WBEZ | cameras http://www.wbez.org/tags/cameras Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Use of surveillance in Boston bombing case raises questions about cameras in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/use-surveillance-boston-bombing-case-raises-questions-about-cameras-chicago-106787 <p><p>Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in his hospital room Monday afternoon.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/surveillance_130422_ko.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Investigators inspect the roof of the Lord &amp; Taylor store where a surveillance camera is placed, center, and an official said is crucial in the investigation of the explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line, Thursday, April 18, 2013, in Boston. Boston City Council President Stephen Murphy, who said Wednesday he was briefed by Boston police, said investigators saw the image on surveillance footage they got from the department store near the finish line, and matched the findings with witness descriptions of someone leaving the scene. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)" />The surviving suspect in the Boston marathon bombing was captured Friday, just one day after the FBI released video images of the Tsarnaev brothers to the public.</p><p dir="ltr">The role of cameras in the case sparked a debate weighing privacy against public safety.</p><p dir="ltr">Cameras played a critical role in piecing together what happened in Boston exactly one week ago.</p><p dir="ltr">Investigators poured over photos and videos from onlookers and surveillance footage before ultimately releasing images of the two suspects. When the FBI first released the images, special agent in charge Richard DesLauriers emphasized the public&rsquo;s important role in this investigation and others like it.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;For more than 100 years, the FBI has relied upon the public to be its eyes and ears. With the media&rsquo;s help, in an instant, these images will be delivered directly into the hands of millions around the world,&rdquo; DesLauriers explained.</p><p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last week the city continues to add cameras for security reasons.</p><p dir="ltr">The ACLU <a href="http://www.aclu-il.org/chicagos-video-surveillance-camera-system-growing-and-unregulated/">reported</a> that Chicago already has the largest urban network of public and private surveillance cameras--more than 10,000.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They [cameras] serve an important function, for the city in providing the type of safety, on a day-to-day basis, not just for big events like a marathon but day-to-day,&rdquo; Emanuel noted last week.</p><p dir="ltr">But while the mayor was quick to tout the upside of surveillance, others were just as fast to voice their concerns. And not just as it relates to privacy.</p><p dir="ltr">Sharon Franklin is senior counsel for the <a href="http://www.constitutionproject.org/">Constitution Project,</a> a D.C.-based watchdog group.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s important to note the role of surveillance here was not helpful in preventing this attack. The role of the &nbsp;surveillance footage was in identifying the suspects after the event and in helping to track that down,&rdquo; Franklin said.</p><p dir="ltr">The project developed <a href="http://www.constitutionproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/54.pdf">guidelines</a> for cities installing video surveillance systems.</p><p dir="ltr">Among the suggestions --that tape not relevant to the criminal investigations be purged.</p><p dir="ltr">Franklin said she doesn&rsquo;t want the government building a database of innocent people who happen to be present at the scene of a crime.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;In this case, we don&rsquo;t want them starting criminal or terrorist files on all sorts of people who were simply innocently watching the marathon,&rdquo; Franklin explained.</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez">@katieobez.</a></em></p></p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 23:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/use-surveillance-boston-bombing-case-raises-questions-about-cameras-chicago-106787 What will cameras do to Illinois' courts? http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-12/what-will-cameras-do-illinois-courts-97207 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-12/3879627035_8eebbf2246.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="375" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-12/3879627035_8eebbf2246.jpg" title="A Cook County Criminal courtroom (Flickr/John W. Iwanski)" width="500"></p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><span style="font-size:10px;">Listen to this conversation</span></p><p><span class="filefield_audio_insert_player" href="/sites/default/files/120312 cameras.mp3" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-127549" player="null">120312 cameras.mp3</span></p></div></div><p>In January, the Illinois Supreme Court <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/lawyers-group-supports-cameras-illinois-courts-97132">approved the pilot project</a> for allowing cameras in the courtroom, with the following rules:</p><p>• Jurors and potential jurors may not be photographed.