Binghamton’s Office of Corporation Counsel determined a video posted of the Joint Sewage Treatment Plant by City Councilman Dan Livingston to be a security breach.
On May 24th while touring the plant, Livingston streamed a live video to his public Facebook page.
The more than hour long video featured multiple non-public areas under construction, plant layout, security features, and more.
The video was removed later that day, but the city’s attorney’s office is trying to gain access to the video so they can get an idea of the extent of the breach.
Mayor Rich David says it’s not an issue of denying the public access and that if Livingston contacted the city first they could have figured out what areas could be filmed.
He says it is an issue of public safety as what’s discharged into the river from that facility directly impacts the drinking water of multiple communities.
David says “These actions are both reckless and naive. When you disregard safety and security you jeopardize the employees safety and you jeopardize the public’s safety at large.”
This comes after a November 2018 audit from the State Comptroller that determined the city should improve efforts to monitor public disclosure of vital information regarding the plant.
The comptroller also directed the city to remove a detailed tour video of another facility that was posted prior to 2014.
This led to the city adopting a policy that laid out what information was appropriate to be posted to the web in February of this year.
Livingston says that similar to when the city posted the other video, that was taken down, his intentions were to create transparency.
He says with the city trying to put the plant under private management, it is something that demands the publics attention and he just wanted to help keep everyone informed.
Livingston says “I’m not trying to drag the city. I think we all had good intentions and as soon as we were called out we did the right thing. I think the language the mayor is using is a little inflammatory. At the end of the day we’re all just trying to do the best thing we can for the city and that’s what this was about.”
He says going forward, he will check with the city’s attorneys before posting content to the web that could pose a security risk.