This week, we learned that the spy camera bug has spread to the suburbs. Now, even the small community of Slidell Louisiana will be installing cameras. The city council approved an expenditure of $3,500 for the annual costs of maintaining the cameras. This community is not a hotbed for criminal behavior, but Police Chief Randy Smith still believes they are needed. Smith wants to create a database of license plates for police to use in either criminal or missing person cases.
There will be six cameras in Slidell and the surrounding areas. Yet, the Chief refused to divulge the locations of these cameras. Why is there such a mystery about the location of the cameras? There are also some other questions that need to be answered.
- How long with the images be stored?
- The images will be used for what purposes?
- Who has access to the images?
- Will any of the images be released to the public?
The cameras were not approved by the voters in Slidell, who have been given almost no information about their placement and operation. Once again, taxpayers of a community are being asked to fund a mysterious program that they have not sanctioned.
The Slidell cameras are authorized by the Department of Homeland Security, which is also installing them in other communities throughout the nation.
Everyday, more and more of our country is under the watchful eye of government cameras. If we trusted our government to use the information in the right way, then there would be no concern. However, Americans have come to the stark realization that we cannot trust our government. In fact, we must have a healthy dose of skepticism in dealing with this government behemoth.
Most Americans do not realize they are being watched so closely by their own government. We can now add Slidell Louisiana to the ever growing list of cities under surveillance.
Life today in this country feels more like an Orwellian novel than the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected].