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Constitution Project to Mayor: Watch Those Cameras

More concerns are being raised about Mayor Fenty's plan to combine more than 5,000 surveillance cameras into a single network monitored by the city's homeland security agency. Today, the Constitution Project, a legal advocacy group, has issued a release urging Fenty to instruct the agency to adopt policies protecting people's privacy. The group said the police department already has such policies in place for their 73 cameras, but that those policies have not been adopted by homeland security.

The police department's "existing policy is indisputable proof that law enforcement access to video surveillance tools need not come at the expense of individual privacy," said Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior counsel at the Constitution Project. "But creating a network of more than 5,000 cameras without adopting a strict privacy policy for the new system and without seeking public input into the guidelines for operation is a disaster waiting to happen. Mayor Fenty should seize this opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to both liberty and security by attaching the existing policy to the new network."

By David A Nakamura  |  April 16, 2008; 4:42 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety , David Nakamura  
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