ACLU Slams Chicago Camera Network

February 8, 2011

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The ACLU has condemned Chicago’s use  of surveillance cameras, terming them to be an invasion of the privacy of citizens. According to the ACLU, law enforcement should have probable cause before zooming in on a person while monitoring the cameras. Mayor Richard M. Daley has defended the program, which he intends to expand.

Monday, the ACLU issued a report claiming that a network of 10,000 cameras owned by government and private businesses is being used to monitor the citizens of Chicago.Cameras are often used after the fact to scan a crime scene for clues after the fact. Additionally, police might also want to be on the alert for suspicious behavior related to drug dealing, pick pocketing or other crimes.

If a policeman can look at citizens from the window of a police car, it would seem to be permissible for him or her to do the same thing while monitoring cameras. When the ACLU thinks something is a problem, it is often a good indicator that it is good for society. The only conceivable area where the laws governing surveillance might need clarification would be in monitoring lawful, peaceful political demonstrations. The ACLU seems to have little problem with private parties violating the due process and property rights of citizens. There are civil liberties battles to be fought in America. The cameras in Chicago do not seem to be high on the list of such battles.

Chicago CBS article

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