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how many freedoms go for secure country

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guancho
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#1

Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:36 AM

this is a philosophy question. in your opinions do you believe the governance can use surveillance extensively for safety, or can it remove too many freedoms? in spain here we have cameras in many places. not like England but many here for sure, and as a agent of spanish police, they are fruitful. but can they erode too much freedom?

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#2

Posted 22 January 2012 - 10:31 AM

My personal view- "as many as is necessary". The primary mandate of a government is to ensure security for its citizens. It is not, contrary to popular belief, to provide freedoms and civil rights for the population. In fact, the very idea of government is that individuals voluntarily sacrifice a proportion of their freedoms and rights in order to provide stability and security for a nation. How large a proportion is required to maintain security (and to avoid the trap of forsaking too many rights for too little stability) is a ratio that's very dependent on the country, its population and recent events. My view has always been that majority-backed civil unrest and movements to remove or limit the powers of political authorities are a sign of a government losing their mandate to govern (too much infringement for not enough security); the difficulty for law-makers comes in justifying increasing surveillance, police presence and security measures when threats or risks have escalated but not publicly so. That's always something that's been very difficult- people don't really seem to care that much about a threat, regardless of how large, unless they've directly witnessed it or it's affected them directly.

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#3

Posted 23 January 2012 - 04:39 AM

I agree with sivis for the most part, but I think that there has to be a clear limit. When it comes to a point where the government can access anyone's personal email or phone logs without a warrant, we have a problem. When there is a surveillance camera on every street, there's a problem.

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#4

Posted 23 January 2012 - 10:12 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Monday, Jan 23 2012, 05:39)
When there is a surveillance camera on every street, there's a problem.

Out of interest, why do you think this? It might just be because I'm British, but I have no expectation of privacy when I'm in a public place. Is there a caveat in US legislation which declares a certain amount of privacy for citizens in public places?

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#5

Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:08 PM Edited by Irviding, 24 January 2012 - 05:08 AM.

It's just an American thing - you're right. We simply don't like to be watched. The whole idea of it is so anti-American. Sort of like how in Sweden, the government ensures equal wages and makes sure everyone lives a happy life. Here in the US, if you don't work for it, you get no respect. It goes all the way back to after the revolution. When there were loyalists left behind here in the new USA, hardly anyone suggested taking their land and kicking them off of it, like would happen in a European country after a war, taking someone's land is so counter to American values. You won't even hear the USA Patriot Act crowd arguing for cameras on every street corner.

Anyway - regarding the cameras specifically, there is no actual constitutional underpinning for it (right to privacy doesn't extend to a public area, infact the way the right to privacy was interpreted involved using the 3rd, 4th and 5th (also the 14th in my view, but in the actual opinion of Griswold, the majority utilizes 3rd, 4th, and 5th) amendments to build a 'penumbra' of rights. Basically, it provides that since the 3rd amendment says no quartering soldiers in a house (put in because of you English bastards), there is a notion of privacy in one's home, the 4th calls for the person to be private in his/her own house/secure in his person, and the 5th allows the person a private sphere by which he/she cannot incriminate themself. That's the basic underpinning for a right to privacy (used for abortion rights, the ninth amendment also comes into play here too which basically allows for the court to extract other rights from the other amendments), but again it really refers to a 'within your house', or 'within your body' type of thing. To me, there is no constitutional argument for not having cameras in public places. But I do see constitutional issues on the accessing of said videotapes - if you look back at Whalen v. Roe, the court ruled that if there is a chance said information could be used maliciously, and the necessity of the camera, or in the case, the medical information, it is unconstitutional to infringe upon the people. I mean I don't see the argument that 'we have the camera up so we can keep an eye out for terrorists' to be a legitimate argument. There is a reasonable question of who is accessing those tapes, where it gets stored (databanked like in Whalen v. Roe), and I fail to see how an argument that "oh we're keeping an eye out for crime" is a legitimate excuse.

