Boston Bombings to Boost Police State Spending

April 30th, 2013 - by admin

Salvador Rodriguez / Los Angeles Times & Kevin Cirilli / Politico & John Zaremba and Dave Wedge / The Boston Herald – 2013-04-30 02:41:42,0,569675.story

After Boston, Spending on Video Surveillance Expected to Surge
Salvador Rodriguez / Los Angeles Times

(April 26, 2013) — Video surveillance, a market that was already on an upward trajectory, is expected to receive a big boost in spending following the bombings in Boston.

The market for video surveillance equipment was already forecast to grow to $20.5 billion in revenue in 2016, up 114% from 2010’s revenue of $9.6 billion, according to IHS, an insights and analytics company. But now, IHS says it is recalculating its forecast after the Boston Marathon bombings.

IHS says high-profile terrorist attacks historically have driven governments to increase spending on video surveillance equipment, and the same is expected following the Boston bombings, in which surveillance cameras played a key role in the investigation.

“While it’s too early to tell exactly what impact the Boston bombing will have, past events — like 9/11 and the London Underground bombings — have led to increased government spending on video surveillance for public spaces, particularly in the transport sector,” said Paul Everett, an IHS senior manager, in a statement.

IHS had anticipated under $15 billion in spending on video surveillance in 2013 and more than $15 billion in 2014, but those numbers are being recalculated and are expected to go up.

Prior to the bombings, growth in the market was being driven by a transition from analog technologies to network-based security systems.

Bill Maher Slams Boston Police
Kevin Cirilli / Politico

(April 27, 2013) — Bill Maher called Boston police officers “unprofessional” on Friday for shooting at the boat where Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding even though it turned out he was unarmed.

“I agree that we shouldn’t have given the kid his Miranda rights because he probably had information. We wanted to take him alive. We all agree with that.… there could’ve been bombs out there, there could’ve been an accomplice. So we wanted to take him alive. If you agree with that then what the cops did there was unprofessional. That’s called contagious fire,” Maher said on HBO’s “Real Time.”

According to reports, no gun was found inside the boat after Tsarnaev was captured, although the Boston Police commissioner had earlier said that cops had exchanged fire with the suspect.

Maher also said that America is becoming a “police state.”

“I want to talk about the police, who I am a supporter of… Look at this, I mean if this is what you have — why don’t you invade a country? …. I mean go up to Canada — take their oil…. This country is becoming a police state. And it is very troubling to me,” Maher said, while showing pictures of police officers patrolling the city and searching for Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother Tamerlan, 26, are accused of being behind the bombings. Tamerlan was killed last week during a police pursuit of the two brothers.

Davis: Arm Us with Cameras, Drones
John Zaremba and Dave Wedge / The Boston Herald

BOSTON (April 24, 2013) — Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis is pushing for a city-run system of eye-level street surveillance technology and making a case for a dedicated NYPD-style anti-terrorism unit to protect Boston from another soft-target strike like the deadly marathon bombing.

“We need to harden our target here,” Davis told the Herald. “We need to make sure terrorists understand that if they’re thinking about coming here, we have certain things in place that would make that not a good idea. Because they could hit any place. They’re going to go for the softest, easiest thing to hit.”

Davis’ push for stepped-up security came as the youngest of the three people killed in Monday’s twin blasts, 8-year-old Martin Richard of Dorchester, was laid to rest in a private funeral. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, faces capital charges for the terror plot after he and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, allegedly infiltrated the finish-line crowd of thousands, unloaded two backpacks containing pressure cooker bombs and detonated them. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed after a shootout with police in Watertown.

“We need to gather all the information we can as to what happened and make a determination as to the overall commitment the city of Boston has to the threat of terrorism,” Davis said. “That’s very, very important to me. It’s very important to the mayor. I’m sure there will be a lot of questions about that.”

Davis said he would also consider deploying domestic reconnaissance drones to hover above next year’s Boston Marathon.

“Drones are a great idea. I don’t know that would be the first place I’d invest money, but certainly to cover an event like this, and have an eye in the sky that would be much cheaper to run than a helicopter is a really good idea,” he said.

The use of domestic surveillance drones to hunt terrorists in US cities has been hotly debated, but yesterday New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said they were all but inevitable.

Davis said he’s envisioning a partnership between the city and businesses to buy and monitor lower-mounted cameras positioned more strategically to capture people’s faces. He said he has no cost estimate, and that he’s not sure whether he will request additional money or find it within the budget.

“There are people talking about it right now. I think that’s one of the things that we just need to put a comprehensive plan together, to be in good position in the future,” Davis said.

City Council President Stephen J. Murphy said he favors more cameras in the city, saying they helped capture the bloodthirsty bombers. He said federal Homeland Security money has been dwindling and suggested the city give tax breaks to businesses that install surveillance gear.

Glenn Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor and frequent critic of government surveillance, said Davis may be giving cameras too much credit. “The record of cameras in catching terrorists has really been pretty lousy,” Reynolds said. “If in fact they caught these guys through the cameras, it’s pretty much the first time.”

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