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Feb 17, 2013

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polifrog

Charlotte has a solution with a perfect record. A Citizens Review Board:

Since it was established 15 years ago to look into allegations of police misconduct, Charlotte’s Citizens Review Board has always sided with police...

The board’s limitations and record of never siding with citizens in 78 cases suggest it is among the weakest in the nation...

“The review board gave the appearance of giving citizens a right to complain about police,” said Daly, the board’s first chairman. “But that right was an illusion.”

Be wary of "food truck" solutions.

Roch

Since last July, I have been trying to get records that document who is accessing surveillance camera monitoring facilities. If the City is to be believed, only access by security guards who monitor cameras through an internet interface are monitored. If that's true, it means that any other method of accessing surveillance cameras by other parties (city employees, police and associates) are not monitored.

And, the Greensboro Police are contracting with a private company to collect, analyze and share with others DNA samples collected from the citizens of Greensboro, unbound by the state laws the protect the handling and use of DNA when collected for the state lab.

And Greensboro City Council? Quiet as church mice. One may only assume they prefer it this way.

Account Deleted

Any existing case law pertaining to surveillance being related to search and coming under the 4th Amendment?

justcorbly

Maybe Summer Glau will come back to help us.

formerly gt

"Hard to write that without anticipating the Sarah Connor jokes"

More like another Arnold movie - The Running Man than The Terminator"

good luck with your efforts Roch. How many cameras does the city have? Are the DNA samples you're referring to collected at arrest or by warrant?

hartzman

by our for profit press not objecting to our drone strategy, we have legitimised the dilution of our rights.

now what the law says doesn't matter anymore.

what the law is is what the gov says it is, if the press consistently sides with business and politicos.

i believe we do not live in a capitalistic democracy presently

Roch

"good luck with your efforts Roch. How many cameras does the city have? Are the DNA samples you're referring to collected at arrest or by warrant?"

The city will not provide the number or location of surveillance cameras. The City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Kahn denied the information citing state law passed just after 9/11 intended to protect municipal infrastructure from terrorist attack. The City Manager declined to overrule him and Mayor Perkins was in the loop but declined to act to counter the Attorney's actions. Information gathered piecemeal and from other sources indicates hundreds at a minimum.

As the News & Record described the GPD's new DNA collections, the police say they will collect voluntary samples or with a warrant. Since the N&R reporter told me the GPD doesn't consider these efforts to be controlled by the laws governing the State DNA database, I wondered what will control their methods, so I asked the city for records documenting discussion of the legalities of this effort. That was a week ago.

Tony Wilkins

Roch: "The city will not provide the number or location of surveillance cameras. The City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Kahn denied the information citing state law passed just after 9/11 intended to protect municipal infrastructure from terrorist attack".

Roch, please help me understand how this is not an acceptable answer. I'll be glad to pursue transparency, but this answer sounds reasonable to me. Help me out here.

formerly gt

locations make sense. counts? nah. i think there'd be more risk from publishing IT vendors, consultants, org charts, etc.

Hartzman

What does Guilford County say when asked how many cameras they have, and will they say the same thing?

The city is breaking Roch's law of definitive statement.

If if Homeland came in with a boat load of "stimulus" cash for "anti-terror" operations, they may have installed thousands with little paper trail?

Seems like people who pay for their government should be in the know as to how many cameras are watching Greensboro's population.


Hartzman

From Roch's post;

"the department is nationally accredited since 1985 and earned special recognition in 2011. This process examines and validates the effectiveness of all policies, standards and practices. It produces and publicly shares an annual report"

"The 2011 PSD Report is the first year of that report."

City Manager Denise Turner Roth, Police Chief Ken Miller and City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Kahn

wow

Did all three approve the final draft?

Who wrote it?

Did whoever write it realize it leads the reader to believe their were reports since 1985?

Did those who didn't write it realize?


