According to the Berman Post and a host of others, NYCPD is asking to increase the number of cameras that watch over the streets of New York.
New York officials say they could stop attacks like the attempted Times Square car bomb by expanding a controversial surveillance system so sensitive that it will pick up even suspicious behavior.
The Berman Post notes disagreement with the policy by stating:
I do not think it is possible to make an argument with a straight face that this is anything other than ‘Big Brother’. The argument is if it is still a good idea. Supporters seem to acknowledge the serious detrimental impact it will have on people’s privacy, so the argument is really if we want to reduce privacy in exchange for protection. While that may be a valid debate, I do not think it is in this case.
Supporter tend to believe that it will generate more interest in suspicious vehicles and odd behavior. That may be true in the beginning. But, would it have saved the day during the latest bombing attempt in NYC?
I have to express doubt. The person parked the SUV and immediatley began the procedure to start the bomb. There were officers and venders near by and never even noticed the person leaving the vehicle. By the time he would have caught the attention of a person monitoring the camera and that person became suspicious, it would have been too late to stop the explosion.
As Berman noted. What you have here is a false choice between security and privacy. Instead it is a question of privacy vs detailed images from multiple angles of people dieing.
London probably has the most cameras of any city in the World and it did not prevent the terrorist attacks there. Nor do the cameras prevent crime. Though they do help to catch criminals.
I would rather they install a computer system that scans license plates and sends immediate notice to officers on the ground of suspicious vehicles as they enter, or motor through, the city. While this may not stop a bombing either, it may give the officers a longer time to react and a better chance at saving lives.
We will have wait and see what develops.