I saw an episode of the Simpsons actually last night about Ned Flanders monitoring the town with surveillance cameras - eventually they all went to a place in Homer's backyard where the camera couldn't see, and did all their unlawful acts there. I mean this idea that cameras can prevent crime in the first place is just ridiculous. Maybe it can prevent them where the camera is looking, sure. I mean to be honest I see UAVs as a much more promising way to do this - if you need to follow a vehicle, get someone to pilot the UAV and pursue it that way. I just don't see the pros of stationary cameras on every block - feel free to tell me some though - because the ones I've heard are just vague and, frankly, dumb.

Just an addition after re-reading this; Guancho, perteneces a la guardia civil, ó CNP? Te pido sólo por curiosidad.

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#6

Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:58 PM

If you ain't doing anything stupid, your a free man being watched, that's all.

Your as free with or without them. Except law breakers will be caught more easily.

I think the freedom question is better asked in relation to your nations laws. The can and cannot do's. Being watched only enforces these laws.

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#7

Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:27 PM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Monday, Jan 23 2012, 21:08)
I mean this idea that cameras can prevent crime in the first place is just ridiculous. Maybe it can prevent them where the camera is looking, sure.

But that's all they're intended for, to deter crime in a particular place. You don't put a camera in a car park and expect criminals to stop mugging people in an alley 10 miles away, but you do expect it to prevent crime in the car park, and they are effective in that respect.

QUOTE
I mean to be honest I see UAVs as a much more promising way to do this - if you need to follow a vehicle, get someone to pilot the UAV and pursue it that way. I just don't see the pros of stationary cameras on every block - feel free to tell me some though - because the ones I've heard are just vague and, frankly, dumb.


Well if you put a lot of cameras in and around a town centre then you can do a pretty effective job of "following" a criminal. You can build up a large network of CCTV and you can cover a large area. It's not perfect, but it does the job. In fact many British towns have got large CCTV coverage of their town centres, and it doesn't eradicate crime but it does lower it. It also serves another purpose of being a good tool to use for managing the police units and being able to direct them to where trouble is. It definitely helps a lot on saturday nights when everyone is getting hammered.

But UAV's aren't exactly that great anyways. You couldn't have one running 24/7 just floating there endlessly, they're expensive and not particularly cost effective.


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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:50 PM Edited by Irviding, 25 January 2012 - 10:59 PM.

Having one floating there endlessly is not the idea. In a huge metropolitan center like NYC, why not use UAVs rather than f*cking big brother government cameras on every street corner. I'm telling you, we Americans don't like to be watched. Have a few UAVs in the sky of urban centers ready to track someone valid of being followed with such equipment. To be honest with you, if it's a mugger, too f*cking bad - the person is mugged. We don't need to have cameras on every street corner to prevent against little petty crimes. They happen no matter what.

QUOTE

Your as free with or without them. Except law breakers will be caught more easily.

I disagree. I think again, having a bunch of f*cking government cameras watching me, run by some unaccountable dickwad, is not the idea of freedom I've been looking for. And again, I don't believe creating a police state is necessary to go after criminals. What does it even do to have a camera in small, remote areas of the city? Yeah, putting a camera in Times Square, sure, go ahead. Putting a camera at an intersection in the east Bronx, what the f*ck?
I mean cameras sure helped us on 9/11, by the way -
user posted image
Hey Mohammed!

Also interesting -

QUOTE ( Homeland security expert)

There is little evidence to suggest that security cameras deter crime or terrorists, said James J. Carafano, a senior fellow for homeland security at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group in Washington.

For all its comprehensiveness, London’s Ring of Steel, which was built in the early 1990s to deter Irish Republican Army attacks, did not prevent the July 7, 2005, subway bombings or the attempted car bombings in London last month. But the British authorities said the cameras did prove useful in retracing the paths of the suspects’ cars last month, leading to several arrests.

While having 3,000 cameras whirring at the same time means loads of information will be captured, it also means there will be a lot of useless data to sift through.

“The more hay you have, the harder it is to find the needle,” said Mr. Carafano

Again - a UAV would've been much more effective in that case.

