph.co.uk] and then FOIA the footage to make a music video.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Angry Jesus on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:56AM

    by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday March 02 2014, @10:56AM (#9503)

    I recently drove cross country. One thing that stood out to me is that of all the states I drove through, Oklahoma and Georgia were the only ones where the police and highway patrol cars were painted all black. Everybody else had some variant of black-and-white, but in those two states the cop cars looked like paramilitary vehicles. It was disturbing because it sure looked like the intent was to intimidate.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Non Sequor on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:21PM

      by Non Sequor (1005) on Sunday March 02 2014, @04:21PM (#9639) Journal

      I'm pretty sure it's for catching speeders. From a distance you can't tell they're police (you can typically *guess* based on placement though) so it's harder to avoid speeding tickets by slowing down before passing the speed trap.

      I have no idea if this helps them write more tickets or not. I would guess that even without the hard to distinguish cars, they would have plenty of speeders going small amounts over the speed limit and they'd largely be restricted only in how many people they let slide. With the dark cars, I might guess that making their quota might not come at the expense of leniency since there should be more big speeders who fall for the speed trap. Or maybe it does let them write more tickets. I can't say.

      --
      Write your congressman. Tell him he sucks.
      • (Score: 2) by Angry Jesus on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:58PM

        by Angry Jesus (182) on Sunday March 02 2014, @06:58PM (#9706)

        > I'm pretty sure it's for catching speeders.

        I'm sure they have a justification for it. Probably multiple justifications. There is always a superficially plausible reason to ratchet up security forces. There will never be zero crime, so from the perspective of eliminating crime there is always "more we can do."

        But that attitude forgets that police have a role in society that is not simply hard-line enforcement at all costs. That the use "soft power" (community participation) can be at least as effective as intimidation (be it black cars out of a special-forces movie or constant surveillance) without all of the social costs.