Surveillance Camera News September 2001
September 1 Core security cameras likely 2-3 weeks away
The London Free Press
September 2 Students sell car licence points
September 2 Translations - Big Brother Is Watching
September 2 Call it intelligence or spying, it's here to stay
September 6 School Cameras Stopping Violence, Vandalism
September 6 Government Is Wary of Tackling Online Privacy
September 7 Is A Gated Complex A Safer One?
September 1, 2001
The London Free Press
Core security cameras likely 2-3 weeks away
By Lori Seymour -- Free Press Reporter
Sixteen long-awaited surveillance cameras slated for the city's core
won't be operational for at least two more weeks.
"We have two more things to do," deputy city manager Jeff Malpass
said yesterday. "Council will amend a bylaw on Tuesday dealing
with records retention and how to store the digital tapes.
"And London police have to finalize the zoom-in and zoom-out procedures
for the cameras to fulfil the requirements set by the privacy commissioner."
The cameras were held up earlier in the summer when they came under
the scrutiny of Ontario's privacy commissioner.
Malpass said the last two items will settle the issues brought up when
the city met with the commissioner in July. "My hope is to have the
cameras up and running in two to three weeks," he said.
The push for downtown cameras began after Michael Goldie-Ryder,
20, was stabbed to death Jan. 16, 1999.
A citizen's committee, which included friends of Goldie-Ryder, co-ordinated
the camera project, securing donations from the London Downtown Business
Association, businesses and other groups.
September 2 2001
Students sell car licence points
Adam Nathan and Rachel Dobson
DRIVERS caught speeding by roadside cameras are paying
students and other young people to say they were at the wheel
in order to avoid penalty points on their licence.
This black market follows a boom in the use of speed cameras.
There are more than 4,000 in England and Wales and their
prevalence has brought protests, including vandalism.
The students, often hard-up, say they provide a service to
beleaguered drivers. One student, 22, from Nottingham, says
she sold six points on her licence: the first three for £50 to her
father, who had been caught at 85mph, the others for £100 in a
"cash for points" scheme.
The trade is possible because roadside cameras do not identify
a driver, only the number plate and speed.
Another student, 22, from Guildford, is a licence points broker.
"Friends from Nottingham and Leicester, and one at Oxford
University, have done it. I am doing a favour for friends but also
making a bit of cash. I have probably made about £700," she
Internet chat sites devoted to speed cameras outline the scam.
One suggests: "Get your granny to say she was driving."
Last week senior police condemned the traffic in points. The
Association of Chief Police Officers warned it could mean a
prosecution for perverting the course of justice, which carries a
maximum £1,000 fine.
Edmund King of the RAC said anyone who depended on their
car was likely to consider evading the law and might pay
thousands of pounds to keep their licence. "I am sure people
like travelling salesmen may go to this extreme," he said.
The Association of British Drivers said: "With increasingly
unreasonable speed limits and cameras used for revenue rather
than safety, people are driven to desperate measures.
"We do not condone breaking the law, but this is a symptom of
Last month John Spellar, the transport minister, announced a
pilot scheme to use speeding fines to buy more cameras.
Almost all the police forces in England and Wales are thinking
about getting more cameras, trebling the number of speeding
tickets and "earning" about £90m a year. Spellar has also
ordered that all cameras be brightly painted so motorists can
Last month it emerged that Chief Superintendent Adrian
Roberts of Cleveland police escaped prosecution because he
could not say who was driving when his car was filmed
Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 a car owner must say who
was driving at the time of a speed camera offence. But it is a
defence to claim that the owner does not know who was at the
More than 1,000 people die and 100,000 are seriously injured
each year in road accidents in which, according to the
government, speed is a factor.
Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd.
