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Big Brother-Cam
No more public sex in Chicago. Hmm, or perhaps MORE public sex in Chicago! Because Big Brother (and a bunch of his colleagues) are watching you. Stephen Kinzer writes in The New York Times:

Police specialists here can already monitor live footage from about 2,000 surveillance cameras around the city, so the addition of 250 cameras under the mayor's new plan is not a great jump. The way these cameras will be used, however, is an extraordinary technological leap.

Sophisticated new computer programs will immediately alert the police whenever anyone viewed by any of the cameras placed at buildings and other structures considered terrorist targets wanders aimlessly in circles, lingers outside a public building, pulls a car onto the shoulder of a highway, or leaves a package and walks away from it. Images of those people will be highlighted in color at the city's central monitoring station, allowing dispatchers to send police officers to the scene immediately.

Officials here designed the system after studying the video surveillance network in London, which became a world leader in this technology during the period when Irish terrorists were active. The Chicago officials also studied systems used in Las Vegas casinos, as well as those used by Army combat units. The system they have devised, they say, will be the most sophisticated in the United States and perhaps the world.

"What we're doing is a totally new concept," said Ron Huberman, executive director of the city's office of emergency management and communications. "This is a very innovative way to harness the power of cameras. It's going to take us to a whole new level."

Yeah, a level where civil liberties are a thing of the past.

Posted by aalkon at September 22, 2004 8:50 AM


Years ago LA Weekly did a visit to the citywide traffic control system (actual name forgotten). There's a CNN-style tv control room with freeway AND STREET CORNER views from hundreds of points in the city, many with remote pan and zoom. The article said it was a constant battle to keep police out of there, because once drug dealers came to think they were at risk from the cameras, they'd trash 'em and the traffic data would be lost.

All I'm saying is, the public sex people are out of luck already.

Not sure how to feel about this. It would be nice to let a girlfriend walk for a loaf of bread alone at night, but I'm not sure the cameras would protect her.

Posted by: Crid at September 22, 2004 10:01 AM