Authorities Want Remote Access To Californians’ Home CCTV Feeds “For The Greater Good”

I am neither an Alex Jones fan or hater, but I came across this article which I found interesting. From a technical standpoint this sounds like a pretty large task, not to mention the privacy issues...


Alex Jones has (and has always had) some major reading comprehension problems. What the city wants to do is to map where cameras are so they know where they can go for footage after a crime. Accessing feeds live is something they would like to eventually do not something they are currently trying to do.

From the actual news story:

"Councilman Sam Liccardo's proposal, unveiled Thursday and set to be discussed by a City Council committee next week, would allow property owners voluntarily to register their security cameras for a new San Jose Police Department database. Officers then would be able to access the footage quickly after a nearby crime has occurred ... The new program would allow property owners to sign up for a security camera database so that police responding to burglaries, assaults and other crimes would see a map of nearby locations with cameras."

This same story was reported yesterday at SIW.... and they claim:

"The new program would allow property owners to sign up for a security camera database so that police responding to burglaries, assaults and other crimes would see a map of nearby locations with cameras. Police would be able to remotely tap into feeds for high-tech cameras, but older models would require residents to turn over the actual tapes."

...which is certainly specific, no? What's 'high-tech' and what aint?

Evidently copied from the San Jose Mercury News...

Btw, as most of you are already aware, real time integation / access to a variety of remote private systems is very hard, with so many different incompatible systems to view, barriers to connecting to secured networks, etc...

"Btw, as most of you are already aware, real time integration / access to a variety of remote private systems is very hard, with so many different incompatible systems to view, barriers to connecting to secured networks, etc..."

PSIM says:

And the security industry responds:

In all seriousness, though, I am sure PSIM proponents salespeople would push for that here but the problem when you try to connect to private systems, like homes, small businesses, etc. is that you are dealing with dozens of different crappy manufacturers who most PSIMs have no support for (and in fairness, may not even have an API).

I should have mentioned that I called over there when city council first had that on the table to see if it was actual live viewing or something else. Police said watching the cameras was something they wanted to do, not a capability they had yet.

I have a hard time following my Americans neighbours sometimes.

While approximately two thirds of U.S. citizens - and most of the rest of the civilized world - are saying they have concerns about privacy in relation to NSA/Internet company digital data collection, another bunch of politicians comes along asking them to let law enforment have remote access to their private video surveillance networks.

I wonder what kind of response they expect to get?

San Jose’s independent police auditor, retired judge LaDoris Cordell, lauded the idea, calling it a logical step and stating “You tend to behave when the cameras are on you.” Dismissing the notion that the proposed system would represent an “intrusion on privacy,” Cordell instead described it as allowing residents to “know what’s going on in their neighborhood.”

I like this part. I also tend to behave when I have a police officer sitting next to me, but I dont want that 24 hours a day! "We just want you to feel safe in your neighborhood! No worries!"

I'm sure they could also tell the good people of San Jose them and their neighbours would all behave and feel much safer if they each had a cute little cubby hole like this one to retire to every evening after a hard day's work, with 24/7 security available. They could even throw in three square meals a deal, unlimited snacks, individual colour TVs, unlimited internet access, and wireless hankle bracelets or embeded RFID chips to make sure no one went where they weren't supposed to, all for one low monthly fee. They could even offer to eliminate real estate taxes for those who purchase the plan.

I wonder how many would buy into that? ;)

"Already police can ask property owners like the ones in the arson-ravaged neighborhood for surveillance footage but have to go door-to-door searching for cameras, a cumbersome process for a police force that is understaffed."

The propensity for US LE entities to seize surveillance systems just to check to see if evidence exists (possibly for a crime that occurred nearby, but not specifically captured on the surveillance systems being seized themselves) has been discussed here.

It seems to me that a database of this type would only increase the amount of nearby-to-crimes surveillance systems being seized en masse as an established policy...

what say the SJPD to that? :)