Big Brother is watching
Le Grand Frère vous surveille
bhai ki nazar me mat chado
Storebror ser dig
Stóri beiggi ansar eftir
Mae'r Brawd Mawr yn gwylio
Marele Frate supravegheaza
A Nagy Testvér figyel
Tá an deartháir mór ag coimead súil ort
Taham tuta ramham ik
Grote Broer kijkt
Der große Bruder beobachtet euch alle
El Gran Hermano vigila
saudara besar sedang mengawasi
Storebror ser deg
biggu burazaa wa itsumo kimi wo
Velký bratr tì sleduje
Il Grande Fratello vi sorveglia
Stori Brodir fylgist med thjer
Frater Magnus servo est
o grande irmão está observando
El gran germà vigila
Didysis brolis stebi
Bol'shoi brat nablyudaet
Ha'akh ha'gadol tzofe bekha
La frato granda rigardas
DubejtaH loDnI' tIn
Wielki Brat ?ledzi
Veliki brat gleda
Büyük birader seni izliyor
O megalos adelphos sas akoulouthi
Big Brother nun dangsinul bogo isumnida
Sunday September 2, 2:38 pm Eastern Time
Call it intelligence or spying, it's here to stay
By Carolyn Koo and David Howard Sinkman
NEW YORK, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Executives beware: corporate
supersleuths aren't going to stop picking through your garbage
any time soon.
Trying to stay a step ahead of the competition, companies are
increasingly toeing a fine line between market intelligence and
Witness the revelation last week that Procter &
Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG - news) used covert means to
gather intelligence about the hair care products of its
main consumer products rival Unilever NV (quote from
Yahoo! UK & Ireland: ULVR.L).
This isn't the first recent case of corporate snooping by
top tier American companies either. Oracle Corp.
(NasdaqNM:ORCL - news) last year disclosed its
detectives paid janitors to sift through Microsoft Corp.'s
(NasdaqNM:MSFT - news) garbage in hopes of finding
dirt to use against the software giant in court.
But looking for information goes beyond picking through
garbage. Sometimes it can cross legal and ethical lines.
Alden Taylor, head of corporate intelligence at investigation firm
Kroll Inc. (Nasdaq:KROL - news), tells of a student who continuously
clicked his pen while touring an unnamed European company.
Executives thought the student was just hyperactive, but his pen was
actually a sophisticated camera. Three years later, the company the
student worked for released a product based on information from
photos he took.
Still, knowing what the competition is up to is a vital part of doing
``A company would be stupid if they didn't try to know as much
as they could about the products and activities of their competitors,
as long as it is sort of public information, as long as it is out there
for all to see,'' said Michael Hoffman, a philosophy professor and
executive director of the Center for Business Ethics at Boston's
Some 60 percent of companies have an organized system for
collecting information on rivals, according to researchers at The
Sniffing for information can be big business as a result. The
market for business intelligence is worth about $2 billion a year
worldwide, including services ranging from detective work to
clipping news articles, Kroll's Taylor estimates.
But the ethics of corporate intelligence can be fuzzy.
``If you're selling Toyotas, I think it's appropriate to go buy a
Honda and take it to your factory and find out if they're doing
something better than you're doing,'' Professor Hoffman said.
``But to go rifle around in Honda's garbage can, or to put
surveillance equipment illegally in their offices, or to sit up
in a building across from their factory with high-powered
binoculars and spy on them, if not illegal that is certainly
NOT A NICE THING
Stephen Miller, a spokesman for The Society of Competitive
Intelligence Professionals, puts it another way.
``Competitive intelligence is the legal and ethical collection
and analysis of information about the competitive environment,''
said Miller. ``Corporate espionage implies the theft of trade secrets,
which is both illegal and unethical.''
Companies may shoot themselves in the foot if they engage in
practices that are publicly revealed to be illegal or unethical.
That alone can be the biggest incentive for companies to play
by the rules.
``Most companies act in a way that is not offensive because
they do not want to be associa Fo???t consumers find offensive,''
said Peggy Daley, vice president for corporate investigative firm
Pinkerton, America's oldest private investigation company.
Companies that participate in corporate investigation have
another take on the matter altogether.
``In most cases if the trash is out, it's fair game, as long as there
is no law,'' said Richard McCormick, head of Pinkerton's business
``Shame on the person who allows himself to get chatted up on
an airplane after too many drinks.''
Thursday September 06 08:39 PM EDT
School Cameras Stopping Violence, Vandalism
Are you concerned about the safety of your children while they're attending school?
For the past few years, schools across the country have been
looking for ways to make classrooms safer. Teachers know that
they can't monitor every student-or can they, as one Upstate
school is claiming.
It's the equivalent of putting a cop on every street corner, or a
teacher in every hallway, which is hard to do when students
outnumber faculty 5-1.
