Monday, July 20, 2009
Big Brother Proposal In California Town
Sea may be the only way to approach Tiburon undetected
Pretty soon if you drive into the upscale town of Tiburon, California on the San Francisco Bay you'll have your photo taken along with that of your license plate.
Talk about Big Brother on guard!
The idea is to have a record of everyone who enters town in case a crime is later committed. It also, undoubtedly, will act as a deterrent to crime. Only the stupidest of criminals will pull a job in Tiburon, it's figured, if they know they've been caught on camera. And if they are that dumb, well, heck, a) it shouldn't be that hard to capture them and b) the deserve to be caught.
Of course, there are those who consider this new plan an amazing intrusion into privacy. Shouldn't we be permitted to travel without this kind of government intrusion? What's next? Will we need the permission of some government agency to travel from one town to another? It's not beyond the realm of possibility - not with the direction these technological invasions into our everyday lives are taking.
I work in lower Manhattan so I'm used to being on cam virtually anytime I leave the office. I'm sure I'm on cam as I ride the elevator. I'm probably on cam in the lobby of my building. And I know I'm on cam as I walk through the financial district. They NYPD has lenses pointed at virtually everyone who traverses the sidewalks and streets of lower Manhattan. It's a counterrorism program, though, I doubt that a suicide bomber would be deterred - he's not going to be around to be caught after-the-fact.
But the Tiburon plan goes even a step further. Photographing every single car that enters town. While the intent of the program may be reached, the way they get to that goal seems a bit excessive.
I'm sure the program will someday face a court challenge. When it does, both civil libertarians and other communities who might want to follow Tiburon's lead, will be watching closely.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/niallkennedy/107963506/