<br> • Cameras and recording devices will not be allowed in juvenile, divorce, adoption, child custody and evidence suppression cases.<br> • No more than two television cameras and no more than two still photographers will be allowed in a courtroom at one time.<br> • Victims of violent felonies, police informants and relocated witnesses may request that the judge prohibit them from being photographed.</p><p>As drastic as this change might be for Chicagoland media, Illinois is jumping on the bandwagon of a practice that's allowed in many other states. "Until now, Illinois has been one of only 14 states where cameras in trial courtrooms were either dis-allowed or allowed on such a restrictive basis that they were hardly utilized," <a href="http://www.state.il.us/court/media/PressRel/2012/012412.pdf">said the Supreme Court in a press release</a>. However, "Illinois has allowed news cameras in the Supreme Court and the Illinois Appellate Court since 1983," and audio and video of oral reports are posted online.</p><p>The pilot program will be put in place in four counties -- Rock Island, Mercer, Henry and Whiteside. WBEZ&nbsp;criminal justice reporter Robert Wildeboer and Gene Borgida, a professor of psychology and law at the University of Minnesota, talk with<em> Eight Forty-Eight </em>about the effect this will have on the courts and on the media.</p></p> Mon, 12 Mar 2012 13:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-12/what-will-cameras-do-illinois-courts-97207 Suburban police security Project Shield "failed on all accounts" http://www.wbez.org/story/suburban-police-security-project-shield-failed-all-accounts-88600 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-30/masters and preckwinkle.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>An expensive homeland security project in Cook County is ending. "Project Shield" was supposed to help suburban police in emergency situations. But Michael Masters from the Department of Homeland Security says it failed on all accounts.</p><p>In theory, Project Shield funded two things: stationary police cameras in the suburbs and video cameras that sent live footage from police cars to command centers for emergency decision making. But it turns out that concept isn't the way police protocols actually work. Police on the ground make decisions in emergencies - not commanders stationed off-site. Another problem is that many of the camera systems installed didn't actually work. And where they were installed posed huge safety risks to officers.</p><p>Masters gave the press a tour of an outfitted vehicle with the $65,000 gear. He pointed at the laptop positioned between the driver and passenger area with camera above and said, "You can pretty much readily see as to where a passenger airbag is going to deploy - that it is going to deploy directly into this system." Masters added that the cost of the camera system is about three times the cost of police cars themselves.</p><p>138 suburban squad cars have these systems, and Cook County officials have asked police to stop using the cars until the equipment is removed.</p><p>But beyond the project's technical failings, DHS, Cook County and possibly the FBI are investigating alleged corruption, too. Project Shield's $44 million in federal tax dollars were awarded in part to businesses with ties to a Cook County employee.</p><p>Plus, $190,000 a month is still being paid to Johnson Controls, Inc. - the contractor responsible for maintaining the unreliable equipment. The county has put in a request for a more detailed invoice from&nbsp; Johnson Controls, Inc. so they can see exactly how that&nbsp; money is being spent.</p></p> Fri, 01 Jul 2011 10:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/suburban-police-security-project-shield-failed-all-accounts-88600 The impact of surveillance cameras on our civil rights http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-08/impact-surveillance-cameras-our-civil-rights-81971 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/cameras getty boyle.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago's next mayor will have to tackle a myriad of issues including public safety and security. In recent years the city has increasingly turned to one security tool - surveillance cameras. Proponents like the mayor and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/oem.html">Office of Emergency Management and Communications</a> tout their effectiveness and would like to see more on Chicago&rsquo;s streets. But the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.aclu-il.org/">American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois</a> thinks they are an unregulated intrusion on our privacy.<br /><br />Tuesday the ACLU will ask City Council to adopt a moratorium on installing new surveillance cameras in Chicago. That call comes on the heels of the first large-scale, <a target="_blank" href="http://il.aclu.org/site/DocServer/Surveillance_Camera_Report1.pdf?docID=3261">independent study of Chicago&rsquo;s cameras commissioned by the ACLU</a>. Adam Schwartz is an attorney for the ACLU and he joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss the findings of the report.<br /><br /><em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>invited Chicago&rsquo;s Office of Emergency Management and Communications to discuss the findings of the ACLU study but did not receive a response.