Little Brother is watching you.
Steven Greenhut writes:
On Tuesday, Anaheim became the latest in a growing list of California cities to install police-monitored cameras in public places—in this case, three public parks. The impetus: Two years ago, a 9-year-old girl was tragically shot to death near Brookhurst Community Park after getting caught in the crossfire between rival gangs.
Locals understandably want safer parks. The Register‘s account of the vote quotes critics who refer to George Orwell’s 1984, about a dystopian future where “Big Brother is watching you.” That’s a legitimate fear, as cities embrace cameras virtually everywhere. Some localities, such as San Diego County, employ facial-recognition software to identify crime suspects, which is even creepier than anything in that famous novel.
Big Brother—some big, all-knowing leader—might not be watching us. But Little Brothers and Sisters—police officials, as they sip coffee in some headquarters monitoring room—certainly are watching. How free can we be if we’re constantly under surveillance? Another quotation jumps to mind: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” It’s Latin from poet Juvenal: “Who will guard the guards themselves?”