> I don't care if half of the population is made up of busybody
> tattletales who think this is a good thing. Tell me, how many of you
> people actually care for the busybody tattltales you've met in your
> life? None? Well, what you are talking about is making everybody hate
> everybody, everybody afraid of everybody. Contrary to earlier comments
> from Spike and den, it won't only be criminals who will be afraid of
> observation, it will also be people trying to get out of bad
> relationships being observed on by their tormentors, adding fuel to the
> fire, and will likely increase domestic violence. It will also be
> employees trying to go to interviews at potential new jobs, and having
> their current employer observe this, which will obviously make the
> situation difficult for those with abusive or overbearing 'empire
> builder' type bosses.
> Also, there will also be the current pariah of the moment, you know,
> those people that the public opinion and media hysteria sensationalizes
> a fury of public hate for. If you think the system will not be abused by
> people seeking to spy on and persecute the public pariah of the moment,
> you are kidding yourself.
Straw man fallacy detected? I don't see how my web cam idea could *ever* lead to the situations you describe above. You and *only* you are in control of when/how/who can keep an eye on your house while you're gone. When you're at home you just put a lid on your cam, or pull out the plug, and presto!, not even the world's greatest hacker can sneak a peek. You could even make the system so that the data is only transmitted to you (your laptop, computer at work, mobile phone) and no-one else.
By the way, adding one of those pain field generators to your surveillance setup could make the system even more efficient; the device(s) can be hidden and the bad guy will feel most unpleasant and soon leave (or pass out). Or you could have some other remotely controlled or automatic weapon, the sky is the limit.
Anyway, back to the issue of privacy: I'm *not* advocating "transparency" (I value my privacy too), but a) anti-burgular surveillance in people's homes as described above and b) surveillance by either the state or private institutions/persons (or both) of public spaces like streets. There is no privacy on the street anyway, so nothing is lost. For system b I propose a system with very little "active" (by people watching monitors) surveillance, just the hot spots like busy shopping streets etc., but instead "passive" surveillance which means that the data is digitally stored somewhere for later reference. It is only accessed for legal purposes. As the system only monitors public spaces, privacy is *not an issue*. That's it. I hope this clears things up somewhat.
Having said this, I think that true ubiquitous surveillance, i.e. everyone spying on everyone else, is the wave of the future. It can't be stopped without stopping progress itself (I don't like it either, but that's the way it is).