Monday, February 20, 2006

Monitoring the Wrong Places

I am obviously a proponent of network security monitoring, but I am also a strong believer in privacy. The sort of attitude demonstrated in this article disturbs me greatly:

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.


Sure Chief, why don't you lead by example and install cameras in your home. You're not doing anything wrong, are you?

Building permits should require malls and large apartment complexes to install surveillance cameras, Hurtt said. And if a homeowner requires repeated police response, it is reasonable to require camera surveillance of the property, he said...

So, the power of the state should be used to meet the police's wishes?

Andy Teas with the Houston Apartment Association said that although some would consider cameras an invasion of privacy, "I think a lot of people would appreciate the thought of extra eyes looking out for them."

What planet are these people from?

If you don't want your network traffic inspected, you can encrypt it. Unfortunately, there is no encryption in the analog world.

5 comments:

Chris Walsh said...

Meanwhile, the Chicago City Council may require businesses to install CCTV equipment to monitor their premises and surrounding *public* property:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-camera31.html

Anonymous said...

"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." George Orwell's 1984.

Ian Duffy said...

There may not be encryption in the analog world, but you can always hang your hat on the camera. =)

Anonymous said...

Clearly it is time for the US to divorce Texas (or at least Houston... We might actually miss Austin).

Anonymous said...

What planet are these people from?

Earth...

Examples: a victim of domestic abuse, health care provider for a mentally-ill relative, and sharing lving space with a drug abuser.

Voluntary use of this wouldn't be a bad idea. Just like IT security is a balancing act between usability and security. Protecting your privacy versus phyisical security. Some peoples situations aren't all that pretty and they can really use the help (or even the impression of help).

Otherwise, I am with you...

J