Friday, November 21, 2008

Street Cameras, Crime, Government Incompetence, Civil Liberties, and Big Brother

I read Jarvis DeBerry's column this morning about the New Orleans City Government's incompetence in maintaining and monitoring Street Cameras that were installed with the goal of hopefully cutting down on violent crime in the City.

Suffice it to say that the cameras aren't working and people are getting killed right in front of them.

Even though many have questioned the usefulness of such cameras, the current outrage seems to be directed more at government incompetence in failing to make sure the cameras are working as intended more than it seems to be directed at the whole principle of having Big Brother snooping around neighborhoods.

I think it would be more useful to start framing the issue of non-functional crime cameras once again in terms of Big Brother civil rights violations, rather than perhaps in terms of a potentially good idea bungled by an inept City administration.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I have no idea if it's true or not, but my favorite story about police cameras is one that goes something like this:

A guy gets a speeding ticket for $100 in the mail, that included a picture of his license plate, the date, and the speed his car was observed traveling by the police camera.

So, being wonderfully snarky, he takes a picture of a $100 dollar bill and sends it to the authorities.

Finally, because sometimes the state can have a sense of humor too, the police send him a picture of some handcuffs, and he pays the the ticket.