Fruitful and Multiplying: Number of Cameras in NYC Continues to Rise

Despite objections of NYCLU, city and businesses continue to add surveillance to help fight crime

The NYCLU's Lieberman concedes the cameras can help solve crimes. But she claims there's no proof that they deter terrorism or more mundane crime, and some critics say it just pushes crime to where the cameras aren't.

"No one's saying there should be no video cameras, but let's not look at them as a quick fix," she said.

Whether the cameras threaten or protect society, the interns have encountered hurdles in their counting.

At one point, uniformed officers outside the Federal Reserve Bank demanded identification and warned, "if the information we had fell into the hands of terrorists, it would be a problem," said Peter Pantelis, 20, a student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Susanna Groves, 19, of the University of Michigan, recalled finding herself staring up an ornate streetlight, convinced a hidden camera was snapping pictures of her.

"I know I'm getting paranoid," she said. "But I also know there are a lot of cameras out there."