Roch

Good question, Tony. Since the information is not confidential and may be released if so decided, it comes down to two competing public interests: should this information be kept secret in the interest of fighting terrorism or should it me made public in the interest of a transparent understanding of what our government is up to.

The city has said the greater public interest is in fighting terrorism. These are the same Einsteins who went before a judge to try to stop the publication of Yes!Weekly so they could have a do-over on a public records release -- perfectly legal, btw; and whose "trust-us" response to good questions is riddled with more holes than Krsipy Kreme.

From this environment of infinite wisdom comes the opinion that disclosing the number and locations of city-owned cameras would put the city at risk of a terrorist attack. Releasing this would allow the free people of a democratic republic to exercise their informed will over their government. It's a task with which their elected representatives should assist.

polifrog

Not to imply that I like it, but it seems cameras have already been accepted by our society and with there being no expatiation of privacy in a public place, they are here to stay.

At this point bickering over over-site is all that is left. I point to the thread thus far as proof.

But is bickering over over-site where we want to be in respect to battlefield tools such as drones?

My take? ... Battlefield tools should remain on the battlefield.

Say no to bickering.

Hartzman

"Battlefield tools should remain on the battlefield."

The problem is the term "battlefield" has been expanded to be anywhere some unelected unnamed government officials say it is, without any proof needed to exterminate what they say is a "terrorist".

It's unconstitutional.

It's illegal.

Our elected leaders seem to not have a problem with it, which makes them part of the problem.

Orwell.

I read the American terrorist guy asked for a hearing before they tapped his ass.

As an American citizen, did he deserve a hearing before getting whacked if he asked for one?

Yet HSBC walks from laundering terrorist money without anyone getting arrested?

Which is worse?

As we chew our cud in placidity.

Joe Killian

"I read the American terrorist guy asked for a hearing before they tapped his ass."

...and I thought they were just killing people.

Andrew Brod

That's "capped his ass."

polifrog

Anwar al-Awlaki and son?

Citizens? Yes. And traitors on a foreign battlefield.

Allowing traitors to become shields for terrorist would be poor foreign policy and a coup for terrorists.

I wonder why this is even a conversation on the left, then I remember national borders are quickly becoming a thing of the past for them.

Recognizing borders, though, aides in the distinction between battlefield weapons and civilian weapons.

hartzman

should the N&R have disclosed that P&G is one of buffett's top ten holdings w! n they covered the incentives?

Don't they do that on cnbc w/ GE?

Spag

You people are funny.

It is a well settled principle of Constitutional law that what is knowingly exposed to the public is not protected by the Fourth Amendment. So if you are worried about a government camera catching you picking your nose on a street corner, then don't pick your nose on a street corner.

There is no right to privacy in public.

Perhaps if we had government cameras in Dealey Plaza, we wouldn't have all of the JFK conspiracy theories.

This one isn't even close and I don't get the hysteria save for some folks on the Left upset that their favored groups are being monitored.

Because the question is not a Constitutional one, it becomes a policy one. I suspect that most people aren't crazy about being filmed without their knowledge. But I also suspect that those same people have enough common sense not to commit acts they might not be proud of in public, with or without cameras. The purpose of this kind of surveillance is for law enforcement and in this Homeland era, most law abiding citizens probably accept that.

Now if you're an immature activist who likes to beat drums and shout out slogans that show how little you actually know about anything in the middle of the street, you might not like these cameras because you may fear that one day you will grow up and might be embarrassed by your foolishness caught on tape. But it's not just the cops you have to worry about. The media and Google take pictures, too.

So maybe the moral of the story is if you are going to act stupid, do it in the privacy of your own home. Otherwise, you shouldn't have a problem with other people watching you if you believe in your cause.

The cops are here to protect people, and just because you think your circle of friends mean no harm when they are protesting doesn't mean the cops do. I guarantee that if something went wrong with a group that you didn't care for, you would be asking where the cops were and why didn't they do anything.

That happened once already in Greensboro.

By the way, is Alec Baldwin going to get the Mel Gibson treatment around here?

