Big Brother Sees Washington

City develops extensive CCTV surveillance network
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2008 1:55 PM CDT
A surveillance camera is mounted above a driveway in a Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – If you plan to go outdoors in Washington, DC, comb your hair first, because someone's probably going to see you. The capital is ramping up a video surveillance system that puts most others in the entire world to shame, the LA Times reports. Unsurprisingly, the 5,625-camera network has captured the attention of privacy and civil-liberties advocates, and they're not happy.

"When you measure the effectiveness of these cameras against the harm they do to civil liberties, there just doesn't seem to be a question for us," said the executive director of the DC ACLU. Others see positive aspects: "There's not a meeting or a community that I go into that doesn't tell us how cameras have positively impacted public safety in their neighborhoods," said a city councilor.