So at Chapman High School in Spartanburg County District
One, they've done the next best thing-and they claim it's
"We think it's being proactive, and just putting one more tool in
our hands to solve problems before they happen," Chapman
principal Harrison Goodwin told News 4's Tim Waller.
The tools he refers to are 24 fixed-position surveillance cameras,
mounted on ceilings throughout Chapman High. The cameras cover
all high-risk areas including the parking lot, where they never know
who's coming or going.
"We feel like we can see things that we need to be able to pick up,"
Goodwin says. "So if we have something that's a concern, it's being
saved digitally. We can go back, pull it up and say 'Okay, here's the
As for the parents who will eventually foot the bill, Goodwin says
that it was an easy sell.
"It's not a hard sell for me to know that when I drop my children off
at 7:30 a.m., they're safe until they leave school. As a taxpayer,
I have no problem paying for that," Chapman said.
The principal says that not a single fight or act of vandalism has
occurred this year. And he believes it's because of the ever-seeing
eye in the sky, which, by the way, can be operated from any computer
in the school and from the school resource officer's laptop computer in
his patrol car.
Thursday September 06 08:57 AM EDT
Government Is Wary of Tackling Online Privacy
By JOHN SCHWARTZ The New York Times
The politics of privacy is sensitive and complex, but there is growing agreement
that some kind of government action will have to emerge.
The last of three articles.
Mozelle W. Thompson took a stroll last summer through the
Silicon Alley Street Fair, a celebration of New York City's
dot- coms back when they had something to celebrate. His
T-shirt and shorts belied his high office as a member of the
Federal Trade Commission, the federal agency that has
taken the lead in consumer privacy protection online. He met
the chief executive of a high-technology company that
gathers personal data on Internet users, a man who was, Mr.
Thompson said, "treating people as data instead of treating
people as people."
Mr. Thompson asked the executive whether he worried that
regulators might some day crack down on his business
practices. Mr. Thompson's eyes went wide as he recalled
the man's answer: "I'm going to do as much as I can, as fast
as I can until somebody stops me." As for the Federal Trade Commission, Mr. Thompson
said, "He didn't know me, and he didn't know us.
"But I assured him he would."
Since then, the world has changed, and not just for the dot-coms. Momentum has
dissipated in Washington for new laws and regulations that might restrict the use of
cookies and other high-technology tools by businesses to monitor Internet users' activities.
Some lawmakers say that the politics of privacy is so touchy and complex that a deliberate
approach is best but there is growing agreement that some kind of government action will
eventually have to emerge.
Mr. Thompson still serves on the Federal Trade Commission, but Robert Pitofsky, the
chairman who led many of the commission's privacy initiatives, has been replaced by
Timothy J. Muris, a former trade official in the Reagan administration who has said he is
still studying the privacy issue. President Bill Clinton, who appointed Mr. Pitofsky and Mr.
Thompson, has been replaced by President Bush, whose executive branch team has been
less than enthusiastic about expanding regulatory authority over businesses.
Movement toward legislation restricting invasions of consumer privacy by business has
slowed in Congress, as well: although the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and
Transportation Committee, Ernest F. Hollings, Democrat of South Carolina, has a strong
interest in privacy, the Senate is currently bogged down in the appropriations process and
other issues. The leadership of the House has called for the debate to be refocused on the
misdeeds of the government rather than those of companies.
"Let's see to it that the government is handling privacy mandates properly before we start
mandating privacy rules for the private sector," said Richard Armey, the House majority
leader, in an interview, citing such examples as government Web sites that store personal
information, the F.B.I. Internet wiretap system known as Carnivore and cameras that
photograph motorists who run red lights.
Some in Congress say that the loss of momentum to regulate technologies like cookies can
be attributed to a more subtle understanding of the interplay of privacy and technology.
Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont who has long been concerned about privacy
issues, said that he and other lawmakers had realized that simple responses to privacy
"Cookies have gotten bad press as a surveillance tool, but they also make Web site visits
faster and online transactions more hassle-free," Senator Leahy said in an e-mail response
to a reporter's questions. "These are important functions for Internet users, and any
throw the proverbial baby out with the bath."
