Cameras Watching Everywhere

The valet was returning my car after I had traveled to Florida on the Amtrak AutoTrain. I asked him if I had to show him my ticket to verify whether or not Car #137 was indeed mine.

“We don’t need it. You’re being filmed.”

Like many places around the world nowadays, the Sanford, Florida, Amtrak station bristles with cameras. What do you think of the ubiquitous cameras that are filling the dark corners our world. Creepy? Invasive? Reassuring?

Even post-Snowden, I mostly embrace technologically enhanced surveillance. If I were a thief, I’d be scared $}{!+less to steal a car if I’ve been filmed from every angle. For me, loss of privacy is mostly theoretical, whereas crime deterrence is quite palpable. And if deterrence doesn’t work, the cameras will help find the jerk who stole the car.

Even though I marched against many of our wars, I don’t fear that some dark characters in the Ministry of Peace have compiled a dossier on me: I’m just not that interesting and important! A back-of-the-envelope cost-benefit analysis makes it clear to me that increased surveillance has many benefits. Have there been any major costs? Have there been victims of government surveillance?

What do you think?

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