Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Audio Monitoring

Years ago I fought a town council in West Virginia that passed a law requiring convenience stores to purchase security cameras and to allow the police to take the tapes whenever they wanted them. I had argued that this was an example of a Big Brother video camera in our private businesses. They replied that it would reduce crime. I then asked whether they would consider putting security cameras in our homes if they thought it would reduce domestic violence. I had meant for the question to be rhetorical but one council member immediately answered yes.

This afternoon I submitted the following letter to the editor of the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) school newspaper:

Today I noticed an "Audio Monitoring" sign over the checkout desk in the U.T. Dallas library. A librarian explained to me that they used microphones to record conversations in the building for homeland security. This seems excessive for an unclassified facility.

I also asked the librarian if anyone had made any comments about the audio monitoring. She answered no with a questioning tone that communicated "Why should they?" Apparently those of us who do question such things are few and far between. If you are one of those, please join me on the Minarchist Party discussion list.

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