A few days ago I listened to a talk from Cory Doctorow at Duke University, graciously recorded and posted by the Random Signal Podcast. It was one of the best talks I have heard from Cory. Sometimes he sounds like a broken record because he has standard points that he makes in every interview and they all seem to make it to the web.
In the talk he mentions the murder of a friend in London last year, and that thanks to CCTV they were able to arrest and prosecute the killers, but that did not make his friend any less dead. Those in charge tend to want to add more surveillance so that they can track more people. We dont have the same level of watching here in the States but we are moving that way.
What really made me stop was the what if scenario. What if the bad people suddenly knew that there would be no consequences for their actions for a certain period of time, i.e. after a hurricane or another tragedy. We have good neighbors, live in the country and could easily work together to defend ourselves so it would not be an issue for us, but what about in places like the UK where you cant have any kind of personal defense device (handgun) and if those cameras where off, some people would act very differently.
If a gang started working its way from the city our way, they would not be able to terrorize many people, but in an urban environment, well, no thanks. I love living where we do.
So I would recommend listening to the talk and if you do, leave me a comment with your favorite point that was made.