So, today my son and I went for a short bike ride (although he informed me that his definition of short differs from mine). While downtown, we noticed security cameras at every intersection. Then, as we headed closer to home, we kept noticing them all up Kellogg. I'm assuming they are there because of the RNC, but are they staying afterward - AND - do we as lowly citizens of this fair burg have access to their output?
The plan is to keep them up and after the RNC and there is to be public internet access.
i-Spy? AMH Andrew M. Hine 3M IATD Industrial Adhesives & Tapes Division 3M Center 230-1F-35 St. Paul MN 55144-1000 USA <email obscured> Tel: (651) 733-1070 Fax: (651) 737-2003
I reiterate my earlier comments: Many people don't give a hoot if they're legal. They're creepy, they are unwelcoming, they're a boon to those who want to stalk downtown residents (imagine having a camera with public access to the feed watching your home 24/7), and they ought to be sold on eBay after the convention. Before we adopt our own "Operation Sentinel" (the name given NYC's plan to watch everyone all the time everywhere), why hasn't there been a public discussion of the decision to make them permanent? How did accepting the money to pay for temporary but necessary security measures turn into permanent surveillance? More on the NYC program here: http://wcbstv.com/cbs2crew/operation.sentinel.nypd.2.793133.html One other question: We've been told that the feeds are to be public. Where online can one view the hustle and bustle that is street level at Fourth and Cedar? Diane Gerth West End and Downtown
On 8/19/08, Diane Gerth <email obscured>> wrote: >(imagine having a camera with public access to the feed watching your home 24/7) perhaps a more apples to apples comparison would be a public access to the feed watching the street you live on 24/7. Unless the cameras downtown are aimed at the windows and balconies of apartments and condos. John Harris webber-camden, mpls
I hope the cameras stay. I live Downtown and the streets already feel a lot safer. I believe that safe public transportation must have a very high priority; therefore, driving out the monsters that have taken over the bus stops and streets Downtown is more than enough to justify installing and retaining the cameras. On the other hand, if privacy really is such a big issue, lets take all the cameras out of public and semipublic spaces - start with ATM machines and banks. Get them out of churches, schools, stores, malls and casinos too. Clearly, cameras at the airports are the penultimate buckling in to terrorism - rip all them out, everywhere! Cameras in the skyways, what is the point? Finally, clear them out of public buildings: Why should anyone record me going into City Hall, the State Capital, or a DMV office? Exactly how many public and semipublic places do not have cameras? If money is being exchanged, there is likely to be a camera. Get on the bus, there is a camera. If that does not bother you, then why should a camera placed on the street to protect passengers waiting for a bus be a problem?
There will be a public discussion on policy, necessity, procedure and privacy before the cameras are made permanent after the RNC. dave ward two
----- Original Message ----- From: "Diane Gerth" <email obscured>> To: "St. Paul Issues Forum" <email obscured>> Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 4:45 PM Subject: Re: [SPIF] Cameras >I reiterate my earlier comments: Many people don't give a hoot if they're >legal. They're creepy, they are unwelcoming, they're a boon to those who >want to stalk downtown residents (imagine having a camera with public >access to the feed watching your home 24/7), and they ought to be sold on >eBay after the convention. > > Before we adopt our own "Operation Sentinel" (the name given NYC's plan to > watch everyone all the time everywhere), why hasn't there been a public > discussion of the decision to make them permanent? How did accepting the > money to pay for temporary but necessary security measures turn into > permanent surveillance? More on the NYC program here: > http://wcbstv.com/cbs2crew/operation.sentinel.nypd.2.793133.html > > One other question: We've been told that the feeds are to be public. > Where online can one view the hustle and bustle that is street level at > Fourth and Cedar? > > Diane Gerth > West End and Downtown > > > Diane Gerth > West End, St. Paul > Info about Diane Gerth: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/dianegerth > > This topic's messages may be viewed at: > http://forums.e-democracy.org/r/topic/1i0aRtbYQR0uc21YA675i3 > ----------------------------------------- > To post, send your message to: <email obscured> > To leave or for daily digest, type "unsubscribe" or "digest on," > in subject line and send to: <email obscured> > > More info about St. Paul Issues Forum: > http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/stpaul-issues > > E-Democracy.Org rules: http://e-democracy.org/rules > ----------------------------------------- > Technical assistance thanks to our friends at http://OnlineGroups.Net > > Citizens Guide to St. Paul > http://e-democracy.org/wiki/Citizens_Guide_to_St._Paul > > Questions about rules violations? Send complaints and items for > investigation to: <email obscured> >
>I reiterate my earlier comments: Many people don't give a hoot if they're >legal. They're creepy, they are unwelcoming, they're a boon to those who >want to stalk downtown residents (imagine having a camera with public >access to the feed watching your home 24/7), and they ought to be sold on >eBay after the convention. I find a lot of things in city life creepy and unwelcoming, but cameras certainly aren't among them. I've lived too long in small towns, I guess, but the idea that what you do in public *isn't* fodder for gossip is hard for me to get my mind around. What I'm more concerned with is this: do they do any good? Is it worth the money to install (and monitor) cameras, or would those funds be better spent on more police wandering around, watching what I do? Me, I'd like to have more police ticketing speeders on St. Paul Ave. Delano DuGarm Highland Park
