My little town that in the Phoenix area is apparently setting up surveillance cameras all over town, hidden in fake cacti. This never once was discussed in any public meeting, and residents only found out about it when the cameras starting going up.
Residents were alarmed to see the cactus cameras popping up throughout the town over the last few days with no indication of what they were being used for as city officials refused to explain their purpose until all the cameras were installed.
Town leaders initially declined to even talk to local station Fox 10 about the cameras, with Paradise Valley Police saying they were “not prepared to make a statement at this time.” The network was similarly rebuffed when they attempted to get answers on license plate scanners that were being installed in traffic lights back in February.
Fox 10’s Jill Monier was eventually able to speak to Town Manager Kevin Burke, who admitted that the cameras were being used to “run license plates of cars against a hotlist database.”
When asked why officials had been secretive about the cameras, which are being placed on the perimeter of the town, Burke asserted that there was “nothing to hide” and that the cameras wouldn’t be activated until privacy concerns had been addressed.
“Shouldn’t that have been vetted before they even went up?” asked Monier, to which Burke responded, “It probably is fair.”
This appears to be part of the on-again-pretend-to-be-off-again DHS program to set up nationwide tracking of license plates. Ugh. Really gives a creepy Owrellian vibe to our town name of "Paradise Valley". More good news:
The American Civil Liberties Union subsequently revealed that the cameras were also using facial recognition technology to record who was traveling in the vehicle “as part of an official exercise to build a database on people’s lives,” reported the Guardian.