Friday, November 10, 2006

Watching you in Denmark.

Returning to my favorite subject: surveillance cameras. The infatuation with this authoritarian and anti-social device is not contained to Britain alone.

The Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende reports here, here and here, that a committee (appropriately named The TV-Surveillance Committee) under the Danish Justice Department is recommending that banks, hotels and shops should be allowed to install surveillance camera monitoring their entrances, facades and parking lots.

The next step is for the recommendation to sent to a public hearing after which it will be presented to Parliament as a legislative bill. Although this step is minute compared to the invasion of surveillance camera's in Britain, its still a step in the wrong direction.

The right to privacy is an absolute principle in a free society and should be valued for its own merits and not just because interference with privacy can be misused. Freedom is, for me, just as much about not being watched or information about me being registered by the government, private enterprise or even my neighbor, as it is about being able to speak freely.

Why do politicians believe we'll be safer or happier by being watched? Similarly, why do people accept or even desire to be watched? Are we really that scared of each other?


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