200 ‘Temporary’ Surveillance Cameras To Scrutinize Super Bowl Fans

Surveillance cameraSmile, Super Bowl
fans! The New York City Police Department has you under even closer
and creepier surveillance than usual. The New York Civil Liberties
Union reported finding over 2,000 surveillance cameras on
the streets of Manhattan alone, before the stepped up
security for the big football game. Now the NYPD is deploying an
additional 200 or so “temporary” surveillance cameras in midtown in
anticipation of the festivities.

Reports the AP’s
Tom Hays
:

The New York Police Department has quietly installed about 200
temporary surveillance cameras in midtown Manhattan to help spot
trouble along “Super Bowl Boulevard,” a 13-block street fair on
Broadway that’s expected to draw large crowds during the windup to
the game. Banners promoting the fair compete on the same lampposts
with decidedly less festive signs reading, “NYPD Security Camera in
Area.”

Counting and mapping the cameras that were already in place is a
project of the
NYCLU
. The organization’s activists tallied 2,397 cameras
watching public places, just in Manhattan. Outer-borough counts are
yet to come. But the vast majority of those 2,000+ cameras are
privately owned. Only an estimated 300
were installed and maintained by government agencies. So the 200
new additions represent a major upping of the ante, even if they
remain temporary.

Private cameras are usually used to protect property and deter
or record crime against specific people and businesses. But public
cameras can be networked together and monitored by people who have
the coercive power of the state at their command.

“Government has the power to investigate, prosecute, and
potentially jail people and that’s a very different thing from
doing what officers did in Boston which is responding to a known
crime by reviewing existing footage,” Peter Bibring of the American
Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
told Reason TV
last May.

So, the installation of 200 new police-controlled cameras may
not be such a positive thing.

See Reason TV’s post-Boston bombing take on the new enthusiasm
for surveillance cameras.

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200 'Temporary' Surveillance Cameras To Scrutinize Super Bowl Fans

Surveillance cameraSmile, Super Bowl
fans! The New York City Police Department has you under even closer
and creepier surveillance than usual. The New York Civil Liberties
Union reported finding over 2,000 surveillance cameras on
the streets of Manhattan alone, before the stepped up
security for the big football game. Now the NYPD is deploying an
additional 200 or so “temporary” surveillance cameras in midtown in
anticipation of the festivities.

Reports the AP’s
Tom Hays
:

The New York Police Department has quietly installed about 200
temporary surveillance cameras in midtown Manhattan to help spot
trouble along “Super Bowl Boulevard,” a 13-block street fair on
Broadway that’s expected to draw large crowds during the windup to
the game. Banners promoting the fair compete on the same lampposts
with decidedly less festive signs reading, “NYPD Security Camera in
Area.”

Counting and mapping the cameras that were already in place is a
project of the
NYCLU
. The organization’s activists tallied 2,397 cameras
watching public places, just in Manhattan. Outer-borough counts are
yet to come. But the vast majority of those 2,000+ cameras are
privately owned. Only an estimated 300
were installed and maintained by government agencies. So the 200
new additions represent a major upping of the ante, even if they
remain temporary.

Private cameras are usually used to protect property and deter
or record crime against specific people and businesses. But public
cameras can be networked together and monitored by people who have
the coercive power of the state at their command.

“Government has the power to investigate, prosecute, and
potentially jail people and that’s a very different thing from
doing what officers did in Boston which is responding to a known
crime by reviewing existing footage,” Peter Bibring of the American
Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
told Reason TV
last May.

So, the installation of 200 new police-controlled cameras may
not be such a positive thing.

See Reason TV’s post-Boston bombing take on the new enthusiasm
for surveillance cameras.

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via IFTTT

OFA Wants to Know What You Want to Hear at the State of the Union

so ofaOrganizing for Action, formerly known as Obama
for America and still located online at BarackObama.com, is a
501(c)4, which is allowed to do political advocacy but prohibited
from supporting a specific candidate, has joined in the pre-State
of the Union propaganda push. They want to know what you’re most
interested in hearing the president talk about. The OFA e-mail:

Edward —

In a few short days, President Obama will lay out his plans for
2014, but before that, we want to know what you’re most interested
in hearing from him on Tuesday.