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#9

Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:07 PM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, Jan 25 2012, 22:50)
Having one floating there endlessly is not the idea. In a huge metropolitan center like NYC, why not use UAVs rather than f*cking big brother government cameras on every street corner. I'm telling you, we Americans don't like to be watched. Have a few UAVs in the sky of urban centers ready to track someone valid of being followed with such equipment. To be honest with you, if it's a mugger, too f*cking bad - the person is mugged. We don't need to have cameras on every street corner to prevent against little petty crimes. They happen no matter what.


I don't really understand the niche that a UAV would fill, or what its purpose is. Besides I'm pretty sure you'd realise if there was a UAV following you, then you'd just go into the subway or somewhere it can't see you. And a "few" won't do anything or really contribute a whole lot, seems a bit gimmicky. The great thing about CCTV is it can be used over a fairly widespread area, at a relatively low cost. So why would you use UAVs? Americans not liking cameras isn't really a valid argument, and I'm sure they'd get used to them. You have them in stores anyways, so why is it so bad if its in a public place like a busy city centre?

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#10

Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:12 PM

I am surprised with your views on this Irviding. I thought you would have the opposite opinion. Anyway, I saw a commercial a while back about a security company selling cameras that you can put in your home and watch from your computer at your office. I think that can happen by the authorities someday as a deterrent for spouse and child abuse. Some people will say if you are not doing anything wrong then you shouldn't worry about the police observing you at home. Your home is the last place you have any type of privacy, exept out in the middle of nowhere, and I really can see someday that no longer being the case. Oh well, we need to be looked after and protected and we can't let something like rights, or liberty, or privacy get in the way. ph34r.gif

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#11

Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:23 PM

QUOTE (Jeeebuuus @ Wednesday, Jan 25 2012, 23:12)
Anyway, I saw a commercial a while back about a security company selling cameras that you can put in your home and watch from your computer at your office. I think that can happen by the authorities someday as a deterrent for spouse and child abuse. Some people will say if you are not doing anything wrong then you shouldn't worry about the police observing you at home. Your home is the last place you have any type of privacy.

But your home is private, out in public it's public as the name implies. Do you Americans all walk around paranoid shouting at anyone who looks in your direction? I have no doubt in my mind some of you do, but I'm sure most people can get over the mental trauma of the thought of a human being's eyeballs possibly looking at your body. Why does an inanimate object designed to prevent crime and aid police forces get you so scared? It really does baffle me.

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#12

Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:32 PM

QUOTE

But your home is private, out in public it's public as the name implies. Do you Americans all walk around paranoid shouting at anyone who looks in your direction? I have no doubt in my mind some of you do, but I'm sure most people can get over the mental trauma of the thought of a human being's eyeballs possibly looking at your body. Why does an inanimate object designed to prevent crime and aid police forces get you so scared? It really does baffle me.

Because it's not necessary and is ineffective. The only legitimate argument I can see for using them is that they can be used to deter terrorists. How did that work for you guys in Britain? It certainly didn't help we Americans - you see Mohammed Atta right on camera there - he still flew that plane into the towers. I do not see the reason to monitor the whole citizenry in order to protect against some f*cking kid doing graffiti. It's like the age old torture argument - "give up some liberties to stop the terrorists man!" --- K, but it doesn't work so why give up the liberties in the first place?

QUOTE

don't really understand the niche that a UAV would fill, or what its purpose is. Besides I'm pretty sure you'd realise if there was a UAV following you, then you'd just go into the subway or somewhere it can't see you. And a "few" won't do anything or really contribute a whole lot, seems a bit gimmicky. The great thing about CCTV is it can be used over a fairly widespread area, at a relatively low cost. So why would you use UAVs? Americans not liking cameras isn't really a valid argument, and I'm sure they'd get used to them. You have them in stores anyways, so why is it so bad if its in a public place like a busy city centre?

