The Delaware State Police have admitted to operating insecure surveillance cameras at the Milford Liberty gas station and a second unknown location in the Harrington area. This confession comes after an anonymous source contacted CopBlaster.com with the URLs of the cameras, Cop Blaster contacted media in the Milford area, and Dan Gaffney investigated.
To sum up this story: Dan Gaffney posted pictures of the camera on his Facebook page and began asking questions on 5/19; The cameras were password protected by the end of the business day on 5/20; On 5/21 Dan Gaffney posted an update with a picture showing that the Milford Liberty camera had been removed; On 5/22 Dan Gaffney did an update on his radio show with some new information.
The new information included a direct quote from Milford Police Chief Kenneth Brown "I am aware of it but it belongs to another agency...Delaware State Police is who you need to talk to." Dan then contacted the Delaware State Police and received a response from Melissa Jaffe stating that they "are aware of the aforementioned camera, aware of vulnerabilities associated with these types of cameras" and said their intent was to monitor for crime in plain view after receiving complaints from citizens.
Jaffe's comments might make sense at first, unless you ask more questions. Gaffney raised the point that when citizens of Milford file complaints they file them with the Milford Police and not the State Police. The likelihood of the State Police installing cameras withing a municipality due to complaints from citizens of that city is not very high. Something else is probably going on. There is also an important question to ask based on her admission that they do not have a warrant for the cameras. The cameras could see into people's homes and the second camera seemed specifically aimed at someone's home for the purpose of seeing what they were doing inside as well as outside. I've asked some lawyers I know for input on this issue.
Despite the DSP being the ones that should have been most embarrassed, it was Delmarva Power that offered the worst response. Some guy named Timothy stated "Delmarva Power does not permit the installation of hidden cameras on our utility poles." As if to suggest that there are now and have never been such cameras on their poles or that someone installed them without their knowledge.
The Delaware Electrical Cooperative offered a better explanation stating "on rare occasions the coop partners with local police requests to protect public safety."
Before Gaffney started asking questions based on our tip from an anonymous source, anyone that knew the URLs of the cameras could change their rotation, angle, and zoom to target anything in range they wanted to peep on.
A small town just got a little more privacy thanks to Dan Gaffney and of course our anonymous source.
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