Take this quick, one-question survey and let OFA
know:

http://ift.tt/1jte6oX

Thanks,

Abby

The e-mail follows an official White House e-mail from Valerie
Jarrett where she talked about how much work she’s putting into an
address that for nearly two hundred years was merely sent as a
letter to the Congress. It’s a “hectic week,” she wrote, with busy
policy advisors and speech writers.

Joe Biden sent a White House e-mail, calling the
Constitutionally-mandated update the President has to give Congress
a “plan for the upcoming year of action,” calling the State of the
Union “part of a tradition that dates back to our founding
fathers,” without mentioning, naturally, that from the presidency
of Thomas Jefferson all the way through Woodrow Wilson, presidents
were able to meet their constitutional obligation without the pomp
and circumstance introduced to it since Wilson brought back the
live reading.

The State of the Union will be next Tuesday. You’ll be able to
watch it on any of the networks and most of the cable news
channels, or follow along as we livetweet here at Hit &
Run.

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RNC Passes Resolution Condemning NSA Spying

The RNC has passed a
resolution
relating to NSA surveillance which outlines the
following encouragements:

RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee encourages
Republican lawmakers to enact legislation to amend Section 215 of
the USA Patriot Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA
Amendments Act to make it clear that blanket surveillance of the
Internet activity, phone records and correspondence — electronic,
physical, and otherwise — of any person residing in the U.S. is
prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in
adversarial proceedings before a public court;

RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee encourages
Republican lawmakers to call for a special committee to
investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this
domestic spying and the committee should create specific
recommendations for legal and regulatory reform ot end
unconstitutional surveillance as well as hold accountable those
public officials who are found to be responsible for this
unconstitutional surveillance; and

RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee encourages
Republican lawmakers to immediately take action to halt current
unconstitutional surveillance programs and provide a full public
accounting of the NSA’s data collection programs.

According to
MSNBC
, “Not a single member rose to object or call for further
debate, as occurred for other resolutions.”

The news comes a day after the Privacy and Civil Liberties
Oversight Board released its
report
on the NSA’s collection of telephone data. Three of the
five members of the board said that the NSA’s telephone data
collection program is
illegal
. The report’s executive summary states that the program
has also not helped prevent any terrorist attacks:

Based on the information provided to the Board, including
classified briefings and documentation, we have not identified a
single instance involving a threat to the United States in which
the program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a
counterterrorism investigation. Moreover, we are aware of no
instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery
of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a
terrorist attack.

Earlier this week,
I wrote
about a recent Pew/USA Today poll that
highlighted, among other things, that the GOP is divided when it
comes to the NSA. Among those who consider themselves Republican or
Republican-leaning and associate with the Tea Party 68 percent
disapprove of the NSA’s collection of phone and Internet data.
Among those who consider themselves Republic or Republican-leaning
but not party of the Tea Party the collection has 52 percent
disapproval.

While it is good to see the RNC passing a
resolution condemning the NSA’s outrageous behavior, some
Republican legislators in Washington, D.C. are strong defenders of
the NSA’s data collection. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Mike
Rogers (R-Mich.) are among the most prominent Republican supporters
of the NSA’s activities. King has gone so far as to say that the
NSA
should spy on members of Congress
, and has said that Sen.
Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the Republican lawmakers who has been
critical of the NSA, is either “totally uninformed” or part of the
so-called “hate America crowd.”


Rep. Rogers
has said that NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden,
who he calls a
traitor
, may have had help from the Russians in leaking
confidential information.

MSNBC notes that the passing of the RNC’s resolution “is a sign
of the increasing influence of the libertarian wing of the party,
especially supporters of Ron Paul and his son, Rand Paul, who have
made government overreach in pursuit of terrorists a top
issue.”

