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Homeland Security and Drug Money Place Lewiston under Constant Surveillance

There’s a reasonable expectation today that when you go out in public you will be under surveillance most of the time. I think most people understand that, and they support it.

— Lewiston, Maine Assistant City Administrator Phil Nadeau

With a crime rate well below the national average, Lewiston, Maine is not a dangerous place to live. And yet Lewiston’s entire downtown area, its parks, its schools and its libraries are under 24-hour surveillance from a connected network of video cameras. The cameras read license plates. Video is stored for 45 days so that information about activity occurring outside in the city of Lewiston can be recovered after the fact. One high school alone in this low-crime city, Lewiston High School, is peppered with 68 cameras, all of which feed information directly to the Lewiston Police Department. And the city of Lewiston is planning the installation of yet more cameras in the near future.

Where did the city of Lewiston get the money to install all these cameras and put its citizens under constant surveillance? From the Department of Homeland Security and from property confiscated by the police department from suspected drug users.

Has there ever been a terrorist attack in the city of Lewiston, Maine? No.

Is drug use overtaking the city of Lewiston, Maine? No. Fewer than 1,000 people entered rehab for cocaine abuse in the entire state of Maine in 2008, the last year for which data is available. Just 1.4 kilograms of cocaine were seized in the state of Maine during 2008. There were no meth lab busts and no methamphetamine seizures. No heroin seizures, either. In the entire state. There were only 68 drug arrests in the state in 2007, the last year for which this data is available, reflecting a 36% decline since 2003.

Terrorism, drugs and crime are not overwhelming problems in the state of Maine or the city of Lewiston. Yet using funds from the War On Terror and the War on Drugs city administrators in Lewiston, Maine have placed the city under constant, current and even retrospective surveillance.

There’s a reasonable expectation today that when you go out in public you will be under surveillance most of the time. I think most people understand that, and they support it.

— Lewiston, Maine Assistant City Administrator Phil Nadeau

Do you expect it? Do you support it? Or do you just not care?

5 comments to Homeland Security and Drug Money Place Lewiston under Constant Surveillance

  • Thanks to the insanity of Homeland Insecurity, I expect it, but in no way whatsoever do I support it. It is miles beyond the boundary of reasonable search and seizure.

  • Tom

    The Vast Machine growing by the year (since 2001), with the circumvention of the Constitution, is creating our modern police state & prison planet.

    • Jim

      Jeremy Bentham called it the Panopticon. When authorities can watch you and you cannot watch them, you are under control.

      • I think it’s a situation within which pressures make it extremely difficult, and extremely risky to act independently, and so the individual is strongly motivated to act in ways which authorities desire. It takes a remarkable act of bravery to behave otherwise.

        The difference with the Panopticon and our situation is that there is no visual reminder of being watched. The surveillance is remaining hidden – at least to those who aren’t paying attention to what’s happened with legislation in Congress, which would be the majority of Americans.

  • ramone

    nothing like putting the fear of big brother into high schoolers. i was going to say the fear of god, but, that would be the parents that have been lead to believe the devils around every corner. so, we must protect our kids at all cost, even relinguising our most cherished civil liberties. the kids are smarter, they see how big brother and organized religion have conspired to turn their parents into mush minded lemmings willing to follow any power mongering group that tells them what they want to hear, and in the process make the teenagers lives miserable. they, alone, are willing to stand up to this tyranny…
    wait a minute… i do believe that is B movie plot. any resemblance to any persons, living or dead is purely coincidence.

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