Questioning Surveillance’s Role in a Post-Boston Bombing World

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While the world’s eyes locked on one set of brothers, the conversation surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing quickly shifted to Big Brother, and surveillance’s role in preventing acts of terror. We’re here to parse the opinions, and say why everyone is right — and wrong.

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Many have predicted that the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics will be one of surveillance, but with New York’s recent “Domain Awareness System” announcement, it’s looking like city security expansion will be the legacy of 2012 in general.

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Kathy’s Law Passed – Restraining Orders to be Strengthened with GPS Tracking

San Diego’s state assembly committee has passed a bill that would place GPS tracking devices on domestic violence offenders. The bill is named for Kathy Scharbarth, who was strangled outside her home last year by an ex-boyfriend a few days after she obtained a restraining order against him. Had the restraining order been enforced and monitored via a GPS tracker, Kathy would still be alive today. This bill also orders the tracked offender to pay all GPS service fees.

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With last week’s Supreme Court ruling on GPS tracking by police, privacy in the digital age is getting more and more attention. The next issue the justices might have to tackle is whether or not it’s constitutional to use other forms of surveillance — including mobile body scanning technology, which the New York Police Department is set to begin testing this year.

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Facing serious U.S. budget cuts, companies that build high-tech weapons and surveillance tools for the military’s War on Terror will have to look for a new market to sell their high tech drones and surveillance tools. Seeing as the U.S. government wouldn’t want its enemies or other governments to get their hands onto these advanced tools, the companies’ only option would be to try to sell these tools to agencies within the U.S.

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