Very soon after the Boston Bombings April 15, some like Rep. Peter King (R-NY) were making a case for more surveillance cameras in public places. Not only could the cameras help increase public safety, proponents would argue, but -- as in the case with catching the suspects in the bombing of the Boston Marathon -- the surveillance footage can be used in investigations. Still, privacy advocates have long spoken against a pervasive use of the technology.
But what does the American public think?
According to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, 70 percent of Americans favor the use of surveillance cameras in public places. At the same time, 23 percent have said they think the existing cameras have violated their privacy and 24 percent reported believing the U.S. legal system worries too much about public safety. Conversely, 28 percent said the system worries too much about protecting individual rights.
Of the 1,000 adults surveyed a week after the Boston bombings, 18 percent opposed the use of surveillance cameras in public and 11 percent were undecided on the issue.
As TheBlaze reported a couple days after the marathon attack, which killed three and injured hundreds, Rep. King said on MSNBC he favored more cameras, pointing to the success of the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, to "stay ahead of terrorists."
"So yes, I do favor more cameras. They're a great law enforcement method and device. And again, it keeps us ahead of the terrorists, who are constantly trying to kill us," King said.
More recently, King on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday said he felt police should increase surveillance on Muslim communities specifically, even though he said "most Muslims [are] outstanding people."
To Politico over the weekend, King expounded upon this idea.
"When you're going after the Mafia you go to Italian communities... If you're looking for Islamic terrorism, you focus on Muslim communities," he told Politico. "We're at war with Islamic terrorism. It's coming from people within the Muslim community by the terrorists coming from that community, just like the Mafia comes from Italian communities."
King clashed on the topic with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a Muslim Democrat, who said on "Meet the Press" that not only would this tactic be "ineffective" at thwarting crimes, but compared it to internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.
King countered saying "internment" is not what he meant but more simply that people need to "accept the reality that the element is coming from within the Muslim community."
- Political Correctness and Preventing Islamic Radicalization at Home
- Do Boston Bombings Make a Case for More Camera Surveillance
- Rep. Keith Ellison Compares Muslim Community to Japanese Internment During WWII
- 'Dangers of Surveillance': Privacy Expert Reviews Why Increased Spying Is Bad
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.
- Politics & Government