Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Well that's just Super.

Apparently someone accidentally shelved their copy of The Sum of All Fears in the non-fiction section, because as part of the Super Security for the Super Event happening next weekend in this Super City for which we the taxpayers are getting squeezed for Super Bucks, downtown Indy is getting brand new Super Snooping CCTV Cameras*. Further, like the stink of a cheap cigar, they will remain long after the party has moved on.

They're awesome cameras, says IMPD Deputy Chief Michael Bates:
"They both move up and down side to side. What's nice about the new cameras we've got is they're digital cameras. They're more of a high-definition camera, so it allows us a much more clear picture and ability to zoom in more than we could with the other cameras," said IMPD Deputy Chief Michael Bates.

That means clearer up-close images of license plates and faces, too. But there will be no facial recognition software hooked up to the cameras, at least not in the near future.
Right. And the check's in the mail.

We're told that they will have additional public safety uses, such as... um... maybe helping clear traffic jams? And that they will make downtown safer and so more people will want to go spend money there. I guess that's the sort of thing that makes some people feel safe, but I'm not one of them.

No word from the Indy po-po on when they will implement my own public safety suggestion: Breathalyzer ignition interlocks on IMPD squad cars. That'd be a guaranteed crimestopper right there.


*Although, knowing the way these things work, it wouldn't shock me to find out that all y'all helped pay for them, via some Department of Homeland Security dolecheque program or another.
.

42 comments:

Bram said...

Target practice?

Noah D said...

Reason the nth to not go downtown.

(I was about to say 'into Marion County', but I'm trying not to be so parochial.)

"A lot of time, it helps to even solve crime."

Any numbers on that second assertion, Bates?

I'll be nice, and leave the syntax alone.

SGB said...

Big Brother likes to glide in under the guise of safety.

Standard Mischief said...

Are you getting the flashing blue lights on top of the copeyes cameras up on polls like they have in Baltimore too?

The typical resident in Charm City is so far removed from a free person that they're all begging for a camera in their own neighborhood. For now at least, the flashing blue lights are great for finding all the bad neighborhoods.

They even come with their own Orwellian slogan, "BELIEVE"

Ferret said...

It's awfully suspicious as to how these cameras seem to be only showing up in gentrified downtown areas as opposed to parts of town where most of the actual crime is.

Since the Ministry of Fatherland Security is more than likely picking up the tab for the installation, I can almost guarantee you it won't just be IMPD watching the feeds from those cameras.

Standard Mischief said...

http://whatisawridingmybikearoundtoday.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/2011-09-21-22-01-25.jpg

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long it'll be before someone decides those cameras make fine plinking targets for a scoped .22? That's why you'll never see those in less urban parts of the state, because that realization wouldn't take long at all.

Ruth said...

yah, though at least here they're putting them in the bad areas first. Not htat they aren't spreading.....

perlhaqr said...

Standard: Well that's not creepier than a whole fleet of windowless vans driven by guys with boxes full of candy in the back...

Tam said...

Anon 8:39,

"I wonder how long it'll be before someone decides those cameras make fine plinking targets for a scoped .22? That's why you'll never see those in less urban parts of the state, because that realization wouldn't take long at all."

You could always just tell the cops you were shooting at the "No Dumping" sign. The only possible witnesses wouldn't be able to tell the investigators anything other than "moo".

azmountaintroll said...

There are some places that can't even keep streetlamps from being stolen and stripped for copper. I wonder how much a security camera would go for on the black market?

Bubblehead Les. said...

Yeah, I just love those things. It lets the cops see a crime that is happening w/o actually having to have Boots on the Ground to stop it.

But hey! At least we know what the guy who kidnapped the little kid looked like, and we get to send them to jail for 20 years!

If they ever catch him.

mariner said...

But there will be no facial recognition software hooked up to the cameras, at least not in the near future.

And "the near future" is defined is "as long as it takes to hook it up".

John said...

Does this make everyone as safe from assault as those London dwellers that live under near 100% camera coverage?

I hope not.

Their stats on such rough-knuckle stuff reportedly exceed those of our criminals by a noticeable margin.

Violent and stupid and chemically impaired doesn't care who sees what.

WV: tamulgue

Stretch said...

Paintball!

I see a fashion revival broad brimmed hats. And yes, legislators are stupid enough to pass laws limiting the size of hats.

WV="stessesi" as in 'If we spell it differently they'll never catch on.'

Odysseus said...

Big Brother is watching but fortunately he's drunk.

Armed Texan said...

it wouldn't shock me to find out that all y'all helped pay for them

Well, hoosier sounds vaguely like hooligan. Just sayin'

Nathan said...

If fa[r]cial recognition software worked like it does on TeeVee, I'd be more concerned. While developers are getting better at it, it still has a lot of problems, like, it works great when you sit looking at the camera in a lab, but in real life people don't smile and say "cheese" when they're committing a crime.

