Bloomberg on NYC drone program vs. street cameras: ‘What’s the difference?’

By David Ferguson
Saturday, March 23, 2013 15:14 EDT
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Michael Bloomberg via AFP
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New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in an interview on Friday that the city may turn to the use of a drone program for public safety monitoring. According to CBS New York, the mayor believes that the thousands of surveillance cameras already mounted all around the city are not enough, but that a program of unmanned surveillance drones would not be a significant incursion into resident’s privacy.

“What’s the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on a building?” the mayor asked. “I have trouble making the distinction.”

New York Civil Liberties Union spokesperson Donna Lieberman told CBS that it’s “disappointing” that the mayor would think that the more than 2,400 cameras already in use in the city are inadequate enough to merit the addition of an unmanned drone program.

Lieberman accused Bloomberg of evincing “disdain for the legitimate concerns of New Yorkers about their privacy. None of us expects that we’ll go unseen when we’re out on the street, but we also have a right to expect that the government isn’t making a permanent record” of their daily activities.

Watch the video, which aired on Saturday and is embedded below via NDN:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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