It could be used to follow/intercept serious, high risk targets. What if someone on the watchlist gets out at JFK - okay, train the UAV there and follow his taxi, follow him into the apartment he goes to, see if he meets with cohorts, then send a team to intercept him. That's the type of real surgical usages I see for surveillance equipment. Sticking a 24/7 camera in the middle of an intersection to stop old lady's from getting their purses taken isn't doing much.

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#13

Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:45 PM

QUOTE (GTA_stu @ Wednesday, Jan 25 2012, 23:23)
QUOTE (Jeeebuuus @ Wednesday, Jan 25 2012, 23:12)
Anyway, I saw a commercial a while back about a security company selling cameras that you can put in your home and watch from your computer at your office. I think that can happen by the authorities someday as a deterrent for spouse and child abuse. Some people will say if you are not doing anything wrong then you shouldn't worry about the police observing you at home. Your home is the last place you have any type of privacy.

But your home is private, out in public it's public as the name implies. Do you Americans all walk around paranoid shouting at anyone who looks in your direction? I have no doubt in my mind some of you do, but I'm sure most people can get over the mental trauma of the thought of a human being's eyeballs possibly looking at your body. Why does an inanimate object designed to prevent crime and aid police forces get you so scared? It really does baffle me.

I don't think privacy will be necessary in the future but I could be wrong. Also with cameras everywhere in public the criminals will just find ways to work around them or destroy them or hide their face. Security cameras don't prevent crime they make finding the criminal somewhat more likely. Especially if the criminal is stupid.

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#14

Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:09 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, Jan 25 2012, 23:32)
Because it's not necessary and is ineffective. The only legitimate argument I can see for using them is that they can be used to deter terrorists. How did that work for you guys in Britain? It certainly didn't help we Americans - you see Mohammed Atta right on camera there - he still flew that plane into the towers. I do not see the reason to monitor the whole citizenry in order to protect against some f*cking kid doing graffiti. It's like the age old torture argument - "give up some liberties to stop the terrorists man!" --- K, but it doesn't work so why give up the liberties in the first place?


Just because something isn't a "necessity" doesn't mean it's still not useful and a valuable tool to use in fighting and preventing crime. They are effective though, in the majority of cases crime will drop in areas they are used. It's also useful for the coordination of the police, especially in crowded places. It helps in solving crimes, identifying criminals and can be used as evidence in court. There's a whole load of benefits right there, and like a said it is a relatively cheap thing to install maintain and run.

They're not designed to deter terrorists, that's not their specific role. They work as a general criminal deterent mainly in car parks and public transport where they have proven to be most effective in reducing crime. But other than acting as a deterent, in a more open public area like a city centre they act as eyes for the police and help them to track down criminals after crimes have been committed. So their primary role isn't always to act as a deterent. They can also be very useful in tracking the movements of criminals in cars or vehicles if the system is comprehensive enough.

If someone is prepared to blow themselves up on a train or bus in order to kill people, then how is a camera supposed to stop that? They're not magic cameras which can tell a terrorist apart from a normal person and then ring the police to tell them. What liberties are you exactly losing? You're in a place where people can see you anyways, what difference does it make if the police can see you as well? The cameras are actually there to make you safer, not covertly spy on you and steal your soul.

QUOTE
It could be used to follow/intercept serious, high risk targets. What if someone on the watchlist gets out at JFK - okay, train the UAV there and follow his taxi, follow him into the apartment he goes to, see if he meets with cohorts, then send a team to intercept him. That's the type of real surgical usages I see for surveillance equipment. Sticking a 24/7 camera in the middle of an intersection to stop old lady's from getting their purses taken isn't doing much.


If someone on the watchlist suddenly appears at JFK then I'm pretty sure they'd detain them there and then. Or if you just mean "someone who they haven't got evidence against but want to keep an eye on" then don't they have satelites for that kind of thing? Or people who can follow them like agents? I don't really see what a UAV would add.

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#15

Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:31 AM

Repositioning a satellites for the sole purpose of following people is probably more costly than 1,000 UAVs.

QUOTE

The cameras are actually there to make you safer, not covertly spy on you and steal your soul.