As it is, I rarely get south of Michigan Street these days on my forays into the center city, and certainly won't be planning to do so in the future.

(FWIW, I'm guessing that part of the rationale for installing cameras for the Stupor Bowl is to help with the nighttime youth problems as discussed in the local fishwarp a couple of weeks ago. This seems like just a convenient excuse to go ahead and do that without making it look like it's being aimed at that particular problem.)

I Am McThag said...

Tampa set up similar cameras in the notorious Ybor City bar district. WITH facial recognition.

Not one criminal caught by the recognition software.

Two murders in full view of the cameras. Neither was actually recording at the time...

Lergnom said...

Wide brimmed hats with an umobtrusive looking hatband made up of infrared LEDs, if those cameras pick up IR as well as visible light.

Anonymous said...

Uncle does not give city any money for training or maintenance after the event is over so in the following months or years cameras, gizmos and gadgets either become a big unexpected financial drain on the city budget or just break and wear out over time.

Gerry

Ken said...

Already have a good felt fedora....

Anonymous said...

Well, if you don't have anything to hide, you shouldn't have any problem with living in a Stalinist Secret Police Security State.
Alath

John A said...

Have you seen thePerson of Interest TV show? Fiction - for now.

RWC said...

Ahhh, why didn't they go for the 'red spotlight on a maybe criminal' idea like Jersey.


http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/red-lights-newest-precrime-technique-27941009.html

Anonymous said...

.177 from 30'?

T.Stahl said...

'Bout time someone read Debt Of Honour.

Ritchie said...

I propose a new random festival: The Flashmob Festival of Masks.

Anonymous said...

I've often *thought* about painting over the red light cameras with a can of Krylon ... I figured that I could jerry-rig a pole extension contraption. Turns out I wouldn;t need to. Thanks Amazon!!

http://tinyurl.com/3hxo5pd

Anonymous said...

@Lergnom ...

Read a "How-To" on setting up IR LEDs into a pair of Hipster Sunglasses to defeat cameras some years back. You could also use something akin to a clip on IR light for a baseball cap.

Old NFO said...

You can bet they got some or all with a DHS grant, and you can ALSO bet they will stay in place and FR software will be installed shortly...

Jeffro said...

If you'd happen to venture into Digital Cameraland with a big ol' zit on the shnozz, then get a sample of Clearasil in the mail - well, the terrorists will have won.

the pawnbroker said...

SCOTUS has just said gov can't track you unwarranted by their own device, but specifically didn't touch the issue of access to your tracking of your ownself by smartphone, etc.

The ineptitude of government agencies generally self-limits the potential harm when they're slapping GPS senders under your bumper or playing with these spy-cams, as referenced by McThag on the Ybor fail.

But the technological marvels we euphemistically call "phones", their omnipresence, and the potential for LE access to the cornucopia of information about you that they contain, present far greater potential for warrantless search & seizure and invasion of privacy.

Tam has said this is a genie that ain't going back in the bottle, and it shouldn't...because hey, it's a genie! But the Supremes pointedly avoiding the discussion portends the future. It ain't the eyes in the sky but the ones all around you -and the ones right there in your hand- that will ultimately steal what remains of our innocence and sweet anonymity.

But hey, if you're not doing anything/going anywhere/saying anything/writing anything/searching anything/recording anything that you're ashamed of, everything will be just fine.

Justthisguy said...

when I first read "The Sum of All Fears", I was revolted that possibly some (fictional) bandsmen had been nuked. Later, I found out that they haven't had bands at the Stupor Bowel for years and years, and thought, owhell, served 'em right, the silly sportsfans.

I see no reason to attend a feetball game if one is not wearing a band uniform.

Jtg, at the Right of the Line, with The Colors.

Spud said...

They hold a much bigger event in May that didn't need these...My father in law that is in the Hall of Fame at Indy would roll over in his grave

Tam said...

PB,

"SCOTUS has just said gov can't track you unwarranted by their own device, but specifically didn't touch the issue of access to your tracking of your ownself by smartphone, etc."

They didn't touch it because that's not waht the case was about. They also didn't touch on many other issues, such as the constitutionality of soybean price supports.

They have already ruled on phones. Yes, they can track you or even listen in on you with your phone. Yes, it requires a warrant, same as any other wiretap.

And don't feel safe if you don't have a "smartphone". Your plain old dumb cell phone could be on right now, recording everything you say, unless you take the battery out whenever you're not using it.

Now, which do you deem more likely in your life: A warrant being issued to tap and track your cellphone remotely? Or the need to use you cell phone for actual emergency calls?

Matt said...

Know what'd make _me_ feel safer navigating downtown? A loaded firearm concealed about my person in an accessible location.

You can have that, in Indianapolis. So can I...just as long as I don't visit the city my office is in.

