Re: camera tech for crime prevention
Sat, 2 Oct 1999 22:40:42 EDT

In a message dated 10/2/1999 12:03:25 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< The problem with ubiquitous cameras is one of privacy. Making the world crime-free is not that difficult for societies willing to implement programs of preventative restraint. Your argument of, "if you have nothing to hide, then you surely won't mind if we randomly search your property, tap your phone, monitor your e mail, or film your every move", is not only fallacious, it's vapid. You would appear to be the one who is afraid; fearful enough to sell out your 4th ammendment rights in the name of *safety*. I suggest you move to Singapore; you'll find others there who share your views about the sanctity of safety.


I think the goals of freedom and safety can often conflict (but can also synergize). The porblem with the old, "If you have nothing to hide, then it should be okay for us to look," is that you may have something to hide, but that doesn't mean that it is a bad thing. How about work in progress? Sometimes you want to wait to have a finished product before revealing it to the world. Sometimes, something might happen that while innocuous, might be a little embarrassing if aired. If we had the kind of culture that was accepting of all the little foibles of humanity, then that wouldn't be as much of a problem. But who wants a competitor to get a hold of a blooper reel and play it during your business negotiations? Yes, it shouldn't make a difference, but it does have a psychological effect. And sometimes you might very well be doing or planning something that society disapproves of, but that you believe is right. How many states in the US still have sodomy laws on the books? And how many people, (even traditional married couples in their own bedrooms) could be imprisoned for it? True, we can put limits on it, but I just wanted to point out that there are valid reasons for privacy. Then again, maybe it would make us face some societal hangups and hypocracy if EVERYONE was held up to the same light (but you just know someone is gonna beat the system).

Glen Finney