Neighborhood watch once meant groups of neighbors volunteering to patrol the streets on frigid nights, keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity. All of that is changing in the high tech era. Now members of neighborhood watch can patrol their neighborhoods from the comfort of their homes, thanks to the Neighborhood Central crime prevention service and Logitech.

Neighborhood Central is a social networking program that allows people to share information about crime with their neighbors in real time. It describes itself as being “designed to give communities the ability to interact, react and communicate in an organized way.”

To improve the program’s effectiveness Logitech has donated fifty security cameras to neighborhood associations to help them keep an eye on the streets. According to Logitech’s Eric Kintz, ““It’s HD quality so you can see license plates, recognize faces, and its motion sensitive so that you can record what matters to you.”

Some people have questioned whether installing cameras in neighborhoods constitutes an invasion of privacy, and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court has noted that “this type of surveillance provokes an immediate negative visceral reaction: indiscriminate video surveillance raises the specter of the Owellian State.” On the other hand, since police officers already patrol the streets, it seems unlikely that a court would consider a video camera which “observes” the same public area as harming an individual.
Read More at the California Research Bureau.
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