Big Brother

Big Brother Could Take to Miami Skies With Blanket Aerial Surveillance

Americans have regrettably allowed several governmental agencies to trample on the 4th Amendment in recent years, and Miami is readying their own parade across the Constitution.

The world is certainly a dangerous place, and growing more precarious by the moment.  There are scores of jihadists fanning out around the globe as we speak.  Liberals have spawned a violent New Fascist movement that riots in the streets.  Strict gun laws in cities like Chicago and New York have caused endemic violence.  Truly, Americans have every right to be a bit more frightened than before.

That fear, however, must be mitigates.  When we began to concern ourselves with the hypotheticals of crime and danger, we allow some of our freedoms to slip.  We consider these invasions of privacy a “safety tax”, and ignore their gross ineptitude as it pertains to the freedoms inherent in America.

Now, police in Miami are considering taking their 4th Amendment-busting surveillance tactics to the skies for around the clock, blanket surveillance of the city…something that should strike fear into ardent Constitutionalists.

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Already used in Baltimore and other cities, the technology has helped spark a national debate on civil liberties as it pushes the edge of what’s possible now in mass surveillance. The camera system tracks how the U.S. pursued suicide bombers in Iraq, and the American Civil Liberties Union has called it ‘terrifying for the potential to record every citizen’s movement when he or she is visible from the sky.’

“’This is not the way to adopt public policy — no system of surveillance should be put into place until it is first established that there is a need which this system addresses, and that there are protections in place for the privacy of the people of Miami-Dade County,’ the ACLU’s Florida said in a statement Thursday from executive director Howard Simon. ‘Until these protections for the rights and privacy of the people of Miami-Dade County are put into place, the grant request should be withdrawn.’

 “With increasingly cheaper surveillance cameras already mounted on lampposts, buildings, traffic lights and homes throughout Miami-Dade — not to mention the prevalence of cellphone footage — the sophisticated aerial surveillance arrives at a time when people are used to being recorded when they leave home.

“’You have no expectation of privacy when you walk outside,’ said Carlos Gimenez, mayor of Miami-Dade. ‘I have no expectation of privacy in my backyard.’”

Gimenez’s quote above is ludicrous.  Every American in every locale, no matter the size or the crime rate, has a right to privacy as guaranteed by our Constitution.  By allowing police in Miami-Dade carte blanche to spy on the entire city, we are placing ourselves in a virtual prison.  The risks we take, whether they be legal or not, are our risks.  While no one is suggesting that we concede any American city to blatant criminality, this sort of technological tactic is far from acceptable.

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