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Americans Want More Surveillance


At the bank, the airport, paying a toll -- Americans know they are probably being watched and have come to expect it. Increasingly, surveillance cameras are becoming even more commonplace. Paul Sisco reports.

Roving electronic eyes are going up in American cities at a rate of fifteen per week. Some listen as well as look.

John Lewin is with the Chicago police. "We see a reduction in crime in the areas around the cameras. It may not be feasible to put a police officer on every corner but some day it might be possible to put a camera on every corner."

London's four million cameras and sensors helped identify suspects in June’s failed bombings and those behind the deadly terrorist attacks two summers ago.

Major U.S. cities are catching up. New York is adding 3,000 cameras. In Washington, San Francisco, and elsewhere, governments and businesses are installing more cameras. A recent poll says nearly three of four Americans are all for it.

Security expert Jerry Hauer is not. "If someone is willing to give their life in the execution of a terrorist event, then the security camera is going to have virtually no impact."

Some, like civil liberties advocate Melissa Ngo, fears misuse and loss of privacy. “Will we become a society where every single move you make is being watched?"

Night cameras were used by police to monitor protesters at the last Republican convention in New York. Airport cameras in San Francisco were used to ogle women. Conversely, police and security officials say even when cameras do not always prevent crimes, they can be deterrents and aid in catching those who commit them.

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