Let's Put Security Surveillance Cameras Everywhere

The ACLU is going to hate me, but I like seeing security cameras. I wish we had them up and down our street, quietly recording at short random intervals. Storage is cheap; you could store a lot of boring pixels of nothing much happening for short money.

I am absolutely serious. Yeah, I understand the supposed privacy issues, but I still would like to see high quality video recording everything, everywhere.

Yes, I have read all about how they don't stop crime and how criminals just wear hoods and masks. Well, if we really could have them everywhere and they were recording frequently enough, in theory you could trace someone back to when they stepped out of their home all dressed up for a robbery. Yeah, unrealistic, at least right now. The cameras aren't that inexpensive. But they might be that cheap someday. 

But, as we'll see later, I have an idea about paying for all this through private enterprise, so it might just be possible.

Really Public

When I say public cameras, I mean public in the way Google Street View is public.

I envision all these cameras feeding their GPS coordinates and their pictures up to servers that anyone could access. I would also suggest that you would only access them with positive identification and that you could easily see who else had been accessing the same cameras. Access by law enforcement personnel, government entities and corporate interests would have to be identifed as such.

Anyone could watch anywhere, but everyone would know who has been watching.

Privacy? This is no different than standing on a corner watching a street. You can see the street, and anyone who cares can see that you are watching. I see no privacy issues in that. If you are being watched, this system gives you much more information about the possible motives of your watchers.


Your personal behavior might change: if you know that video cameras are watching you wherever you are, you won't be breaking littering laws. You wouldn't let your dog poop without picking it up. Not having to pay for litter and poop pickup might save us enough to pay for quite a few cameras.

We'd have an easier time finding lost or abducted children and confused Alzheimers wanderers. Cheating spouses would have a harder time arranging their trysts, white lies to employers about being ill when actually skipping out to a ball game would be easier to uncover. On the other hand, you would know if your deception had been found out.

These would provide real-time traffic and weather. In the event of accident, fires or other emergency, they could provide important on-site views of the actual circumstances.

You wouldn't have to sign for packages and you would not worry about that delivery of Kruggerands being left on your porch all day while you were at work.

Alibis? Much easier. Unless it's a lie, of course.

Of course, I'd love having cameras inside my house, too. I'd have to pay for those (it isn't all that expensive now) and they wouldn't have public access.

Same idea, random snaps 24 x 7, data shipped off to some Google or Amazon server where I could go get it if I ever needed it. It could help me find my lost wallet.

Inside my home, I would want sound, too. It would also record parties, family gatherings, conversations - with my wife proving that yes, she really did remind me to clean the shower and I really did say "Yes, dear" and promptly forgot about it.


On the negative side, stalkers would find it easier to track their victims. Of course, their stalking actions would be known just as easily.

We already have cameras in many areas. It may seem strange, but with an open system such as this, the more cameras there are, the more your real privacy is protected. It would be easy to create software to advise you of any person or persons becoming too nosy about your movements.

I know the concerns. Police State. Persecution. Abuse. But again, if those watching are identified and logged, doesn't that become even less of a danger than it is today without ubiquitous cameras? I think it does.

Remember, government and corporate access would be identified. You would know if your neighbor or the CIA were tracking you. Open both ways. They see you, you know that.

And yes, I know that there would be secret access and false logging. Security gets broken with depressing frequency. But again, with open systems, we have more chance to spot fraudulent activity and bring it into the open.

Paying for it all

A company like Google or Amazon would provide the storage space. They'd pay for it with advertising and with charges for advanced searches.

Private companies would provide the cameras in exchange for advertising rights. They would still buy advertising, but each camera provided would either give them offsetting credits or it could be that their ads get more priority when "their" cameras provided the data being viewed. I'm sure there are other ways to provide the incentive.

Some companies would just see it as good public relations, much as they pay for highway cleanup now.  Others would see advertising opportunities and still others might see clever ways to use the collected information for profit.   Some of that happened with Google Maps and Google Street View, of course.

Is it really such a bad idea?

We do a lot of this already, except we don't have the other side which tells you who is watching. For privacy, and to avoid potential abuse, that's important.

