Police to Blanket NYC with Cameras

Dennis Faas's picture

In a recent piece on Microsoft's Windows Vista, our Bill Lindner warned users that "Big Brother" might just be watching you.

If you're a resident of New York City, that threat just moved from your computer to the busy, dingy streets outside.

What this essentially means is that the city itself will be installing both license plate readers and cameras across the crowded areas of Lower Manhattan. The project is called the "Lower Manhattan Security Initiative", a bit tamer than London, England's similar "ring of steel".

London put such technology to use in order to curtail terrorist threats, which have become a major problem for the city in the past 12-15 months. Although little has disrupted New York City life since 9/11, the American metropolis has good reason to fear another attack.

The cost of NYC's proposed security initiative should peak at about $90 million, and will include over 100 installed cameras by the end of the year. However, the city hopes that by the time it has spent its full budget, some 3,000 private and public monitors will be in service. (Source: thestar.com)

Asked why he felt such measures were necessary, New York police commissioner Raymond W. Kelley responded, "This area is very critical to the economic lifeblood of this nation...We want to make it less vulnerable." (Source: dailytech.com)

If Kelley and his crew receive the full funding they anticipate, each and every one of the 3,000 cameras and license plate readers should be working by 2010.

Already Civil Liberties supporters are questioning the move. Without any real public input, the police are set to track the every movement of one of the busiest and most populated areas in the world.

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