Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Surveillance Cams Turning U.S. Into Santa's Naughty-or-Nice Indicator?

Nationwide - and here in Tennessee - we've been watched and we are going to be watched even more in coming years, with a near-constant observation of everyone.

The story also details Memphis cops using military equipment to find license plates with warrants attached to the owners; a citizen taking pictures of a local police boat in California triggering an FBI datamining frenzy; local law enforcement officials instructed that "Most Muslims in the United States want to impose sharia law here"; and loads of vague useless scary reports tossed down to locals by federal DHS, and locals targeting lawful and harmless gatherings for intelligence fearmongering.

The Post story also explains what local "fusion centers" do with federal terror money in a land decidedly bereft of terror:

The fact that there has not been much terrorism to worry about is not evident on the Tennessee fusion center's Web site. Click on the incident map, and the state appears to be under attack.

Red icons of explosions dot Tennessee, along with blinking exclamation marks and flashing skulls. The map is labeled: "Terrorism Events and Other Suspicious Activity.

But if you roll over the icons, the explanations that pop up have nothing to do with major terrorist plots: "Johnson City police are investigating three 'bottle bombs' found at homes over the past three days," one description read recently. ". . . The explosives were made from plastic bottles with something inside that reacted chemically and caused the bottles to burst."

Another told a similar story: "The Scott County Courthouse is currently under evacuation after a bomb threat was called in Friday morning. Update: Authorities completed their sweep . . . and have called off the evacuation."

"Watch Everyone!" certainly appears to be the fearful policy guiding security in private and public business. I wonder if the following tale became a notation on the "anti-terror" networks:

"A Mid-South man was arrested after police said he broke into a Jackson, Tennessee school and danced in the nude early Tuesday morning.

Lt. Tyreece Miller with the Jackson Police Department said Dakotah Lamuska broke a window at Northeast Middle School. His nude dance was caught on surveillance camera.

"What it shows is a white man dancing in the nude," said Miller.

Miller said Lamuska started dancing for no apparent reason. He did not take anything from the school or destroy anything other than the window.

Jackson Police would not release the surveillance video of Lamuska dancing."

Well good, really, I don't wanna see it. But the suspect here seems guilty at best of breaking and entering with the added action of skinny dipping without anything to dip in.

Perhaps our safety does depend on us all being watched and recorded all the time whatever we do and wherever we go. But I'm not convinced yet.

And what about "watching the watchmen"? Congress surely does not abide for more than a very limited peek at what they are doing:

"House floor debates are currently televised by cameras owned, operated, and controlled by the House. Reaction shots and wide shots of the chamber are not permitted under House rules. C-SPAN, as well as other media outlets, must use the floor feed provided by the House in its coverage. Congressional policy does allow for C-SPAN's coverage of other Congressional events, such as committee hearings, press conferences, speeches, and the like, to be produced by its own cameras. C-SPAN argues that allowing its cameras to be installed in the House chamber would give the public a more complete and transparent view of Congressional debates. If granted permission to install cameras, C-SPAN proposes to make its feed available to accredited media and stream it live on its web site."

UPDATE: Tennessee "fusion centers" say Free Speech is suspicious activity.

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