Privacy vs. Security: Electronic Surveillance in the Nation's Capital, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia of the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session, March 22, 2002   [open pdf - 5MB]

From the opening statement of Constance A. Morella: "We live in the video age. Police forces, including the Metropolitan Police Department, are increasingly employing video surveillance, both to deter crime and to catch criminals. The Metropolitan Police Department is in the process of establishing the most extensive surveillance network in the United States; a system that could ultimately include more than 1,000 cameras, all linked to a central command station accessible to not only the District police but the FBI, the Capitol Police, the Secret Service, and other law enforcement agencies. The existence of such a network raises many questions. Among them, does the prevalence of cameras inhibit our privacy rights? Are those cameras effective in deterring or solving crimes? And, perhaps most urgently, who gave permission for the implementation of this system, and where are the policies governing its use? I believe there has been an unfortunate lack of public debate on these issues. Even supporters of electronic surveillance concede that police departments should only use these cameras if there is a widespread public desire for such technology. There is clearly no consensus the District of Columbia for or against these cameras, because the public only learned about their existence after they had been put in place." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Johnny Barnes, Kathleen Patterson, Ronald Goldstock, Margret Kellems, Constance A. Morella, Eleanor Holmes Norton, John Parsons, Charles Ramsey, John Woodward, Jr.

Report Number:
Serial No. 107-166
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html
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