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The article on the Philadelphia Police Department’s high-tech “24-hour emergency surveillance center” lacks any critical perspective whatsoever. A better article would have counterposed PPD mouthpieces with critics who have raised important questions over cost-benefit, privacy, misuse of surveillance imagery and a lack of guidelines over the proper and improper use of these systems. Given the department’s notorious record of police brutality and civil liberties violations, one would think these concerns would be important to address. Come on.

Merlin Chowkwanyun is a History Ph.D. and Master of Public Health candidate at the School of Arts and Sciences. His email address is

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