[IP] more on "if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it

Dave Farber dave at farber.net
Sun Feb 19 12:16:48 PST 2006

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [IP] more on "if you are not doing anything wrong, why
should you worry about it?"]
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 15:10:17 -0500
From: Lee Revell <rlrevell at joe-job.com>
To: dave at farber.net
CC: ip at v2.listbox.com, EEKid at aol.com
References: <e3.25a38acd.3129dbe2 at aol.com>
<27DC3839-A6BF-4058-B00E-C4001E8719D5 at farber.net>

Here's another one from Chicago, about requiring cameras in private
businesses.  Is there a coordinated PR campaign afoot?


CHICAGO b Surveillance cameras b aimed at government buildings, train
platforms and intersections here b might soon be required at corner
taverns and swanky nightclubs.

Mayor Richard Daley wants to require bars open until 4 a.m. to install
security cameras that can identify people entering and leaving the
building. Other businesses open longer than 12 hours a day, including
convenience stores, eventually would have to do the same.

Daley's proposed city ordinance adds a dimension to security measures
installed after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The proliferation of security cameras b especially if the government
requires them in private businesses b troubles some civil liberties

"There is no reason to mandate all of those cameras unless you one day
see them being linked up to the city's 911 system," says Ed Yohnka of
the Illinois American Civil Liberties Union. "We have perhaps reached
that moment of critical mass when people ... want to have a dialogue
about how much of this is appropriate."


On Sun, 2006-02-19 at 09:52 -0500, David Farber wrote:
> Begin forwarded message:
> From: EEkid at aol.com
> Date: February 19, 2006 9:34:10 AM EST
> To: dave at farber.net
> Subject: Re: [IP] "if you are not doing anything wrong, why should
> you worry about it?"]
> It sounds to me like many of our public officials are trying to mimic
> the public surveillance systems used in the UK.  For many years, I've
> often wondered why they tolerated such intrusions into their lives.
> Now, seeing how slowly and quietly such systems appear, I understand.
> Since 9/11, we have seen tremendous change in how our government and
> public officials view our civil rights.  What was a completely
> unacceptable governmental intrusion 5-10 years ago, is viewed as
> essential or acceptable today.  In my humble opinion, I believe this
> slow incepid creep is as good a reason as any to stop the
> surveilence, monitoring and intrusion nonsense now.
> Today, we wouldn't want the government listening to our phone
> conversations or using technology to monitor our every movement
> around town.  Our government to my knowledge isn't currently doing
> such things.  But what happen's 5-10 years from now?  When all of
> these easily exploited technologies are in place and ripe and ready
> for abuse?  Will our elected officials demonstrate restraint and
> avoid exploiting those technologies as the easiest solution to some
> future problem?
> When government officials keep changing the definition of what is
> 'wrong'.  Such as wearing a tee shirt with a certain slogan or
> peacefully protesting at a "nationally significant event" or speaking
> out against our elected officials.  Then what should we expect in the
> future?  Which common everyday behavior that everyone views as a God
> given right today, will be viewed as the next wrong?
> When asked "if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry
> about it?" we all need to reply, because you have control over the
> definition of was is legally wrong and you keep changing the terms.
> I can remember years ago, I heard FBI director Louis Freeh say
> something that made my blood run cold.  He said, we will never stop
> drug smuggling in the US until we can limit free travel within our
> borders and American's aren't ready for that yet.
> Well, when will it be?  Tomorrow? Next week? Next year? When will you
> accept it as important and essential to our safety?
> Jerry
> In a message dated 2/19/2006 8:49:51 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> dave at farber.net writes:
> I saw this, indirectly, on Techdirt.
> I do feel sorry for the police chief, and for the people of Houston.
> But still, it's a pretty scary idea for anyone to raise.
> -d
> Houston eyes cameras at apartment complexes
> http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1110AP_Police_Cameras.html
> HOUSTON -- Houston's police chief on Wednesday proposed placing
> surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets,
> shopping malls and even private homes to fight crime during a
> shortage of police officers.
> "I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my
> response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should
> you worry about it?" Chief Harold Hurtt told reporters Wednesday at a
> regular briefing.
> Houston is facing a severe police shortage because of too many
> retirements and too few recruits, and the city has absorbed 150,000
> hurricane evacuees who are filling apartment complexes in crime-
> ridden neighborhoods. The City Council is considering a public safety
> tax to pay for more officers.
> Building permits should require malls and large apartment complexes
> to install surveillance cameras, Hurtt said. And if a homeowner
> requires repeated police response, it is reasonable to require camera
> surveillance of the property, he said.
> Scott Henson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Police
> Accountability Project in Texas, called Hurtt's building-permit
> proposal "radical and extreme" and said it may violate the Fourth
> Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches.
> Andy Teas with the Houston Apartment Association said that although
> some would consider cameras an invasion of privacy, "I think a lot of
> people would appreciate the thought of extra eyes looking out for them."
> Such cameras are costly, Houston Mayor Bill White said, "but on the
> other hand we spend an awful lot for patrol presence." He called the
> chief's proposal a "brainstorm" rather than a decision.
> The program would require City Council approval.
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