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.: May 2006 --> Eastenders can now monitor their neighborhoods on their TVs

Eastenders can now monitor their neighborhoods on their TVs

» People are comparing it to Orwell's 1984, but it's actually the paradigm from David Brin's Transparent Society. London Eastenders can now monitor their own neighborhood via a home CCTV channel. The question, of course, is whether they'll actually phone in crimes, or sit and passively watch them, waiting for someone else to report it.
 [ 05.16.06 ]


Will they call in or watch? The Freakonomics guys had some data on this, from the experiences in NYC and elsewhere, but alas I don't have the book with me and I can't find it on the web.

From memory, it depends how many other people are perceived to be watching. If people think someone else will call it in, they won't. So the CCTV needs to hide how many people are watching.

I think.

You've probably heard that Chicago is becoming one of the most camera-surveilled cities in the nation, if not the world - but I wanted to mention that a similar pilot project is under way in my neighborhood, at both city and community levels.

The Chicago Police Department has placed numerous "camera pods" at strategic locations near train stations, but our neighborhood property owners association also has a 24-hour-a-day-recording Internet-connected surveillance camera mounted at a high crime intersection, which community members can monitor at home through any browser connection (it's password protected at this point).

I should qualify this by saying I'm generally opposed to "Big Brotherish" surveillance of this sort, and I am not sure if this project will face any legal challenges in the future (it could) - but as a resident, I have noticed a drop in drug and gang activity and nighttime disturbances.

The sidewalks in front of my doors may be quieter, but has the crime merely moved a block or two away? In short, it's a mixed blessing.



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