This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Cities Spend Millions to be Peeping Toms

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Smile. You're on candid cameras.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, there is a good chance a security camera is going to catch you in the act. Surveillance video is everywhere, with public and private eyes keeping tabs on you.

Feel like somebody is watching you? With public and private security cameras, someone probably is.

The Occupy protesters have noticed.

"At Zuccotti Park, there are at least two special cameras trained on the park and apparently recording activity at all times," reads an Oct. 20 letter from the New York Civil Liberties Union to New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly, referring to the base camp for the Occupy Wall Street protest. "It appears to us that the department's approach is basically to videotape all Occupy Wall Street activity. This type of surveillance substantially chills protest activity and is unlawful."

A similar complaint had been lodged by the Boston chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. It claims to have mapped out approximately 30 cameras on buildings near their Dewey Square base of operations that could be focused on protesters. It is unclear, however, which are monitored by police and which are used privately for security.

Despite the wider adoption of surveillance cameras since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the U.S. still lags behind the pervasive use of the technology in Europe.

In the U.K. there are an estimated 4 million surveillance cameras in use, roughly one for every 14 citizens. In London, the more than 1 million cameras focused on city streets means the typical person is recorded more than 300 times a day.

Municipalities, often using grant money from the Department of Homeland Security, are starting to catch up to Europe. Chicago, in particular, may be one of the most recorded cities in America.

In February, the ACLU issued a report on Chicago's network of surveillance cameras -- which it calls "an unregulated threat" to privacy -- and proposed guidelines for their use.

Although city officials won't detail the full inventory of its surveillance network, the ACLU and other groups say that street-level count and reviews of budget expenditures indicate that the city has access to 10,000 publicly and privately owned cameras. At least $60 million has been spent on "our nation's largest and most integrated camera network," it claims.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs