Omniveillance in Kings Point, NY

April 26th, 2011

Kings Point, New York is planning an invasive surveillance network that would monitor all roads at all points. From Newsday via Simple Justice:

The 3.3-square-mile North Shore enclave of Kings Point is launching a far-reaching surveillance network that can compare the license plate of every car going into the village against federal and state crime databases such as most-wanted lists, stolen vehicle alerts and suspected terrorist files.

When the project is completed, 44 cameras will monitor 19 entrances into the village in what may be one of the most extensive municipal tracking programs anywhere.

The number of cameras equals about one for every 120 people in the village of 5,305 people. Kings Point, a community of million-dollar homes, sits on the Great Neck peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water.

Just license plates? Why not faces? Oh, that’s probably in the works.

And why are they doing this? To prevent crime before it happens. Pre-Crime! So Minority Report:

Mayor Michael Kalnick said the tracking program is necessary to protect residents, but privacy and civil rights groups consider it an overreaching intrusion.

“Crime will always be out there,” Kalnick said. “Do you wait for it to happen? I think no.”

Yep. And this is perfectly legal. Not even the NY Civil Liberties Union can find a constitutional objection, beyond the need to have an “intensive public debate.”

“When we talk about installing an intense surveillance system like these, there needs to be intense public debate,” said Samantha Fredrickson, the Nassau County chapter director of New York Civil Liberties Union. “It’s just another example of the government watching and keeping track of what we do in our personal time. It just doesn’t seem necessary.”

Omniveillance is nigh.

H/T Greg McNeal