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The Village – Big Brother Fantasyland or Anytown, USA?

The image to your right is a picture of what may be a shipment of high-tech surveillance cameras to The Village. An anonymous source emailed the image (which was labeled “worm-cams”) to writer with the warning to “be careful.” It is still unclear if the source is to be regarded as a friend or foe, but it does appear that the The Village is being watched.

In this regard, The Village shares something in common with most American cities: All across the country, a sprawling network of CCTV cameras installed by governmental and commercial institutions monitor us in the name of protecting us, law-abiding citizens from the “bad guys”. In New York, for example, the street lamps in Times Square are rigged
with police video surveillance cameras able to swivel 360 degrees and
zoom in close enough to capture a ticket scalper’s features from
several feet away. According to Popular Mechanics, last year, “an estimated 30 million surveillance cameras” were deployed in the U.S. By now, those numbers have probably increased by a couple million. 

Yet, we would be wise not to dismiss the investigation into The Village as a meaningless exercise for crackpots and conspiracy-lovers. Allowing ourselves to be surveilled for the good of society has its risks — such as the increased loss of our rights to privacy, or the potential misuse of footage in a court of law. Until we know more about who or what is watching The Village and why, we would do well to pay attention.

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