Boston-bombene vil ventelig føre til at overvåking av det offentlige rom med kameraer tar et nytt sprang. Krav om flere kameraer er fremsatt i USA og det er vanskelig å si imot. Hendelsen i seg selv virker lammende.
Det var kameraer utenfor en butikk som hadde tatt opp bildene som gjorde at FBI kunne identifisere dem som sannsynlige mistenkte.
“There is going to be more of a push to have more cameras on the streets, and it will be difficult to resist that push,” said Neil Richards, a privacy advocate and law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He authored a Harvard Law Review paper last month titled “The Dangers of Surveillance,” in which he wrote that the amount of observation these days “should give us pause.”
“The difficult balance is to have them [cameras] there for extraordinary efforts such as what we’ve seen this week but not for us to live in an emergency situation all the time,” he said.
Bombings on American soil in recent years — like the 2008 Times Square incident — have only spurred public support for more surveillance.
“If you are not safe in your home and if you are not safe in the street, then your privacy becomes kind of a hollow concern,” said Jim Pasco, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, who noted a smaller outcry from civil liberty groups this time.
While some suggest that muted response reflects a growing comfort among Americans with the idea of being watched, privacy advocates worry that that complacency and the comfort of surveillance in trying times is eroding rights.
“I don’t know any civil libertarian who is seriously arguing that cameras are not valuable in these high-risk events,” said Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor. “But even police states can’t deter all attacks. So that’s the kind of dialogue we need but that won’t occur.”
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the former Homeland Security chairman, joined a parade of officials post-Boston calling for increased surveillance.
“I do favor more cameras,” King told MSNBC on Tuesday. “They’re a great law enforcement method and device. And again, it keeps us ahead of terrorists, who are constantly trying to kill us.”