Saturday, February 18, 2006

Houston Chief Wants To Install Cameras In Your Home

Earlier this week, we wrote about proposals that would require businesses to install surveillance cameras, noting that we're seeing way too many people bring up the bogus old line that "If you're not doing anything wrong, what do you have to worry about?" -- and suggesting that someone name the concept that any discussion about privacy issues will eventually have someone make a statement just like that, showing just how little they actually understand about privacy rights. Well, here's another one. Found on Digg is the story that Houston's police chief doesn't think surveillance cameras should be limited to public places. Nope, he wants them installed in private homes as well. And what's the first thing out of his mouth in the article? You guessed it: "if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?"

This is an attack on your privacy rights. I hope something like this never happens but who knows what will happen in the next fifty years. Our personal freedoms are slowly but surely being eroded by government doing what's best for you and the USA. I understand the need for security but the Patriot Act and the NSA's snopping is not what's needed. I just hope that people wake up and stop this erosion before it's too late or else in fifty years as people sit in their living rooms with video feeds to the local pd and FBI office and their NSA made phones sitting on the side table will look back and ask why did we allow this to happen to such a great nation? And if you don't think that it's possible think about how you feel about the New Deal and Great Society social reforms everytime you get your paycheck (or what's left of it) and realize that someone half your age in better health then you has the rest of your money in his EBT account.

posted by David at 9:52 AM :: Permalink ::

Comments on "Houston Chief Wants To Install Cameras In Your Home"


Blogger T. F. Stern said ... (21 February, 2006 09:29) : 

I read the article in the Houston Chronicle by the Chief and he wanted to post 6 cameras in the downtown area. These cameras will be monitored by officers and the intent was to save tax dollars by increasing the viewable area while not having to use more officers. I don't recall anything being mentioned about placing cameras in homes, that sounds like fabrication on the fly.

The city of Houston is installing some 50 or so cameras at busy intersections to catch and ticket folks who run red lights, another issue since these will not be monitored by a police officer prior to sending out a ticket. I have written extensively on this subject, in fact it is one of the reasons I started my blog. My satire op-ed published by the Chronicle was so badly edited as to indicate that I was for camera enforcement when I am not.

There are cameras placed in locations around the freeway systems to monitor traffic flow; which information is passed along directly to the public via the internet, to help identify tie ups, wrecks and alternate routes.

In summary, cameras can be used to assist the everyday goings on in some instances. Their use as a traffic enforcement tool, however, violates basic rights by putting a machine in place of a human as a witness, be it a criminal proceeding or civil. I don't buy into the "right to privacy" arguement when these cameras are placed in public places, no different than having a police officer standing on a corner since the information is monitored by officers as a means of determining if immediate action is necessary and also to document activity that may have evidence that will aid in catching criminals. Store cameras installed behind the register help catch bad guys all the time.

Lastly, neither the city of Houston, nor its police chief are not in favor of installing these types of cameras in homes.


Blogger David said ... (22 February, 2006 01:15) : 

T. Fraser here is a link KTEN that supports my story and a google search link that shows many news outlets with the same story . He wants cameras in homes that doesn't mean it's going to happen. I support cameras in public places as long as the local laws allow for it (we have a conflict in NC with red light cameras and a law passed in '04). I respect your views on this subject and welcome all future feedback on any post I make. I do try to be accurate in my posting.


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