back to article US Supreme Court asked if cops can plant spy cams around homes

The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday asked the US Supreme Court to consider whether surveillance cameras placed on utility poles by police without a warrant should be allowed to watch people in their homes. The ACLU petition [PDF] for a writ of certiorari – asking the Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision – …

  1. fidodogbreath
    1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Yes and no. They should not be able to register anything beyond, say, 20 feet, which is about where a house property line reaches. A camera lens can be made to have sharp focus within a few feet at the expense of focus at a distance.

      1. jake Silver badge

        20 feet? OK ... Wanna mow my lawn for ten bucks?

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: 20 feet?

          I agree, a comment apparently given by an urban resident.

          My driveway is 450 feet long. My Ring camera captures quite a decent portion of it even if the motion detection is only activated much closer than that.

          Still, back to the topic at hand: you bet there's a reasonable chance that our currently right- leaning SCOTUS will favor the police rather than upholding personal rights.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. jake Silver badge

          And yet passers-by can stroll past your property, filming to their heart's content? Because I'm fairly certain I can dig up any number of street scenes in the country of your choice archived on TehIntraWebTubes, including full views of all the private properties along the way.

          Some laws are just plain silly.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It's not silly,it's only that you haven't spotted the difference between a fixed camera recording everything 24/7, and a passer-by taking a single shot as they walk along.

            And you also forgot the obvious: the passer-by is not allowed to stop and install their camera to record your house 24/7, either.

          2. Snake Silver badge

            Re: some laws

            I agree, some laws are very silly.

            Anyway, you can't see my home from the street (one of the reasons for the 450 foot driveway) so it is an issue that really doesn't apply to me, sorry.

    2. jake Silver badge

      The doorbell cams are fine. It is Amazon sharing the video with the cops that is disgusting.

      What happens in my front yard is my issue, not Amazon's, and not the Police's. At least not until I choose to involve them.

      I use dawgs, not cameras. No batteries or cloud required.

      1. Rattus
        Mushroom

        The doorbell cams are fine. It is Amazon sharing the video with the cops that is disgusting.

        and yet you choose to give the video footage to amazon in the first place...

        if you think that the footage is yours why are you sending it to Amazon?

        Wake up

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: The doorbell cams are fine. It is Amazon sharing the video with the cops that is disgusting.

          I didn't do anything of the sort.

          I take it you didn't bother to read the colophon ...

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: The doorbell cams are fine. It is Amazon sharing the video with the cops that is disgusting.

          jake is doing neither, as he clearly indicated in the post you are replying to.

      2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        -- I use dawgs, not cameras. No batteries or cloud required. --

        And if you feed them the callers no food bills either!

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Those are privately owned

      There's a big difference from the government specially placing a camera to surveil a particular house and a homeowner deciding to place a camera on their private property. Now if Amazon shares that video with the police without the owner's knowledge or opt-in permission that's a different matter.

      The correct comparison would be the police showing up at the house across the street and offering to give them a free Ring if they could have access to the video.

      Now I'm sure the police are arguing "well we could have staked out the house for 8 months, this is pretty much the same thing" and I wouldn't be surprised if the courts accept that view.

      1. FILE_ID.DIZ
        Boffin

        Re: Those are privately owned

        Correct you are, except that the police doesn't need to give that homeowner a "Ring" branded camera. The brand doesn't matter whatsoever.

        In the case of Ring video, in the TOS, you grant a right to Amazon to do whatever they want with that content. They have accordingly resold that right to both private and public entities for their purposes.

        Since Amazon has a right to those videos and has agreements to provide those videos to various government entities, the Fourth Amendment no longer applies. This would be no different than a security camera of a private business that recorded a crime and the Police used that video to identity the criminal and further use that video in a Court of Law.

        Speaking further about cameras which a Government installs, one has to look no further than the botched surveillance of Robert Kraft (plus 30+ others) vs Palm Beach County/Jupiter Beach PD for recent, prior case history.

    4. joed

      Unrestricted the use by government is/should be limited by existing wiretaps laws. Obviously government agents are notorious for testing the limits of the law and supreme court is here to intervene. Being preoccupied but by other controversial matters likely won't help here.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ring doorbells should be illegal, or at least require the consent of properties within the visible range of the camera.

