America is quickly transforming into a surveillance state, and the latest news out of Rhode Island is certainly cause for concern.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, America fell victim to another threat: The dissolution of the 4th Amendment that protects us from illegal search and seizure, and guarantees us a right to privacy. That horrific assault on our nation was exploited heinously by our federal government to install a great many procedures and routines that egregiously targeted our personal privacy. The TSA is now the predominant security force at our nation’s airports, where they are allowed to rifle through your wife’s underwear in her luggage, grope your children around their genitals, and create x-ray composites of your naked body, all in the name of security theater.
Americans, to their discredit, barely batted an eye when these measures were rolled out.
Now, Rhode Island is considering a new system that would further invade our lives autonomously, although, thankfully, there will be little to no sexual harassment this time around.
“A controversial bill passed by a House Committee in Rhode Island would create a state wide surveillance apparatus that would automatically ticket motorists and split half the money with the corporation that installed the cameras.“Passed by a 7-2 vote on Tuesday by the House Corporations Committee, the bill calls for the authorization of a network of optical license plate readers that would check plate numbers against a national police database.
“The readers would be deployed along major highways in the state and ticket uninsured drivers in real time. Meanwhile, the company responsible for installing and maintaining the devices would collect 50 percent of the ‘profits.’
“In other words, lawmakers in Rhode Island are perfectly content with being political hacks while filling state coffers and enriching their large corporate donors.”
This simply cannot be allowed to occur, yet, here we are watching this maniacal abuse of power slither its way through the state legislature.
American freedoms are at stake in the case of Rhode Island’s proposed nonsense. By no means is anyone suggesting that drivers should be allowed to drive 90 mph past an elementary school just after the last class for the day ends, but drivers who create no harm or danger to others by rolling through a stop sign or forgetting to use their turn signal should not be summarily targeted for fundraising purposes by Big Brother.
There is an all-too important human element to our justice system in America, and automated surveillance such as what Rhode Island is proposing tears at the very idea of hiring the most competent people we can for these positions of power. By turning justice over to computers, even in the somewhat mundane world of traffic violations, we are losing a rather large piece of the American Dream, while continuing down our path to becoming an Orwellian dystopia.
It is your right as an American to make risk-to-reward choices. We cannot allow Big Brother to take that away.