Again - I disagree with you. Maintaining cameras on the street in order to lower crime rates is not worth it in my view. We don't need government run cameras monitoring people on the street - there is no evidence out there that they contribute to stopping the only crime worthy of losing civil liberties for - mass murderers alla terrorism. As I said before, I don't give a flying f*ck about a street criminal mugging an old lady. Too bad - we don't need to set up a police state to protect against petty crimes. It's just an unnecessary usurpation of our civil liberties. The age old "I don't do anything wrong so it doesn't affect me" or "I don't have anything to hide" argument pisses me off to no end. And what gives the government the right to set up a camera in a parking garage anyway? That parking garage doesn't belong to the government. When does it come to setting up cameras outside everyone's home so that the police can keep an eye on crime in your street? When does it come to setting up cameras in your backyard, seeing through your window, in order to protect you from a criminal? They already took away your guns there so you might need them anyway.

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#16

Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:07 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Thursday, Jan 26 2012, 00:31)
Repositioning a satellites for the sole purpose of following people is probably more costly than 1,000 UAVs.

QUOTE

The cameras are actually there to make you safer, not covertly spy on you and steal your soul.

Again - I disagree with you. Maintaining cameras on the street in order to lower crime rates is not worth it in my view. We don't need government run cameras monitoring people on the street - there is no evidence out there that they contribute to stopping the only crime worthy of losing civil liberties for - mass murderers alla terrorism. As I said before, I don't give a flying f*ck about a street criminal mugging an old lady.

Even if they did stop terrorism it would be pretty hard to prove that. But there's not much arguing that it aids the police in tracking suspected terrorists and monitoring them, so it does help to combat terrorism, but of course it isn't going to stop it. On the subject of murders it can also help a great deal in solving them. Not only in tracking the movements of a murderer, but also their victims.

I live in a city with plenty of CCTV. There's CCTV on all the buses, at the train station, at the bus station, at the shopping centres, around the streets of the city centre, the vast majority of shops have it, it's at major intersections around the city and in a number of other places as well. It doesn't bother me one bit, and I don't know of a single person who it does.

QUOTE
And what gives the government the right to set up a camera in a parking garage anyway? That parking garage doesn't belong to the government. When does it come to setting up cameras outside everyone's home so that the police can keep an eye on crime in your street? When does it come to setting up cameras in your backyard, seeing through your window, in order to protect you from a criminal? They already took away your guns there so you might need them anyway.


No, private companies set them up themselves. The government has no access to it unless it's in a council run car park. A lot of the CCTV is run by private companies, for example the company which provides security (guards) at one of the shopping centres also provides the CCTV and the government has no access to that either. So your bizarre view that the government wants to monitor us for the sheer sake of monitoring us isn't really correct.

We're not talking about a two-way telescreen in every home to make sure we don't commit any thought-crimes here, it's just CCTV.

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#17

Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:21 AM Edited by Irviding, 26 January 2012 - 01:30 AM.

Again, if a private entity wants to set up a camera in its facility, I have absolutely no problem with that. They are trying to protect their capital. They are not using some absurd argument that they are protecting us from criminals by doing as such. I have a problem with government run cameras all over the place in an effort to 'stop crime'. Where's the accountability there? Who is using these cameras? Who gets to see you? It's not worth the violation of civil liberties.


QUOTE

I live in a city with plenty of CCTV. There's CCTV on all the buses, at the train station, at the bus station, at the shopping centres, around the streets of the city centre, the vast majority of shops have it, it's at major intersections around the city and in a number of other places as well. It doesn't bother me one bit, and I don't know of a single person who it does.


You guys in Europe are used to losing a lot of your liberties. Here, we have a deeply ingrained culture of strict civil liberties, and only removing those liberties when there is dire need to do as such. As I said, you won't even hear the far right-wing USA Patriot Act crowd supporting mass surveillance like you have in the UK, or Guancho mentioned is in Spain (not sure how widespread it is there). It's just so un-American.