      I don't wnt some curtain twitching lunatic recording my front door and windows to the cloud 24/7.

      If I wanted to be observed 24/7, I'd go on reality TV.

      1. jake Silver badge

        "If I wanted to be observed 24/7, I'd go on reality TV."

        If you don't want to be observed 24/7, you probably shouldn't live where the neighbor's doorbell can see into your front door and windows.

        The only thing that travels faster than light is gossip. Shakespeare knew this long before computers & clouds.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Take a US Civics course (which 99% of American's under 60 never have)

      The 4th Amendment protects against government searches. It does not protect you against a private party. If the private party snuck onto your lawn, that's trespass, a criminal act. But if they take a picture of you, independent of whether the camera is on their property or public property, there's nothing you can do about it & they have broken no laws. Furthermore, they can give the images/videos of the camera to Law Enforcement. Whether Law Enforcement can use them in court has more to do with chain of custody issues than much of anything else.

      The Bill of Rights applies to the Government, not private parties. That is why free speech and privacy generally do not apply in the workplace in the US.

  2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    "nothing stops police from using these small, cheap cameras to watch anyone's — or everyone's — homes without limit."

    A 12 foot hedge.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which is much below the top of a 40 foot pole.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        No poles in my neighborhood. Underground wiring.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Meh

          There's underground wiring in my area, but lamp posts are not underground.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Seems to me the cops aren't even supposed to look over a 6 foot fence without a warrant, unless there is probable cause ... and that probable cause better be more than "I thought I heard something funny".

      1. xyz Silver badge

        Quick question... What's a foot? 21st century people!!! No neandertal mesurements please.

        1. jake Silver badge

          "Quick disingenuous question..."

          FTFY

          "What's a foot?"

          It is 1/5280th of one of your miles. Which you know full well, you pretentious idiot.

          Alternately, it is the body part voted most likely to be inserted rectally in people like you.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Heh, that was before 1959.

            Now it's based on the meter, 0.3048 of it exactly.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Are you forgetting this is the Register???

              1 foot equals

              0.0331 double decker bus

              0.0139 brontosaurus

              0.05 giraffe

            2. Falmari Silver badge

              Still 5,280

              @AC"Now it's based on the meter, 0.3048 of it exactly."

              That makes no difference still 5,280 feet in a mile.

              1 Foot = 0.3048 Meters

              1 Mile = 1,609.344 Meters.

              1,609.344 / 0.3048 = 5,280

              So still 5,280

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Still 5,280

                US or UK feet?

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: Still 5,280

                  Statute miles or nautical ones….

                  1. Joe W Silver badge

                    Re: Still 5,280

                    Or Scandinavian? Those are 10km....

                    1. Flightmode
                      Headmaster

                      Re: Still 5,280

                      Actually, in Denmark a mil is 7532.48 meters. (Then again, we only have hearsay on that due to the Kamelåså effect[0].)

                      The rest of us use 10000 meters, though.

                      [0] https://youtu.be/s-mOy8VUEBk

                      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

                        Re: Still 5,280

                        You just bought a tousand litres of milk.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Still 5,280

                  laden or unladen?

                  1. milliemoo83

                    Re: Still 5,280

                    "laden or unladen?"

                    African or European?

                3. This post has been deleted by its author

                4. Blank Reg

                  Re: Still 5,280

                  or maybe US survey foot

          2. katrinab Silver badge
            Coat

            2.1772 linguine

        2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          re: Quick question... What's a foot?

          Since this site went all USAified, and those heathens refuse to join the rest of the world, Feet and Inches it is. Plus, US Pints and Gallons rule ok.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: re: Quick question... What's a foot?

            The UK may have adopted metric units, but they don't seem particularly good at always sticking to them either. I certainly saw plenty of mentions of imperial units before the style change, not to mention that when we have comments written by people from lots of places, we're going to get whatever units the individual writing likes. You can't blame a comment's choice of units on El Reg's writing standards.

            1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

              Re: re: Quick question... What's a foot?

              We use both. Legally, all of our units are defined in metric, but any law or signage referring to distances still has to be written in miles, feet, and inches. All of our building materials are metric. Most tape measures use inches on one side and centimetres on the other.

