Wednesday, February 25, 2009

security cameras

As the crime rate rises, partly due to the recession, and partly due to the crumbling of our society, more and more there is a call for surveillance cameras. This is a particularly insidious threat in and of itself. As I have written before, corporations and governments (really the same thing) will ALWAYS abuse any power given to them. Without a framework of limits on their use, which we need yesterday, mission creep of these things will erode privacy and liberty at an ever increasing rate.

Much has already been written on this subject. Here are just a few examples:

dailymail in uk: Graffiti artist pulls audacious stunt despite CCTV

wired blog: US Surveillance

justicetalking blog: When the watchers watch themselves

Here I have nothing more than a couple of thoughts to throw in:
Security cameras can be generally lumped into 4 categories:

1. Privately owned, like residential.

2. Small business, like the neighborhood grocer or church.

3. Big Corporations, like Wal-Mart and Lockheed Martin

4. And then there is government, under which I would, of course, include any contractors engaged in business directly for the government, whether it be a highway construction crew or the shell corporations created to run "red light cameras" and "speed control cameras."

I would love to see a comprehensive plan on how to prevent the mission creep, ever extending retention dates, and ever expanding reach of these cameras, lest we someday awaken to a truly Orwellian existence.

Of course, I would favor ever increasing restrictions going from least restrictive in category 1 to most restrictive in category 4. But all of this is mostly just academic fodder. The average citizen has no power to limit the reach of government or corporations. But we can make our opinions known, and hopefully someone will stumble across them and give them some consideration.


The IT Juggler said...

I kinda get caught in the dichotomy of "loving what technology can do to make our world better" and "restricting and limiting the use of technology to keep our privacy and rights secure". It's somewhat like being crossbred between a labrador and a rottwieler.
I posted a link on my blog yesterday that demonstrates how far photography has come, in conjunction with technology. But the possible invasion of privacy now capable is terrifying to say the least.

I can't post a link (replying from my blackberry) but the main url is and the asrticle is titled "President Obama, Big Brother is watching you"

Jane said...

I believe technology to an extent can solve some of our issues, but it is mankind who have created this technology and always there is chance of misuse.
For example, installing security cameras to an extent can reduce crime rate, but at the same time, it is not fool proof method, there are lot of loop holes to bypass these security cameras and commit crime, so until the attitude is changed, there is no fool proof method.

TRex said...

No need to worry, IT Juggler, since you were "logged in" when you left the comment, I could follow the "left by" link to your site.

Your site is a bit busy for me though (actually took two trys to get my computer to load it). I am a laborer off line and a simple man on line and love technology for the ability to communicate with a few friends and a few like minded people.

Jane, I am not even sure you are for real. A one entry blog screams "spam," but since there is some (very little) personal opinion in there I will give it the benifit of the doubt for now.