Surveillance Cameras Receive Criticism in Nation’s Capital


Nearly 4,800 city-owned surveillance cameras in Washington, D.C., are receiving criticism from civil libertarians who say the cameras are an unwarranted intrusion of privacy.

The nerve center of the District of Columbia’s video surveillance program opened last month and Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty says he’s trying to set up comprehensive security protection against terrorism but others are worried about the system’s lack of political transparency, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Some members of the District of Columbia Council say they weren’t made aware of the video system’s size and scope and are pushing to slow its implementation.

“The program was announced without any detail or planning around who would have access, for what purpose, and what would happen with any video or digital archive,” says Councilman Phil Mendelson

Fenty says he wants to see the system expanded to include video feeds from 5,625 cameras run by eight agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department.

All policies governing the system have been drafted but are waiting legal vetting, the newspaper reported.

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