Are you the type of person who gets freaked out by the thought of Big Brother-esque conspiracy theories? Maybe watching Minority Report gave you a panic attack (for reasons unrelated to Tom Cruise). Perhaps halfway through The Truman Show you felt so claustrophobic you had to get up and leave the movie theatre. Or -- let me guess -- your phone's ring tone is "(I Always Feel Like) Somebody's Watching Me" by Michael Jackson. Am I right?
Then stop reading now, because you are gonna hate the heck out of this story.
Okay, I warned you! Here goes: The NYPD and Microsoft are teaming up to create a "citywide terror and crimefighting surveillance system" which will collect "data from thousands of video cameras, radiation detectors, and license plate readers around the city, as well as from 911 calls and crime statistics, to give police near-instant information." NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls it a "one-stop shop for law enforcement."
I call it ... scary.
First of all, if Bloomberg is behind this enterprise, you can bet your bottom dollar (ha! Or just put it in Bloomberg's pocket, cause that's where it's gonna end up anyway) that somebody's right to do something is at stake. Can we say "control issues," Mayor Bloomberg? This is the guy, remember, who thinks you aren't capable of monitoring your own soda intake or handling yourself around a bunch of free vibrators.
Do we really want this guy watching over us 24/7 like the Eye of Sauron?!
Oh, and guess what? Just because you don't live in NYC doesn't mean they're not after you: Microsoft plans to sell this system to the rest of the world, too! As part of the deal, New York/Bloomberg will take a "30% cut on any profits that the computer firm gets from selling the technology to other cities in America or around the world."
Got the heebie-jeebies yet?
Does the idea of a surveillance system like this freak you out?
Image via anarchosyn/Flickr