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A Workable Surveillance State?

The cameras are everywhere, but NOT connected as a network
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For this Idea, it is extremely important that the cameras not be easily accessed. When one does get accessed, the accessing of it must be both public and "formal" (kind of like a court order is a formal thing).

We don't quite have the technology yet to make the camera system needed by this Idea --or at least make it cheaply enough for extremely wide deployment.

First, the camera needs a protective box, with a bulletproof-or- better viewport for the camera lens. There needs to be a fast- acting filter in case someone shines a high-intensity laser beam at the camera. It needs a battery and a radio transmitter, in case someone cuts the external power supply, so that the interruption can be investigated immediately. The battery needs to keep the camera running while also powering the radio distress signal. And while the system is designed as an "endless loop" recorder, the loop needs to be large enough to store its video for at least a month, before old data gets overwritten.

A particular camera's data should only need to be accessed if a serious-enough crime is reported to have occurred such that the particular camera might have recorded it.

There may be more things needed that I've not thought of. For example, while the camera MUST NOT be connected to a network (which would allow true/bad Orwellian surveillance), it could still have a "network jack", so that when it is legally/publicly accessed, the video data from a certain time-frame could be requested. That would be superior to physically removing the camera from its mounting, after which someone might have an opportunity to scan all the data in secret.

Robert A. Heinlein wrote, "Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny", and so for this Idea, it is essential that secrecy be as impossible as we can manage.

Vernon, May 10 2015

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       We already have cameras everywhere, networked and readable in realtime. Where is the incentive for the state to switch to yours?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 10 2015

       Not even England has cameras EVERYWHERE. This Idea should allow that, while generally respecting privacy. Simply because the camera data can only be accessed via legal formalities.
Vernon, May 10 2015

       Well, at least it's not in other:
normzone, May 11 2015

       This illustrates one of the great delusions of the security state. If something (a camera for instance) can be accessed by the 'good guys' then it can also be accessed by the 'bad guys'. The ability to access something is the very definition of a network (whether that be by physical or remote access).
DrBob, May 11 2015

       The problem is that most of the mass surveillance folks complain about was done with legally- obtained warrants, but the warrants were issued by a secret court.
21 Quest, May 11 2015

       The effect of this idea could be achieved by ensuring that schools instil the concept of an all-seeing vengeful and judgemental deity which will punish you with eternal damnation for the slightest infraction of the law.
nineteenthly, May 12 2015

       I think the crux of the issue is finding a formal distinction between public and private.   

       I don't mind/care if the goodies or the baddies have access to surveil over public spaces - using cameras is just a cheap alternative to employing lots of agents keenly noting things down in their little books - it's just a matter of cost.   

       What I do object to is being surveilled whilst I believe I am operating 'in private' - and I expect there to be a clear distinction between what constitutes public vs private.   

       In public, I can expect others to see me, and in my home, or in other particular situations/locations, I should expect the law to be on my side regards my privacy.   

       To me that's where the issue lies, not in the technology used to perform the surveillance.   

       Even if the government wanted to put a telescreen in my home that had been strictly developed to the guidelines above, I'd still say no - as I'd expect total privacy at home.
zen_tom, May 12 2015

       //Robert A. Heinlein wrote, "Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny"//...but to strip secrecy away takes full- fledged tyranny.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 12 2015


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