Tags: seattle | police | city | cameras

Seattle Residents Criticize Surveillance Cameras

Thursday, 21 Feb 2013 01:29 PM

By Alec Weisman

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The installation of a 30-camera network by Seattle police to help monitor the city's port and waterways against possible terrorism has created a backlash from residents who see it as a threat to privacy.

The city council approved the surveillance system last year with little or no discussion. So far 13 cameras have been installed, according to Komo Channel 4 News, and the rest must be in place by March 31 or the police department will lose the federal grant it received for the surveillance project.

But the criticism from residents, who say they were given little notice that the surveillance system was being put in place near their homes, has caused city officials to at least rethink how the remaining cameras should be installed before becoming completely operational.

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"We already know people do not like cameras on their homes and so that's a no-brainer, [but] we have to be transparent in this process," said Councilman Bruce Harrell.

The police said they plan to install what they described as masking technology to limit the camera's field of view, a move they hope will ease concerns.

But one resident who turned up at the council meeting Wednesday night insisted, "The government doesn't have the right to surveil us 24/7."

"What bothers everybody in the community, bar none, is that this was never brought to our attention. We never had a discussion about this," added resident Will Washington.

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