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City May Beef Up Security With Live Monitoring

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There goes our hopes for a city-wide reality show. Mayor Newsom's anti-crime advisor (can we say Crime Czar?) is recommending live monitoring of the city's video surveillance system. Currently, the 144 cameras in City Hall are monitored around the clock, but the footage from the 75 civic cameras scattered across the city is only accessible if detectives believe it could aid in a criminal case — which has happened exactly once in the three years the cameras have been in use. This poor performance partly stems from the fact that these cameras aren't exactly recording HD quality footage — due to budget constraints, the already choppy cameras are set to record data at only 80% of the available resolution. Even if the cries of privacy advocates are ignored and changes are implemented, Big Brother won't be quite all-seeing as the current cameras aren't actually designed for live monitoring. Without the ability to pan or zoom, their use will be extremely limited. For his part, Gavs believes the cameras deter crime but stands opposed to live monitoring. "It's not me," he said in an interview last year, "That's big brother."
· New criminal justice chief wants cops monitoring cameras [SF Gate]