CCTV and Civil Liberties after the London Terror Attacks

Without security there is no freedom, says Jack Gin


The July 7 terrorist attack in London is more complicated and more calculated than the Omagh attack of 1998. While the authorities continue to analyze thousands of surveillance videos, they are also asking private companies and the public to help with providing cellular phone records, pictures and email records. Even tourist camcorder tapings are being requested.

Such requests illustrate that the police want all the help they can get. As security professionals, and as citizens also, do we not owe it to our own police forces - the very people charged with preserving the safety of our communities - to provide the very best technology available to help them do their jobs?

I believe that it is in our collective interest -- the interest of public security and justice - to equip police properly over the protests of personal privacy pundits. Those who argue feverishly for civil liberties may point to questionable statistics that simply do not account for all the untold stories of how advances in technology have legitimately helped police fulfill their responsibilities. For those who would rather limit the capabilities of their police forces, jeopardize public safety and prolong the suffering of victims, I suggest that without security, we would lose the foundation upon which civil liberties exist. Without security, we would have no freedom.

About the Author:

Jack Gin is President and CEO of Extreme CCTV, a producer of active-infrared technology and precision-engineered surveillance products with offices in the UK, Canada, and the British West Indies. The company's products have been used in some of the London Underground's tunnels. He is a regular contributor to various trade publications and speaker at several events in North America and the UK on the topics of infrared, night-vision surveillance and security.