Bloomberg Abroad

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ellen Tumposky, London-based reporter for the Daily News and Edward-Isaac Dovere, editor of City Hall, a monthly "trade journal" for New York City elected officials, recap the mayor's trip to Paris and London.


Edward-Isaac Dovere and Ellen Tumposky

Comments [17]

Lou Tally from Washington Heights

Hi Brian,

I don't believe the concern should be over the camera itself (as long as it is in a public place), but how the data is viewed, used and saved, i.e., what controls we impose on the watchers and who's watching the watchers.

Thanks. Your show is the gold standard.


Oct. 02 2007 11:43 AM
Little Brother from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

@Paul and Paulo:

'I have nothing to hide' arguments do not stand up under scrutiny. You're putting faith in the government to protect you, whereas the essential idea of the American social contract is that fellow citizens must protect each other *from* the government. We've forgotten that, and we're paying for out laziness and unwillingness to engage our civic responsibilities.

If you think you have nothing to fear, I suggest reading this:
Federal Agent Indicted for Cyber-Stalking,1895,2186590,00.asp

It's the nature of technology that someone holds the keys to every system. Do you really trust the person(s) holding the keys to do the right thing with the extraordinary power you seem willing to grant them in exchange for 'feeling' safer? That's not a republic. That's not democracy. That's fascism.

Oct. 02 2007 11:06 AM
Big Brother from nyc

More cameras, more surveillance! I say we watch everything and everyone at all times. Let's fingerprint everyone, mandatory at the age of 12! You must submit hair samples, dental records. Let's have iris and fingerprint scans for when you go to lunch in and out.

Let's watch EVERYTHING and convince people it's for deterence! That way when the fascist Giuliani becomes president we can easily identify protestors and track them down and arrest them. After all...we're fighting the war on terror and obviously criticizing the government only helps the terrorists. The cameras themselves don't take away liberties but once people accept being watched at ALL times, when the great fascist Giuliani becomes'll be that much easier to really crack down with the cameras in place! More cameras! Watch everything at all times!!!

Oct. 02 2007 10:57 AM
Steve Faust from Park Slope

The mayor is wrong, bicycle helmets are NOT required by law for adults to ride a bicycle. Tye are required for children 14 and under, but not adults. Please check the NY State Motor Vehicle Code Sections 1230 thru 1234.

Helmets are just a good idea, not the law.

Oct. 02 2007 10:48 AM
Simona from Manhattan

Edward-Isaac Dovere IS WRONG. The NY State Helmet laws pertains to 14 yrs and younger. Adults are not breaking the law by not wearing helmets. They're dumb not to but no breaking the law.

Oct. 02 2007 10:47 AM
Little Brother from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Brian, I know it was a casual comment, but nothing about civil liberties should be considered 'minutiae'! We're talking about the fundamental bedrock of American society.

Amongst security professionals these kinds of cameras are derided as 'security theater'. They don't make anyone safer, they simply justify increased surveillance and bloated government budgets. Many studies* prove that security cameras do not prevent crime. They might -- *might* -- help catch people after the fact.

I would prefer to invest our limited resources in measures that will actually prevent attacks, such as international dialog, rational foreign policy, (effective) foreign aid programs, and civics education in our public schools. Instead we seem to be willing to submit to constant government surveillance which dishonors the reasons that the American Revolution was fought in the first place. We are embracing the tactics of 'Evil Empire' that we crow proudly about having defeated in the Cold War.

* Many mainstream press articles are available at

Oct. 02 2007 10:46 AM
adam from east village

This message concerns the mayors lack of interest in bicycling in NYC. As far as I know there are NO laws in New York City requiring adults to wear a helmet on a bicycle. Someone on the show also said there are no bike lanes, which there are, these lanes just need to be enforced. This city could be one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world, it is a great place to ride and it should be encouraged.

Oct. 02 2007 10:45 AM
Terri from Brooklyn

Are we citizens or suspects? Or is the best way to insure the security of the citizenry to treat each member as a suspect? In the dual interests of patriotism and security, perhaps we should all submit fingerprints, blood and hair samples, and eye scans to the police, FBI, and Homeland Security. After all, we can't expect to enjoy our rights unless we're willing to give them up.

Oct. 02 2007 10:44 AM
George Showman from Red Hook, Brooklyn

The cameras are alienating and demeaning. They are a sign that the government doesn't trust its citizens or their guests (a.k.a. tourists and immigrants).

If we want this kind of surveillance, let's put human beings (police) on the intersections, so that they can be challenged and so that the privacy concerns can be aired. Also so that it's obvious to people that it is in fact Big Brother watching.

Cameras DO deter certain activity: strong happiness, strong love, deep thoughtfulness, strong anger, long pauses, etc. So if Bloomberg's goal is to normalize (which, I would argue, it generally is!), then the cameras are a good tool.

There's not good solution because international issues WILL probably result in another attack on NYC. But I would rather keep the city vibrant and free until that point.

(well, the good solutions are international in scale).

Oct. 02 2007 10:42 AM
Aaron from Manhattan

the "p" was clipped from the end of the link that I posted above.

it should end ".asp" not ".as"

Definitely worth a read.

Oct. 02 2007 10:39 AM
William Grother from Robbinsville, NJ

If you're worried about being watched, you are years too late. Every major store has cameras, there are cameras on police cars, there are traffic cameras and web cameras, and if you live/work in NYC, every tourist has a camera. Frankly, NYC should not waste its money on more cameras -- they should simply encourage more tourists to visit.

Oct. 02 2007 10:37 AM
Paulo from New Jersey

I think that extensive surveillance systems, face recognition software, and databases of things from fingerprints to DNA of all citizens only become dangerous when our rights to free speech, religion and right to assembly are restricted. As long as things the things we consider to be ethical and right remain LEGAL, we need not fear these surveillance and data collection systems. If the civil liberties people are going to main the ramparts, it ought to be focused more so on the infringements on those other rights. Because without abuse, surveillance will only help to save lives and catch criminals. It is the abuse though that we must be ever-vigilant about.

Oct. 02 2007 10:37 AM
Paul from Philly

Having lived in London, I can say what the difference clearly is. In London (and all around Britain actually) the cameras are in public places, it isn't if the government are placing the cameras in peoples homes, so it's not really "big brother". I am a huge advocate of civil liberties, and I feel that CCTV in public areas is absolutely not a violation of those liberties.

Oct. 02 2007 10:35 AM
Aaron from Manhattan

Brian and others,

Michael Sorkin recently wrote a critique for Architectural Record of the surveillance aspect of Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan:
"Big Brother hitches a ride with a congestion-pricing scheme"

Oct. 02 2007 10:35 AM
amanda from harlem

its not a PROBLEM for me, but i feel as if the money could be better spent. . . . on SCHOOLS!

Oct. 02 2007 10:34 AM
Chris from brooklyn

Londoners have a different expectation of privacy in part because their rights have not been enshrined in a written constitution; they don't don't have a 4th amendment right to privacy as we do (or a 1st amendment right to free speech).

While we have the same tradition of common law we do not have the same tradition with regard to civil liberties.

Oct. 02 2007 10:33 AM
Waldo from Manhattan

I live in a very large apartment building in Manhattan. The management of my apartment building installed cameras about 10 years ago. These cameras cover not only elevators, basement and building entrances, they cover the sidewalks outside the building. I'm sure (without evidence) that office buildings as well as other apartment buildings have similar setups. Don't ever assume that Big Brother is NOT watching.

Oct. 02 2007 10:31 AM

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