Ray Kelly: Americans Don’t Mind Surveillance, It’s the Secrecy That Hurts

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28:  Commissioner of the New York City Police Department Ray Kelly attends the 2011 Skate for a Safe City hosted by the New York City Police Department at Wollman Rink, Central Park on March 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage) *** Local Caption *** Ray KellyNEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28:  Commissioner of the New York City Police Department Ray Kelly attends the 2011 Skate for a Safe City hosted by the New York City Police Department at Wollman Rink, Central Park on March 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
Photo: Michael Stewart/2011 Michael Stewart

Ray Kelly is a man who knows his way around a surveillance scandal, so you might think he'd have some sympathy for the NSA. However, the police commissioner has split with the federal government on the NSA's phone and data collection programs, saying, “I don’t think it ever should have been made secret.” Unsurprisingly, Kelly believes that the public will happily give up some privacy in the name of safety. “I think the American public can accept the fact if you tell them that every time you pick up the phone it’s going to be recorded and it goes to the government,” Kelly says. “I think the public can understand that. I see no reason why that program was placed in the secret category.” Surely it's just a coincidence that the feds recently defied Kelly by recommending an independent monitor for the NYPD.