I see many advantages, and few downsides. What's your take? Hate it? Like it? Not sure?

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Comments 56 comments

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

I am really surprised that no one yet has said that I am completely bonkers on this!

It's OK - you can say it :-)

jimmo42 profile image

jimmo42 6 years ago from Untersiemau, Germany

Tony, I actually like that idea, as long as it is 100% open who is watching whom. If they want, the FBI, CIA, and so forth, will be able to watch you without you knowing it. Something like this makes it more transparent. However, I would insist that no one is exempt. Just because a politician or corporate president lives in a particular street, does not mean there are no cameras. There are things to work out like it is illegal to set up the cameras so they look directly into people's homes or viewers *must be* identifiable (i.e. NO anonymous viewer). However, I think the idea is sound.

Here in Germany, I am required by law to be able to identify myself. Technically a driver's license is not a valid form of ID, but I have been stopped with only a driver's license and they are always cool about it. I see it like I do asking for my ID when I use my credit card. It is protecting *me*. This is simply protecting my security.

Plus there are the issues you mentioned. I saw a program a while ago about a public square somewhere in England. I distinctly remember a part with where you heard over a speaker "Would the lady in the red shirt pushing the stroller please dispose of her rubbish in the proper container?" That would definitely motivate people not to litter.

Benjamin Franklin's comment "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" is 250 years old and he had no idea that there would be as much crime today as there is. Further, I do not see not being video taped as an "essential liberty".

Bring them on!

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

Right, but as you said, no exclusions!

Allan Douglas profile image

Allan Douglas 6 years ago from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

That's pretty scary at first glance, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. But then I live on a mountainside five miles from anywhere and Google has a picture of my house! So it's not that big a leap.

K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California

Bummer, I think you are actually on to something. It would surely solve as well as create several issues. I like the staulker point and the monitoring of vehicle accidents, possibly more insurances would provide a discount if you have a certain number of cameras along the path you drive to work?...Entertaining hub Tony! But I always enjoy your stuff!


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 6 years ago from Cotswold Hills

Yep your Nuts !

When George Orwell wrote 1984 he envisaged ‘Big Brother’ he was under the impression that it would come from an oppressive Government and here you are volunteering.

Over here in the UK we are among the most watched Nation in the world, CCTV cameras everywhere, speed cameras, average speed cameras, cameras to spot car tax dodgers and God alone knows what else they watch and who is watching.

We have had incidents where local councils have been watching who puts their rubbish bins out the night before, or who allows their dog to foul pavements and sidewalks. Both anti social activities I agree but hardy justification to brand them criminals.

Together with the ability to track and monitor our Emails and mobile phone conversations as well as tracking our movements by using our mobile phones and credit cards as personal trackers how much more information do you want to give the snoopers ?

Wall to wall CCTV coverage won’t prevent or even slow crime down nor will it prevent acts of terrorism, that was merely the weak justification used by the State to justify what they were doing. There is nothing in law to stop them using any of the information gathered in this way against the ordinary people to enforce anything they please.

Who knows, as many criminals are smarter than the authorities and always seem to be at least two steps ahead of them they may well be in a position to use such technology to their own advantage to build up a profile of your movements and travel plans, a great time to pop over to your house and rob it for example !

PLEASE ! Be careful for what you ask for .... Someone Somewhere is probably working on how to give it to you !

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

But you do not have the other side, right? You can't access those cameras and you can't tell who is watching. That is what I would like to see changed here before the number grows much more.

Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 6 years ago from Cotswold Hills

That's the point I was making when I said be careful what you ask for.

If access was free to all who knows what criminal use such information could be used to achieved.

Besides, with the equipment freely available for sale you/they can set up your own system.

Corporations do it all the time, I know of at least one manager who has 24/7 access to his companies CCTV system on his laptop and I know he has used things he has seen through that link to the detriment of company employees.

Is that the sort of world you want to live in ?

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I am all for cameras in public, just keep them out of my apartment. Now, that would be the 1984 that Orwell imagined; never being allowed to turn off your TV and not knowing if they were watching you or not.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

Yes, Merlin it IS the world I want to live in. I want to be able to KNOW who is watching and when they are watching. Camera are an unavoidable fact: we are going to have more and more of them, but my concept evens up the score.

Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 6 years ago from Cotswold Hills

Fair enough.... Hope it doesn't come round and bite you on the ass !

As for UW's comment about not wanting Big Brother in his appartment, if you own and use a cell phone or a computer linked to the Internet it's already too late they are already there.

Need proof of how easy it is, look at the adverts on your host page when you sign in to check your Email or the ads at the side of Hub Pages... isn't it strange how they seem to mirror something you may have searched for or reseached recently ?

And that's just what Google is capable of.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

Yes - and I would like to see WHAT Google knows and thinks it knows. I don't like Google knowing stuff without me knowing that they know it.

LRCBlogger profile image

LRCBlogger 6 years ago

Interesting idea. I've actually experienced it working about a block from the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. I worked directly across from Goldman Sachs which is about a block and a half from wall street. If you look around, there are little globe cameras everywhere. I used to wonder if it is an invasion of privacy but then I thought to myself "why would anyone want to watch me...am I that interesting?" Sadly, the answer was 'no' which made me grow to appreciate the fact that working in such a 'terrorist targeted area' I could look around at the cameras and know that someone was watching everyone.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

But do you think we should know WHO is watching and should we be able to watch as easily as they do?

LaMamaLoli profile image

LaMamaLoli 6 years ago from London

It is official. You are mad! I can't think of anything worse. I HATE all the cameras is London, and it is such feeling of freedom when I visit family in spain. I walk or drive around and relish the thought that i can do what i want where i want (within the law of course!) without some camera nosing around. And what REALLY pisses me off about all these cameras is that i know that if a crime was committed that they should have on tape - whats the chances that a. it was actually recorded b. that you can see what was happening(quality is cack) c.that you could use it as evidence? no chance. Don't get me started on this topic or I will probably come across as a nutter... and I'm not...? lol

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

I understand. My point is that these are inevitable and before they become ubiquitous here I would like to see some equalization - the knowing who is watching.

KKalmes profile image

KKalmes 6 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

I love it PC, the guy in the mask would be caught in the parking lot before he robbed McDonald's... and we could televise it 24/7 on comcast... talk about your Truman reality show... and maybe people would stop spitting on the street and picking their noses when they think no one can see them... and maybe more people would go on diets as they see themselves from behind... and we could privatize littering just like parking because you would be able to follow the culprit and send him a ticket and snapshots to his home... if we could only figure a way to freeze frame the guy with the gun, knife, bat and back it up so the crime never really happens... that might be a bit far-fetched.

Always a hoot>>>>>>>>>>>>

thumbs up and funnnnny!

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Google knowing what you searched recently in your browser and what words they pick up when you open your email is hardly Big Brother.

Google does not know I am sitting here in my pajamas drinking tea...well...they do now :)

When was the last time you read the novel 1984?...I'm reading it right now...

Allan Douglas profile image

Allan Douglas 6 years ago from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Just a bit ago I was reading an article about advertisements that stalk you. Apparently this is pretty prevalent in the UK, not so much in the US (yet). Next thing you know, I’ll walk into the East Tennessee Coffee Company to buy a pound of fresh ground Guatemalan and get home to find air lines sending me e-mail adverts with reduced air fares to Central America. Sigh!

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

More likely ads for new coffee makers :-)

Chaotic Chica profile image

Chaotic Chica 6 years ago

I'm torn. I absolutely do NOT like the idea of being watched, legally or not. However you do make a very good argument and I can see how, if the system was followed accurately, it could be benificial. Great hub and great idea! I'm just not so sure I'm ready for that. In fact, that's my greatest fear.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

We won't stop the cameras, but this would be better.

rgarnett profile image

rgarnett 6 years ago from KC, MO

LOL, I have been on vacation for a week. I would have definitely got to this sooner. I think it makes sense. As long as there are open communication between both sides. It reminds me of the book "Extras" by Scott Westerfeld that I just finished. Its the fourth book in the Uglies series, where basically cameras followed people around everywhere and the whole city was on an 'interface' that knew everything you did. Interesting take on the idea as always!