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The Dangers of Federal Snooping into Our Prescription Drug Records

Former Reason man Radley Balko from his new perch at
the Washington Post points out the
dangers of prescription drug user databases
, especially when
government agencies get access to them without court order.

After discussing a recent legal challenge to the practice in
Oregon, and how Pennsylvania is trying to create more
records of its citizens prescription drug use for government snoops
to enjoy:

Imagine a law enforcement officer looking for ammunition in a
divorce or custody dispute. Or perhaps a politician who takes the
wrong position on police pensions or police accountability might
see his painkiller scripts leaked to the press. (That sort of
retaliation wouldn’t
be unheard of
.) Moraff points out that Virginia’s prescription
database has already been accessed by hackers, who then threatened
to release the records of 8 million people.

But [there’s a] less obvious problem—the chilling effect this
will have on doctors. For example, one of the red flags federal
investigators look for when looking for doctors to accuse of “drug
dealing” is the overall number of prescriptions a given doctor
writes for various controlled drugs. That means that as he’s
deciding your course of treatment, or whether to prescribe opioids
to improve your mother’s quality of life as she’s dying from
terminal cancer, he’ll be thinking about how many scripts for those
drugs he may have already written for other patients. It’s an
intrusion on the doctor-patient relationship, and could influence a
doctor’s decisions about a patient’s treatment with factors that
have nothing to do what’s best for that particular patient.

Jacob Sullum’s 1997 classic on the unconscionable war on pain
meds needs to
be read and re-read
.

Previous Reason writings
on ‘scrip drug databases
.

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“Obama’s Unfathomable, Bottomless, Contemptible Cowardice on Pot”

Our story thus far: President Barack Obama, late
of the pot-smoking Choom Gang back in the day, says that marijuana
is no “more dangerous than alcohol,” that black and Latino kids are
arrested disproportionately for drug crimes, and…well,
nothing.

The commander in chief of the federal War on Pot can’t be
bothered to do a damn thing about something he knows shouldn’t be a
federal crime.

From my latest article at
Time.com
:

What does it say about our elected representatives when even a
president who grants that marijuana is no “more dangerous than
alcohol,” jokes about his past drug use, and faces no
more elections in his lifetime is terrified to go along with a
massive and still-growing majority of Americans?

That we can’t look to them for anything resembling leadership.
The campaign to legalize marijuana — and thus expand personal
freedom while minimizing the massive harms that attend to
prohibition regardless of the substance being banned — is decades
old and has always had to fight first and foremost against
establishment politicians and media outlets. Colorado’s liberal
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper staunchly opposed
legalization, which ultimately passed by a 55 percent to 44 percent
margin. In 2010, when California put legalization on the ballot (it
failed), virtually every daily newspaper editorialized
against such a move.

Thankfully, citizens and some brave pols
are so cowed and are pushing for change.

Temporary, odd-bedfellows arrangements have helped to avert
military action against Syria last summer, register
opposition to
mass surveillance
 by the National Security Agency, call
for auditing the Federal Reserve, and
preserve all
manner
 of Internet freedom from government regulation.
Theschool
choice movement
 is a perfect example of this dynamic as
well.

In an America where a
record 60 percent
 of us agree that “the government has too
much power” and political
independents grow in number
, this sort of “permanent
non-governing minority
” that comes together over a single issue
and demands change, represents the future of American politics at
all levels. Citizens, it turns out, are more than ready to step and
demand change when our leaders are too feckless to lead.

Read
the whole thing
.

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"Obama’s Unfathomable, Bottomless, Contemptible Cowardice on Pot"

Our story thus far: President Barack Obama, late
of the pot-smoking Choom Gang back in the day, says that marijuana
is no “more dangerous than alcohol,” that black and Latino kids are
arrested disproportionately for drug crimes, and…well,
nothing.

The commander in chief of the federal War on Pot can’t be
bothered to do a damn thing about something he knows shouldn’t be a
federal crime.