Andrew Brod

"There is no right to privacy in public."

Did someone argue that there is? If so, I missed it. But feel free to fight that battle anyway.

"Because the question is not a Constitutional one, it becomes a policy one."

True enough, but that's already been covered by Roch: "It comes down to two competing public interests: should this information be kept secret in the interest of fighting terrorism or should it me made public in the interest of a transparent understanding of what our government is up to."

"I don't get the hysteria."

You don't get it because it isn't there. A bunch of people commenting on a blog isn't hysteria, it's a discussion. To be sure, you have a particular point of view in that you appear not to see any benefit of the transparency to which Roch refers, and fair enough: that's an opinion. Or is your opinion hysteria as well?

polifrog

Doc:

"There is no right to privacy in public."

Did someone argue that there is?

Yeah. Someone did.

There is a form of privacy that arises from being lost in a crowd, and while a right to privacy is legally recognized, this form of privacy is not.
Roch

"It is a well settled principle of Constitutional law that what is knowingly exposed to the public is not protected by the Fourth Amendment. Blah, blah, blah..." -- Sam Spagnola

Stop right there, Dude. Nobody is claiming a fourth amendment right, so argue against something of your own imagination if you wish. Me, however, I'm interested in free, responsible citizens of democracy deciding for ourselves the extent to which we want the people employed by us watching us. If you are of the opinion that you want them going right up to the ethical and legal limits, then just come out and say so instead of trying to argue against yet another straw man.

Roch

"This one isn't even close and I don't get the hysteria save for some folks on the Left upset that their favored groups are being monitored. " -- Sam Spagnola

Please stop assuming that everyone proceeds with the same atrophied binary thinking as you do. And please, stay informed: Tea Party was snitched on too.

This is not a left/right issue, although I can see how thinking of it that way keeps it easy for you. But really, shame on you for trying to impose a partisan divide on a matter of fundamental freedom. You are a great American.

Andrew Brod

Okay, so someone argued in a different thread that there's a right to privacy in public that's not legally recognized.

That totally changes everything.

Ed Cone

Isn't the argument here more about transparency into the use and distribution of surveillance footage, and less about the creation of the footage itself?

Roch

One follows the other, Ed. Without an understanding of the extent, means and methods of surveillance of the public at-large, we cannot possibly have an informed opinion of it.

Spag

Ah, the straw man retort gets pulled out again. Predictable, yet interesting all the same considering that it comes from someone who is actually making a straw man argument- and a foolish one to boot. But I won't delve into that bottomless pit of mind numbing incoherence.

Andrew, Roch actually "covered" a different policy argument about transparency as part of his typical bombastic relativistic morality play. My policy point was about the act itself, not the extent to which the act is disclosed.

And yes, the Constitutional question was raised by Jeff Sykes in the third comment to this thread.

I am also amused by lectures on "binary thinking" from a guy who can't bring himself to criticize Obama for things that outraged him when done by Bush. That, and I don't see a lot of Tea Party people whining.

OMG, the government is WATCHING people do things IN PUBLIC! Oh, the humanity! Nevermind that law enforcement has been doing this for centuries. Adding a camera to the mix doesn't really change things. If you do it in public, then you shouldn't complain about who is watching.

Andrew Brod

Y'know, "the straw man retort" wouldn't get pulled out if you didn't keep employing straw men in your "arguments."

Don't blame the victims!

Roch

"Ah, the straw man retort gets pulled out again." -- Sam

God, you're dumb.

Spag

I hate it when the freaks don't take their meds.

Spag

Meanwhile, the White House is threatening reporters who are critical of the administration and nobody cares. It kind of makes all the blustering about prior restraints, freedom of the press, and transparency seem quite phony.

As one person once said "this is about what's right, not what's legal." (or possibly illegal as I consider these threats an abuse of power, an impeachable offense).

Cue the crickets.

Ed Cone

Maybe nobody cares because it seems not to have happened?

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