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Big Brother Sees Washington

City develops extensive CCTV surveillance network
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2008 1:55 PM CDT
Big Brother Sees Washington
A surveillance camera is mounted above a driveway in a Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

If you plan to go outdoors in Washington, DC, comb your hair first, because someone's probably going to see you. The capital is ramping up a video surveillance system that puts most others in the entire world to shame, the LA Times reports. Unsurprisingly, the 5,625-camera network has captured the attention of privacy and civil-liberties advocates, and they're not happy.

"When you measure the effectiveness of these cameras against the harm they do to civil liberties, there just doesn't seem to be a question for us," said the executive director of the DC ACLU. Others see positive aspects: "There's not a meeting or a community that I go into that doesn't tell us how cameras have positively impacted public safety in their neighborhoods," said a city councilor. (More ACLU stories.)

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