Friday, September 21, 2007

Surveillance Cameras Coming To Arcata?

Looks like the Arcata City Council narrowly approved moving forward with plans to deploy surveillance cameras on the Arcata Plaza.

As one council dude noted, this doesn't necessarily mean the cameras will be installed, it just allows the powers- that- be to come up with a plan and a policy for deployment of the cameras which would still need to be approved by the council.


I'm actually not all that bothered by the thought of surveillance cameras. Hey, if someone wants to film me, have at it. Besides, we're already being watched by plenty of private surveillance cameras.

Still, I can understand the concern with the loss of civil liberties, cost and lack of efficacy of such cameras. Kudos to Arcata Mayor, Harmony Groves, and council dude Paul Pitino for showing their concerns and casting the dissenting votes.

Whether the cameras will end up on the Plaza remains to be seen. I'll have to admit I almost hope they do. It would be fun, indeed, to be able to point to progressive Arcata as first city in Humboldt to deploy that symbol of the police state: the surveillance camera.

28 Comments:

At 8:53 AM, Blogger mresquan said...

They'll be there,that homeland security cash cow can't be passed on.I still question the legality of this since Arcata passed a resolution against following the Patriot Act.But I suppose they can put this under some other guise and defend that it's not related to homeland security or the Patriot Act.
What a sad and disappointing step taken by the Arcata city council.

 
At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, what civil liberty is lost by having a camera in a public venue?

 
At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The symbol of a police state is not cameras, it's the loss of basic human rights. My life is no different with cameras on the Plaza. My life would be different if those cameras are used to suppress my rights -- signs of a police state -- and frankly in Arcata that idea is laughable.

 
At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh spare me you sniveling piece of shit. If you're not selling dope, using dope, or in your case maybe jerking off who cares if there are surviellance cameras? At least you'll know about them. There are lots of security cameras around that you don't know of.

Sad and disappointing my *&^%, get over it.

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Right to privacy, I guess. Like I said, I'm not too concerned about being on camera myself. We're already being watched by many private surveillance cameras.

Then again, we end up on that slippery slope. In England, a totalitarian state if there ever was one, they're going to camera surveillance big time.

I don't know if they're doing it now, or just planning on doing it, but I read how they're going to equip their cameras with speakers so the monitors can warn people they see doing incorrect things they shouldn't be doing such things.

No, I'm not kidding. Next time I get another news item on the subject I'll try and remember to post it here.

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

" In England, a totalitarian state if there ever was one..."

What definition of totalitarian state are you using Fred?

As for the camera, bring it on. I personally have more to gain than I do to lose from such surviellance. If the police were to taz me, I'd prefer it was video taped. I'd have a better chance of proving I didn't deserve it than if it wasn't video taped.

 
At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, you have never had a right to privacy in public places. It doesn't exist. Video cameras won't change that.

In fact, many people consider that situation to be a liberty. I am free to photograph or videotape anything I want in public places. It's that right which is slowly being eroded in the name of national secrecy. Since 911 numerous amateur photographers have been interrupted, arrested and/or had their camera equipment confiscated or damaged by police or security agents when photographing buildings on public sidewalks. THAT is the sign of a police state.

 
At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummmmm.......has anyone mentioned that the plaza already has a webcam? im not sure if it still is in operation

 
At 5:05 PM, Anonymous gingerbread man said...

It's not just the government. Private industry just put up a satellite that can (legally) take a high resolution photo down to 18" square. Stay inside. Keep the drapes closed. Put on a swimsuit. Damn!

 
At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Pip, pip said...

Fred - feff is right, you know Britain is a democratic government. Parliamentary, yes. House of Lords, yes - about like the Senate, really.

Cheerio.

 
At 6:16 PM, Anonymous 1984 said...

Big brother is here.

 
At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

of course BIG BROTHER is here, and he owns the plaza!!!!!!!deal with it, the govt is here to stay......

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how many of you pot growers have cameras at your house?or for that matter, non pot growers too....are you BIG BROTHER too for watching a camera and making sure that your property is secure? if you are paranoid, or have a reason to avoid the cameras, then AVOID the cameras, do your stuff somewhere else. its not rocket science, avoiding arrest isnt that hard, especially in arcata

 
At 7:23 PM, Blogger kaivalya said...

In my opinion, if the government paid for these cameras to be installed on public property - then they are public. Therefore they should setup web-streaming for all citizens to access at all times!

Doesn't that sound about right?

 
At 7:30 PM, Blogger kaivalya said...

Maybe cameras in Eureka could protect the people from the cops?

just a thought

 
At 8:12 PM, Blogger mresquan said...

