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Wilmington ready to use freed analog signals


Wilmington will soon have greater access to WiFi. Our city was the first in the nation to switch to digital television, and the move left lots of open analog air space. Now Wilmington will be the first in the nation to use what's called "white spaces" to improve access to the wireless Internet. It will also allow for a wireless network of web cameras around town.

"We've got the county, New Hanover, that's putting cameras in the parks," Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, "and also being able to provide WiFi and Internet accessibility in areas of our community that don't have it now."

Several national media outlets as well as mayors from across the state are expected to attend the February 24 launch of the TV White Spaces Network.

We'll have more stories in the coming week explaining what this is all about.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Here's one for the privacy

Here's one for the privacy advocates among us...

Not the same

Again, that is not the same as being in public. Anyway, when the laptops were issued they were informed that "monitoring" could be done.

From CNN: "In an "acceptable-use" agreement, the families are made aware of the school's ability to "monitor" the hardware, he said, but it stops short of explicitly explaining the security feature. He termed that a mistake."

Speaking of Privacy

Then, I question ya'll how long will it take the (thought Police) to use these same airwaves to spy **ON YOU**, via a "software Program"? Or record your cell phone conversation over these same "airwaves"?
Or a "web-cam" happens to be able to "see you" INSIDE your home/car/etc?
But hey as long as your not "breaking the law", Lord forbid, in the Privacy of your own home, inside your car etc.. 1984 INDEED.
How much, of OUR FREEDOM & LIBERTIES ARE WE WILLING TO "GIVE UP", In the names of, "the WAR on Drugs/War on Terror, ad-infinitum?
Link---> www.boingboing>dot

According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools' administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families. The issue came to light when the Robbins's child was disciplined for "improper behavior in his home" and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all students issued with these machines.
Lawsuit link--> http://craphound>dot Let me make a few points clearly for any school district (hint hint) that thinks this sort of thing is appropriate, permissible, legal, or anything of the sort.

Unlawfully activating a device like this in states without obtaining two-party consent is unlawful wiretapping and everyone involved in the decision to do so has committed a serious felony. Everyone has a presumption of privacy in their own home, which is the predicate requirement for eavesdropping or wiretapping (in the legal sense) to have taken place. Even in a state with one-party consent you can't remotely activate someone's device without THEIR consent.

Since the "wires" (communications lines) are used for this and The Internet is inherently an interstate (and indeed international) network it is also, in many if not most or all cases, a federal offense.

There is serious civil liability that can attach to such an act as well, leaving aside (for the moment) the potential criminal issues.
Finally, and most importantly, federal, state and local government employees who act outside of their lawful authority can be held personally responsible for their actions.

That's right. If you're a principal, teacher, superintendent or other "government employee" you are not shielded from personal liability, either civil or criminal, should you engage in such an action.

I will make this perfectly clear:

Any official or employee at an "educational institution" that ever attempts anything similar to this with regard to my daughter better like gay sex a lot because I will do everything in my power to see that they receive lots of it in the state prison system for as many years as I can manage to get them confined for.

I will also do everything in my power to insure that they lose every piece of material property they or their family own, and will note for the peanut gallery that actions taken with malice aforethought that result in civil liability cannot be discharged, nor are assets shielded, in a bankruptcy. This specifically includes one's house and retirement assets in states that have otherwise-impenetrable bankruptcy exemptions for those assets.

After acquiring your home via said lawsuit I will then leave all your personal effects inside and offer to the local fire department the opportunity (legally, natch) to conduct a training exercise on putting out a house fire started by an arsonist with 20 gallons of gasoline. My last act will be to rent a D-8 bulldozer and finish the job.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

Sometimes being a little

Sometimes being a little paranoid might be a good thing. Seems that some of the replies come from those that have already been brainwashed. When privacy is lost, liberties are not far behind. Since I pay taxes and help pay for "public places", it only stands to reason that I should be able to use them without being watched like a criminal. Security cameras in banks, good idea. Spying on the public, not a good idea. Security cameras in retail stores, don't really care for them, but I see the point. At intersections, if they help keep Wilmington traffic moving, I am all for them. What really is sad is that nobody seems to mind what is going on around them. They take whatever any form of government dishes out without a single complaint. You, my friends are not citizens anymore, you are quickly becoming victims.


Perhaps it would be a good time to re-read "1984".

Cameras and privacy

You have absolutely no right to privacy while you are in a public space. That is a well established precedent, upheld by federal and state courts. Remember what the Fourth Amendment specifies: "...persons, houses, papers, and effects.." (The courts have also extended the right of privacy to your automobile, boat, and airplane, but with fewer limitations on law enforcement relative to the sanctity of that right.)

Anyway you slice it however, you have no right to say "Don't look at me" if you're out in public.

That said, there is at least one case wherein a city was forced to move a camera because it could be panned to watch people in a nearby apartment house....and regularly was!

