Welcome to the surveillance society. They are watching you. The next time someone calls you paranoid or asks about your tin foil hat, point them toward the ACLU's website, You Are Being Watched. The site asks "Do we want a society where we live under an ever-watchful video eye?" Along with highlighting surveillance hot spots, the You Are Being Watched website reveals the high costs of camera surveillance systems, "both in terms of money and civil liberties." The site mentions true "horror stories" such as when CCTV surveillance has been misused for racial profiling and voyeurism.
The government wants to appear like it is doing something productive to cut crime and terrorism. In regard to CCTV, it has been reported that one crime is solved for every 1,000 cameras. New York University published a statistical study that surveillance cameras do not deter crime much, "if at all, based on five years of evidence." Furthermore, criminologists and others studying cameras found that violent crime levels showed "no statistically significant change in the level of crime anywhere in the 500 foot range around the cameras." On the other hand, all that CCTV footage may be successful after a crime has been committed by improving conviction rates and by decreasing the frequency of false convictions. New Orleans recently scrapped its crime camera program. In seven years, its CCTV program produced only six indictments; three were for crimes and three were for bribes...