8/07/2007

Safe or Sorry?


According to a recent survey, 71% of Americans favor the increased use of surveillance cameras. Frankly, this surprised me. This is the trend, though. Large cities are increasing using networks of surveillance cameras to replace or supplement police patrols. London is covered in them. New York City and DC are getting there and Chicago has ambitions to be like London within the next few years. And few people are complaining.

What do you think about this? On the one hand, there is the argument that if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about and increased surveillance will only make the world safer. On the other hand (the one tattooed "Remember 1984"), are concerns that giving any government that kind of omnipresence is only opening us up for abuse and totalitarianism.

I'm inclined to agree with the latter. I think what the majority of people may not be considering is the fact that extreme measures put in place today are likely to still be there tomorrow. Governments rarely pull back their power once it has been expanded. You may feel that your government is benevolent today and has your best interests at heart, so you put your faith in them and allow them to watch and record all of your comings and goings. Bomb plots are foiled. Gang problems are reduced. It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood. But what about tomorrow?

2 comments:

Nate C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nate C. said...

Interesting article today referenced the ACLU's "Surveillance Society Clock," similar to The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock":

http://www.aclu.org/privacy/spying/surveillancesocietyclock.html