              It works. Why force the issue?

          2. David Nash Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: re: Quick question... What's a foot?

            Feet and inches are generally understood I think (TV screens, anyone?) but US pints and gallons just means you get less beer and should be banned.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: re: Quick question... What's a foot?

              Except for the fact that most bars that will serve you a Pint in the US will generally serve you a 20oz pint.

              Yes, really.

        3. david 12 Silver badge

          Around here, everything has gone 'metric' and has been for a very long time. For example, dressed timber is sold in lengths labeled 90cm, 1.2m and 1.8 mm. (Why those lengths? 3ft, 4ft and 6ft). And pipe threads use the European 'metric' standard too -- British Standard Pipe

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Pipes

            > And pipe threads use the European 'metric' standard too -- British Standard Pipe

            Yeap!

            Where my German made shower is connected to my British pipework it needs a converter to go from the UK 15mm pipe to the German 3/4" fittings.

            It's not just pipes.

            Hang around the classic car forums and here the lamentations of the poor bastards who've ended up with a car with metric diameter wheels and need new tyres.

            From discussions working with Europeans over the years it seems lots of countries sell timber in metric lengths and inch cross sections.

            1. Sam not the Viking Silver badge

              Re: Pipes

              My local wood-yard sold prepared timber priced in units of "square-inch per foot". You think this is bonkers until you want to price a job. Of course, this is sawn-timber; planed comes out 1/16" smaller on each side. It is surprising how modern 'metric' timber conforms to these sizes.

              Apologies for not converting this into standard units.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            BSP

            The computer industry does not have a monopoly on confusing standards and incompatibility.

            British Standard Pipe thread is a prime example. It's a minefield of things that look the same but don't quite fit together.

            I needed to cut a 3/4 inch BSP thread on a pipe in my bathroom. Should be simple enough!

            1) I borrowed a thread cutter from my neighbour, but it was a modern one and only had metric dies, so that didn't work.

            2) I borrowed a thread cutter from my dad, long ago he was an electrician. But it turns out that BSP thread for electrical conduit is a different pitch to BSP thread for water pipe. So that didn't work.

            3) I bought an old second hand thread cutter on ebay. But it turned out that one was for gas pipe. BSP thread for gas pipe is tapered whereas BSP thread for water pipe is straight. So that didn't work either.

            4) I gave up and found another way to do the job.

            On a building site it's a good idea to make the gas, water and electrical pipes incompatible with each other. And to make sure that each tradesman's tool only cuts the right thread for his trade. Because mix ups do happen and water and gas gushing out of a fuse board can be problematic.

            But to call them all "British Standard Pipe" thread is just downright misleading. Why not call them "British Water thread", "British Gas thread" and "British Electric thread" and clearly label the cutting tools appropriately?

            1. David Nash Silver badge

              Re: BSP

              I don't think it's gas vs water, there is BSPT (tapered) and BSP straight. Both can be found on water fittings for example. It depends on the type of fitting. A parallel/straight thread needs an end washer to seal, a tapered one does not.

            2. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

              Re: BSP

              2) I borrowed a thread cutter from my dad, long ago he was an electrician. But it turns out that BSP thread for electrical conduit is a different pitch to BSP thread for water pipe.

              Conduit isn't BSP, so no, there isn't a "different BSP" for conduits. These days they are metric (e.g. 20mm and 25mm are the most common), but before they went metric, they used specific threads, e.g. see here. Also be aware that there was a range of Pg threads used for a while (starting in Germany and spreading out) before a switch to metric was mandated.

              BSP thread for gas pipe is tapered whereas BSP thread for water pipe is straight

              Hold on a moment - parallel threads are used where parallel threads are appropriate, tapered threads are used where tapered threads are appropriate. A die will initially cut a (sort of) tapered thread (inherent in the way they are machined to make then usable) but will end up cutting a parallel thread once you get to full thread depth. Ditto taps.

              I needed to cut a 3/4 inch BSP thread on a pipe in my bathroom

              Out of curiosity, why ?

              Was this a case of having a metal pipe that had been cut off and needed threading to bring it back into use ? Or something else ?

