Smile, You're on 3,000 Cameras!

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London by security camera. Photo: Getty images

First Google Street View and now this: Should you venture below Canal Street starting later this year, prepare to give up all expectations of privacy. Wherever you look, chances are you'll be recorded. The city (once again aping London) is about to begin installing a massive system of cameras, license-plate readers, and "movable roadblocks" on the city's southern tip. While the Brits have an appropriately imperial name for it — Ring of Steel — we'll have to make do with the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative. If all goes well, the total number of new downtown cameras will eventually exceed 3,000. (That's, to put it conservatively, several per street corner.) And wait until they figure out that those anti-terrorist plate readers can be put to great use minting tickets for running a red light. Or, at least, catching you eating trans fats.

New York Plans Surveillance Veil for Downtown [NYT]