TruthAwake profile image

TruthAwake 6 years ago from The Dirty South

"I am really surprised that no one yet has said that I am completely bonkers on this!"-

Yeah, you're pretty much the Big Brother poster boy...I am appalled that anyone would support, let alone like this idea...the thing is,you have got to understand that corruption always prevails. Look at how history repeats itself, I mean..tyranny always surfaces where there is a power structure, and freedoms slip and slip until we complacently bow our heads and keep letting freedoms be stripped away! I bet you support a chip in the arm, too...I mean, I have no idea, but i am just guessing. Allow me to quote the great Benjamin Franklin here: "Those who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."

...and not to mention, the disadvantages listed, in addition to the total violation of privacy, far outweigh any so-called advantages. Oh,and...the "advantages" don't seem too hot anyways, considering that this would only result in a disastrous domino effect of everyone watching everyone...mass paranoia and, quite frankly, a waste of time and money!

Let's now ask the question of, WHY would anyone want to watch others? Okay, so you say...for our safety? For the law to prevail, stop crime, and traffic violations? Pshh. I highly doubt that. Here's a better answer...how about...to further aid corruption within an already corrupt police state? Do you even realize, that the safety speed cameras that are in place in U.S. cities are being sold to the consolidated city governments by a private company out of Australia, called REDFLEX? And let's also take into account that by installing these cameras, this only served to pass on the duties of law enforcement officers to regulate streets and uphold the law to safety cameras? Ah, so...Redflex and city gov. unite, and together create a brilliant means of making major/easy money, while evading their duties to physically protect our streets, as job entitlement would require of them. But hey...what a cash cow. (And I would love to know where that money is going.) Now that's just for traffic cameras, but think about it...all camera usage is ripe for corruption and laziness within government and big corporations.

You give an inch, they take a mile... the next big thing is RFID chips embedded in products in the grocery store, for marketing purposes...which activate once picked up off of the shelf, then track your whereabouts, up to your front doorstep. How do ya like THEM apples? Corporations tracking your moves, studying you, to push their own agendas... this is already hitting stores. Does this human monitoring spell "safety" to you? Where do we cross the line? And do you not see how gov/corporate entities could employ surveillance cameras for some similar usages? I'd like to get some opinions.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

What you fail to comprehend is that they are already watching. What I am proposing here is to even the scales and make the watching useful to all of us at the same time.

You are not going to stop the spread of cameras. This would help eliminare the secrecy and prevent the abuse you are afraid of.

You know, it really is sad that so many people don't bother to READ before they shoot their mouths off.

TruthAwake profile image

TruthAwake 6 years ago from The Dirty South

Oh, no I totally understood that aspect of the hub. That is why I said "the "advantages" don't seem too hot anyways". Allow me to clarify, if you will, by saying that I definitely don't think full access of surveillance to everyone, by everyone, is a good idea...especially considering all of the serial killer rapists and stalkers who would just love to get their hands on something like this.

I also said: "this would only result in a disastrous domino effect of everyone watching everyone...mass paranoia and, quite frankly, a waste of time and money!"

Also I am not sure how I do not comprehend that they are already watching, especially since I made a comment about them watching, and how I didn't appreciate it too much...and I definitely understand and read the article, and fully comprehend the point that you are trying to solidify here, however I do not agree in any way shape or form that the spread of the camera's usage to everyone would ever be "useful", a point that I backed up in my last comment. Perhaps you did not read my full comment, but I did read and respond with full comprehension to your article.

Also, and this is just my opinion, and I am sure there have been crazier ideas, but how about YES, we can stop the cameras, that is what democracy is all about. Let's write to our state senators and representatives and take part and get active. Because there is power in numbers and I get the impression that the majority of people are either ticked off about the issue or do not fully understand it, leaving them on the fence. These are all solely my opinions, and you are entitled to yours, but that's just my take on things...you asked for people to hate it and, well...I hate it...lol.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

I think most people see these as no different than a cop standing on the corner - because it IS no different. All my idea does is give everyone access to what he sees and record who used that access.

TruthAwake profile image

TruthAwake 6 years ago from The Dirty South

Nah, I think it is different... cops standing on the corner cannot access what is going on at any given moment,any where, any time...which is essentially what would occur here. Your idea actually seems like it would escalate into what you are trying to say it is the opposite of, which is going beyond "cops standing on the corner".

