The San Jose City Council is considering a proposal to install over 39,000 “smart streetlights.” A pilot program is already underway. These smart streetlights are not themselves a surveillance technology. But they have ports on top that, in the future, could accommodate surveillance technology, such as video cameras and microphones. EFF and our allies sent a letter to the San Jose City Council urging them to adopt an ordinance to ensure democratic control of all of that community’s surveillance technology decisions—including whether to plug spy cameras into the ports of smart streetlights.
As we have been following on SecurityHive.com, the use as evidence of video surveillance of a camera pointed at the front of a home (or business) from a "public vantage point" is working its way through the courts. Where an Appeals Court had previous allowed such evidence, now a judge has ruled that such evidence gathering activities violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As posted on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website: The public got an early holiday gift today when a federal court agreed with us that six weeks of continually video recording the frontyard of someone’s home without a search warrant violates the Fourth Amendment.