              Apart from threading the pipe, there are also a variety of non-threaded fittings available which can be used to connect an "old" galv water pipe to something more modern.

          3. jake Silver badge

            "and 1.8 mm"

            What do you do with 1.8mm timbers? Toothpick blanks?

        4. Christoph
          Holmes

          "What's a foot?"

          The Game's Afoot!

      2. trindflo Bronze badge
        Big Brother

        6' wall is no problem for google earth

        A little off-topic, and I know that I saw the story break elsewhere, but right now I can only find it on the guardian without paywalls:

        googles-earth-how-the-tech-giant-is-helping-the-state-spy-on-us

        The question of whether the police can peer over a wall is all somewhat moot if police can purchase images taken by private companies and then use that to establish probable cause, even for petty things. My recollection is government agencies were looking to fine people for unregistered dogs for instance and saw no issue with using cameras in the sky to do it.

        Google earth is not as personal as from atop a pole, but it goes to precedent where the government agency is simply buying the video from a private company. Also, if the pole belongs to a state agency there might be an issue, but if the pole belongs to a private company or the camera is attached to equipment that belongs to a private company it is likely fair game at the moment.

        Privacy laws are a very thin veil. We're being sold the emperor's new clothes.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Seems to me the cops aren't even supposed to look over a 6 foot fence without a warrant, unless there is probable cause

        It's more complicated than that (isn't it always?), but in the US, it's true that the police aren't allowed to penetrate the curtilage without a warrant or probable cause. Some of the cases testing this are interesting, such as those involving the famous Mullet Doctrine.

        Regarding the original post in this thread: In most of the places I've lived, you'd need to secure a zoning variance to have a hedge, fence, or other obstruction more than 6 feet or so tall around your property, never mind 12 feet. That doesn't mean you couldn't get away with having one without a variance, particularly in rural areas, but technically it would be illegal and the municipality or county could make you shorten it.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      How easy is it to simply install that on a whim? Asking for a friend. I also have a feeling that it takes a lot of space and maintenance. Maybe covering the whole house with a massive blanket would work better.

      1. jake Silver badge

        "How easy is it to simply install that on a whim?"

        Simple, if you have money. There even outfits that will rent them to you ... 12 foot hedge, by the foot, by the day/week/month. Comes in anything from a simple shade screen, like a few layers of bamboo, to a nice, dense privacy screen of boxwood, privet, yew or holly. Maintenance is done by the rental company, and typically they are about 18 inches deep.

        Much loved by Brides for photography. Lookup "hedge wall rental" in the search engine of your choice. Not my cuppa (I prefer a more natural look), but some people like them :-)

        I have also seen huge mazes made with these things. Personally, I'd grow corn (maize), but I guess some people don't have the lead-time or the ability to plan in advance.

        1. Dronius

          So we're going to google "bride's bush rentals"

          ...... oh heck!

  3. Old Used Programmer

    Solution....

    Why does the idea of a drone equipped with a can of spray paint suddenly become appealing...?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Solution....

      Just jam the frequency the camera is using. Accidentally, of course.

      1. Innominate Chicken

        Re: Solution....

        The FCC would be coming to have a word about that

        1. Woza
          Joke

          Re: Solution....

          Depends how you jam it - if you use raspberry jam, FCC wouldn't care.

          Just need to get in touch with Lone Star.

          1. milliemoo83

            Re: Solution....

            Dark Helmet might.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Solution....

          Not necessarily. For example, an inexpensive baby-monitor can overwhelm a very expensive so-called surveillance camera. I've seen it.

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Solution....

        Jam it both sides of 510 nm using a power white light.

    2. stiine Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Solution....

      Because you have to know its there before you can do anything about it, be it spray paint, RF, a laser pointer, etc.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Solution....

        there is still the EMP effect...

    3. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: Solution....

      Or a decently powerful BB gun.

    4. Ghostman

      Re: Solution....

      Just mount a a plug in laser on a gimbaled base and aim it at the camera. Cops come by and complain, tell them not to put a camera where it looks into the laser, in the bedroom, of my daughter/wife.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One Nation ...

    ... under Surveillance

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: One Nation ...

