Town Outsources Video Camera Surveillance To Resident Volunteers?
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept
Still what's really bizarre is allowing unpaid volunteers to man the cameras -- with even the officials from the city admitting that training for the camera operators has been "informal," but that they try to "weed out voyeurs and anyone who might use the tapes for blackmail or other illegal activity." Well, phew. Doesn't that make you feel more comfortable? And then there's this lovely quote from a local business owner who likes the program: "There's nothing wrong with instilling fear." Er... actually, there are lots of things wrong with it...
This actually reminds me a bit of Jay Walker's (of Priceline fame) old idea of allowing individuals at home to monitor secure locations via video streams to their desktop. The idea there was quite a bit different though. It wasn't to watch over people wandering around a downtown area, but to put the cameras on secure areas where no one should ever be -- and the idea was that multiple people would all have the same boring screens up at the same time, and if suddenly someone did show up, hopefully people would notice it and hit the "someone's there" button, to alert security. That idea didn't go very far, but at least it was limited to areas where there weren't any privacy issues. The Lancaster plan, on the other hand, is just scary.