QUOTE

Even if they did stop terrorism it would be pretty hard to prove that. But there's not much arguing that it aids the police in tracking suspected terrorists and monitoring them, so it does help to combat terrorism, but of course it isn't going to stop it. On the subject of murders it can also help a great deal in solving them. Not only in tracking the movements of a murderer, but also their victims.

I disagree. How do you prove it aids them? Do you have any documentation other than vague statements from people saying "it helped in doing this"? I don't think so - it's just like the torture arguments. All the interrogators come out and say torture doesn't work and they didn't get a dime of information, but the agency executives go on and on about how much info they got - okay, what info did you get? What attack did you prevent? It's not classified to talk about a prevented attack, like Cheney's made up attack on Los Angeles that was supposed to be aided by torturing KSM, except the only problem was they said the attack was poised to happen in 2002, even though we didn't get him until 2003. Look at the quote by the security expert above - he concedes that while police can get useful information from it, it's totally ineffective to sift through thousands of hours of tape of John Doe jerking it in the subway, or Sally Longstocking picking her nose in her SUV to find one person when you can surgically utilize UAVs to do the same thing.

Oh, and to further address this -

QUOTE

If someone on the watchlist suddenly appears at JFK then I'm pretty sure they'd detain them there and then. Or if you just mean "someone who they haven't got evidence against but want to keep an eye on" then don't they have satelites for that kind of thing? Or people who can follow them like agents? I don't really see what a UAV would add.

They wouldn't, actually. When pursuing a high value suspect, a tale may be placed on said person to see where he/she is going to see if additional targets can be captured, or where the person's cell is operating out of. Rather than using men on the ground, they can utilize UAVs.

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#18

Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:30 AM

The cameras give the illusion of safety and that is really enough to ease the minds of the people. More people die everyday from unpreventable circumstances like cancer, automobile accidents, and nature that this unreasonable fear of bad people attacking you and technology saving you from them is rather pathetic in my opinion.

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#19

Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:14 AM Edited by GTA_stu, 26 January 2012 - 02:34 PM.

QUOTE (Irviding @ Thursday, Jan 26 2012, 01:21)
I disagree. How do you prove it aids them? Do you have any documentation other than vague statements from people saying "it helped in doing this"? 

I don't need to provide a document, it's just logical. If you have the registration plate of a suspected terrorist, and you have cameras in the city he lives in then it's pretty easy to track where he goes. Likewise if he goes into a public place on foot like a city centre shopping district which is monitored by security cameras then it's going to be easier to track his movements. You can't dispute that.

QUOTE
what info did you get? What attack did you prevent?


There have been plenty of foiled attempted terrorist attacks, and whilst it is hard to say that any single one was directly due to the use of CCTV, for the examples stated above it's easy to see how it could help in counter-terrorism.

QUOTE
Look at the quote by the security expert above - he concedes that while police can get useful information from it, it's totally ineffective to sift through thousands of hours of tape of John Doe jerking it in the subway, or Sally Longstocking picking her nose in her SUV to find one person when you can surgically utilize UAVs to do the same thing.


I'm not 100% sure what you're getting at it, and I don't know where that quote you refer to is, but it seems like you're saying we shouldn't be searching through random footage in order to try and find people who might be committing crimes? Sorry if that's not what you meant, but the quote is kinda out of context since I don't know where it's from. You say "above" but I can't see anything on this page. Can you clarify what you mean by this please?

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Edit: Nevermind I see it. 2.30 AM so my mind is playing tricks on me, can't believe I missed it. I'll address it tomorrow.

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Edit no. 2: Ok I get what you mean now. Sometimes it does require an intensive form of investigation to find what you're looking for, but that's not always the case. And surely it's better to have that information available, than having nothing at all. That quote even says it helped to track down the suspects and lead to arrests being made.

