Archive for the ‘CCTV’ Category

MEDIA ADVISORY 

For Immediate Release
SF Entertainment Commission New Surveillance Rules to Impact Privacy, Venues


WHO:  Anyone with professional and recreational pursuits concerning entertainment in the City of San Francisco, Calif. 
WHAT:   Public input and review of rules containing increased police and surveillance forces at entertainment venues in San Francisco 
WHEN: Tuesday, April 12th  6:00 PM 
WHERE: San Francisco -City Hall: RM 400, 1 Dr.  Carlton B. Goodlett Place 
WHY:  It impacts business, tourism and San Francisco’s culture. 
HOW:  Show up to City Hall, sign up and be prepared to give input  about the how your information would be handled by local venues and the police.
For comments and information: 
Deborah Pierce for Privacy Activism 

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TECH LIBERATION FRONT 
San Francisco’s Entertainment Commission will soon be considering a jaw-dropping attack on privacy and free assembly. Here are some of the rules the Commission may adopt for any gathering of people expected to reach 100 or more:
“3. All occupants of the premises shall be ID Scanned (including patrons, promoters, and performers, etc.). ID scanning data shall be maintained on a data storage system for no less than 15 days and shall be made available to local law enforcement upon request. 

4. High visibility cameras shall be located at each entrance and exit point of the premises. Said cameras shall maintain a recorded data base for no less than fifteen (15 days) and made available to local law enforcement upon request.”

BTC – On the student drag close to where I live, new cameras are sitting on top of street lights. They don’t even try to conceal it with aesthetics. It’s like being in the presence of an aggressive cockroach guarding the garbage. An immediate reflex is to shriek and then try to find a way to kill it (the cameras).



I’ve argued many times before that surveillance cameras in public spaces provide little crime fighting bang for the buck, often citing Britain’s example. Now out of the UK comes this news, via the BBC, showing how little crime fighting benefit that nation has seen from its massive investment in CCTV:

Only one crime was solved by each 1,000 CCTV cameras in London last year, a report into the city’s surveillance network has claimed.

The internal police report found the million-plus cameras in London rarely help catch criminals.

In one month CCTV helped capture just eight out of 269 suspected robbers.

David Davis MP, the former shadow home secretary, said: “It should provoke a long overdue rethink on where the crime prevention budget is being spent.”

The Metropolitan Police has been extraordinarily slow to act to deal with the ineffectiveness of CCTV

He added: “CCTV leads to massive expense and minimum effectiveness.

“It creates a huge intrusion on privacy, yet provides little or no improvement in security.

US cities investing in public video surveillance should take heed of this new report. Proponents of CCTV often admit that cameras don’t reduce crime, but instead argue that they help solve them after the fact. But Britain’s example shows that’s not true, either. In that light, there’s little sense in throwing good money after bad to follow the Brits’ lead. In a tight budgetary environment, cities should shelve CCTV programs and shift resources toward priorities that measurably affect crime.

BTC – A relative sent me these two news items from Wired Magazine out of concern for my personal safety. Since we are on a WIRED kick this morning, we included alot we’ve missed.


Digitized Stalking Is the New World Order

The EFF writes that threats to “locational privacy” include:
* Monthly transit swipe-cards.
* Electronic tolling devices (FastTrak, EZpass, congestion pricing)
* Cellphones.
* Services telling you when your friends are nearby.
* Searches on your PDA for services and businesses near your current location.
* Free Wi-Fi with ads for businesses near the network access point you’re using
* Electronic swipe cards for doors.
* Parking meters you can call to add money to, and which send you a text message when your time is running out.

“In the world of today and tomorrow, this information is quietly collected by ubiquitous devices and applications, and available for analysis to many parties who can query, buy or subpoena it or pay a hacker to steal a copy of everyone’s location history,” the report said. “It is this transformation to a regime in which information about your location is collected pervasively, silently, and cheaply that we’re worried about.”

Read the report here.

c/o Charlie Sorrel for WIRED – GADGET LAB

As an ex-Brit, I’m well aware of the authorities’ love of surveillance and snooping, but even I, a pessimistic cynic, am amazed by the governments latest plan: to install Orwell’s telescreens in 20,000 homes.

£400 million ($668 million) will be spent on installing and monitoring CCTV cameras in the homes of private citizens. Why? To make sure the kids are doing their homework, going to bed early and eating their vegetables. The scheme has, astonishingly, already been running in 2,000 family homes. The government’s “children’s secretary” Ed Balls is behind the plan, which is aimed at problem, antisocial families. The idea is that, if a child has a more stable home life, he or she will be less likely to stray into crime and drugs.

It gets worse. The government is also maintaining a private army, incredibly not called “Thought Police”, which will “be sent round to carry out home checks,” according to the Sunday Express. And in a scheme which firmly cements the nation’s reputation as a “nanny state”, the kids and their families will be forced to sign “behavior contracts” which will “set out parents’ duties to ensure children behave and do their homework.”

And remember, this is the left-wing government. The Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling, batting for the conservatives, thinks these plans are “too little, and too late,” implying that even more obtrusive work needs to be done. Rumors that a new detention center, named Room 101, is being constructed inside the Ministry of Love are unconfirmed.

UPDATE: Further research shows that the Express didn’t quite have all its facts straight. This scheme is active, and the numbers are fairly accurate (if estimated), but the mentions of actual cameras in people’s homes are exaggerated. The truth is that the scheme can take the most troublesome families out of their homes and move them, temporarily, to a neutral, government-run compound. Here they will be under 24-hour supervision. CCTV cameras are not specifically mentioned, not are they denied, but 24-hour “supervision” certainly doesn’t rule this out from the camera-loving Brits.

It remains, though, that this is still excessively intrusive into the private lives of citizens, cameras or not. I have added links to the source and also more reliable reports.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in.

>>SIN BINS FOR WORST FAMILIES :THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.