Little wonder that privacy has emerged as one of the thorniest issues for policy makers,
said Peter Swire, the former privacy counselor to Mr. Clinton. The issues are complex,
and they pit passionate public opinion against equally powerful business interests. "The
strongest impetus for action and the strongest resistance to action have come together on
the Internet privacy debate," he said.
Federal efforts to regulate privacy took off within the Federal Trade Commission in 1995,
recalled a former staff member, David Medine, when "we realized the Internet collects a
lot of information about people cheaply, efficiently and sometimes in unprecedented ways
like what you looked at as opposed to what you bought, which in a store would never be
collected." After working with industry to develop self-regulation efforts, the commission
asked Congress last year to expand its legal authority to regulate privacy efforts when
That call for Congressional action has gone unheeded. But several laws have been passed
in recent years in the areas of highest concern to voters. Financial institutions must now
send out notices describing their privacy policies under the terms of the
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, and new health care privacy regulations are coming
into effect because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
The privacy of children has been shored up because of restrictions on data collection
under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998.
These laws, however, leave some elements of privacy protected and others utterly
exposed. Privacy advocates see the job of filling in the holes as their challenge; business
sees it as a threat.
At least 50 privacy-related bills are awaiting consideration this year, many of them new
versions of bills introduced in the last session of Congress. No matter how varied the
legislation, proposals generally come down to a few crucial requirements and distinctions.
Most require that consumers be notified of the ways companies collect data and the use
they will put that information to and require that companies give consumers the ability to
say no to such collection.
The crucial distinction is the way consumers can say no: by "opting in" or "opting out." For
example, a recent Senate bill co-sponsored by John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and
John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, would require companies to give consumers the
right not to have their personal information collected via cookies or other technologies.
The bill would set a standard, but consumers must make the effort to "opt out" of data
collection, which means most will, through inertia or ignorance, stay on the rolls. Privacy
advocates generally favor a higher "opt in" standard, which would prohibit collection of
information without explicit permission from consumers an approach taken by another bill
introduced by Senator Hollings in 2000; a version will be reintroduced this fall.
Whatever route lawmakers choose, said Priscilla M. Regan, an associate professor of
government at George Mason University in Virginia, privacy is exactly the kind of area in
which government action can lead to a benefit to citizens. "The costs to the individual are
just enormously high in terms of time and energy and an individual's attention to detail," she
Even though most people do not take action to preserve their privacy, the rights of those
who do want protection have to be upheld, said Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of
the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. "The right of privacy is not
simply a ratification of a majority practice," he said. He compared safeguarding personal
data to the American system of food safety, which gives consumers control over what
they purchase but leaves a role for government in protection beyond the capabilities of
individuals. "Not many of us have a fully equipped U.S.D.A. lab in our basement that we
can run two pounds of chuck through at night when we get back from the supermarket."
Representative Armey, Republican of Texas, disagrees. He sent a letter to his colleagues
in April warning them against taking any action in the current legislative session because,
in his view, government can only make a mess of privacy. "Congress is an inexperienced
and amateur mechanic trying to tinker with the supercharged, high-tech engine of our
economy," he said. "We need to be careful not to let our good intentions get in the way of
Lawmakers like Mr. Armey are bolstered in their efforts to slow the march of legislation
by a flood of new studies and surveys sponsored by high-technology companies,
questioning consumer attitudes about privacy and giving multibillion-dollar estimates of the
costs of complying with such laws.
Thus a study by Robert Hahn of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative
research center in Washington, concludes that complying with privacy legislation proposals
would cost companies a staggering $30 billion. Such figures help industry spokesmen like
Jonathan Zuck of the Association for Competitive Technology, which paid for the Hahn
study, to argue that "the costs associated with regulation appear to be higher than the
benefits achieved by regulation."
Robert Gellman, a privacy consultant in Washington, calls the new crop of studies "put-up
jobs" with inflated estimates. He ridicules the private sector's opposition to legislation,
saying, "The industry is willing to spend millions for studies, but nothing for privacy."
Mr. Hahn defends his study, saying that if anything, the estimates are conservative. He
has also drawn attention recently with a study suggesting that the benefits of lowering
arsenic levels in drinking water would not justify the costs. "I made my best assessment,"
The price of inaction, however, could be precisely the kind of overreaction that Senator
Leahy warns against, legislative experts say. Highly visible violations of privacy have
tended to generate specific and, often, narrow legal responses, leading to a patchwork of
legal remedies. Lawmakers were quick to pass legislation making it illegal to release
video-rental records after a list of rentals by Robert Bork, a Supreme Court nominee, was
leaked, for example. And Florida moved to seal autopsy records after a fight over
publishing the death photos of the Nascar racer Dale Earnhardt.
