New York Times on New Orleans' proposed surveillance plan

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The city's Real Time Crime Monitoring Center oversees a citywide crime camera network. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • The city's Real Time Crime Monitoring Center oversees a citywide crime camera network.

The New York Times
took a look today at New Orleans City Hall's plan to install 1,500 surveillance cameras around town — acknowledging "typically vexing civil liberties issues" but seemingly more concerned that round-the-clock police surveillance of the streets will quash people's abilities to attend "boy-lesque" shows, carry potbellied pigs around town and "somehow suck the soul out of the place, quashing the promise of the Mardi Gras anthem 'Do Whatcha Wanna,' which serves as a siren song for tourists and a kind of mission statement for many residents":
Last fall, the city opened a Real Time Crime Monitoring Center, with a huge wall of screens showing video feeds of street scenes, in a building at the edge of the French Quarter.

A block away at the Black Penny, a tiny bar on North Rampart Street, grousing over the cameras was easy to find. “It’s going to be very clinical — it’s going to take the mystique, the romanticism out of the city,” said Alyx Gauthier, 27, a local service-industry worker who was nursing a pint on a recent afternoon. “This city was built by pirates and whores,” she said.
The Times also stopped at Oz, Cafe Lafitte in Exile and the Upper Ninth Ward to gauge the pulse of the populace. Give it a read.



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