Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Police Surveillance Cameras: Is Big Brother Watching You?

What is your opinion about the trend for police departments to install more and more surveillance cameras throughout American cities?  According to a new report by the ACLU of Chicago, there are now more than 10,000 cameras located in public places in Chicago, generally on street corners.  But the Windy City is certainly not unique! Police surveillance cameras are probably coming to your community soon, too! 
Law enforcement agencies reportedly utilize these cameras to watch gang and other criminal activity.  The cameras could also be helpful in the fight against terrorism, too.  In many cases, police can actually use the cameras to zoom in on anybody they are tracking.  In my opinion, that is where potential Fourth Amendment violations are most likely to occur.
So, what do you think about this trend?  Do you want more and more cameras watching not only the "bad guys," but also you and me, too?  As a former federal prosecutor, part of me recognizes the usefulness of cameras to law enforcement.  However, as a freedom-loving American citizen, part of me also fears the potential for abuse and invasion of privacy, too.
What is your opinion?  Do you mind if Big Brother is watching you, too?

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