Friday, November 09, 2018

Creepy cameras appear in downtown Bethesda - are they recording you? (Photos)

Several surveillance cameras have appeared in the Woodmont Triangle area of Bethesda over the last 48 hours. They are attached to poles at many locations, including outside of the apartment building for homeless people at the corner of Cordell and Woodmont Avenues, at Cordell and Wisconsin Avenues, outside Sala Thai on Cordell, outside Manny & Olga's at Rugby and Woodmont Avenues, and outside Harris Teeter at Battery and Woodmont Avenues.

With no public announcement of the installation or purpose of the cameras, the appearance of the webcams is rather creepy. I asked Bethesda Urban Partnership about the cameras, and a spokesperson said the organization - which maintains the downtown Bethesda business district - was not aware of them. It's somewhat troubling that such an extensive network of cameras could be installed on public property without Montgomery County government or the public being informed.

The cameras belong to National Data & Surveying Services, which provides them for surveillance purposes, primarily in the field of traffic data collection. They record video around the clock with a birds-eye camera lens. The cameras are also utilized to monitor large public events, and for "graffiti patrol."

Jonathan Brubaker, DMV-area Manager for NDS, says that the cameras are collecting data on the volume and type of vehicles passing by. The footage is not stored, he said, but is turned into data which is then handed over to their clients. When asked if pedestrians' faces are obscured in the collected footage, Brubaker said no facial recognition was being utilized. Are license plates being recorded by the cameras? Brubaker said "no personal information" is being collected.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is very disturbing and creepy

Anna said...

Just accept it that we're always being watched by some camera somewhere.

Anonymous said...

You'd prefer that the County not have accurate statistics on traffic in our Bethesda, given that the volume of traffic is probably the biggest complaint of most residents?

Robert Dyer said...

6:07: If this is accurate, it will be the first time after years of fake traffic studies.

But the election results, if you assume they are legitimate, indicate that "most residents" who vote love sitting in traffic, as they elected the whole war-on-cars slate to the Council. Enjoy another decade of traffic jams.

Anonymous said...

Waaah waaah waaah whines the three-time loser

Friends of Woodmont Triangle said...

Given that some of the cameras are facing residential buildings, we need full disclosure on what is being recorded.

Anna said...

6:23 AM Why? Are you doing something illegal you don't want recorded?

Anonymous said...

6:32 AM Would you like a camera peering into your bedroom?

Anonymous said...

@ 6:23 AM wants to see naked people. LOL

Anna said...

6:34AM - You don't shut the blinds? You carelessly expose yourself to others?

Suze said...

Regarding the "war on cars slate" claim - Andrew Friedson of D1, at least, is on record as supporting both roads and transit when it comes to new infrastructure. I'm not sure where he stands on M83, but he did say he supports the widening of 270, with the caveat that it include dedicated reversible bus lanes. I believe Evan Glass said much the same. So maybe double check what someone has said publicly before smearing them.

Anonymous said...

Glass is a roads and highways guy?

Anonymous said...

MoCo Loves diversity. Might be time to go full Burqa. Not sure the 6'4" is going unnoticed though.

Anonymous said...

Lol at 7:25

Anonymous said...

8:51 AM lives in a world where 6pm in Bethesda is the "middle of the night". Are you weighing in from the UK?

Maloney Concrete said...

7:59 AM/8:07 AM/8:51 AM you're a one note insulter. After all these years, at least develop some new material. You're a self proclaimed blogger so you can do better.

Anna said...

After all these years, Dyer still skulks, and it's still creepy.

Calling someone a one-note insulter? On Dyer's blog? And it's not Dyer?
There's a whole lotta pots and kettles involved in your comment.

Cy said...

Similar camera spotted on Aspen Hill Road in Aspen Hill

Anonymous said...

9:48 again, 6pm in downtown Bethesda is not the "middle of the night unless you're located in the UK.

And using the same insults towards Dyer for so many years got old a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

11:06am Sala Thai is open in the photo on a weeknight.

I'm sorry, but it can't have been "the middle of the night".

Keep going with your false narrative.

Anna said...

Again, I never said a time. Please stop lying.

Anonymous said...

There is a homeless shelter in the background of the first pic. Maybe a security measure for people sneaking around at night and taking pics.

Anonymous said...

12:11 PM Ok, we agree Dyer isn't walking around "in the middle of the night". We're making progress!

Sunset is 5pm tonight. I hope journalists won't refuse to cover stuff after 5pm.

Anonymous said...

2:39pm always has poor impulse control

Anonymous said...

2:39 - That would be just desserts for the ParvaCam.

Jason Frost said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

How does 9:22 AM/9:54 AM/12:29 PM know that the photos were taken at "6 PM"?

Anonymous said...

"the apartment building for homeless people at the corner of Cordell and Woodmont Avenues...

"...at Cordell and Wisconsin Avenues"

That's kind of redundant.

That's kind of redundant.

#Derp

Anonymous said...

Who'd think Dyer's troll, in 2018, would be stuck with the same insults he has been using for 6+ years?

Anonymous said...

Wonder is a homeless shelter is also considered an apartment? The building at the corner of Woodmont and Cordell used to be an office building. Please help BtB.

Anna said...

Really? 6+ years? Insulting the same thing?

“Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.” Marcus Tullius Cicero, (106-43 BC)

Anna said...

How did their "beef" start?

How is it different than Dyer having the same insults for Mr Riemer over a period of years?