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New York police department is working on setting up license plate readers and cameras throughout Lower Manhattan

New York will soon follow in the footsteps of London’s “ring of steel” by implementing its own Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, reported CNET.  The security initiative will have more than 100 cameras that will monitor cars through Lower Manhattan. 

London's ring of steel entails a network of cameras and roadblocks that are designed to track and deter terrorists.  The images captured by officials have aided in the tracking of suspects of previous threats.

New York's police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, stated last week that department has obtained $25 million toward the project, yet the estimated cost of the plan reaches a hefty $90 million.  Roughly $15 million came from Homeland Security grants and another $10 million came from the city.  At this point, Kelly states that there are enough funds to install roughly 116 license plate readers in fixed and mobile locations over the next few months.

"This area is very critical to the economic lifeblood of this nation," said Kelly in an interview last week with CNET. "We want to make it less vulnerable."

If fully financed, the project will include license plate readers and 3,000 public and private cameras below Canal Street.  There will also be a center staffed by police and private security officers, and roadblocks.

As of now, the license plate readers have been ordered, and the program is still waiting on more funding, hopefully from federal grants.  The entire operation is expected to be in place and running by 2010.



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To the privacy nuts
By Stan11003 on 7/10/2007 2:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
There is no written or implied right to privacy when you are walking around a public area nor driving on a public street. Essentially a cop looking at license plates, measuring speed with a radar gun or looking for a suspect in crowd all while recording the information in a notebook is normal and allowed. But if you make things easier for everyone and use a machine to do that and save to a database all of sudden its bad. I don't believe in institutionalizing inefficiency in the name of privacy, thats what led to 9/11 terrorist moving so easily in our country. We are telling the police, FBI, CIA and immigration they can't share info because heaven forbid it may make someone nervous, even though it could save lives. Its not like the information is private its not, the government gave you your license and registration for your car. They already know they just want to manage it better.
The irony is that in the private sector there is way less privacy. The office buildings in NYC have tons of cameras and ID scanners. Email and IM traffic is logged and read by IT. All documents are backed up and analyzed, too.




RE: To the privacy nuts
By MonkeyPaw on 7/10/2007 3:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't about privacy, it's about the future. Sure TODAY they plan to use the system to "just catch terrorists," but what of the future? Once you open the door to yet another government-controlled system, you are at the mercy of any political whim from now until eternity. Need an example? Social Security, Medicare, Welfare...I'm sure there's more. None of those programs were designed to be used as they are today, and look at their condition and cost now.


RE: To the privacy nuts
By ebakke on 7/10/2007 5:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
People often neglect to mention that the same power given to the government can always be taken away. There's nothing that says this system must be in place forever, or that 'we' trust the government to do anything other than what it is currently doing. If someone in elected office tries to do something that (enough of) the people don't like, he/she will quickly find out what politics is all about.

Just because we give the government power today, doesn't mean we must do so tomorrow. Military drafts, for example, temporarily require service. Once the need stops, we go back to volunteer enlistment. Or prohibition, for example. We allowed the government to enforce a law for a while, and then decided later that we no longer wanted the government to have that power. Just two simple examples.


RE: To the privacy nuts
By Stan11003 on 7/11/2007 8:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
I agree its all about ideology. Hitler was elected does that mean we stop people from voting?


RE: To the privacy nuts
By rdeegvainl on 7/11/2007 11:16:52 AM , Rating: 1
But how often does the people truly get the chance to remove that power? People more often neglect to mention abuse of power to retain power. We think that we are represented by our elected officials, but they don't see past their own agenda, sure there are a few that do, but the VAST majority think of themselves first, not the people who want to take their power away.


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