You state in your hub that "you would know if your deception had been found out"...i am assuming this is meaning that whatever you do and get caught, in return, people snooping on you get caught spying on you.

My question is: In this system you've devised, is this enabling people to be caught spying on people from their homes? Because I would only assume that you would access this surveillance data from your home computer, considering that the convenience of it would make it the method of choice. This makes it pretty inevitable that in a system like this, spying within the home is going to occur. Which, if this is the case, I predict a lot of cringing at this idea, since it would force surveillance into the home. If not the case, and perhaps the viewing is only allowed to be performed in a public area, as to protect the privacy within the home, this would still defeat the purpose of protecting that sacred level of privacy, since being legally forced to spy on people outside the home creates a De Facto invasion of privacy in itself, forcing people to see what you would otherwise do in private, and manipulating their actions.

See what i am saying here? It's a lose lose situation all around, that will ultimately result in the further suspension of freedoms and privacy...a snowball effect, if you will...a downward spiral smack dab into 1984.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

No, the idea is not to SEE who is watching, it is to have the access recorded.

TruthAwake profile image

TruthAwake 6 years ago from The Dirty South

But even so...how is EVERYONE going to keep track of who is snooping on who? Would they be keeping records of every time someone went in to access the recording of yourself, would they automatically notify you when someone snooped on you? Even if that is the case, that would result in a bunch of back and forth cat and mouse after a point. It would become basically pointless after a while and not worth the money or investment of time,and people would develop a mass sense of paranoia....also, after a while, I definitely see where people would get tired of having to worry about it so much and start entrusting others to report the information for them, just like anything else...which could lead to distorted and manipulated information. And what about those who don't want to participate, and opt out of snooping so that they can't be snooped on? There's no option left for them, this infringes on their rights, no matter how you want to look at it. I just feel that ultimately there's not anything good that can come of it. I'm gonna have to agree with Merlin, who asked "how much more information are you willing to give the snoopers". Even if you are just watching recordings,there would still have to be a notification system to identify your snoopers, thus, a breach of privacy on both sides. I don't think there's any way to get around the fact that it will decrease privacy significantly. But hey, if you are comfortable in giving that up, that's fine by me. Your beliefs are your own, so long as they don't come to effect the opposed ones later...and do be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

Just like you can get Google alerts for mentions of your website, yes, you could be notified. However, I imagine this would be used in more unusual situations: defense against criminal charges, for example.

As I said before, the cameras are coming, with or without oversight.

And there is no 'privacy" in public.

anonimuzz profile image

anonimuzz 6 years ago from There

Wow, it's hard to make a decision about this. Very interesting hub, and very interesting comments, some of them even going one step further on this whole subject. I'll have to think more about this, but I'm more inclined to say 'no' at this moment, simply because it's uncomfortable and I don't know how effective your system of knowing who's watching is. Criminals always work their way around laws and restrictions, and this level of surveillance wouldn't stop them from doing that. It could even help them, as you yourself pointed out in the hub.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

However effective it is or is not, whatever flaws it might have, it has to be better than just seeing a camera and having NO idea who is watching.

anonimuzz profile image

anonimuzz 6 years ago from There

Yes, with that I agree. It's a bit more conforting.

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cosette 6 years ago

today surveillance cameras, tomorrow telescreens. sorry but i don't need the government to be my morality police. i don't litter or meet strange men at hotels for secret trysts, etc.

i don't have a dog, but my neighbors do and every time i go to the park, they pick up after their dogs and there isn't a single surveillance camera around.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

I assume you wouldn't object if a police officer strolled through the park? Can you explain the difference?

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cosette 6 years ago

i would, actually. we don't have cops walkin' the beat at our neighborhood park. it's a park, not Central Park.

cameras are invasive. i had a man i knew from work who said hey i found your house by Googleing your name and city. there was my house, the address and my car parked in front.


but you alluded to the fact that cameras would make people be good. i don't think we need the government to make people behave themselves.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

In small towns, you don't. In more populated areas, we most definitely do.

