From Vice Motherboard by Aaron Gordon: SF Mayor ‘Wallpapered Over’ Privacy Concerns About Police Access to Live Surveillance Cameras, Docs Show

The only surveillance device that I own is a doorbell camera. I specifically went with a smaller brand device than Amazon or Google owned devices, because their terms and conditions remove my ability to decide who can access my own camera’s recordings.

I understand the material captured by my doorbell camera to be identical in privacy to any other things in life that I chose to document, be it with the camera on my phone or the things I write down on a piece of paper. It should be up to me and only me as to who that information is shared with. If I am to be compelled by the state to surrender that information, I expect my rights to due process.

The article linked above is part of the erosion of that right. Whether or not you believe that people in the United States live in a “police state” or a “surveillance state, I trust that you believe that the state having unfettered access to your own documents (digital or analog) is, at least, on the way to either of those descriptors.

I do have to conclude this brief post with a bit of confusion though - has any police department had a difficult time with having business owners or individual citizens providing these recordings without issue? If the local police department contacted me, told me that the believe that a serious crime occurred in front of my front door at a certain time, I’d check the footage, and if I found something that would help out my community - I’d provide it to the police without further thought. I have serious doubts that any police investigations into any serious crimes would need any warrants to acquire the evidence they need. This strikes me as a police department that does not want to be hampered by having to actually interact with the populace that it services and/or is lazy about doing its own job.