Some members of a generally panicked public are wondering whether Citi Bikes are more than just a vaguely unreliable means of transportation. A blog post by the comedian John Powers has more than one person convinced the blue bikes are also organs of the increasingly meddlesome NSA, their handlebars equipped not just with bells and gear-shifters, but itty-bitty cameras live-streaming your every...commute?...to a man in an office wearing sunglasses and a tie.
After narrowly avoiding being hit by a taxi cab the bike I was riding fell and the "Citi Bike" facade on the front shattered. Underneath were two tiny video cameras. One camera appears to point up at the rider while the second faces outward and grabs continuous video of everything the bike passes.
Powers goes on to add a
seemingly fictionalreal statement from Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, assuring the Citi Biking public that "(the cameras) will not hurt you or get you in any trouble of any kind. The only people who should worry are the ones on the corner dealing drugs and committing crimes."
We were content to just let this one die last week, but as long as people are wondering...
"This is not true," DOT spokesperson Seth Solomonow said in an email, but not before another spokesperson told us over the phone that he would look into it. Hmmm. Is the denial just a (not terribly) elaborate cover-up? If we were the DOT, and we were trying to hide two tiny surveillance cameras, wouldn't we deny it, too?
In any case, parents might want to think twice before propping their helmet-less children on Citi Bike's handlebars. Never mind the safety of your own flesh and blood—Big Brother could be watching.