Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt loves cameras:
Houston’s police chief on Wednesday proposed placing surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets, shopping malls and even private homes to fight crime during a shortage of police officers.
“I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?” Chief Harold Hurtt told reporters Wednesday at a regular briefing.
Notice the refrain from the standard police-state siren song: “You have nothing to worry about if you’re innocent!”
I’ve said this before:
The fear of real or perceived threats has historically been the justification for the biggest assaults on civil liberties.
Do we really want to live in a “safe” society that has cameras on every corner? Do we want our every move watched? Is that an exchange for perceived “protection” that we’re really willing to make? Are we so afraid that we have to destroy our own civil liberties?
Furthermore, who is doing the watching? It’s one thing to have a casino watch your every move, or for airport security officers to keep a watch for terrorists, but it’s another to have some anonymous civil servant observe you on every street corner.
Governments always want more control and more oversight. It’s the nature of government. But that doesn’t mean it’s right.