> Police officials would not say if detectives had used the call records of any cellphone theft victims in the course of investigating other crimes.
Why can police refuse to answer these questions? This information should be publicly available by default. There is absolutely no risk to any criminal investigations by releasing this info.
This is one of my biggest problems with government agencies. Laws should require them to be open and transparent by default. They should have to take additional steps to make something not available to the public and should have to justify this action.
I normally hate people who just throw quotes up to answer a question, but this one seemed appropriate.
I will never live in NYC (though I do travel upstate quite a bit). There are plenty of large cities in the world that are safe or safer without also being police states.
First, crime has come down by huge amounts in NYC. Some crimes, like murder are 1/4th or 1/5th of the peaks in the 1980's. For decades now, we've seen a huge increase in safety in NYC.
Second, I question whether most of the police actions are giving up essential liberties. I can see how some might think so, but I can see how many would not.
As many other commenters have mentioned, the decrease in crime is not related to the removal of civil liberties. The crime decreases occurred prior to the implementation of many of these policies.
> Second, I question whether most of the police actions are giving up essential liberties. I can see how some might think so, but I can see how many would not.
They are infringing on constitutional rights. I don't see how those rights could be seen as anything but essential.
And I'd say that public transportation is a pretty essential liberty in NYC.
How do you know crime rate hasn't been lowered everywhere because of say, global warming?
"There are plenty of large cities in the world that are safe or safer without also being police states."
New York doesn't even enter the top 50 when it comes to safety in the second table there.
And in Canada Toronto, Vancouver.
Gun rights are not the be all and end all of freedom.
> mass CCTV survellience
I see absolutely nothing wrong with the use of CCTVs to monitor public places (or the use of them to monitor private places by the owners of those places). If civilians are allowed to record the police in public, then the police should be allowed to record civilians in public too.
The point of cobrausn is that NYC takes this too far while other large cities do not. I'd argue the safest cities in the same class as NYC are probably as much police states. At least in regards to violent crime. Petty crime rates are difficult to compare uniformly across cultures.
I guess it's a matter of perspective or opinion. Where do you/we draw the line?
But alas a new type of crime moved in (white collar - bankers etc..) So who is watching them now? NOBODY.
Now the police cannot stop somebody from flying a plane into a building, that is the responsibility of our Federal Government agencies. Today, the police are more of a danger to society than they ever have been. This I compare to the NY Police in the 70s,60s, 50s...(corruption - Watch/Read about Frank Serpico for example). The bad cops were afraid of getting caught. Now today they can get away with murder.
Nothing is worth the price of losing your ability to assemble, speak and to travel. You cannot do this anymore without being considered a potential terrorist or similar. We are not innocent and are all potential threats the all seeing eye of the Police State.
The current stop and frisk and TSA searches are perhaps not doing all that much to increase safety over what was before. It's not a choice between police state and crime sprees.
The massive improvement of NYC quality of life and crime rates is most commonly attributed towards the massive explosion of police presence (the NYPD is larger than some standing armies), as well as the broken-windows policy (i.e., busting highly visible small-time crimes on the theory that it will lead to a drop in large crimes, such as vandalism, shoplifting, etc).
You really cannot walk two blocks in Manhattan and not run into a police officer. Presence helps, and IMO these egregious, unconstitutional additions to the NYPD repertoire are just trying to claim rightful credit for crime reductions they didn't cause.
Source: lived in NYC, visited DPRK
Police started looking at other recent street robberies reported in the area. It turned out that a week before the murder, a person was robbed at gunpoint just a few blocks from where the murder took place, and their cellphone was taken. After that theft, call records for that stolen phone started showing showed a woman's phone number.
Upon tracking down that number, they got to a woman who said her boyfriend was involved in the murder. That led to two men being arrested for this and at least one other previously unsolved armed robbery.
However, the NYT article says it can take weeks for a subpoena to be issued and acted upon by the phone company. So I question whether a database like that would really have even been helpful in a situation like this, since they'd need the data a lot sooner after an incident.
Seems to me that this might be more of an attempt to mine phone records on a larger scale and look for drug networks or other emerging patterns.
With my base opinion out of the way, I will say I would be comfortable with the kind of tracking you mentioned if there were strong protections on what the police could do with that data. For instance, the phone's owner should be protected from prosecution in similar ways to evidence gained from an illegal search. This data should also have a maximum lifetime. Finally, it should be clear when the records are being requested so the owner of the number can turn it off if they move the number to a new phone.
Unfortunately, I can't imagine these kinds of laws being passed, so, until they do, I'll stick with my default of believing the government should require more effort, not less, to snoop in my life.
But in the process, the Police Department has quietly amassed a trove of telephone logs, all obtained without a court order, that could conceivably be used for any investigative purpose."
Isn't a subpoena a court order?
Wouldn't it make more sense to track device stolen S/N or MEIDs, like they do in Europe? I guess that would involve some sort of scary IT investment.