Monday, January 12, 2009

Report: U.S. Surveillance Society Running Rampant

David Kravets writes on Threat Level:

If you think you're being watched, you're probably right.

The American Civil Liberties Union posted a website Monday showing that government-financed surveillance cameras are running rampant across the United States.

All the while, studies suggest they do nothing to cut down on violent crime. San Francisco, for example, has spent $700,000 for dozens of public cameras, but a University of California study [.pdf] just concluded there was "no evidence" they curtailed violent crime.

"Violent incidents do not decline in areas near the cameras relative to areas further away," added the study, which noted the cameras helped police bring charges against six people accused of felony property crimes. "We observe no decline in violent crimes occurring in public places."

But the report did show that, over the past two years, property crimes such as burglary and muggings dropped an estimated 24 percent in areas within 100 feet of San Francisco camera locations.

More here.


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