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#20

Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:19 AM Edited by guancho, 26 January 2012 - 02:25 AM.

pertenezco al CNP Irviding. es preciso que hayan camaras en sitios publicos. UAV? que es esto?? es un aereo no tripulado, si? If that is what you speak, the idea is smart. The trouble is here in Spain, we cannot spend the money for the item. USA or UK can pay for it, no Spain at this time. The camera has been used to find a terrorism before. Trouble is, must change camera when the subject moves. Sorry my English is poor, jajaja. I have studied German in school and learn that language fluent. English is a work in process for me, jajajaja. One day I can go to the Kingdom and try to pick up some English better.

Der_Don
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#21

Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:22 AM

QUOTE (guancho @ Thursday, Jan 26 2012, 03:19)
Sorry my English is poor, jajaja. I have studied German in school and learn that language fluent. English is a work in process for me, jajajaja. One day I can go to the Kingdom and try to pick up some English better.

Didn't you say you were a pilot for the Spanish Air Force? I always thought pilots have to be fluent in English?

Sorry for OT.

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#22

Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:15 PM

Exactly what I was saying. A camera is no where near as effective as a UAV is.

Don, I mean he's fluent in English, it's just not perfect.

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#23

Posted 01 February 2012 - 05:20 AM Edited by spaceeinstein, 01 February 2012 - 05:24 AM.

I feel like the constant surveillance issue boils down to trust. As a kid/teenager, your parents do limited surveillance to protect you but trust you enough as to not excessively monitor you every single second. I don't think any child or especially teenager want the parents to constantly monitor their activities. Even if no harm is done physically, there can be psychological harm. Parents can become overprotective and hinder the development of childhood/teenage life experiences, being able to nitpick at the tiniest errors and details. You want you parents to trust you enough, give you enough freedom, so that you can enjoy life to the fullest while being protected to a certain extent.

Now think of that child/teenager as being a citizen of a state/nation and the parents as being a (mostly) benevolent government. The government should be able to protect its citizens but enough to not generate mass paranoia among its citizens. Governments should trust its citizens enough so that its citizens don't live in fear, and create policies that shouldn't excessively intrude into the lives of the average citizen while being able to deter crimes more effectively. If there is unlimited surveillance, you can hypothetically increase safety, but if you know that you are being watched all the time, it would limit your ability to live a comfortable life. Each little accident you make could throw a fine at you or a night in a cell.

But different people have different level of tolerance to untrustworthiness. I myself don't like being monitored and tracked easily (though if you try really hard, you can follow my life through the web). I hate to give out my real life information online. But my parents don't care. They argue that if they don't do anything illegal (or "illegal"), being monitored is harmless to them. For me, if the government has the ability to track you from point A to B at anytime, then that is going too far. How can a government be able to be run by citizens if it can't even trust its own citizens for the sake of safety? In the end, unfortunately, sh*t happens to innocent people in a free society, but at least today is not as bad as back in those days.

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#24

Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:28 PM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Sunday, Jan 22 2012, 06:31)
My personal view- "as many as is necessary". The primary mandate of a government is to ensure security for its citizens. It is not, contrary to popular belief, to provide freedoms and civil rights for the population.

Generally speaking, perhaps, but according to our constitution, securing the "Blessing of Liberty" is indeed one of the primary mandates. Granted, you could argue that it's not the primary mandate since it shares a line of text with the general welfare and common defence, but it doesn't say that one should trump the other should they come into conflict either (more on that in a second though). And while the Declaration of Independence doesn't carry any legal weight, per se, securing certain inalienable rights does receive top billing.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Sunday, Jan 22 2012, 06:31)
In fact, the very idea of government is that individuals voluntarily sacrifice a proportion of their freedoms and rights in order to provide stability and security for a nation.

Again, perhaps in general, but our concept of government was based on the idea that rights are not sacrificed, and only powers are delegated to government in order to provide stability/security/etc.. Given that said powers must generally exist before they can be granted, and such power in the hands of individuals before granting it (in aggregate or otherwise) is limited by the natural rights of their neighbor, the idea that one could be sacrificed for the other is not only a false choice, but is in itself contradictory under our original concept of government.