      Yes, and no. Lots and lots of cameras. But very, very few that are actually taking pictures that are worth anything, being low-res and/or B&W, with lenses covered in dust and bird shit. Many/most of the government ones appear to be phony cameras that don't actually do anything at all ... I've found dozens (hundreds?) in scrap yards that were removed from city streets and public buildings, but are just empty shells, and have obviously never actually contained the necessary electronics. For one concrete example, BART was caught doing this a while back ...

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: One Nation ...

        You can use AI to filter these images for anything incriminatory.

        But it is now far easier then to use AI to generate the surveillance images you need to condemn someone...

      2. tyrfing

        Re: One Nation ...

        Of course these were bought full price as if they were cameras and installed by your government (or government-run corporation) by union personnel...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So if the police can use ring doorbells or street cameras to monitor what's going on inside a property or through windows, then what's to stop them using mmRadar or other tech to see what's going on inside a house.

    Where does it stop?

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      When you will have nothing to hide, of course.

      1. jake Silver badge

        In other news ...

        ... the beatings will continue until morale improves.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Just one question

    The ACLU wants a warrant to be served for installing police cameras on utility poles.

    My question : to who do they serve the warrant ?

    When the police have a warrant to investigate a house or an appartment, they serve it to the occupant of said habitation. That's normal.

    So, who gets to see that warrant when it's a utility pole ? The mayor ? The inhabitants 100 meters around the utility pole ?

    1. Spamfast
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Just one question

      to who do they serve the warrant

      First off, it's "to whom".

      Second they don't serve the warrant. They go to a judge and convince him/her that they have probable cause and so obtain permission - aka a warrant - to proceed with the surveillance. It doesn't have to be served on anyone. In days of yore this was the process by which the cops obtained the right to tap someone's phone. It would be pretty useless if the surveilled had to be informed beforehand.

      Not that I condone state surveillance - almost all of it is egregious and illegal.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Just one question

      The warrant is issued by a Judge to the police i.e judicial oversight.

    3. Alistair
      Windows

      Re: Just one question

      Monitoring warrants get served to the provisioner of said monitoring.

      Old world, cops would go to Ma Bell and get a tap installed on your line, that would allow it to be recorded in a police controlled environment. Usually a room at the switch site.

      Now, they typically go to the NP, (even with MVNO target) and get the same process engaged, but with subtly different hardware.

      Video wise, where they have a municipally provided system, they go to the operator and get recordings made.

      The *target* of the surveillance does NOT need to be informed of said surveillance. This is the point.

      The ACLU's single biggest point here is that the camera(s) was/were deployed without the legal over site of a jurist, for *long term* surveillance. The cops can do that "I heard screams" thing for one off, immediate intervention, this is the pivot of the Good Samaritan clauses in a lot of american law, but cannot use that principle for long term surveillance. The cops rebuttal will be that they were deploying it themselves, and did not need a provider. I'm gonna bet that the *owner* of the pole is a local utility provider, either or both electric and telecoms. If the pole owner is a telelcom provider, the cops are loosing this one in a hurry. If it is a power provider, there may be a corner brief about not having in place a well known process for passing the warrant, but that is a razor thin ledge the cops are standing on.

  7. DJO Silver badge

    Tricky for the Supremes

    How are they going to word it so that it's legal to surveil poor people but not people like themselves.

    1. Snowy Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Tricky for the Supremes

      Simple if they can see your house from the street your too poor to matter.

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Tricky for the Supremes

      Already sorted, rich neighbourhood have underground wires instead of overhead, so there are no poles to mount the cameras on.

      1. Snowy Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Tricky for the Supremes

        Thy still have street lighting?

  8. Peter D

    Stakeout

    Isn't this just a stakeout with a twist of modernity but without the doughnuts and peeing into bottles?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stakeout

      But a stakeout requires a warrant, which is why this "utility pole" surveillance should, too.

    2. Jon 37

      Re: Stakeout

      There are practical limits on the number of stakeouts that the police can run at any one time. They have limited manpower.

      Using cameras works around that problem, allowing surveillance on a massive scale that would have been unimaginable to the authors of the Constitution.

      So the question is is: does the constitution allow the police to do that without a warrant?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Stakeout

        "There are practical limits on the number of stakeouts that the police can run at any one time. They have limited manpower."

