When their share of the $2billion runs out, how do you think the operating costs of the cameras and there future expansion are going to be funded...
For some reason the UK and US Governments want universal surveillance (but they want local/state government to do the dirty work for them).
They also want positive identification of individuals via biometric ID cards, which they want the individual to pay for either directly as an ID card or indirectly as a Passport or Driving Licence.
If you think about the costs involved and the very doubtful benifit with regards to crime and terorisum it either has to be gross stupidity or for another reason.
I am betting (as I have said befor) that it is to do with money/taxation, either directly or through the back door (any other idea does not appear to have as much creadence but time will tell).
My reasons for saying the above well, in the UK we have had to live with cameras on the streets since the Thatcher years when it was for security against repeated terorist attacks in London by the Provisional IRA and others. If I remember correctly only once did it actuall help in catching terorists.
I live in a suburban area and cannot walk from my front door to my local town center three miles away without being continously observed. The lens systems on some of the newer cameras are capable of producing a full face view from over 200meters (650ft) away in very low light. They can also read car registration plates easily at similar distances at a rate grater than 10 a second.
Do I feel any safer on my local streets for all these cameras?
Not at all in fact I feel less secure why,
This surveillance has not in any way stopped the local crime figures rising above the national average (as far as I can tell this is true of all areas in the UK where camera surveillance has been in place for more than a year).
At the same time as the cameras have gone up the youth culture has turned to BaseBall caps, hooded jackets, large "gangster" style wrap around sun glasses and large shapless cloathing.
This so effectivly hides a persons identity that even face to face at a couple of feet you would not be able to reliably recognise the person underneath.
Also a gang culture has developed where the members all wear similar cloathing, and will frequently swap jackets, caps and glasses around amongst themselves whilst walking around the streets.
Most of these gangs find it amusing to try and intimidate people by blocking walkways forcing other pedestrians into a confrontation or the danger of walking in the road. In some areas (Ealing) gangs will "steam" into shops and attack the security gaurds, before stealing small quantities of cloathing or other items. THis appears not to be motivated by gain but "For the fun of it" or to get standing within the gang. Likewise the practice of "cutting" appears to be for status, and the ultimate "respect" appears to be for carrying a gun.
Has this surveillance curbed these trends, no it actually appears to be encoraging it. When gang members are arrested it is not the video tapes or other surveillance that convicts them. It's the old fashioned detective work by the policemen on the ground just about every time.
This is why most people I know are asking not for more surveillance but more police on the streets.
ID cards are fairly universal in Europe however I know of no example of a national ID card catching terorists, in fact the oposit appears to be true.
Likewise an ID card does not appear to hinder crime in any way, infact due to the stupidity of others (banks and shops primarily) it appears to make it easier. Crimes involving ID failier appear to be the same or higher in European countries with ID cards than those that don't have them.
In the UK the National ID card has been looking for a purpose to exist for quite some time,
Originally it was going to be an "unemployment benift" card. Supposedly it would reduce fraudulant claims by individuals. However for most individuals commiting benifit fraud it is by "working on the side" for "cash in hand" a National ID card is not going to stop this practice at all (even with other changes in UK laws).
The real benifit fraud that realy costs the Government money in the UK is not carried out by individuals but by highly organised crime gangs for whom fake ID cards is not really going to be an issue.
The second large area is by landlords continuing (falsly) to claim housing benifit for people who have moved on, again an ID card is not realy going to stop this practice.
The only area an ID card would work to reduce benifit fraud is to prevent double claiming. The incidence of double claiming by individuals is so low that it is negligable and they are usually quickly caught any way, so an ID card is not going to make much difference.
When people started to point this out the UK ID card was then supposed to be used to get other benifits such as medical care to prevent "Medical Tourists" from other countries getting free treatment. Again I am not sure that the saving made by an ID card are realy going to be significant when balenced by the costs of the systems to check ID and collect the revinue from non-residents. The exception might be in child birth but in the EU you are allowed the freedom of movment so it would be difficult to stop.
Then due to the mess the UK Government has made of the photo drivers licences it has now been propossed as a driving licence as well...
Recently the US pressing for bio-metric Passports after 9/11 have given the exuse to make the National ID Cards "high tec". Apparently this will help reduce the number of fake ones in circulation...
So if surveillance systems and ID cards do not work and the overriding longterm evidence is they do not why do Governments want to invest so heavily in them?
All the non scary reasons I have heard indicate that it is financial. They range from one critic claiming it is the problem of an ageing population and the cost of pensions. Through to others who have claimed that it alows for the re-deployment of scarce resources, and the reduction in waste.
For camera surveillance systems in the UK we have recently seen laws being used to raise very large sums from motorists. This has either been via congestion charging or speed cameras (which predictably appear to have caused more dangerous driving than they have stopped). There are already proposels to increase the income from both and introduce other income raising systems such as road tolls.
What about National ID cards well, changes in EU and International money laudering laws have necesitated Banks to make positive ID checks on their customers or face large fines. The banks in the UK have complained that this will involve a very large cost to them. Guess what the National ID card was proposed as a solution to the problem, the individual is required by law to buy one, and the banks get to see it for free...
Another plausable claim has been that it is to reduce the UK Government IT costs.
In the UK most of the waste is due to,
1, Poor system specification and open ended scope.
2, Duplicate functionality in systems.
3, Incompatable systems.
If the Government could find ways to combine databases held on individuals and be easily able to index seperate databases then the savings would be very large. Also the ability to data mine to catch people cheating on taxes etc would be hugh with similar revenue creation potential.
So the answer to the question is "YOU ARE GOING TO PAY" one way or the other over and over again. This will be for no real benifit to yourself only to others such as the Government, banks and businesses that supply the systems.