The U.S government has drawn more power beyond the thinking of many people. The surveillance cameras being regularly deployed may pose a threat to the citizens. The George Orwell’s novel The “1984” explains as to how a government controls its citizens, a kind of an intimation that what would be the outcome if the government becomes extraordinarily powerful. However, America’s govt may not be similar to that of Big Brother’s in Oceania, but without any control, it may become hostile to the common people. In the fictional country, Oceania in the novel “1984” Big Brother and his govt had supreme and unchallenged authority over all of the residents (Orwell). The of surveillance cameras were installed in every single room of their citizens, and Big Brothers named those cameras telescreen. Through telescreen all the residents of Oceania were under observation, all of their movements were being tracked daily. Although, the citizens had the provision to switch their telescreens off for 30 minutes in a single go. Those strict surveillance systems would record all the conversation with monitoring of every move of the citizens. Altogether, the installed telescreens snatched all the privacy from the residents of Oceania.
The cameras that are in use by today’s government of U.S are not identical to that of Big Brother’s in Oceania environment. However, Police Chief of Long Beach says that surveillance camera that his department use doesn’t serve as a spy or monitor on the citizens instead, it is used to check about the nature of the incident or any crime that takes place on the road. He further added that purpose of these cameras is to ensure the safety of residents and minimize street crimes. He also claims that the central command system of cameras will engage private cameras only in the case of occurring of any incident and it won’t be as if Big Brothers are spying on citizens. In this regard, a significant point is the authority that these cameras provide to the government can be abused. The government officials will have extra power which could be threatening for the privacy of citizens. For example, cameras installed on the streets of public residencies may be able to watch them on their property, which could be an interference in their privacy. According to officials, these cameras are for the safer neighborhood, but it may affect the privacy rights of citizens. Another issue is the surveillance cameras that are placed on smartphones. The majority of citizens carry these phones with them and wherever they go their location is traced. This tracking is deemed as an intrusion in the privacy. These are not phones, and these are my tracker (Maass, Rajagopalan). The mobile phone networks continually check and monitor locations of their users. The departments of Police and online advertisers keep such data private. This indicates that government can access private information and data of people whenever it wants. The private companies spend millions in the name of research to preserve the words, data and facial expression of the citizens (Ohm).
The Big Brothers used telescreens to take full control over its citizen in Oceania in the novel 1984. However, U.S government assures that such surveillance camera deployed by the government are solely for safety purpose but those who are responsible for monitoring these cameras violate the rules of privacy then the privacy of the citizens of U.S will be under threat, and they will feel insecure under surveillance environment (Grgic et al.). Also, if citizens are concerned about their privacy they should be cautious while using smartphones as they have trackers in them which record their actions and location which means that people are giving cellular networks access to their information, they should not make everything public.
Grgic, Mislay, Kresimir Delac, and Sonja Grgic. “SCface–surveillance cameras face database.” Multimedia tools and applications 51.3 (2011): 863-879.
Orwell, George. “Nineteen Eighty-Four. 1949.” The Complete Novels 7 (1990).
Orwell, George. Nineteen eighty-four. Everyman’s Library, 2009.