Ohm, yeah I told ya’ll! But no one listened…

Do you guys know what ethics mean? According to David Resnik, J.D and Ph.D. guy, most citizens think of morals (ethics) when they differentiate right and wrong. And they would be right. I used to be like this until I met one of my very classy teachers from the USA who taught me that it is just not what the public thinks at all, because they are not like us, great PR practioners.

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Issues happens for a reason (usually there are ethical because some idiotic person did not read the policy or laws properly) and sometimes what we all need to do is to dig in more and more to get to the root. However, it is a hard work that no one really wants to do so they will blame the one with the widest and thickest wallet because those are the only people who can afford to pay for the damages. It’s all about the money and what others want

Looking back at various issues, made me realise that this world is becoming one big ethics’ disaster. From privacy issues’ situations that Google, Facebook and Skype – PRISM, to feminism, HeForShe campaign brought up by Emma Watson. So you can get a little idea what the heck is really going on.

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What I really want to focus on is the CCTV in public spaces. Most of the residents anywhere in the world do not even realise but we all have been watched by those in the background that no one knows about and records have been given to third parties for commercial purposes, crime investigations, or even more screwed aims of this twisted society.

Do you think that public video surveillance is ok? Personally, I think it has views we can look at. So let’s focus on the bad reasons:

  1. Video surveillance has not proven effectiveIf we look at the terrorists’ attacks, we would have thought that these cameras could help us to identify the murders. The only reason why these cameras are deployed is to decrease the number of smaller ‘prettier’ crimes. But it has not been proven to be powerful by looking at the amount of crimes and the amount of solved cases.

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  1. CCTV is susceptible to abuse

It creates criminal abuse (1997 Washington, DC was caught using police databases to collect information on patrons of a gay club so they can blackmail married guys). Imagine what someone could do with a citywide spy-camera system.

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Institution abuse – sometimes, bad policies are set at the top and entire law enforcement is turned toward abusive ends. This usually happens in periods of social turmoil over government policies (FBI conducted illegal operations to spy and harass a political activist who was challenging racial segregation and the Vietnam War).

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Abuses for personal purposes – information in Michigan law enforcement were used to help out friends, or themselves, to threaten motorists, stalk women after traffic altercations and track-estranged spouses.

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Discriminatory targeting – Most of the humans who have prejudices and biases operate Video cameras. In the UK these operators have been found to focus disproportionately on people from ethnic minority groups. According to a sociological study of how those cameras are being operated “Black people were between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half times more likely to be surveilled than one would expect from their presence in the population”.

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Voyeurism – experts have found out that the UK operators, mostly men, have been voyeuristically spying on women.

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This is a simple example of what is really happening in public and what a chilling effect it has on the citizens’ lives. And the number is increasing so they can cover more public areas for more disgusted actions.

Most of us do not even realise and as syndicated columnist Jacob Sullum has pointed out, “…knowing that you are being watched by armed government agents tends to put a damper on things. You don’t want to offend them or otherwise call attention to yourself…”, and he warns, “…People may learn to be careful about the books and periodicals they read in public, avoiding titles that might alarm unseen observers. They may also put more thought into how they dress, lest they look like terrorists, gang members, druggies or hookers”.

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The closure has missing balance between benefits and risks. The camera systems would not protect us from terrorists, it has also a chilling effect on us, the public, realising what we can actually do from not becoming suspicious, which also carries significant ‘creeps’ of possible danger and abuse. Saying this, I do not feel protected at all and moreover there is no prevention of the majority of the crimes (according to one specific article with real cases), only a few small crimes have been solved. This is not only happing in the UK or USA, it’s all around the world, unfortunately.

So why the heck do people still think they are being protected? WAKE UP FOLKS, this is not a fairy tail. NO ONE IS SAFE.

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Untitled-1 The Guardian

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5 thoughts on “Ohm, yeah I told ya’ll! But no one listened…

  1. Um… I’m assuming there are official guidelines and someone is monitoring they are being adhered to. If I’m in a street and mugged or whatever I would like to think my attacker would be captured (excuse the pun) on video, so yes I would like to think that surveillance cameras are necessary thing. Yes all aspects of life are open to abuse but articles like this I feel (a critique?) are biased and scaremongering, maybe even anti-establishment. What does anyone else think?

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  2. It is a biased article. It has it’s own agenda and repeatedly mentions what the American police do wrong. Spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes. The quote by Jacob Sullum is 12 years old and it refers to using surveillance due to the September 11th attacks, although the author has used the quote out of context. It has no evidence behind it’s claims that crime has not been prevented.

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  3. I am torn in my opinion between “if it helps catching this murderer” and “you can’t just watch me all the time”. But in fact, the article is very biased. What about mentioning the pro-surveillance arguments and then weaken them with other arguments?

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  4. I personally find this to be a bit dramatic and over the top (to the point where I nearly stopped reading quite early on). Of course there are always negative aspects of anything, especially the increased dependence on technology in modern society, but as far as I am concerned, I have nothing to hide and constant monitoring is pretty much a norm these days. I believe that the information used to support the conclusion that “no one is safe” is irrelevant to anyone living outside of America (which we all know has it’s own unique issues) — as well as the conclusion itself being rather ridiculous. The majority of the UK public are at very little risk of becoming victims of crime in public spaces and while CCTV is unlikely to prevent this, it has definitely helped during investigations and court proceedings to ensure justice is served. On top of that, I am a rather sensible person and rarely do something on a public space which I’d feel embarrassed about, so there’s no point trying to blackmail me. And in regard to being stalked via CCTV, the distant voyeurism bothers me much less than the thought of being physically followed as I am unlikely to be in any immediate danger.

    Overall, while I appreciate reading another’s views on ethical CCTV practice, it just feels like a very unbalanced argument with too many hyperboles for me to engage with.

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