My heartburn with this idea is first, that increased video surveillance isn't the ultimate solution to crime problems that it is made out to be. Both London and New York City praise their video systems (and they do do a lot of good) while admitting that a lot of crime simply moves to areas that aren't under surveillance. An adjunct to that is that our incredibly weak and impotent criminal justice system awaits the robber caught in the act or caught on camera. Solving THAT problem would do far more to quell crime than these cameras.

My second issue is that while the airwaves are free, the cameras and communications devices aren't. We are in a period of extreme economic austerity, but all Saffo can do is spend, spend, spend.

I'm surprised that none of you picked up on the other angle in the story, the government now competing with private industry for the delivery of data services. That rings more Constitutional alarm bells for me than the cameras do.

Well, DW, I look at it like

Well, DW, I look at it like this.......I am not involved in anything illegal, but I do have a problem with my privacy being invaded. If you think it is such a good idea, you are part of the problem. I think pretty soon, you'll be singing a different tune when Big Bro sets up cameras outside your house.


You miss the point, if I am OUTSIDE of my home then I do not care if a camera is on me. How is your privacy being invaded if you are on a public street or in a PUBLIC place? That is not a private place. You lost your privacy when you walked outside your door.

Wish the cameras where pointed right at my house that way I would know who broke in all my neighbors cars a few weeks ago including mine.

With your attitude I suppose you do not shop anywhere that has cameras or dine out or bank....etc.etc.

"Those who would trade

"Those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither" Benjamim Franklin

Still holds true today. I am not worried, I carry something that should take care of most problems, I know how to use it and I will use it.

That isn't going on

You have not lost any freedom because a camera is recording you in a public area. You can still pick your nose, dig for earwax, scratch your butt or any other LEGAL activity without fear or worry of losing one bit of your freedom.


What a great quote. They say it's for security, and it may have a side effect of that to some extent. However, as usual it will probably get used for some other purpose than normally intended.

Yep, Saffo........just what

Yep, Saffo........just what we need. More cameras spying of citizens.


The only people that complain about security cameras in public places are people that have things to hide.

So, what illegal activities are you involved in that you want to keep secret?

If that isnt the case then why would you care? More cameras and more security hopefully will bring down the crime rate in those areas. Criminals do not like being watched now do they?

Way to go Das

You are so right on. If you are not commiting an illegal act then what's to hide? 100% Agree with you !


Imagine what life would have been like during the red scare when Mccarthy was on his witch hunts if we had the technology we have today! How many more lives would have been ruined?! People are also less likely to say what they truly feel when they know a camera is watching due to fear of future reprecussions so it would hinder the free flow of thoughts and ideas that is such a vital and necessary part of a free country. I am not at all implying that this is what Wilmington is trying to do by this whole analog thing but to suggest that only people who are criminals need to worry if there are cameras spying on citizens is dangerously naive.


Paranoid, much?

You will change your mind

You will change your mind real fast if you are the victim of a crime and the perpetrator is caught on camera...


So YOU are another willing to trade your "security" for freedom....interesting....we are becoming the "home of the scared" instead of the "home of the brave" I would rather blow up in an airplane than to give up ONE SINGLE FREEDOM! At least I die FREE!

Tell me

How is a camera on you in a public location costing you any freedom? You can still do any legal activity with a camera on you as you can without one. Take your foil hat off and realize that there are already camera's everywhere. You see them at intersections, bank atm's, most stores and some people have them at their home for security. Most police cars and now some officers are wearing button hole cameras.

I'll tell you. Go look up

I'll tell you. Go look up the story that broke today about the school system who gave 1800 laptops to children and spied on them while in their home with cameras and microphones. That's one good example of how they take their power and abuse it.

Apples and oranges

Yes, if that is the case then the school really stepped in it. I would be curious if it was spelled out in paperwork that the school may logon when the laptops were assigned to the students. But here we are talking about cameras installed in public with views of public areas, not laptops.

UPDATE 2/21/10
From CNN
"In an "acceptable-use" agreement, the families are made aware of the school's ability to "monitor" the hardware, he said, but it stops short of explicitly explaining the security feature. He termed that a mistake."

So they knew they could be monitored when they got the computer.

school laptops

If you are given a laptop with a camera on it by anyone it is possible for them to watch you. Like the Mommy cams etc. My webcam lens is as big as a pea and a little piece of tape will stop anyone seeing through it. Of course I bought my own laptop and didn't rely on others to get me one so I am not worried about anyone accessing it. There has to be software installed and you have to open up a firewall port and get a Dynamic Domain Name System subscription for a user-friendly IP address to access any webcam.

I guess a hacker could do it w/o me knowing it but why would they? LOL

It wasn't hackers, the

It wasn't hackers, the public school system remotely linked into the laptops all along without any parental permission. Why would they is the question? That is a government run public school, no need to. It wasn't ran while they were in school, only at home. I believe ACLU is taking school system to court. Again--as was the point...ABUSE of power seems to always happens!