Let me rephrase it then: do you object to a person you do not know walking through? How is that different?

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cosette 6 years ago

no i don't object at all. i see people i don't know walking around all the time.and i don't live in a small town. we have been living without our privacy invaded for centuries, so i think we don't need cameras on every street corner. don't you think that is creepy in even the slightest way?

i do.

p.s. i ride my bike or walk even at night around my neighborhood and feel safe. and no, i don't live in a gated community. i guess i am comfortable taking care of myself. cameras are Big Brothery, imho. except in places like banks and whatnot, where banks have to protect them because they get robbed a lot.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

But what is the difference between a camera and a stranger? Are not they the same?

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cosette 6 years ago

Pcunix wrote: "But what is the difference between a camera and a stranger? Are not they the same?"

you mean in terms of intrusiveness? sorry, i am not sure i understand your question. no, strangers don't bother me. i can usually spot a suspicious-looking person, growing up and living in urban areas, especially with a lot of foot traffic. and i can count on one hand the number of really creepy people i have had close encounters with, but usually in parking garages and elevators. rarely walking down the street and never in a park setting. i have tennis courts, racquetball courts, two pools all out in the open for people to play and have fun, and frankly i would not be comfortable with cameras on me all the time. so, would there be guards constantly monitoring these cameras, or would they just record events like at Circle K. then what? how does that prevent crime?

i am surprised that you support an organization like the ACLU, whose mission it is to protect the people from having their civil liberties slowly chipped away.

plus, we can carry concealed weapons now in our state, did you know that? i am a good shot ;)

i haven't worn a gun anywhere, but i could if i wanted to. certainly if i felt threatened, which i don't.

thanks for the dialog, it was interesting!

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

For what I proposed above, there wouldn't necessarily be anyone watching, but if anyone was watching, you would be able to find out who they are.

That makes the camera even less intrusive than a stranger. You won't get far walking up to a stranger in the park and demanding to know "Who are you and who do you work for?, would you?

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Pcunix, I can see from both sides of the debate here and am not certain that having surveillance cameras will actually stop crimes and such. Part of the problem is that penalties don't fit the crimes in society, so being able to see/film what people do might not have much impact if we see many offenders but still have shoddy penalties and corrections for bad behavior. I like this hub and will return to see what others are saying. Thanks for the information and for making me think more on this issue.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

We saw a good example of it here in Boston this week. Three people- just children, high school kids - killed a pizza delivery man for a few dollars and the pizza. A security camera at a nearby business saw them entering the house, saw the pizza delivery, and saw them leaving. They were very quickly caught.

RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

So the cameras already in place, without John Q. Public being able to watch each other, are already effective? Hum....

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

Yes, they are sometimes. But it was just luck that this business had a camera that happened to include the right area in its field.

Rick Brandfass 6 years ago

Some random thoughts (because I don’t have the time to articulate this well)…

How many cameras would it take? Every road, every sidewalk, every parking lot, every alley, every park, every hiking trail/recreational path, everywhere?

The “short random intervals” part feels like a flaw in the true security plan. Something could be missed while it was not on.

You didn’t mention facial recognition software. That’s bound to come up sooner or later as part of an enhancement.

You didn’t mention microphones. If you are in a public area, are your spoken words not also public?

I wonder if this image tracking system could be tied in with RFID sensors so that we not only know where you have gone but what you have with you.

If hundreds of people and “authorized” computer systems are accessing cameras of which I am one of the subjects, how can I determine who has a real interest and who was just curious or just collecting data? I’d probably have to sign up for a $9.99/month “Who’s watching you now?” plan offered by the current identity protection companies.

Some areas in WV don’t have access to reliable electricity and cell phone coverage is unheard of; such infrastructure would need to be delivered or enhanced in order for a series of camera to be serviced. Speaking of WV, those cameras need to be bullet-proof; the road signs here apparently make wonderful targets. I cannot imagine how tempting a camera with a target-looking lens would look. Yeah, yeah, I know… not a problem if they aren’t allowed to have guns.

