SAN DIEGO – The man whose livestream caught two Navy ships nearly colliding in the San Diego Bay has been ordered to take the cameras down.
The Navy Criminal Investigative Service says the camera’s livestream shows military activity in the area, but the camera owner says he has the right to film.
“It might be the San Diego Web Cam today, but if you don’t stand up and call foul, we don’t know what’s it going to be tomorrow,” said Barry Bahrami who runs a group called San Diego Web Cam which provides livestreams across the city.
It was Bahrami’s video that showed the near collision of two Navy ships at the San Diego Bay back in November. The incident is also commonly referred to as “Warship Chicken” which now stands at the center of a new controversy.
“Now we have government censorship simply out of spite because we showed something they didn’t like,” said Bahrami.
He said the National Park Service has removed two of his cameras at Cabrillo National Monument per the Navy’s request, citing the protection of military personnel.
“One thing that is distinguishable about this web cam company is that they were very careful not to film anything that might cause privacy issues,” explained FOX 5 Legal Analyst Wendy Patrick. “It’s also fueling the argument on why they want to know exactly why this request was made to take these cameras down,”
Running for nearly a decade, Bahrami said his cameras were removed just days after the Navy’s investigation findings were released last month.
“We were there for 10 years and then to suddenly make up a reason to take them down, that’s just bologna I don’t think anyone believes that,” said Bahrami.
The NCIS responded to the matter in a statement to FOX 5, citing security concerns:
“NCIS recently expressed force protection concerns to the National Park Service related to the privately owned webcams. We look forward to continuing close coordination with NPS. The private webcams and YouTube channel provided 24-hour webcam monitoring of vessels and equities located aboard Naval Air Station North Island, including aircraft hangars and flight lines, Naval Base Point Loma submarine assets, and the tracking of military personnel working aboard Naval Base Coronado.”
Bahrami believes that argument has no ground and ultimately removes San Diegans and naval families from connecting to America’s Finest City.
“The cameras are taken down on private property and the footage is something that has a lot of views people are very interested in,” Patrick said. “There are people that relied on those webcams to watch loved ones coming and going.”
Bahrami announced plans Tuesday to add more cameras to San Diego to replace the two that were removed and said he’s also developing an app that would allow anyone to set up a webcam in the city.