This Can Be Done Privately
According to Stewart Baker of the Volokh Conspiracy:
On the other hand, MSNBC reports:
New York has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars on street cameras. The lower Manhattan camera project was expected to cost $90 million and to network 3,000 cameras. That’s $30,000 per camera. The project is being expanded to midtown at a similar cost.
Despite all this funding, though, we don’t have pictures of the wannabe bomber. That’s probably because NYC hasn’t finished installing the midtown system.
But there’s another problem; 3,000 cameras aren’t really enough to take pictures all across lower Manhattan, if what you want is a record of everything that happens for later investigation. Inevitably, there are lots of blind spots in the system, at the same time that it costs an arm and a leg for each camera, which creates an incentive not to put cameras in low-risk areas.
It looks like we don't need a vast expansion of government. Even the surveillance video could have been taken by a privately-owned camera.
Police investigating a failed car bomb left in Times Square have videotape of a possible suspect shedding clothing in an alley and putting it in a bag, Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Sunday.
The surveillance video shows a white man in his 40s taking off one shirt, revealing another underneath.
Kelly said officers were on their way to a Pennsylvania town to talk to a tourist who also might have recorded the suspect on his video camera.