Camera, Camera, everywhere…

by on February 1, 2008 · 6 comments

in Civil Rights

TV Reporter Counts How Many Times He’s Filmed by Surveillance Video Cameras

According to a recent documentary, the average American is caught on camera 200 times every day. NBC 7/39 reporter Artie Ojeda began tracking how many times he was watched in a single day.

It began with five cameras at the gas station and mini-mart.

On the freeway, Ojeda discovered he passes by no fewer than six CalTrans camera each day. Then, there were cameras on stoplights, which most people don’t realize are capturing their every move.In downtown San Diego, there were cameras on almost every building, including no fewer than 11 on the Federal Building. There are cameras on elevators and during the walk through Horton Plaza to the NBC 7/39 building, Ojeda found countless cameras on stores, including one at Macy’s.

On the NBC building and adjoining visitor’s center, Ojeda counted no fewer than 10 cameras.

When all was said and done, Ojeda had spotted 62 cameras before 9 a.m. While these surveillance cameras have become part of our landscape, their effectiveness is cause for debate.

“We’re steadily marching to a society where every moment that you leave your home will be monitored and videotaped. And that’s creepy. That’s not American,” said Kevin Keenan of the ACLU.

Last August, the ACLU put out a comprehensive report on surveillance cameras.

“The studies show that these cameras don’t deter crime. At best, they move it outside the view of the camera itself,” Keenan said.

Law enforcement disagrees. At the Metropolitan Transportation System security center, cameras monitor trolley stations around the clock. The cameras are remotely controlled.

“They’re a very effective tool,” said Bill Burke of the MTS. “In safety, in Homeland Security, crime, in all those things, it’s worked out very well for us.”

San Diego police said reported crime in a half-mile radius around Belmont Park has dropped 30 percent since they put up cameras. In El Cajon, police said their red light camera system is the reason behind an 80-percent reduction in collisions at certain intersections.

“It keeps people on their best behavior and it keeps people acting as they probably should be,” said Victor Vidales, who was visiting San Diego.

Not all cameras, such as traffic cameras, are set up to record. But they have the potential.

The San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division said they hope to expand camera surveillance in the beach area. It would include a nine-block span of Garnet Avenue.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Joe February 1, 2008 at 4:24 pm

I’m telling you, 1984 is already here. Now San Diego police want to post more cameras at the beach, along Garnet. Why? With the booze ban, there’s no more rowdiness at the beach, right? So, why do they need cameras? to catch those criminals smoking cigarettes?
Why is there no protest of any of this? It takes a mainstream reporter to show us where and what we’ve come to. Police state mentality everywhere.
One of my favorite bumper stickers: “Support the Police. Beat yourself up.” Now we can catch you on video beating yourself up, and you’ll be charged with assault on mental midget.


Patrick Quinn February 2, 2008 at 1:55 am

When right wing Amerika decides upon something, it acts swiftly & with a lot of money. The Department of Homeland Security has been offering grants to certain cities to install cameras. The Department has also offered grants to colleges & universities to install cameras. The fascists want to watch us each minute of the day; & the fascists want to record all that we speak about & all that we read on the Internet. That is why Bush wants to grant immunity to the giant telecoms for accompanying him in his violations of the FISA Act. The clampdown ratchets down tighter each day. I think we all ought to “just go low tech.” We can knock off 1000’s of the OB Rag on a ditto machine each week!


Dave Sparling February 3, 2008 at 10:43 am

All those cameras yet like on 9/11, or anytime a camera might help prove wrong doing by the government, SURPRISE SURPRISE those cameras don’t work.

It is purely a one way deal. If you see a cop beating up a homeless guy, and you whip out your cam phone, be prepared to have it shoved where the sun don’t shine.


beachblogger February 3, 2008 at 1:53 pm

remember when we were down at the Federal Building back ins November? I was there early. I sat down by the ‘bird bath’ for about two minutes. I had those six little signs (I heart lawyers). I got up and walked around to the south side of the building and sat down on a bench and within a minute a guard approached me and asked what I was doing. He told me ‘they’ had been watching me on cameras! Smile! I was creeped out but it turned out he wasn’t such a bad guy.
peace, peter


Frank Gormlie February 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Peter, of course I remember that demo. I still have one of those “I heart lawyers” (I gave it to my girlfriend P). Ya know, it’s true – it may be real, genuine humans, forced to monitor all those surveillance cameras. Like many people, they are required to be “another brick in the wall”. Hopefully, these “loose” bricks will jump out when the people’s movements hit the wall.


angel February 8, 2008 at 7:43 am

check out this video


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