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October 11, 2005

Big Brother is Watching

Topics: Technology

red_light_camera.jpgDriving through an intersection, the unexplained flash in your rear view mirror is puzzling, at first alarming, until you remember the photo radar camera that was recently installed in your neighborhood. Within a week your speeding ticket arrives in the mail with an invitation to attend driving school and a handy envelope for remitting your fine to the city.

The scenario is not at all far fetched, especially if you life in the Phoenix area. Mesa, AZ will become the Valley's latest city to beef up-high tech photo safety enforcement by including "speed-on-green" features to their red-light cameras. Similar systems have been implemented or are being proposed through-out the United States.

Safety is cited as the primary motivation behind the cameras although such systems have, at times, been lucrative. And, it does appear to be true that red-light cameras lead to a reduction in traffic accidents.

However, critics worry that automated ticketing systems are reminiscent of "Big Brother" in George Orwell's 1984. I agree. Constant monitoring of the population in the name of "safety" is a staple of tyrannies and a necessary step for the erosion of liberty.

Proponents of population monitoring often rhetorically state, "If you're not doing anything wrong, why would you have a problem with the government watching you?" The answer is simple: "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." The individuals within any government are fully capable of abusing their power and authority to further their best interests to the detriment and demise of others.

Posted by tim at October 11, 2005 3:08 PM

Ah, nothing a paintball gun couldn't fix. They are installing red light cameras here in Houston, and I have to wonder how long these things are going to be on the pole before they are shot to pieces.

Posted by: Rorschach at October 12, 2005 5:26 PM

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