Why not profit from this? Law enforcement could write tickets for littering, speeding, jaywalking, loitering, etc.. That could help pay for this system. The speeding part may need a different variation, though, something like a sensor in every car that ties the GPS location with the speedometer and sends a violation notice to the nearest camera which forwards it to the local police each and every time the speed limit is exceeded or (with another sensor) when you are too close to the vehicle in front of you. (Here’s something you could add to your GPS wish list – a “Slow down!” and “You are tailgating.” function.) The local camera could add to the evidence.

Once the public cameras are in place, how long would it be before private businesses are pressured to install similar cameras in less-than-public places and tying those cameras into the main system? The same “already doing it” argument could be made, “You already have a security camera, why not get more out of it?”

This feels like it could be open for abuse because I don’t trust politicians to always make the right and honorable decision and hackers seem to generally be one step ahead of the technology to stop them.

This feels like stalking.

When this plan takes hold, I’m going to go into the curtains and blinds business.

Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

Might be smarter to go into the "Who's watching me?" business :-)

Girl8735 6 years ago

I would like to say that I agree with putting more security cameras around. The reason being because it would ensure more saftey to the people. It would not be anymore different than a stranger seeing what you're doing and the only people who should be against more security cameras around should be the people or criminals who where thinking about doing anything illegal. All I'm saying is that the cameras would be helping the public. No? I mean it would be easier to catch criminals and knowing that there are security cameras around, people would think twice before doing something illegal. I think the cameras should not be pointing directly into your house, but rather on busy streets and more public, populated areas. They wouldn't be stalking the public, rather simply making area's safer for them. Just sayn' :).

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Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA Author

You will get no argument from me :)

Adolf 5 years ago

Why not put RFID chips in all humans so they can be identified by the cameras which also double with an ID RFID scanner. Let's enhance the three strikes law so three felonies equals a life sentence in prison and then three misdemeanors becomes a felony so a petty shoplifter, prostitute or pot smoker can be treated as a felon on the third conviction. Then that same "felon" after two more minor crimes can be given life in prison. Then let's make three traffic infraction or violations a misdemeanor so chronic speeders can eventually be treated as felons and given life after 9 traffic offenses. We can easily catch these "criminals" with the use of cameras. We can use the imprisoned people as slave labor and you can get rich owning a camera business and a private jail! Sounds like a 21st century Nazi Germany lol!!

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Pcunix 5 years ago from SE MA Author

I see that the ACLU is getting upset about cameras again: http://www.webpronews.com/police-tracking-your-eve...

I love the ACLU. We are members and I am generally in favor of everything they do. But I think they are wrong on this issue.

Rwolf 4 years ago


Canada, Britain & U.S. Government want to Spy On Its Citizens’/ Electronic Communications?

The Canadian (Commons recent Bill C-30) would—give any Canadian police officer without a warrant—the power to request Internet service providers turn over customer information (see section 17 of C-30) cause the same loss of electronic privacy and civil liberties that British Government recently proposed—to spy on Brits’ electronic communications. Is it coincidence the British and Canadian proposals appear to mirror legislation U.S. Government said it wanted passed in 2011 to spy on U.S. Citizens?

Overlooked by mainstream media is that Britain and Canada signed with the U.S Government an array of (Asset Forfeiture Sharing Agreements) to share with Canadian and British Police/Governments assets seized from Brits, Canadians and Americans that resulted from e.g., evidence or information gleaned from electronic surveillance of Citizens’ communications, e.g., emails, faxes, Internet actively, phone records including GPS tracking.

Compare U.S. Government’s proposal to electronically monitor, spy on Americans without a warrant—with Canada’s recent eavesdropping (Bill C-30) and British Government’s plan to spy on its Citizens’ electronic communications.

U.S. Government wants the power to (introduce as evidence) in criminal prosecutions and government civil trials, any phone call record, email or Internet activity. That would open the door for Police computers to take out of context any innocent—hastily written email, fax or phone call record to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause a person’s arrest, fines and or civil asset forfeiture of their property. There are more than 350 laws and violations that can subject property to government asset forfeiture. Government civil asset forfeiture requires only a civil preponderance of evidence for police to forfeit property, little more than hearsay.