From my latest article at
Time.com
:

What does it say about our elected representatives when even a
president who grants that marijuana is no “more dangerous than
alcohol,” jokes about his past drug use, and faces no
more elections in his lifetime is terrified to go along with a
massive and still-growing majority of Americans?

That we can’t look to them for anything resembling leadership.
The campaign to legalize marijuana — and thus expand personal
freedom while minimizing the massive harms that attend to
prohibition regardless of the substance being banned — is decades
old and has always had to fight first and foremost against
establishment politicians and media outlets. Colorado’s liberal
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper staunchly opposed
legalization, which ultimately passed by a 55 percent to 44 percent
margin. In 2010, when California put legalization on the ballot (it
failed), virtually every daily newspaper editorialized
against such a move.

Thankfully, citizens and some brave pols
are so cowed and are pushing for change.

Temporary, odd-bedfellows arrangements have helped to avert
military action against Syria last summer, register
opposition to
mass surveillance
 by the National Security Agency, call
for auditing the Federal Reserve, and
preserve all
manner
 of Internet freedom from government regulation.
Theschool
choice movement
 is a perfect example of this dynamic as
well.

In an America where a
record 60 percent
 of us agree that “the government has too
much power” and political
independents grow in number
, this sort of “permanent
non-governing minority
” that comes together over a single issue
and demands change, represents the future of American politics at
all levels. Citizens, it turns out, are more than ready to step and
demand change when our leaders are too feckless to lead.

Read
the whole thing
.

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via IFTTT

Ronald Bailey Argues that Secret Government Is the Chief Threat to Liberty

Snowden Obama Terrorism is the weapon of failed causes.
Terrorists are no threat to freedom unless we allow ourselves to be
stampeded by fear into ceding more power to government in a vain
search for security. Unfortunately, this is what happened here
after the 9/11 atrocities. We now know thanks to the revelations of
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden just how big and intrusive the
national security surveillance state has grown since 2001. Last
Friday, President Barack Obama promised to rein in the National
Security Agency’s mass surveillance program that collects the phone
records of every American. Reason Science Correspondent
Ronald Bailey points out that major civil liberties groups think
that Obama’s reform promises don’t go nearly far enough to protect
us from the abuses of secret government.

View this article.

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State and Treasury Departments Reportedly Investigating Dennis Rodman’s North Korea Trip

According to
The Daily Beast, the State and Treasury departments are
investigating whether former NBA player Dennis Rodman broke the law
when he gave Kim Jong-un and his wife gifts on his recent trip to
North Korea.

From
The Hill
:

The State and Treasury departments are investigating whether
Dennis Rodman broke the law on his most recent trip to North
Korea, The Daily Beast reports.

The former basketball star reportedly offered luxury gifts to
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un for his 31st birthday, including
expensive whiskey and a fur coat for his wife. The gifts would
violate the 2010 International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as
well as several United Nations sanctions.

Follow this story and more at Reason
24/7
.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and
Reason articles. You can get the
 widgets
here
. If you have a story that would be of
interest to Reason’s readers please let us know by emailing the
24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories
at 
@reason247.

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State and Treasury Departments Reportedly Investigating Dennis Rodman's North Korea Trip

According to
The Daily Beast, the State and Treasury departments are
investigating whether former NBA player Dennis Rodman broke the law
when he gave Kim Jong-un and his wife gifts on his recent trip to
North Korea.

From
The Hill
:

The State and Treasury departments are investigating whether
Dennis Rodman broke the law on his most recent trip to North
Korea, The Daily Beast reports.

The former basketball star reportedly offered luxury gifts to
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un for his 31st birthday, including
expensive whiskey and a fur coat for his wife. The gifts would
violate the 2010 International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as
well as several United Nations sanctions.

Follow this story and more at Reason
24/7
.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and
Reason articles. You can get the
 widgets
here
. If you have a story that would be of
interest to Reason’s readers please let us know by emailing the
24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories
at 
@reason247.

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