“I do not endorse surveillance cameras attached to every light pole in the city”
Paul Joseph Watson
May 9, 2013
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis warned against creating a “police state” in the aftermath of the marathon bombings during testimony in front of a congressional hearing today.
“We do not, and cannot, live in a protective enclosure because of the actions of extremists who seek to disrupt our way of life,” Davis told lawmakers, adding “I do not endorse actions that move Boston and our nation into a police state mentality, with surveillance cameras attached to every light pole in the city.”
The hearing is designed to examine circumstances leading up to the bombings and find ways of decreasing the likelihood of similar attacks in future.
Despite Davis’ call for the public’s privacy to be protected, he did call for more surveillance cameras as well as more undercover officers to increase security around big events.
In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, numerous political figures and talking heads seized upon the attacks to call for big brother measures.
Both Republican Congressman Peter King and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg cited the attack to justify increased surveillance.
“So, I do think we need more cameras. We have to stay ahead of the terrorists and I do know in New York, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, which is based on cameras, the outstanding work that results from that,” said King. “So yes, I do favor more cameras. They’re a great law enforcement method and device. And again, it keeps us ahead of the terrorists, who are constantly trying to kill us.”
In reality, as Bruce Schneier has documented, the chance of an American being killed in a terrorist attack is virtually zero when compared to the most likely causes of death.
Bloomberg echoed King, stating, “The Boston bombing is a terrible reminder of why we’ve made these investments—including camera technology that could help us deter an attack, or investigate and apprehend those involved.”
However, figures from all over the world show that surveillance cameras are virtually useless in lowering crime, so to think they could prevent terrorist attacks is asinine. A British Home Office review of 22 studies from Britain and the US that found CCTV “had little or no effect on crime in public transport and city centre settings.”
In addition, as CNN recently reported, “According to the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University in Ontario, urban surveillance systems have not been proven to have any effect on deterring criminals.”
Davis’ call for American cities not to turn into police states as a result of the Boston bombings will ring hollow for families who were subjected tohouse to house gunpoint raids by armies of SWAT teams during the manhunt for the alleged suspects.