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The impact of cctv on the prevention of terrorism

Messenger The Abbott government has announced 54 schools around Australia will receive funding for security guards and CCTV cameras in an attempt to prevent possible terrorist attacks.

  • Yet CCTV did little to prevent a man from being bludgeoned to death with a metal pole at Sydney Airport last month during a fight between the Comanchero and Hells Angels bikie gangs;
  • Yet CCTV did little to prevent a man from being bludgeoned to death with a metal pole at Sydney Airport last month during a fight between the Comanchero and Hells Angels bikie gangs;
  • And humans are… only human.

He said his government would: The funding for this surveillance in schools was released in conjunction with a concerted anti-terrorism effort that included the cancellation of welfare payments and revoking the passports of citizens assessed to be a threat. When Justice Minister Michael Keenan made the announcement that certain schools would have these measure put in place, he said: All our children have the right to be educated in a safe and secure setting.

What are the consequences of having these cameras in schools?

Surveillance Cameras against Terrorism: Is More Accountability Required?

CCTV can be used in situations where blame and punishment need to be mediated. The security in one school is described as: However, a study in the UK documented the tactics students devised to protect their privacy.

  • Public authorities should periodically assess the use of surveillance cameras, especially if their use was largely justified on the basis of fighting terrorism;
  • Airport sniffer dogs safe from dole , Science Online, 16 Aug 2006 There are dozens of CCTV cameras at Sydney Airport, but despite this 'high security', a man was killed in broad daylight a few weeks ago;
  • The funding for this surveillance in schools was released in conjunction with a concerted anti-terrorism effort that included the cancellation of welfare payments and revoking the passports of citizens assessed to be a threat;
  • Really, 30 to 40 minutes is the maximum you can monitor effectively what's going on in a very complex environment.

These included avoiding monitored areas, altering their position and appearance to restrict CCTV identification, and repositioning the cameras. Research into the impacts of surveillance suggests that cameras do not exacerbate levels of fear in a community, nor do students feel that having cameras in a school is evidence that the school is taking their security seriously.

After the attacks additional surveillance policies were put in place to respond to the possibility that schools could be a terrorist target. With recent attacks on schools in Nigeria and Pakistanalong with the recent events in Martin PlaceSydney, it is important to consider measures to keep schools and young people safe.

It is also important to note that there is no evidence that cameras keep schools safe. Some researchers in America suggest that the costs and contracts surrounding this surveillance warrant further investigation.

Protection versus privacy At the very least it should be made clear that the footage and other data collected will not be used to invade the privacy of young people. How the data will be stored, who has access to it and how it will be used need to be stipulated.

In Britain, somebody's watching you

This is particularly important given the plan involves 17 Jewish and 15 Islamic schools, groups that have historically been targeted for surveillance based on profiling. These measures have purportedly been put in place to protect these groups, which may be necessary due to recent rises in prejudice against them.

Certainly in Australia, trust in government has had a sharp decline. Participation in democracy has also fallen.

It is therefore even more important to consider the wishes and rights of young people regarding surveillance and data collection in their schools.

This needs to be considered before any impingement upon freedoms and liberties of citizens, particularly those who are still too young to have a political voice.