Chicago’s Cameras Continue to Increase

The Associated Press is reporting on Chicago’s ongoing efforts to integrate it’s public and private camera systems together into one seamless visual surveillance system of perhapsĀ  10,000 networked cameras, including those in schools. This is a long way from the very limited ‘closed-circuit’ of the original video surveillance systems. There really isn’t another city that is doing anything close to this. London, for all it’s large numbers of cameras, is a patchwork of disconnected, often archaic, systems bound by multiple domains of regulation. Chicago’s network, in contrast, is being developed, through large Homeland Security and Federal stimulus grants, with connection in mind and regulation in the post-9/11 era is only to the benefit of the state’s efforts. The particularly interesting thing is the way the boundary of acceptability is continually pushed out by this process of connection and integration. For example, the AP story confirms that Chicago Police Superintendent, Jody Weis, has been quoted on several occasions he would like to add secret cameras “as small as matchboxes” to the network. And there are few critical voices.