Quick-fix legislation rarely fixes anything but lawmakers' standing in the polls, said Stewart
A. Baker, an lawyer in Washington who consults with companies on technology policy
issues. Legislation is "often just a set of palliatives" that is unlikely to do much for
consumers, he said.
"All that allows you to do," he added, "is that you can say, `Well, we passed a law.' "
The Internet has presented a never-ending set of complaints: consumers and privacy
advocates raged when the online advertising giant Doubleclick announced in 1999 its
intention to combine personal data identifying many visitors to its affiliated Web sites with
a large database of catalog shopping information that it acquired in a merger with a
company called Abacus Direct. Another company, Toysmart, raised consumer fears in
2000 when it tried to sell its user records to raise money in bankruptcy proceedings; the
company's data included personal information on children. But privacy experts say they
worry about the dangers of government overreaction to such episodes. Public concern
over cookies, for example, has already led to some results that even the most ardent
privacy advocates say have been bizarre. Last year, the Clinton administration, for
the head of the site's agency a decree that ignored the usefulness of cookies in helping
visitors to a Web site remember where they have been and to ease their navigation.
"I think the government has swung too far," said Mr. Rotenberg, the privacy advocate.
"Everything is without any historical dimension. It's, 'Help! There's a cookie on my
computer! Someone get in here!' "
That is why Mr. Swire says, in fact, that the current lull might be helpful, so long as a
full-bodied debate on privacy continues. "We should learn from our medical and financial
privacy experience," he said, "and now we're getting a chance to do so." The stakes, Mr.
Swire added, are huge: "It's not just human rights, and it's not just burden on industry. It's
how to get the rules and the systems right for the information age."
One way or another, Mr. Rotenberg said, new privacy laws will emerge. "I don't think that
Mr. Armey and the Republicans and the army of lobbyists that surround our president can
make this issue go away." He suggested that the crisis- to-crisis collage of laws should be
reshaped into "a legal framework that sets out how these technologies are used."
Business itself could lead the charge for legislation, said Mr. Gellman, the privacy
consultant especially if the federal lawmakers are reluctant to act and states take up the
issue. That could lead to a patchwork of inconsistent and even conflicting laws in many
states. That, in turn, could bring companies back to Washington to lobby for a federal
privacy law that would set a national standard and nullify, or pre-empt, state efforts. "You
know who really wants privacy legislation and won't admit it is industry, because they
want pre-emption," he said.
Sensing the troubles to come, Mr. Thompson of the Federal Trade Commission issued a
warning earlier this year to executives at a high- technology conference in New York:
Without the legal protection that comes with regulatory structure, he said, horror stories
will accumulate and damage will be done and "your stock valuation will continue to sink
into the sunset."
The companies, he said, will have to prove to consumers that giving up privacy is a trade
something companies can prove will repay them in convenience and services, without the
nasty surprises of seeing the information leak out into the broader world.
"The worst thing we could do to you," he said, "is to do nothing."
Friday September 07 10:39 PM EDT
Is A Gated Complex A Safer One?
There are a large number of apartment complexes in the Houston
area and some are gated.
News2Houston's Crimebuster Don Clark looks at whether those gates
give apartment dwellers the protection they need for themselves and
Some secured complexes require residents to punch in a number to
get inside the gates.
However, Clark found some holes in the security web. For example,
he was able to get into several complexes by simply following the
car in front that had punched in the number.
Access through those gates at rush hour is easy, but they do reduce
foot traffic on property late at night and early in the morning,
according to Clark.
Clark said that those gates do reduce some crime because sometimes
the perception of safety will keep a criminal away.
Here are some other things to look for before signing a lease:
Dead bolt locks
Locks on sliding doors
Choose an apartment on a higher floor because the first floor
is the easiest to access
Clark also found that some complexes are taking preventive measures
by adding surveillance cameras around the grounds. Video hook ups
in the apartments also allow the renters to see who they're letting in.