People can already possess them, cameras don't prevent crime effectively,and if you know a camera is there it's easy to take your business elsewhere.Most businesses on the plaza already have them,yet the owners are saying that crime is out of control.That should tell you something,they don't do the job.

 
At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now 7:24 that is the first post that makes good sense on this thread.

The predictable (unclear on the concept) Konklerpedantics notwithstanding, post the streaming plaza video on the web and we can all keep an eye on the town square that isn't.

Perhaps this strange contest of volume over content can be reversed.

just a thought

 
At 10:12 PM, Blogger mresquan said...

Apparently the transformation into a police state won't be difficult to accomplish for the powers that be,with a near total acceptance from willing victims.

 
At 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't look at me! Don't look at me! Let's all gouge our eyes out. That will prevent a police state! Take that copper! I can't see you! I WIN! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

 
At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another pathetic move by the neoliberals in Arcata. Maybe if they put some live cams and mikes in city hall we'd have a bit more confidence in their good intentions.

 
At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody cares what you are doing on the Plaza unless you are doing something nasty (and illegal).

Get over yourselves!

You are just not that interesting. But don't feel bad. Nobody is interesting enough to watch very long (unless they are doing something nasty (and sexy).

 
At 5:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly. Studies show these cameras are often used by the bored, mostly male operators to do things they aren't supposed to, like read people's mail, spy on protests or ogle women. Is this really what we need to waste our scare public dollars on?

 
At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Studies pulled out of your rear-end. None exist.

 
At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's alarming about cameras recording to DVRs that don't have monitors hooked up to them except when footage needs to be viewed to study a crime? OH NOES! BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING ME ONLY AFTER I BROKE THE LAW!

 
At 3:34 PM, Blogger Chas said...

I personally think it is a great idea and they should add more at the Arcata Transit Center. Maybe when visiting I won't be approached by the locals asking for drugs, spare change, smokes, or anything else by those hanging out there.

 
At 3:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know how stupid that comment was? There already ARE spy cameras at the bus station -- and they don't magically chase the bums off, do they? They are useless technology, that's the point, another chance to waste taxpayer money.

 
At 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this talk about the End of Privacy! Pish Tosh!

Search the world over and you'll never find a place with less privacy than a small town.

Small Town America. Everybody loves it. Everybody who hasn't lived in one. Because no one has any secrets if they live in a small town.

Except for the high-tech aspect, what's the difference between the "Good Old Days" and "This Horrible Disaster That Is About to Ruin Our Lives?"

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger Chas said...

More Homeland Security - Humboldt County

Our County of Supervisors are spending $1.26 million for new security at the courthouse here in Eureka. Here is a bit on this:

http://www.times-standard.com/local/ci_7337625

More security to induce fear in Humboldt County, as well as throughout our Nation. What next?

We have $1.26 million dollars being spent on security, needed or not. The need is not even being questioned by our representatives, it is just being done because of good authority there is a possibility of danger, a low possibility, but it is there.

After the installation of these security systems, as individuals we will have our bags and bodies checked for possible weapons (Though Law Enforcement will still enter through a private entrance and still carry their weapons, providing access to a weapon to the one who really wants trouble - No win situation.). Of course, after going through the security gate, you will need to sign in, show proof of who you are, provide reason for visit, and maybe even be asked to leave something of value at the entrance.

All in the name of security, protecting us, the people from ourselves. Kind of like President Bush using the 9/11 incident as something that "may" happen again because he hasn't got an Attorney General.

I know I am really sounding out of it. But I was shopping earlier todoy and noticed something that gave me thought to maybe our future. An individual was asked for a picture ID to purchase alcohol.

We all are in agreement with this, but as the customer asked: "It is not obvious that I am old enough to purchase alcohol?" as he reached into his billfold for his ID.

The store cashier/clerk responded: "We must ask everyone for an ID. It is the store policy, it is the Law." as they pointed to the camera behind him.

Imagine a few years from now, not too long, new security measures throughout the local area and country require we all where our ID's on our chest. We would need to have ID's with various colors to point out that we may or may not be of risk. On top of this, these ID's don't come from the Department of Motor Vehicles, but our new local Department of Homeland Security.

But this is not all, because after we have gotten these ID's, we will become registered as residents of this County. Meaning, we can still travel freely to visit other parts of the country, but we could not change our residence without re-registering at the County we are looking to move to, show proof of employment, or ability to care for oneself, etc. (This is how it is in China, only tied to the City.).

Oops, maybe I should not of shared this thought. Our local government might use it, instead of coming to a sensible idea that does not take away our individual dignity and so-called freedoms.

 

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