The belief that we have a right to privacy is understandable but that belief cannot logically be expanded to public places.
By entering public places our conduct is open to scrutiny be everyone whether by planned surveillance or otherwise. Our misconduct can be reported by any witness or onlooker. The same can be said of our obedience of the rules. Surveillance can serve to protect us as much as it can be used to convict us.
Reading other people's views on this has convinced me that some people are totally unable to read the title to the poll. There are numerous arguments saying how Americans value their freedom too highly, I would like to point out that as a Brit I take my right to privacy very seriously. That does not mean that the knowledge that I am being recorded when I am walking down the street, or when I'm shopping or whenever it is does not deter me from wrongdoing. The aim of a surveillance system like that in place in the UK is just that, to deter people from crime, and if needs be to ensure that in the case that a crime is committed there is evidence available to support the prosecution. I am totally opposed to the invasions on privacy that it presents, but there is no denying that it is a successful policy in the UK. So, what makes all these people think that the same will not be true in the US? Is it not the case that people shop? is it not true that people will be discouraged from crime if they know they will be caught? is it not true that increased surveillance will help to catch the criminals?
If a surveillance program like CCTV was set up in the U.S., which I think is inevitable, there is a high chance that it will probably deter some crime. However, I think there are issues with invasion of privacy that must be taken into consideration. We have a right to walk around without being monitored, and we do not know what these tapes will necessarily be used for. There will be some legislation that states what they can be used for, but that does not typically represent the reality of the situation.
A "Surveillance Society", as it works in Great Britain, where it is known as CCTV, would be able to work in the United States. We have plenty of people who would be able to work efficiently and honestly to band together and make it work. It would help to cut down on crime, especially thefts and assaults that happen in public.
Britain's surveillance state is a direct result of their common law legal system, where no such right to privacy is construed. Such a right tentatively exists in the United States under the 4th Amendment. It is the right against illegal search and seizure. Now, we stand on the fence as a nation whether we will concede such a conceived right to the propagators of fear and violence. Only then can the U.S. become a Orwellian surveillance state.
There is a difference between something working, and something being right. I do think that yes, it is possible to watch our every move, however do I think its right? Of course not. Our country is built upon freedom, and thus I don't think monitoring our every move is quite logical. But, I do believe that yes, it would work.
Britain's 'Surveillance Society' could work in the U.S by monitoring criminal behaviour and possibly prevent crimes. If people know they are being watched, how many crimes might it prevent? I say any risks of so-called intrusion on our privacy is worth criminal prevention. Just behave in public, and there's nothing to be worried about!
All men are born to work in any place of the world. A country is formed only for the sake of people, and not for the sake of country. Freedom to live and overcome practical problems are nowadays easy to people. The situation is always overcome before the problem-solving ways of human.
The reason I believe it would work is due to the fact that the majority of citizens living in very large cities "mind their own business" just a little too well. Many crimes are allowed to happen right in front of crowds and other people. The surveillance centers could take the place of the non-vigilant citizen who just keeps their head down, and tries not to get involved in anything "messy". The surveillance centers could act as the "parents" of the cities population, keeping an eye on its "children."
This system has been developed to suit Britain, a country with a different political system and historical background from the U.S. The U.S was founded on the basis of fundamental rights and freedoms, an issue that clearly separated it from Britain at that time. The people of the U.S. will not support a system that would seek to violate their rights to privacy and undermine their human rights.
The British panopticon would not work very well in the United States. The basic cultural differences with regard to speech, class and behavior necessitate a subtler approach. There are also budget issues to consider here. Watching a country of 313 million people spanning an entire continent is far more expensive than observing a nation of 63 million on an island.
While the United States has moved towards a less private society and has in recent years allowed an increase in monitoring by the government, there is a strong historic tendency towards freedom from government involvement in the lives of individuals. I believe that this tendency is in direct opposition to a surveillance state such as Britain's and that ultimately US citizens would revolt against such a state.
Constant surveillance will lead to private information becoming public information. This can mean discrimination in hiring practices, due to perceived problems. For example, an employee who has a medical condition in their family could be denied employment because of the cost in medical insurance. The invasion of privacy through surveillance will only lead to more invasions and more problems.
The "Surveillance Society" in Britain is something that goes against all American values and is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. What separates America from other countries is the personal freedoms and liberties that its citizens have. Having "Big Brother" (the government) watching over citizens is opposite to what America stands for. Even if having new security measures could reduce crime rates, it is not worth it, if such a system takes away individual freedom. Having a "Surveillance Society" is a slippery slope that will lead to more and more government control over individual lives. If such a system was put in place, American citizens that believe in the Constitution will not tolerate it.
There are many people in America today who might welcome the standard Britain has set with surveillance, and say that it discourages crime and protects innocent people. Overall, I would say that, in America, we would view the extent that Britain practices surveillance to be an invasion of privacy. Surveillance does go on in the U.S., but if it were to increase to the levels Britain experiences, I believe there would be a public outcry.
The surveillance society that has been developing in Great Britain has crept up on the people. It did not come from just the government. The government put the cameras on the streets. But citizens in Great Britain can also be tracked through their GPS activity, credit card purchases, cell phone calls, and the speed of their computer keystrokes at work. Great Britain is rated in the bottom five in protecting its citizens' rights. There are rumblings of hostility toward the British government. It has been said that the government wants to know as much as possible about what each citizen is doing, and wants the citizens to know as little as possible about what the government is doing. Perhaps this surveillance society in Britain came about because, during the past couple of decades, they had an influx of people who were "different". They became afraid of those "others", and so acquiesced to surveillance in the name of safety. Americans do not have that problem. We are almost all "different" by having different countries of origin, and different languages. And when some of our rights are eroded by our government, sooner or later we rebel, at the polls, in town meetings, and on Twitter.
This question is a scary one; however, in the end I think that the American people will realize just how intrusive the Surveillance Society is and reject it. I think that it will come from the courts as people begin realize just how much information that the government and the corporations have about us.
The U.S. could not, in the foreseeable future, be able to sustain a Surveillance Society as is in place in Britain. While it may find little resistance to its application in some areas of the United States, it would run into extreme resistance in others. The United States was built upon, and most of its citizens still believe it is, freedom from too much protection, support, or interference from its governments. In the U.S. a wide-spread surveillance society would be seen as an overthrow of a country ruled by its citizens and thus lead to a possible revolution.
Something called Surveillance Society makes me simply ill thinking about the invasive degree of control that must intrude into everyone's lives. Advanced stages of societal paranoia allow something like this to be allowed in a country that used to call itself free. This simply is not acceptable in societies that call themselves democracies.