        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? —Decimus Junius Juvenalis, Roman Empire, 347(ish)

      2. Simon Reed

        Re: Stakeout

        Ask the Stasi about manpower limits. When half the population is spying on the other half, there are no limits.

        Essentially what this permits is the 1984 video screen in the home that watches you all day, looking for thoughtcrime..

  9. Tron Silver badge

    I've just developed a novel solution to this offering a whole new level of personal privacy.

    I'm calling them 'net curtains'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm calling them 'net curtains'

      Sadly, that will just make the GQP Thought Police suspect that you are grooming your kids to change their gender.

      There will be no escape from the cameras unless you have donated at least $20M to the cause every year for the past five years.

      Next, all visitors (legal or not) will be required to wear a GPS transponder 24/7 just in case they are committing a crime. After all, and according to Margery TrainWreck Green, everyone coming into the USA is either a criminal or coming to have non-white babies.

      Old Adolf had nothing on this lot.

      1. trindflo Bronze badge

        Re: I'm calling them 'net curtains'

        I think your mileage may vary on using net curtains. They block human eyesight pretty effectively, but there are cameras (e.g. infrared) that probably don't even register the presence of those curtains. Perhaps there is a market for something similar with metal fibers woven into the fabric.

        1. Ropewash

          Re: I'm calling them 'net curtains'

          Well you might be in luck there as your window glass is a solid black wall to many IR cameras.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: I've just developed a novel solution to this offering a whole new level of personal privacy.

      Net curtains don't work all the well when it;s dark outside and light inside ...

  10. Cheshire Cat
    Stop

    How about this - you can use cameras, but they must not be able to see more than the naked eye of a person standing on the ground. Any more than that, and you need a court order. So, you can't just stick one 10m up in the air on a pole without additional oversight ...

    If a member of the public isn't allowed to do it outside YOUR house, then you probably need a court order to do it outside THEIRS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nope. They need a warrant for anything more than a drive-by. If they want to do a stake-out and watch all day long, they need a warrant.

      PERIOD.

    2. Spazturtle Silver badge

      "How about this - you can use cameras, but they must not be able to see more than the naked eye of a person standing on the ground. Any more than that, and you need a court order."

      That's what the law already is.

  11. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    The trees have eyes

    At least they didn't attack / vandalise any trees: https://www.theregister.com/2022/11/17/security_firms_nyc_trees/

    "Private security firms in New York City have co-opted public resources – specifically trees – to track their guards as they make their rounds.

    According to Gothamist, a New York-focused news site, security contractors have been drilling into trees on public city streets to install signaling hardware to ensure that guards are following their patrol routes."

  12. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Hey, You Other Feddies and States! Stay Out of Our Bailiwick!

    ... even though we're not getting the job properly done -- our campaign contributors like things just the way they are now.

  13. cosmodrome

    You have no expectation of privacy

    You have no expectation of privacy when in public. Your property is whithin public space so you have no expectation of privacy at home.

    Privacy is public!

    War is peace!

    Ignorance is bliss!

    1. The Bobster
      Coat

      Re: You have no expectation of privacy

      France is bacon!

  14. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Were the defendants condemned? If not, presumption of innocence should prevail and their names shouldn't be printed. If they are innocent and as the Net never forgives, they will be "forever" associated with a bad action they were cleared of.

    == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

  15. Nik 2

    I have seen manufacturing drawings with a dimension given as 300mm +- 0.001 inch

    Which still works, even if it is fundamentally silly.

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Maybe the engineer knew the fab had metric instruments and the shop had standard ones. Yeah, probably not.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tin foil

    Cover the entire house!

    Quick!

  17. Spanners Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    What can "I" do

    If someone - Police, FBI, NSA or any other criminals, plant cameras round someones house, are they allowed to remove and return them?

    I presume they are not allowed to destroy them?

  18. duggzdebuggz

    Spy cams at home

    I didn't think that they needed permission...I thought that they had been doing it for years...with sound, on the television, the radio, your lightbulbs, washing machines, fridges, dishwashers, in your computer laptop and phones...motor car in the driveway or garage...from satellites above and drones. What do they want permission for...

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