NYCLU Says New York City’s “Ring of Steel” Surveillance Plan Raises Privacy Concerns

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
July 9, 2007 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – The New York Civil Liberties Union today called on city officials to ensure that any new surveillance plan for New York City is subject to public input and external oversight mechanisms and includes significant privacy protections to prevent abuse.

“Our historic respect for the line stopping the government from monitoring American’s legitimate activities and movements must not be obliterated in the name of fighting terrorism,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman.

The New York Police Department today announced that it will be implementing a multi-million dollar web of cameras and roadblocks that will be modeled on London’s “Ring of Steel” system and will track the movements of the thousands of cars and people who enter lower Manhattan every day.

“The ‘Ring of Steel’ plan is a major step towards blanket police monitoring of law-abiding New Yorkers, and it could lead us down a path towards a total surveillance society,” Lieberman said. “Before the NYPD is allowed to spend tens of millions of public dollars on a plan that will put hundreds of thousands of innocent people into police computers, New Yorkers must have the opportunity to consider the consequences of such a plan and the assurance that it would carry strict privacy protections and external oversight.”

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