Friday, January 21, 2011

Peek-a-Boo, I See You!!

When you're a grandfather, you re-learn all those games you played with your children, the same ones your parents played with you. It warms your heart to see how happy a small child can get when you play a silly game like peek-a-boo.

But other people are playing peek-a-boo with you, too (Kathy - note the alliteration!), and they're not really playing.

I spotted this article on the local NBC news website yesterday - More Surveillance Cams Coming to D.C. Here is an excerpt from the article:

"The (D.C. Homeland Security) agency is planning to add thousands of security cameras throughout the District. It also plans to centralize all the camera feeds from private businesses, Metro and the housing authority. The city already centralized feeds for more than 4,500 cameras operated by the District Department of Transportation and D.C. Public Schools. Those feeds are monitored 24 hours a day."

Yes, not only is Big Brother watching, but he's already watching from more than 4,500 places and is preparing to add thousands more.

Surveillance cameras are a fact of life in the modern world, where violent crime and terrorism are real dangers against which those who would protect us are seeking every possible weapon for their arsenals. But though the intent of keeping us safe may be laudable, it's disconcerting to think that every time you visit the bank, check out at the grocery store, enter a public building, drive down the street, or do just about anything else, you can pretty much guarantee that somebody has got it on video. It's even possible for a nefarious person to remotely activate the webcam on your computer and watch you at home. I'm afraid to scratch an itch any more.

One day not long ago I decided to try an experiment and count the number of surveillance cameras that documented my movements between my home and my office. I stopped counting at 28, most of which were in and around the Pentagon. Just between my office door and the men's room (a distance of about 150 feet or so) I counted at least three.

And did you know that you can actually access the near-real-time feed from many of those cameras? Many cities and popular tourist locations make it possible for you to view the images from their cameras.

So ...

You may as well smile and make sure your hair is combed and your shirt tucked in at all times. You never know who will be watching.

Have a good day. Smile for the camera.

More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

That is creepy.

Mike said...

All these cameras are driving me crazy. I may just move out of the country. Maybe to London. Yeah, London.

Amanda said...

I wonder how many they have around Brisbane. Or maybe 'had' as the floods may have wiped out a few of them.

KathyA said...

Excuse me, I need to go put a blouse on...

I'm back -- and thank you, as I do long for the lucidity of lascivious yet logical alliteration. Okay, that was a stretch. :)