Ring of Steel

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ali Winston, investigative reporter for City Limits, talks about the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative and the NYPD's privacy guidelines.

The deadline for public comment on those guidelines is tomorrow. Download the NYPD Public Security Privacy Guidelines here. Comments should be sent to, or mail to: NYPD, Attn: Counterterrorism Bureau, 1 Police Plaza, New York, NY 10038


Ali Winston

Comments [7]

Rik from NY

As someone who works with this technology, let me say a few things about the "behavior recognition" issue.
As the interview indicated, there is no way to identify individuals. The camera views are too far away, and no recognition software is being used.
Contrary to what the interview indicated, the behavior recognition can not recognize someone sweating or any similar suspicious behavior. It looks at movements of people and vehicles to detect things like people jumping fences or leaving packages in strange places, or trucks entering into areas where a bomb could be a problem.
If it detects something, the software informs an person so he can keep an eye on whatever is going on. If someone broke down the back door of your appartment building, wouldn't you want someone to find out about it right away ?
I guess I don't see how it is any different than having a cop sitting on each corner watching for that kind of stuff.
Remember these cams are being used in public places. You can't expect the same level of privacy on the street as you get in your home. People (security guards, cops, etc) tend to keep an eye on such places anyway. This is just a way for them to do it more effectivly (= fewer cops and so less $s spent).

Mar. 26 2009 10:20 AM
Darius from Prospect Heights

Next, they'll want put up cameras in everyones apt to find out who's smoking weed.

Mar. 25 2009 11:58 AM
Civil Libertarian from Greenpoint

Despite what the NYPD and federal agencies shriek, cameras do not PREVENT terrorism or any other crime. They RECORD it.

This is "security theater" by which those in power pretend to be doing something to protect the public, when in fact they are simply implementing tools to further consolidate their power and omniscience. And by and large We the People roll over for it and say "thank you." Pathetic.

In ten years we'll have another Handschu decree, and in twenty years the NYPD will toss that one out the window too.

Mar. 25 2009 11:54 AM

It doesn't seem like this camera system would help prevent terrorist attacks so much as provide information after the fact. Terrorists who are willing to blow themselves up probably aren't so concerned with being caught on camera.

Mar. 25 2009 11:52 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Is THIS how the East River tolls will be collected?

Mar. 25 2009 11:51 AM
Emily from Long Island

How on Earth are we affording this?

Mar. 25 2009 11:47 AM

I really dislike seeing cameras all over. It angers me to no end. I haven't been convicted of any crime, there's no reason I need to be watched.
I get off the train at 6:45AM and walk by the 3 state police plus dog and 3 camera welcoming committee. Their numbers increase in the afternoon when I'm catching the outgoing train.

The argument that it prevents crime is complete balderdash.
The UK has had cameras for years and crimes continue to occur. It 'prevents' nothing.

I flip the bird to every camera I notice.
When traveling in London recently, I continued to flip them too.
Here's hoping the economy cuts budgets for the over policing and surveillance.

Mar. 25 2009 11:18 AM

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