To all, You may recall earlier this spring Mayor Coleman asked for input on issues needing to be addressed. At that time, I identified this problem of "Big Brother Watching" through cameras everywhere. My suggestion was to pass a city ordinance that would apply to every camera, public or private, within the city. The ordinance would require...1) the camera have some sort of highly visible element that would draw a person's attention when and only when it was recording. 2) The camera manager's name along with accurate contact information must be placard at eye level. 3) Local address of where one could view the recorded output of the camera would also be on the placard. 4) Any person must be allowed to see any recorded data from any camera. Of course, several fine and knowledgeable members of this forum shot the idea full of holes. It was impossible, illegal, unconstitutional, interfering with private affairs, outside the city's jurisdiction, etc. Also it has been commented on this forum that here in a "free country" people have no expectation of NOT being watched by whoever has the money to install a camera anywhere outside their home. And of course, the fine Mayor NEVER commented here on the idea nor to my knowledge took any action to intact such an ordinance. So here we are now months later with dozens more cameras (all of which by the way paid for and operated now and forever by my tax dollars!) that can watch and record every detail every time you or your son adjust your bike shorts! And you have no idea who is recording , what they are recording or on which internet site they are posting suggestive images. And that jell-pack you stuck down your shorts to easy the butt / bike seat junction certainly looked like a packet of drugs. Better be prepared for the cops to come a calling! And with the precedence established of "holding" US citizens as enemy combatants, what if some excited Homeland Security person thinks that jell-pack is explosives. Now you are looking at forever in Quantonamo Bay(sp) Welcome to 1984 citizen. Dean Sheldon, St Anthony Park ----- Original Message ----- From: Chris Rybisky To: St. Paul Issues Forum Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 1:33 PM Subject: [SPIF] Cameras So, today my son and I went for a short bike ride (although he informed me that his definition of short differs from mine). While downtown, we noticed security cameras at every intersection. Then, as we headed closer to home, we kept noticing them all up Kellogg.
I stumbled upon a public presentation on the cameras to Downtown building owners and tenants by the SPPD by accident downtown in June. The permanence of the cameras never seemed to be in question. The public information campaign about the cameras has been practically non-existent, and they present some significant questions that people need to think about. The video feeds will be staffed by SPPD, which is controlling two separate projects, from two separate homeland security matching grants (the local match came from corporations such as Target, downtown corporations - not sure of the names - and an "anonymous donor" according to the SPPD spokesperson). The first is a safety zone down University Avenue which the Feds (meaning you and me) paid half for, and Target made the match. The second is a separate grant. I'm assuming the grants were approved by City Council, but I haven't heard the policy discussion at all. I believe the vendor is the same one that sold this product to the Minneapolis Police Department. The video is a public document - I think that's open records law - and will be retained by SPPD for several weeks (and then apparently disposed of, unless it is retained as evidence in a police report). Members of the public should be able to get copies of all video footage - I would assume for a reasonable fee. What people do with those public documents is entirely another question. While I may not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place, I don't particularly want my image used in performance art (this actually happens in London where artists stage performances for cctv viewing), nor do I want it running on a public access channel (hmm...programming opportunity for one of our channels...Welcome to "The Streets of Saint Paul." We instruct all our videographers to get written releases for interviews, etc., not out of legal necessity, but to insure good relations and trust with the people you are photographing. Cameras may provide a sense of security for some, but they don't necessary insure a sense of community. David Brin, the science fiction author, has written very persuasive non-fiction on surveillance and society. He points to the increasing importance of openness and public control of surveillance video (which this is), something that private surveillance cameras lack. Mike Wassenaar
Here are some links to who is funding the camera programs and how they are working out in several of cities around the country. Boston - We are not alone: Http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/08/12/us_doles_out_millions_for_street_cameras/ Pittsburg - Keeping an eye on Junior's homeroom: Http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_202785.html Philadelphia - Getting 250 additional surveillance cameras in various locations throughout the city: Http://cbs3.com/local/Philadelphia.Cameras.Security.2.410900.html Chicago - Security cameras to keep an eye on entire lakefront. Anarchist newspaper laments that "Chicago already has 20 red-light cameras and 2,000 surveillance cameras, soon to be augmented by 250 more, linked by a single software network capable of spotting suspicious activity, expressway stalls and traffic accidents. Http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20050211075527873 Miami - Security Cameras Will Scan Downtown: http://cbs4.com/local/security.cameras.terrorism.2.405525.html Los Angeles - Maintenance issues: A lack of funds to keep cameras working has some officers worried as statistics show a rise in serious crime in MacArthur Park. Installation of cameras had led to a significant drop in gang activity and drug dealing in an area long considered a hotbed of crime. Http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jan/16/local/me-camera16 Las Vegas - What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas - Right? 59 cameras let you watch intersections and traffic live. Http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/Watch/traffic_cam.htm SAY IT AIN'T SO JOE: EVEN San Francisco - A series of security cameras watching some of the tougher street corners, at least make sure they work: http://danstechnstuff.com/2008/01/29/san-francisco-security-cameras-have-poor-image-quality-framerates/ Michigan State University - Will Placing Security Cameras In High-Crime Neighborhoods Prevent Crime? Some U.S. cities have installed security cameras to fight crime. That list includes: Anchorage, Athens, Ga., Baltimore, Boston, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Durham, N.C., East Orange, N.J., Honolulu, Indianapolis, Jersey City, Little Rock, Ark., Los Angeles, Madison, Wis., Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Tenn., New Orleans, New York, Pittsburgh, Revere, Mass., Rockford, Ill., San Francisco, St. Paul, Virginia Beach, Washington, Wilmington, Del. Http://blogpublic.lib.msu.edu/index.php/2007/08/24/will_placing_security_cameras_in_high_cr?blog=5