Which would you choose? Big Brother security and safety, or freedom from cameras, background checks, drones overhead, etc., but increased potential dangers? Or is it all like the airport scanners — security theater — since the billions already spent didn’t stop the bombers, school shooters, etc. Or does that imply we need more?

Americans hate Big Brother — until moments like this.

Police state paranoia has long stoked angst and outrage, until an incident like the Boston Marathon bombings takes place and the nation heaves a sigh of relief that security cameras gazed unblinkingly upon Beantown’s streets and sidewalks. Eyes in the sky — cameras that keep tabs on possible red-light runners, peer out at ATM users and stand sentry for commercial businesses — provided investigators key intelligence that led to identifying suspects in the attack. A department store camera held the much-viewed footage released by the FBI.

The developments have once again pitted personal rights against public safety. Politicians at every level — from the sheriff in Tampa to members of Congress — are urging the deployment of more surveillance and law enforcement access to captured material. Civil libertarians and privacy advocates, just as predictably, are preaching restraint.

“There is going to be more of a push to have more cameras on the streets, and it will be difficult to resist that push,” said Neil Richards, a privacy advocate and law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He authored a Harvard Law Review paper last month titled “The Dangers of Surveillance,” where he wrote that the amount of observation these days “should give us pause.”

“The difficult balance is to have them [cameras] there for extraordinary efforts such as what we’ve seen this week but not for us to live in an emergency situation all the time,” he said.

  1. bobbo, Jr Culture/psychiatric/ethnic/social/art critic and general bonvivant says:

    MPod coming so close to the nut of Existentialism says:

    “Well, now you can still do whatever the Hell you want, but know that there’ll be consequences.” /// And thats exactly what living under Nazi Occupation was. Consequences over life/death decisions. Go to the store for milk, or hide a Jew in the Attic==life and death. Free—as in making “real” decisions.

    I prefer a drab humdrum life without freedom so defined.

    Most of us do.

    • noname says:

      “I prefer a drab humdrum life without freedom so defined.

      Most of us do.”

      bobbo “the psychotic” you want a “drab humdrum life without freedom so defined” then go to Russia!

      Only a coward can say something like that and not a “red blooded American”!

      You obviously have never taken an oath to defend “the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”! Do you even know what that means?

      What has a coward like you done with his “drab humdrum life without freedom”?

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        Your reading and contextual skills really are deficient. Read it again for what kind of freedom I am referring to. Hint: “life and death” decisions.

        Maybe you should re-enlist?

        • noname says:

          Maybe you should know what America’s constitution is!

          And yes, maybe I should accept a commission! Obviously our constitution needs defending from idiots like you!

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            nogame==you seem to be upset?

            No reason, no good reason, for that.

            Consider conversation to be like a chess match. Each round you lose, you become a better player====IF you pay attention rather than lose the opportunity in self defeating emotionalism.

            I don’t see what the Constitution has to say about that?….Hmmm…other than you are free to be as you wish?

          • noname says:

            bobbo not upset, it’s just you projecting again.

            bobbo so simplistically childish and quaint, “Consider a conversation a chess match”!

            Yes, bobbo go right ahead and play your chess conversation games; while we Adults discuss what matters at hand!

  2. Glenn E. says:

    What the politicians always fail to point out, because they want to exploit the moment too. Is that these terrorists and bombers aren’t actually killing human beings and destroying trash cans, because that’s their true target. What the terrorists are really taking aim at, and blowing up, are the citizens’ freedoms and rights. Because what they’re after is to destroy a nation’s democracy, by causing it to sting itself to death. As it keeps tightening up it’s “security weaknesses”. Weaknesses which use to be the trust granted the average citizens, to go about their lives, without having to prove they’re not criminals or terrorists.

    And as soon as these “weaknesses” are tightened up. The terrorists simply find another one, left unchecked. Yes, some day we might be terrorists and bomber free. But we won’t be free in any other sense. So we’ve got to telling out politicians not to cave into these security experts, delusions. Far more people die every year from auto accidents, than terrorist acts. So why aren’t they going nuts over arresting those drunk and distracted drivers? And keeping them off the streets?


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