You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Letters | HEIGHTENED SECURITY? OR INSECURITY?

Over-surveillance is not the answer

A surveillance camera in New York’s Financial District.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A surveillance camera in New York’s Financial District.

Video surveillance can be effective in helping to solve some crimes, but it is largely ineffective in deterring violent crimes. Fear-driven calls for more surveillance oversimplify cameras’ role in public safety (“Surveillance cameras a tool for deterrence,” Editorial, April 20).

Surveillance cameras did not prevent the Boston Marathon attack, the London subway bombing, or the attempted bombing of Times Square. Numerous studies show that they do not deter serious or violent crime.

Continue reading below

To the extent that video images may help track perpetrators, security cameras may be appropriate at high-profile public places and events. But proposals for suspicionless monitoring of all actions and public movements have the opposite effect, expanding the intelligence haystack without making the needle easier to find. Public safety would be better served by investing in community policing, analysis, and outreach.

Fear must not drive us to abandon core American values of privacy and liberty, particularly when doing so fails to enhance public safety.

Kade Crockford

Director

Technology for Liberty

Project

ACLU of Massachusetts

Boston

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.