An article on DNAInfo illustrates Chicago's efforts to expand its surveillance camera program in light of the Boston bombings. Citing a recent ACLU of Illinois report on the city's video surveillance cameras, there are approximately 22,000 surveillance cameras accessed by city officials. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has endorsed the use of surveillance cameras to reduce crime. The ACLU of Illinois has called for increased transparency around how they are used. DNAInfo talked to ACLU of Illinois senior staff counsel and author of the camera report, Adam Schwartz:
"We believe there ought to be written, binding rules that limit the use of these cameras," Schwartz said.
The ACLU seeks to impose legal demands for probable cause and reasonable suspicion in their use, as well as limits on how long footage can be retained and how it can be distributed to other government agencies for investigations. It would also like to see the number and location of cameras officially published, along with an annual report on their use.
The City Council, however, has thus far been unresponsive to ACLU calls for more oversight.