LETTER: The right to privacy

Posted on June 27th, 2009 in News and Commentary

LETTER: The right to privacy

“Government video cameras are dangerous for two reasons. (1) They change the nature of policing by taking power away from citizens, and (2) they restrict or eliminate the possibility for alone time out of doors.

(1) Video surveillance radically strengthens the power of the state. Without cameras, victims or nearby people who empathize with victims are the ones who report crimes. This is an incredibly important natural safeguard on police power, because people can choose to not report violations of unjust laws. This is why black people could sometimes escape slavery, unions could organize, and people today can smoke marijuana without going to prison. Video cameras destroy this natural safeguard. When the government records all activities outside of the home, the state can pick and choose which crimes it wants to go after, and it can easily prosecute innocent people who normally would have been protected by their fellow citizens.

That shift is incredibly important. Any governmental abuses will be greatly intensified when the police see everything outside homes. The power to turn in criminals should stay with victims and concerned citizens. Otherwise governmental abuses will become much harder to combat.

(2) Video surveillance makes life worse by eliminating privacy. While misinformed people love to say that we have no expectation of privacy in public, this is not correct. We always have had privacy in public. Public property includes every street, every park, every beach, and nearly every place you spend time when you are not at home or working. Almost everywhere, it has been possible to be by yourself without other people watching, or to meet with a group of people without policemen observing you. With widespread video surveillance, that part of life is gone, and being alone out of doors is impossible.”

Share

One Comment on “LETTER: The right to privacy”

  1. Anonymous

    Case in point: Two police officers are dispatched to Farnum Park/Field after cameras observed a man drinking beer in a public park. Is this the best use of the cameras and the officers’ time?

Leave a Reply

*

More News

Credo

"....I have never made it a consideration whether the subject was popular or unpopular, but whether it was right or wrong; for that which is right will become popular, and that which is wrong, though by mistake it may obtain the cry or fashion of the day, will soon lose the power of delusion, and sink into disesteem." Thomas Paine, Common Sense, on "Financing the War", March 5, 1782

Categories

Blog Archives

NewsLanc looks back at a decade of service

NewsLanc looks back at a decade of service

NewsLanc looks back at a decade of service

At 77, we cannot be confident that there will be ...

Convention Center Series

Convention Center Series Index

Convention Center Series Index

Chapter 1: Beginnings- Revised Chapter 2: Dream Team- Revised Chapter 3: Helping ...

Honoring those who challenged the Convention Center Project

Earlier this month, NewsLanc published “The $63.6 million convention center ...

Keisling on Pennsylvania Politics Index

Index of the ongoing series by Bill Keisling Six Decades of ...

Lancaster Acquisition of Harrisburg Incinerator

Prospects cloudy for Corbett’s Harrisburg bailout

Prospects cloudy for Corbett’s Harrisburg bailout

by Bill Keisling Corbett Administration officials publicly say the Act 47 ...

Coalition forming to challenge Corbett administration’s Harrisburg bailout plans involving LCSWMA incinerator purchase

by Bill Keisling Citizens dissatisfied with the Corbett administration's plan to ...

Tsukerman on Russia

Who really rules Russia?

Who really rules Russia?

By Slava Tsukerman Russian Internet is lately full of numerous speculations ...

Mrs. St. Petersburg, an ethnic surprise

By Slava Tsukerman One of the events most discussed on Russian ...

Memoirs

The Secrets of Outlet Shopping

The Secrets of Outlet Shopping

DAILY FINANCE: According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, ...

If you live long enough…

A great fuss was raised by Republicans during the late ...

Santa Monica Reporter

Catch these two films before they go!

Catch these two films before they go!

By Dan Cohen, Santa Monica Reporter Two current films, both of ...

LGH Series

COST OF LOCAL HEALTH CARE:  Who’s right: LGH, Medicare, or the Canadians?

COST OF LOCAL HEALTH CARE: Who’s right: LGH, Medicare, or the Canadians?

Our publisher received the following statement from Medicare summarizing billings ...

LGH: First they say they will, they don’t, then they won’t

(To Tom Beeman, President, Lancaster General Health from Robert Field, ...