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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No-bid Portland spy cam deal is about to go down

One thing you've got to say for the Sam Rand Twins: They're not shy. Just weeks after it was revealed that the mayor was quietly cultivating a no-bid "pilot project" for surveillance cameras on the city's streets, here comes City Council action ramming the deal home.

The public bidding laws of this state are such a joke.

Of course, in this case, there are far more serious concerns. Having Big Brother on light poles on every corner of the city in the name of fighting crime and "terism" is utterly appalling. God help our children, whose every move will be tracked by government goons.

But the backroom deals are almost as disgusting. Where is John Kroger? Where is Amanda Marshall?

Comments (16)

Most of your moves are already being tracked, and there's more to come: legislation is being written to require automakers to install black boxes in cars, starting in 2015, capable of tracking not only your every move, but how fast you were driving to get there.

NSA is nearing completion on a massive data center in Utah, as reported in Wired and other sources, with the capability of capturing, sorting, and analyzing virtually every email, phone call, or other form of traffic in the USA.

These efforts first got seriously underway as part of the post-9/11 "War on Terror", initiated by President Bush, but greatly enhanced during the Obama administration.

Cameras in Portland would also be useful for monitoring "unsustainable" behaviors, possibly incorporating identification methodologies and outsourced automatic citation mailing, like photo radar. The Portland Climate Action Plan would frankly be difficult to enforce in a city of half a million without a police state being in place first.

In a post-rule of law world, no bid is just fine.

You are either with us or against us.

And we know who's been naughty or nice...

The city of Portland points to a phone survey done in March 2011 of 500 Portland residents, ages 18 and older, that found 70 percent either "strongly" (44 percent) or "somewhat" (26 percent) support using cameras in high-crime areas to discourage criminal activity or identify criminal suspects. Twenty-eight percent of those polled opposed or strongly opposed such cameras.

Seventy percent strongly support it? In Portland? I bet if they asked 5,000 or 50,000 the results wouldn't have come out that way.

Last year, under the cover of rebuilding sidewalk ramps to 2012 ADA standards the City of Salem has also installed a fiber-optic camera system at most signaled intersections and this done with a grant from ODOT. Facial recognition and vehicle license reading is included in the abilities.

You don't have to walk the streets of Portland to be under surveillance. I live in the 'burbs and my neighborhood is monitored 24/7 by a neighbor who has installed cameras on all sides of his home (12 cameras total). He is within the law as he is protecting his property, however, the field of view of the cameras allows him to see everything that is happening on the street including a full view of my garage when it is open. Privacy is a thing of the past and our situation here causes a great deal of anxiety and stress. Good luck to us all.

Let's put cameras all around Sam Adams neighborhood, and then let's see how well that will last.

Of course, that means a good part of Portland will be up to see which...ahem...guys...will be at his house each night for a little late night lobbying session with the most powerful man in Portland...

This, of course, being the same man that shot down one of the most effective crime-fighting tools out on 82nd Avenue. I guess he needs somewhere to hire his "domestic workers".

I'm not sure which I should be most cerned about.

The constant, clandestine monitoring of law abiding citizens, or the back room "no bid" deal that is likely rife with conflicts of interest.

Or maybe it's that current "Crime Met" cameras have proven totally worthless in deterring street crime.

But if Sam & Randy want to buy it with MY money...they'll do it anyway.

Anyone think it'll be any different than the "no bid" water bureau computers?

Can we start with a cam pointed at the door of the third floor mens room in City Hall? Just a pilot project, of course.

The City of Portland has had cameras out for many years, (since the Rose Quarter project). It costs around $800 per camera installed for the last cameras installed. These were the Keep Portland Moving Cameras placed in the CBD for the Transportation Mall project, and now in the CEID along with the street car project. It also had cameras on the Steel Bridge and many other areas). Everyone sees them daily when they watch the TV station traffic reports (along with ODOT cameras). The City has had TCP/IP network access to those cameras for years as well. Every Officer that had a VPN connection into the City network could have accessed the cameras (although they did not have the interest to do so), they are delivered to the 911 dispatch center. So, nothing is new here other than the PD wants to ad some cameras in the Pearl District. What's the big deal?

well it is time to start a biz selling low cost throwaway
masks with sam/rand faces printed on them

Commguy wrote: "What's the big deal?"

It's the wrong direction to go.

Ever heard of Big Brother?

I don't want it to be like Britain where surveillance cameras are on every corner.

Anyone think it'll be any different than the "no bid" water bureau computers?

Unlike the computers, these will work.

The cameras can only monitor activity. Hand to hand dealing is easily hidden. Seeing the deal on camera might have some limited enforcement value, but the cops still have to go and seize the illegal substance, whether it be a white powder, bribe money or guns.
Basically if the cops know where to put the cameras, they know where to go to find street activity. The money is spent, the merchants may feel more protected yet there will be no real gain. So my prediction is that an objective analysis one year from now will show moderate expense and negligible achievement.
(But if the city puts the cams online and on cable, advertising might subsidize the costs.)

As for paranoia, I take comfort in the fact that NSA already collects more data than its thousands of analysts can handle, and that according to the recent Dana Priest-William Arkin book, the federal government's intelligence haul is so large no one can coordinate it and even decision makers, who have to hire people to sort the stuff, don't have the time or inclination to read all the summaries.

Big Brother may be watching but with glazed over eyes.

Jim wrote:
"It's the wrong direction to go.

Ever heard of Big Brother?

I don't want it to be like Britain where surveillance cameras are on every corner."

Everything has benefits and drawbacks. As to prevention, the cameras won't prevent anything. The benefit for police will be simply a faster response, assuming someone is looking. They will never "eliminate" crime, but they can reduce it. The cameras for the Traffic system are not recorded, and I doubt that any attempt to record them for anything other than specific study or investigations will not happen under current retention laws.

You are in the right of way, and in a public space as CW pointed out. You never had any right of being unobserved while in that space. There are always people watching, and so now there can be cameras. In fact with the cell phones, there are hundreds of cameras there now.

Sorry for your worry. Perhaps you should see a Doctor?


Considering you quoted my comment, you sure didn't address it.

"It's the wrong direction to go."

As in, once this approach starts, where will it end?

Of course, Commguy, you don't address "Big Brother" at all or the fact that Britain does have surveillance cameras on every corner.

So, let me ask you a question (perhaps, it will only be rhetorical): Commguy, are you okay with surveillance cameras eventually being on every corner?

That'll provide some insight for readers about your attitude.

Although, you already have given readers insight about yourself with your parting ad hominem. Just thought I'd let you know.

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