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Boston Bombing Clues Could Lead To Wider Camera Debate

While the nation waits to hear if police have identified any suspects in the bombing at the Boston Marathon, news agencies are reporting that investigators are working leads provided by private video cameras — either owned by businesses or tv stations.

They are the kind of cameras that are becoming more and more common.  This week, they’re credited for possibly helping the Boston investigation.  Next week, it could be something else, somewhere else.

“People’s homes, people’s businesses, and chances are it’s going to catch something bad like this when it happens,” said Bryan Legard, the president of the CCTV security company.  Legard also operates the Project NOLA network of security cameras.

No doubt, cameras are becoming more common.  But not everyone is on board with their proliferation.

Already the debate is underway regarding the use of drones with cameras for surveillance purposes.  Not only are the federal as well as state and local governments around the country using or considering the use of the drones, the high-tech machines are available at malls for the general public to buy and fly.  At least one of the more popular consumer models includes a high-definition camera that allows its pilot to record video on a cell phone or tablet.

The ACLU is also on record for expressing concerns over the expanding use of cameras, saying it is a potential threat to privacy.

But when the cameras in question could help solve the nation’s latest terror attack on American soil, few people are ready to complain about their use.

“There really isn’t much question left.  You have a picture of that person doing that with the harmful device. How are you going to say that wasn’t you?” Lagarde said.

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