If they want to install a camera on my property, that's a problem. But if I'm in public, I've always just assumed that I might be watched. Especially if I did anything interesting.

the pawnbroker said...

"...it requires a warrant, same as any other wiretap."

Quaint, the latter being an anachronism and the former fast becoming one.

No, the SC didn't bring up soybean price fixing (much to the relief of some farmers in hoosierville I'm sure (insert cane sugar if you're talking about agbiz here in teh Fla).

But while the matter at hand involved tracking devices installed on your car by gov, they alluded to the ones installed in your pocket by you.

They kicked the can down the road a bit, but they know what's coming; so do I and so do you.



(Sorry for the delayed response... Son's jewelry/coin shop has been BUSY. Whenever there's a spike in gold/silver spot prices as occurred this week, it generates a deluge of buyers and sellers of bullion and its derivatives. But Bobo says things are looking up; pay no attention to the free market monster behind the curtain anxiously turning soft money into hard.)

Tam said...

PB,

Let me try saying this again: SCOTUS did not rule on the topic to which you allude because:

A) It was not germane to the case at hand, and
B)THEY ALREADY RULED ON IT.

"They kicked the can down the road a bit, but they know what's coming; so do I and so do you."

They did no such thing. The thing you say is "coming" has come and gone. It is not the future, it is the past and the present and it is here and has been here for over a decade now, long before any of the iPhones and Androids the Luddites bemoan.

Why would they rule on it again? That train has left the station. It is long gone. If it worries someone, they need to pull the battery from your cell phone, any cell phone, right now and only install it when they are actually making calls.

the pawnbroker said...

TK:

Talk about not germane...repeating partial facts irrelevant to the determinedly missed point does nothing to further the discussion.

The thing about trains is, there's always another one coming down the track; best not to be standing on it when it does.

Tam said...

I'm sorry, I am obviously too dense to grasp what you were saying.

I thought you were asking why the Supreme Court had not ruled on the constitutionality of using your own phone to track your position. I pointed out that they already have.

Now you say that is not germane and make cryptic comments about trains coming down the track.

Please, and I am being dead serious here as I am nearly beating my head against the keyboard in frustration over this: What is this train to which you refer if it is not using your phone to track you?

the pawnbroker said...

I didn't actually ask anything TK, and sorry I hopped your train metaphor; it was to make the point that the prior ruling on phones and the recent one on planted trackers were (necessarily) narrowly focused on the specifics of those particular cases.

And while that train may have left the station, its destination is history and irrelevance, because those cases presuppose traditional "wiretaps" or entering private property, activities the Court reiterated require traditional "warrants". So I can leave my battery in my phone because if a leo agency wants to record my conversation -leaving alone that they would be bored to tears if they did- they'd have to get a good old-fashioned warrant.

But future trains will be coming to try to haul the elephant(s) that sat obtrusively but quietly in the courtroom. The Justices couldn't address them but they and everyone else saw them sitting there, and they won't remain quiet for long:

"...the technological marvels we euphemistically call "phones", their omnipresence, and the potential for LE access to the cornucopia of information about you that they contain, present far greater potential for warrantless search & seizure and invasion of privacy..."

And that's not to mention private enterprise, legal or otherwise, who lust for information for fun and profit. It is my pet paranoia to consider that all of the details of our private, professional, and financial lives, access to which has heretofore been somewhat guarded, is almost unwittingly being transformed into public domain in the headlong rush to concentrate every detail into tiny powerful computers that might or might not also be capable of making phone calls, and further that everyone around us can also detail our movements and activities; how access to their recorded information might affect our future lives we cannot know. And then there are the wireless providers' contractors who have admitted that they can and do record every keystroke, and "private" information monoliths like Google who have admitted they already know more about you than your spouse, and are feverishly working to know and store and use even more...but they assure us they will keep our confidence.

In a discussion here a while back about a proposal for a national biometric database, commenters airily dismissed gov's capability to create and maintain it, and they're probably right. My leap was that we're doing it for them and at our (great) expense; not only with no resistance but with childlike enthusiasm to obtain the latest and greatest talking texting recording surfing tracking computing device. While trying to communicate my speculation that such power in a chip could ultimately transcend separations between biological, physiological, and extraneous identifiers had you questioning my grasp, it is my extrapolation now as then that a next step in the technology marketplace would logically be a device that performs all of the above functions and more and better...with the added ability to identify you and allow you access through eye or voice or touch recognition. And how long might it be before such a chip could be implanted, at some point capable even of thought recognition? And how long before that becomes accessible to our keepers?

(Yikes, I just read that back. Sorry, a little disjointed and wild-eyed, eh? Glad it's just you and me here now ;). Still, they're my words and I own 'em...and you did ask for it. But yeah, like I said, my pet paranoia.)