Private Homeowners in Georgetown Want To Install Public Surveillance Cameras

February 7th, 2012

From WaTimes:

Now a less-formal agreement from a citizens association planning to expand the Metropolitan Police Department’s watchful eye in Georgetown over the next few months is hitting a similar hurdle.

The Georgetown group’s cameras will tape public spaces such as streets and sidewalks, and video that could be used to solve a crime will be turned over to police, the group’s members said. The cameras will be located on private property, such as in residents’ yards, and as a result they will skirt the stringent rules imposed on the police department’s closed-circuit camera system.

With video-recording technology often just a cellphone click away and surveillance cameras prevalent in private businesses and homes, the notion of being watched is nothing new. But as the association begins to draft protocols for how the camera recordings will be handled, Ms. Colasanto said members have begun to raise more questions about who will have access to video taken by the cameras and under what circumstances.

Who needs the Fourth Amendment when surveillance is available from the public?