Peter Souther Lincoln: Urges putting stop now to surveillance

  • jacoblund

Sunday, December 31, 2017
Urges putting stop now to unwanted surveillance

The cameras that Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper wants to install downtown are yet another example of a slow but steady encroachment of government/law enforcement into our daily lives. Where will this increasing intrusion into our lives end?

I don’t think any of us, including Chief Kasper, are naive enough to think this will end with a couple of cameras on Main Street. Cameras will proliferate.

The argument that they will prevent or solve crimes is conveniently portable; it can be used indefinitely to justify placing cameras anywhere, right up to and including private homes and vehicles. I know that sounds far-fetched, and no one is suggesting or even thinking such a thing. At least not now.

Go back a half century or more, however, and the idea of placing cameras to observe innocent citizens crossing the street would have been equally far-fetched if not outrageous, and any police chief even suggesting such a thing would probably have been removed from office. We have come this far in 50 years.

Where will we be 50 years hence? If we do not stand up and say “enough,” our government and its law enforcement agencies will not stop until they have surveillance over every aspect of our lives.

Peter Souther Lincoln