To wit, given that we have a natural right to self defense, we can pay state agents to defend us personally or nationally just as we could do for ourselves. We cannot, however, as individuals, kick down a neighbor's door who has done nothing to us and murder or kidnap them preemptively based on mere suspicion (let alone because we don't like their personal choices..). That we do not have this power should mean that it is not ours to grant to anyone. While there are surely countless examples of how an actual bad guy was stopped via such legalistic expediency, if the cases are really such slam dunks, how much security would really be lost from simply arresting them in a manner which doesn't require wholesale suspension of rights?

How much security is truly gained from, say, gutting our 4th Amendment to allow SWAT teams to conduct paramilitary raids in the name of the War on Drugs/Terror/Torn-Off Mattress Tags/Whatever with little to no thought given to rights (even in the frequent event of a wrong address raid) when it would be just as easy to arrest the suspect when they goto the grocery store or some such? And, as above, being that our government's powers are supposed to be an extension of the innate powers of the individuals who grant it, the reverse implication of creating such powers out of whole cloth is that there is a right to initiate force against one's neighbor.

Thus, if the premise of "security" is based on the idea that anyone-- state actors or private --has some inherent right to initiate force, then is anyone really secure?

That said, and going back to the original topic at hand, I do agree with you in theory on cameras even though I'm not a fan of them as policy. Seeing as we all have a right to use our eyes to look around in public, paying some other person to do the same doesn't rob anyone else of their rights in and of itself.

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#25

Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:05 AM

QUOTE

when it would be just as easy to arrest the suspect when they goto the grocery store or some such?

I'm with you almost completely other than for this - what exactly is wrong with using a search warrant? And the problem with waiting for the person to leave is, you don't know if that person is playing an active role in severe criminal activity - what if he stays in his house for 2 days straight? I just don't agree with that.

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#26

Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:49 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, Feb 1 2012, 20:05)
QUOTE

when it would be just as easy to arrest the suspect when they goto the grocery store or some such?

I'm with you almost completely other than for this - what exactly is wrong with using a search warrant? And the problem with waiting for the person to leave is, you don't know if that person is playing an active role in severe criminal activity - what if he stays in his house for 2 days straight? I just don't agree with that.

Define severe criminal activity though. It used to be SWAT teams were only used when there was some real chance of actual harm if they couldn't wait any longer. EG, hostage situations, a family member who snaps and threatens to kill them all, and the like which even in a hypothetical Ayn-Rand-topia would tend to justify intervention. If, however, the severe criminal activity is that they're planning to sell drugs later, or, hell, even conspiring to hijack a plane, if they sit in their house for 2 days straight that's 2 less days of them selling the "evil" drugs or 2 more days to foil their terror plot.

And when "severe" is defined down to the level of someone smoking a joint, having outstanding parking tickets, or growing flowers without some arcane license, well, they could sit there for 2 more years without hurting anyone.

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#27

Posted 02 February 2012 - 03:03 AM

QUOTE (illspirit @ Wednesday, Feb 1 2012, 19:49)
QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, Feb 1 2012, 20:05)
QUOTE

when it would be just as easy to arrest the suspect when they goto the grocery store or some such?

I'm with you almost completely other than for this - what exactly is wrong with using a search warrant? And the problem with waiting for the person to leave is, you don't know if that person is playing an active role in severe criminal activity - what if he stays in his house for 2 days straight? I just don't agree with that.

Define severe criminal activity though. It used to be SWAT teams were only used when there was some real chance of actual harm if they couldn't wait any longer. EG, hostage situations, a family member who snaps and threatens to kill them all, and the like which even in a hypothetical Ayn-Rand-topia would tend to justify intervention. If, however, the severe criminal activity is that they're planning to sell drugs later, or, hell, even conspiring to hijack a plane, if they sit in their house for 2 days straight that's 2 less days of them selling the "evil" drugs or 2 more days to foil their terror plot.

And when "severe" is defined down to the level of someone smoking a joint, having outstanding parking tickets, or growing flowers without some arcane license, well, they could sit there for 2 more years without hurting anyone.

What if the police are worried that person is going to be giving orders to another member of his/her cell? It sounds like an unnecessary risk.




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