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Mayor: Street cameras soon to be on every city block

W.A.T.E.R. 17 Special to the AmNews | 5/2/2013, 11:17 p.m.
Mayor: Street cameras soon to be on every city block

As New York state looks more and more each week like its moniker, the "Empire State," local citizens are getting concerned about the mayor's recent comments regarding the mass implementation of surveillance cameras throughout the city.

"You wait, in five years--the technology is getting better--there'll be cameras everyplace ... whether you like it or not," Mayor Michael Bloomberg boasted on Friday, March 22, during a radio address. "The argument against using automation is just this craziness that ... 'Oh, it's Big Brother.' Get used to it!"

Activists contend that ever since 9/11 and the signing of the PATRIOT Act by President George W. Bush shortly thereafter, citizens have been losing the constitutional rights that their forefathers fought for generations ago.

The mayor acknowledged that having surveillance cameras on New York City street corners may violate U.S. citizens' right to privacy; nevertheless, he deemed them to be necessary and also mentioned implementing mobile drones.

"It's scary," Bloomberg said. "But what's the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building? I mean, intellectually, I have trouble making a distinction. And you know you're going to have face-recognition software. People are working on that."

According to the New York City Liberties Union, there are approximately 2,400 public surveillance cameras throughout Manhattan; some are operated by city officials, while others are operated by private owners.

"It's just that we're going into a different world, unchartered," one person said. "We're going to have more visibility and less privacy. I don't see how you stop that. And it's not a question of whether I think it's good or bad ... I just don't see how you could stop that, because we're going to have them."

Once placed primarily in police cruisers, helicopters and towers, the unblinking eye of surveillance technology will continue to survey areas and expand its visibility throughout the five boroughs and surrounding areas.