Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Security Ring Of Steel in New York City

The plan known as Operation Sentinel is a Civil Libertarian nightmare. The complaints have already begun. Consider this quote from Christopher Dunn of the New York City Civil Liberties Union, "I don't think it's hyperbole to call this Big Brotherish. The New York City Police Department is creating a huge computer database of the movement of everyone in a vehicle in Manhattan."

Indeed, the NYPD intend to monitor and track everything entering Lower Manhattan. In fact, they are calling it a surveillence "ring of steel". There will be 3000 operational cameras that will monitor the area throughout each day. Meanwhile, 600 police officers will be assigned to patrol the zone. When a car enters lower Manhattan, its license plate will be captured and stored in a police database for at least a month. Every movement will be monitored.

As part of the plan the NYPD is creating a huge buffer zone, working with police in a 50-mile radius of the city. Officials in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Long Island are being given radiation detectors to stop terrorists as far away from New York City as possible.

"New York City is something special," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday. "It's not just a very big city in this world. It is, in many senses, the iconic city. It represents Western Democracy. "

All true, Mayor Bloomberg, but do we really need to make an Orwellian security fortress out of the city that represents Western Democracy? This level of security sounds too much like a terrorist victory to me.

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