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Boston to install high definition cameras in buses using a grant from Homeland Security

February 11, 2014

  From the land which once, in a time long ago, was known as the cradle of liberty comes this story, proving once and for all the Boston no longer deserves that title. The Department of Homeland Security has approved almost $7 million to be used to put high definition cameras in that city’s buses.

Homeland Security in Washington DC has awarded the MBTA about $7 million to outfit buses with the latest in live video technology.

Sophisticated new 360-degree lenses embedded in the ceilings and walls of the buses will now capture everything. And on some buses, there will even be flat screens for passengers to see what is going on.

The system cost $6.9 million, all paid for by Homeland Security. Right now, about 10 buses are outfitted but by the summer, more than 225 will have these sophisticated cameras.

  Even the passengers will be able to spy upon one another, isn’t that wonderful? But, depending on your perspective, the news gets even better of worse for the police will be able to tune into these new cameras any time they want to. I think you know what me perspective is…..

Eighty transit police cruisers will also soon have touch screens, so officers can look live right into a bus that they may be following.

“It is pretty amazing. You pull up the camera system, then you already have a description of the suspect. He could be looking at the cameras as you are following the bus,” MBTA Transit Police Officer Luke Sayers said.

  That is all very well and good if there is a suspect, but what is to stop the police from randomly checking in on the buses and abusing this power by using it to spy on people who have done nothing wrong?

  But what is probably the most troubling to me is the reaction of many of the people, and here is one example of what I am talking about:

“I think it’s great, anything that makes the public feel safer,” one woman told WBZ-TV.

  It is wonderful because anything that makes the public feel safer has to be a good idea, right? Apparently this woman never read Benjamin Franklin’s quote about people who would give up a little liberty for a little perceived security.

  What this woman fails to understand is that while this might help to make the public a little safer from criminals it is making the public less safe from the government and is eroding what little is already left of our rights as protected under the Constitution. I understand that Bus Tours to New York from Halifax can be made safer, but at what cost…

  The last part of the Benjamin Franklin quote that I alluded to above states that a person who is willing to give up liberty for security will have neither and deserves neither. And when I see people who are so willing to accept these encroachments on our liberties I have to agree with him.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2014 8:05 pm

    Reblogged this on


  2. February 11, 2014 9:13 pm

    America has become a nation of sheep, my friend. Maybe life has been too easy for them and they no longer value liberty.


  3. February 11, 2014 9:43 pm

    So if I’m sitting on the bus and I’m looking around at the people sitting around me, that’s fine, but if I look toward the front or the back of the bus, wherever the screen is displaying what the camera’s capturing, then I’m spying on them>

    Sorry, I just never bought into the idea that cameras placed in public places are an invasion of privacy.

    I’m reminded of a situation a few years back, in New York City – a subway car, late at night, with two passengers, a young woman and a letch. The letch leered at her, exposed himself and started playing with himself. The woman felt very threatened, but took her cell phone and snapped the letch’s picture, which appeared the next morning in the cover of the Daily News.

    Did she violate the letch’s right to privacy? What if she hadn’t had the camera and the letch decided to push things further? What if there’d been a city-owned camera recording activity in the subway car – would that camera have violated the letch’s right to privacy?

    Let the gummint start mumbling about putting cameras into people’s homes, and I’m right there on the front lines with you, but when it comes to cameras out in public areas where we’re all expected to conform to societal norms of behavior, I’m not convinced that any rights are violated.

    Take good care and may God bless us all!



  4. February 12, 2014 8:12 am

    So then, in order to deal with the breakdown of cultural and societal norms legislated in legitamitcy by our visionary elected representatives and approved by the judiciary we give up our right to privacy in public places. The logical extension is a camera in our homes, cars and a chip in our heads . And of course the secret brain police will be the front line arbiters of good and bad, right and wrong. Fasten your seat belts because this is coming with our or without our approval.


    • February 12, 2014 12:21 pm

      What is this right to privacy in public places? Is that the right to expose oneself, or otherwise misbehave? The right to run redlights and stopsigns in disregard for the safety of others?

      Does someone breaking the law in public have a constitutionally guaranteed right to be immune from detection by surveillance cameras? If that’s the case, why stop at surveillance cameras? Why not prohibit law enforcement from investigating and asking questions, on the grounds that someone’s privacy is being violated?

      I was always taught that my rights go only to the extent that they infringe on someone else’s rights.

      If there’s a holdup in a public place that’s recorded on one of these cameras, are you guys going to be out there standing up for the right of the criminal to conduct stickups in public without have to concern himself with the possibility of camera surveillance?

      And no, (gumming) cameras in our homes is NOT a logical extension, although plenty of businesses install cameras in their premises, and plenty of people have security cameras monitoring the outside of their residences – and perhaps parts of the inside as well.

      Take good care and may God bless us all!



      • February 12, 2014 8:21 pm

        You make a legitimate point and I agree that there is usefulness in these cameras but my problem is with the possibility of abuse in this case. Who is watching the watchers? The people? Apparently not!


      • February 13, 2014 12:58 pm

        Steve, who’s going to watch those who are watching the watchers? Will you volunteer a few hours of your time every week to go sit somewhere? At some point in our relationships with each other and with our government, there’s got to be some trust.

        My mom always taught me that policemen are our friends, and despite the many documented instances of corruption and abuse on the part of individual cops and entire departments, I still cling to that basic underlying principle.

        We’ve got to remain vigilant, yes, and the free press is our main weapon. If the watchers turn out to be abusing the system, we replace them, but not the system, because that way lies more trouble than we want to deal with.

        Even God – you know I end nearly every post with “may God bless us all.” I mean it, and I trust Him, but what’s His record? Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes . . . and enough people with enough fallen nature to let people like Hitler, Stalin, and whoever’s running North Korea come to power. He doesn’t even react strongly against the radical religionists in all countries who clearly (from our perspective) are abusing people’s faith.

        Yet all these things have not shaken my trust in God, or even my trust in the basic goodness of most people. For instance, though I disagree strongly with them, I don’t doubt that most rank and file TPartyers love our country at least as much as I do, even if I doubt their leaders’ motivations.

        Anyway, take good care and may God bless us all!



      • February 13, 2014 5:08 pm

        I give a few hours every night watching them from right here in the man-cave known as America’s Watchtower. 😉 As far as watching them via video, we have seen how the police react to that many times and they don’t seem to like it when the people do to them what they do to the people.
        You say at some point there has to be trust between the people and the government and while that is true the government doesn’t always seem to trust the people, hence laws which are passed for “our own good.”
        The record of God that you describe really isn’t God’s record for he gave people free will and it is the people who have let us down on these occasions, the same people that we are expected to trust. I agree with you that there is good in most people, but why is it that so many who gravitate toward politics, on both sides of the aisle, don’t really have the best interests of the people as their number one priority. Could it be that absolute power corrupts absolutely?


  5. zip permalink
    February 12, 2014 1:47 pm

    Home TV watching you watching TV:
    Big Brother alert: Cameras in the cable box to monitor TV viewers {if they’re discussing it, it’s probably already happening}
    The ‘Borg Collective’ lives right in our home as well – it’s beyond the breakdown of social norms & values – it’s streaming.
    “It is, however, real, and with the proliferation of cheap video cameras, inexpensive digital audio recorders and “spy” equipment – even in the form of popular children’s toys – the odds that you’ve been bugged, that you are under surveillance, are greater than ever.”


  6. Petermc3 permalink
    February 12, 2014 6:51 pm

    Welcome to the new Boston, once known as the cradle of the American Revolution…


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