Archive for the 'Privacy' Category

Fighting Crime from the Sofa

surveillance cameraLook Ma, no privacy!. It looks like the public is slowly being groomed to accept more and more invasion of their privacy at an even greater scale than before. London is piloting a program that will allow their public to sit at home, watching television, to tune into the more than 400 closed circuit cameras around town, 24×7, to watch their citizens for crime.

What does this REALLY do?

Well, for one.. it makes it easier to anonymously report your neighbors for their crimes (remember ThoughtCrime?), and it also makes it MUCH easier for predators, pedophiles and other miscreants to zoom in on their prey, watch their habits, monitor their behaviors, and stalk them.

Nice.

Combine this with Apple’s All-Seeing Monitor, and you have a full 360-° solution to watching the people, and watching the watchers. Record all of this data (storage is cheap these days), and begin putting together profiles of everyone’s behaviors, by keeping them in their homes during great television shows, keep them outside during work hours, and so on.

Hey, this could all be a great experiment on how to control the human conscious, by filling it with all kinds of subconscious bombardment. At the same time, we slowly erode their civil liberties, burn the Constitution off in the corner, and begin to turn our world into a complete totalitarian state.

Here’s a note to the current administration thinking this is somehow a good idea:

George Orwell’s book 1984 was meant to be a warning, not a script! – David A. Desrosiers, 2005

This reminds me of David Brin’s “Transparent Society” (on amazon here), a non-fiction work wherein he forecasts the erosion of privacy, as it is overtaken by low-cost surveillance, communication and database technology.

Brin argues that true privacy will be lost in the “transparent society”; however, we have the choice between one that offers the illusion of privacy by restricting the power of surveillance to authorities, or one that destroys that illusion by offering everyone access (including the ability to watch the watchers).

There’s another great article in the Arizona Republic online edition, that describes all of the various ways in which our privacy is being eroded every day. Here are some of those examples:

  • Cameras eye you while you drive, bank, shop, eat and sometimes even when you stray into your neighbor’s yard.
  • Your boss could be monitoring your computer-usage habits, maybe reading your private e-mails. Even the bathroom may not be safe from snoopers.
  • Stores keep track of your shopping habits, sometimes sharing the fact that you prefer Crest over Colgate with marketers.
  • Applying for a mortgage lays open the full details of your financial, employment and residential history.

This quote really stands out in this piece:

“Former Phoenix Police Chief Harold Hurtt, who now heads the Houston Police Department, suggested recently that crime-fighting in Houston could be enhanced with surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, on downtown streets and in private homes.”

“I know a lot of people are concerned about ‘Big Brother,’ ” Hurtt told reporters at a briefing in Houston, “but my response to that is if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?”

Perhaps Harold, because it violates the Constitution? Read your 4th Amendment recently? Just because you think you CAN stick cameras in every corner, doesn’t mean you’re legally allowed to.

And for that matter, why not just stick my own cameras on my own house, pointed in every corner of the street, driveway, street corners, and put those videos online for others to see. Its all public information, right?

These people seriously need a wake-up call.

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