Tag Archives: Homeland Security

Thinking about Security Cameras

UPDATE: Well, this little post seems to have generated a response. It’s been great to see the comments, some of it positive, and quite a bit of it informed dissent. The debate has been great, but a matter has come to my attention that I feel I must address. While it wasn’t clear in the small photo of the cheesy sports car I included in the post, the location of the vehicle was clearly visible in the full version of the photo. Since the small group of regular readers of this blog do not live in the Boston area, I didn’t think to obscure the location. To the owner of the Mustang, I apologize. Your camera pisses me off, but I should have done more to protect your privacy. The photo has been edited.

 

Tonight I’m going to a Somerville town meeting to speak out against the installation of Homeland Security cameras in our fair city. These cameras represent a gross violation of our right to privacy, and giving into their presence without a fight will contribute to a Big Brother culture not only in Somerville, but in the rest of the country.

When I heard about the meeting, though, I got to thinking about other security cameras. Although I can see the point of having cameras at ATMs, I don’t like them. When I’m feeling prickly, I sometimes extend a friendly gesture. Same with cameras in stores. However, there’s one security camera in particular that really pisses me off. It’s this one:

DSCN4973

I first noticed this camera a while back, and it really creeped me out. At first I had no idea why someone would train a camera on East Broadway. To catch people running away screaming from Taco Loco, having stolen some hot sauce? To gather material for some strange art project? To create a view on the world for some lonely shut-in?

Gradually it dawned on me that the ever-present camera was trained on this car:

Mustang

Seriously. It’s a Mustang. Sure, it’s not exactly an economy car, but it’s not like the guy’s protecting a Lamborghini or something. Is it really worth it to constantly film the sidewalk, hoping to catch some whipper-snapper keying it? If the person didn’t think the neighborhood was good enough for the car, the person shouldn’t have moved here.

Anyhow, I’m sure I’m not the only one extending a friendly gesture at the camera. Someday I would love to see a group get together and do a kick line in front of the building. Or maybe a team of videographers filming surveillance of the camera. Something to let that asshole know in no uncertain terms that that security camera is not welcome. We’re watching you, pal.