</p><p><em>Music Button: Zero One, &quot;Lifeforce&quot;, from the CD Ozone, (Waveform) </em></p></p> Tue, 08 Feb 2011 14:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-08/impact-surveillance-cameras-our-civil-rights-81971 ACLU report details city's use of cameras around Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/aclu/aclu-report-details-citys-use-cameras-around-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/51872283.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A leading civil rights group wants Chicago to stop expanding its network of thousands of cameras covering the city due to privacy issues, First Amendment concerns and a lack of regulation, according to a report released Tuesday.</p><p>The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois called for a full review of the cameras, which number at least 10,000 and are at locations from skyscrapers to utility poles, saying city officials won't release basic information like the exact number, cost and any incidents of misuse.</p><p>Those concerns, along with city officials' plans for expansion, put Chicago a step closer to a Big Brother invasion of privacy, the ACLU alleged.</p><p>&quot;Chicago's camera network invades the freedom to be anonymous in public places, a key aspect of the fundamental American right to be left alone,&quot; the report states. &quot;Each of us then will wonder whether the government is watching and recording us when we walk into a psychiatrist's office, a reproductive health care center, a political meeting, a theater performance, or a book store.&quot;</p><p>The system, which started less than a decade ago, has been called the most extensive and integrated camera network of any U.S. city by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Chicago police have praised the cameras' use and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has even called for cameras to be installed on every city corner to help fight crime.</p><p>Chicago police and Daley have lauded the cameras and defended their use, saying they help authorities respond more quickly and have led to more than 4,000 arrests. Daley's office didn't respond to requests for comment about the report.</p><p>The network includes private cameras and those installed by city agencies, like the Chicago Transit Authority. While many of the cameras are visible like those with flashing blue lights affixed to street poles countless others are unmarked. City officials have been tight-lipped about how many cameras Chicago has in place, but no one has disputed that there are at least 10,000, including more than 4,000 installed by Chicago Public Schools and at least 1,000 at O'Hare International Airport.</p><p>In its report, the ACLU outlined three specific technologies that exceed the powers of ordinary human observation and increase the government's power to watch the public: zoom, facial recognition capacity and automatic tracking.</p><p>&quot;Chicago's growing camera network is part of an expanding culture of surveillance in America. Combined with other government surveillance technologies, cameras can turn our lives into open books for government scrutiny,&quot; the report says. &quot;Chicago's camera network chills and deters lawful expressive activities protected by the First Amendment, like attending a political demonstration in the public way.&quot;</p><p>ACLU officials said the city declined to give the group information on the cameras, including a tour of its operation center, statistics on crime and cost estimates. According to the report, surrounding communities have paid hefty sums for cameras; suburban Cicero has 30 cameras which cost $580,000.</p><p>The group said that money could be better spent on adding more police officers to Chicago streets, among other things. It added that there has been little research showing the cameras deter crime.</p><p>In addition to the moratorium, the agency recommended more public input, regular audits, rules and regulation on who can view the images, public notice before installing a camera and disclosure of any abuse. The report cites cases in other cities where &quot;male camera operators have ogled women.&quot;</p><p>Public complaints about the cameras haven't been widespread and are generally limited to those who get caught for a minor offense or if the cameras fail to record a violent attack.</p><p>Authorities say cameras played a prominent role in several high-profile cases. Footage from a city bus camera helped persuade a suspected gang member to plead guilty to shooting a 16-year-old high school student in 2007. Cameras helped police determine that the 2009 death of a school board president was a suicide.</p><p>Chicago police spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane said she had not seen the ACLU report.</p><p>&quot;The Chicago Police Department is committed to safeguarding the civil liberties of city residents and visitors alike,&quot; she said in a statement. &quot;Public safety is a responsibility of paramount importance and we are fully committed to protecting the public from crime, and upholding the constitutional rights of all.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 08 Feb 2011 13:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/aclu/aclu-report-details-citys-use-cameras-around-chicago