Smile…You’re on CCTV

A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone he can never be sure that he is alone. Wherever he may be, asleep or awake, working or resting, in his bath or in bed, he can be inspected without warning and without knowing that he is being inspected His friendship, his relaxations, his behavior toward his wife and children, the expression of his face when he is alone, the words he mutters in sleep, even the characteristic movements of his body, are all jealously scrutinized.”  George Orwell, 1984, published 1949

‘They’ are behind schedule, but getting closer and closer. Think warrantless searches…where the DHS and other government agencies can enter your home while you are gone and search your house and computer, never tell you, and threaten your neighbor who might witness the intrusion that if they tell you they will go to jail, and it’s not just used for terror suspects anymore. And of course you already know that the government can get a list of books you check out from the library and forbid the librarian from tipping you off.

No cameras in your house yet, but they’re spreading all over the public spaces in some cities. In London they (the government) can probably video track you all the way from when you leave your house to go to work to when you come home at night. Last estimate I heard was that there were 2-4 million CCTV cameras surveilling the citizenry. In America those traffic light cameras are multiplying like bunnies and in large cities the CCTV cameras are getting much more common.  The trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down and now face recognition can easily identify people on the street.

There are many critics of this kind of surveillance and their fears are not unfounded.  There is the real possibility that we may not be able to met anonymously or walk or drive around the city without being recorded.  If there is a demonstration going on and you stop to talk, this can be recorded and wrong suspicions could possibly be raised.  The state does NOT have the right to track your everyday movements…but they want to be able too.

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Government Censorship, Free Speach, Bill of Rights

  • First AmendmentEstablishment clause, freedom of religion, speech, and press, and peaceable assembly as well as the right to petition the government.
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

“Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons—individuals, groups or government officials—find objectionable or dangerous. It is no more complicated than someone saying, “Don’t let anyone read this book, or buy that magazine, or view that film, because I object to it! ”
Censors try to use the power of the state to impose their view of what is truthful and appropriate, or offensive and objectionable, on everyone else. Censors pressure public institutions, like libraries, to suppress and remove from public access information they judge inappropriate or dangerous, so that no one else has the chance to read or view the material and make up their own minds about it.
The censor wants to prejudge materials for everyone.” From the American Library Association Website

Institutions and private business (Such as the American Library Association and local library’s, bookstores, Amazon, etc.) receiving National Security Letters (NSL’s) are forbidden to inform anyone about the search. Without a warrant they can research your records of checked out book’s from libraries, books, and magazines you purchase. These libraries and business who receive the NSL’s are forbidden to talk about it to anyone, let alone tell the suspect.

  • Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Upon the issue of a National Security Letter against a individual, government agents are allowed (Warrantless search) to enter their home on the sly, search the house, search all papers and download all contents of computers on the premises. They leave and the suspect is not notified that a search took place. They may search all records, public and private, wiretap and record phone calls about a person and forbid anyone who knows whats going on from talking to anyone about the search.

See:

NSA warrantless surveillance controversy

USA PATRIOT Act