If the U.S. Justice Department has its way, any information the FBI derives from circumventing the Fourth Amendment, i.e. (no warrant searches) of Web Server Records; a Citizen’s Internet Activity, personal emails; fax/phone calls may be used by the FBI for (fishing expeditions) to issue subpoenas in hopes of finding evidence or to prosecute Citizens for any alleged crime or violation. Consider that neither Congress nor the courts—determined what Bush II NSA electronic surveillance, perhaps illegal could be used by police or introduced into court by government to prosecute Americans criminally or civilly. If U.S. Justice Department is permitted (No-Warrant) surveillance of all electronic communications, it is problematic state and local law enforcement agencies and private government contractors will want access to prior Bush II NSA and other government illegally obtained electronic records not limited to—Americans’ Internet activity; private emails, faxes and phone calls to secure evidence to arrest Americans, assess fines and or civilly forfeit their homes, businesses and other assets under Title 18USC and other laws. Of obvious concern, what happens to fair justice in America if police become dependent on “Asset Forfeiture” to help pay their salaries and budget operating costs?

The “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” (effectively eliminated) the “five year statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture: the statute now runs five years (from the date) police allege they “learned” an asset became subject to forfeiture. It is foreseeable should (no warrant) government electronic surveillance be approved; police will relentlessly sift through business and Citizen’s (government retained Internet data), emails and phone communications to discover possible crimes or civil violations. A corrupt despot U.S. Government can too easily use no-warrant—(seized emails, Internet data and phone call information) to blackmail Americans, corporations and others in the same manner Hitler utilized his police state passed laws to extort support for the Nazi fascist government, including getting parliament to pass Hitler’s 1933 Discriminatory Decrees that suspended the Constitutional Freedoms of German Citizens. A Nazi Government threat of “Property Seizure” Asset Forfeiture of an individual or corporation’s assets was usually sufficient to ensure Nazi support.

Under U.S. federal civil forfeiture laws, a person or business need not be charged with a crime for government to forfeit their property. Most U.S. Citizens, property and business owners that defend their assets against Government Civil Asset Forfeiture claim an “innocent owner defense.” This defense can become a criminal prosecution trap for both guilty and innocent property owners. Any fresh denial of guilt made to government when questioned about committing a crime “even when you did not do the crime” may (involuntarily waive) a defendant’s right to assert in their defense—the “Criminal Statute of Limitations” past for prosecution; any fresh denial of guilt even 30 years after a crime was committed may allow Government prosecutors to use old and new evidence, including information discovered during a Civil Asset Forfeiture Proceeding to launch a criminal prosecution. For that reason many innocent Americans, property and business owners are reluctant to defend their property and businesses against Government Civil Asset Forfeiture.

Re: waiving Criminal Statute of Limitations: see USC18, Sec.1001, James Brogan V. United States. N0.96-1579. U.S. See paragraph (6) at:


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Peter L Collins 4 years ago


I agree. But then, I'm law abiding and have nothing to fear. Some may have things to fear, and they will raise objections - quite loudly, many of them. Unfaithful spouses, speeding drivers, night stalkers and house breakers. Rapists and robbers, muggers and maniacs, and all those who seek to hide within the protection of the night, and let's not forget those who enjoy the intrinsic anonymity of large conurbations.

It's notable that those who feel an overkill coming on may be members of smaller community groups who tend to know each other, and maybe their comings and goings.

In our small town the police all go home at night. Or they did until a large number of temporary residents arrived.

But they have gone, now, and things are quiet again. Women are once more safe on the streets at night. Maybe they have been safe all along, but having a large number of strangers around did seem to alter perceptions.

Nosy neighbours are great, in small communities. Perhaps larger populations need cameras, instead.

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Pcunix 3 years ago from SE MA Author

The Boston bombing suspects were quickly identified BECAUSE OF SECURITY CAMERAS.

'Nuff said.

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Pcunix 3 years ago from SE MA Author

This http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/automonous-... has the same idea. Quote:

"Conceptually, that data will be transmitted to authorities when there’s a series problem as well as made available to the public in real-time in order to offer total transparency. As a citizen, checking on any potential problems in the area could be as simple as pulling out a smartphone, firing up an app and checking out the local heat map."

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