Letter to the Editor: Big Brother Is Watching Us Go Boating

Byline: Jacob Armbruster

I see by your article, titled “14 New Surveillance Cameras Installed Around Mission Bay” (in the June 22-July 5 issue of The Log Newspaper), that $385,000 of our tax dollars paid to support Homeland Security efforts have now been spent on a system of video cameras that will soon watch our every move as we go boating, use the launch ramp or have a picnic on the beach at Mission Bay.

I guess I should feel really safe right now. And I should feel very thankful that our government agencies can make sure I don’t get shot by a terrorist the next time I launch my boat and start up my outboard engine.

But I don’t feel any safer. I just feel like my personal space has been encroached on a little bit more.

I know that the cameras have been installed in public areas, and I have nothing to hide from the local lifeguards, cops or FBI agents, for that matter. However, the idea that someone has trained a lens on public citizens and will be scrutinizing everything we do to make sure nothing illegal is going on smacks of “1984” and the tyranny of “Big Brother.”

What next? Maybe a loudspeaker, so the people watching us can comment on our activities? I can hear it now …

“Attention, citizen in the blue Ford truck: Your left tire is a half-inch over the white line in Parking Space A-13!”

“Hey! You, at the launch ramp: Where did you learn to launch a trailerboat? You’re taking all day, and people are waiting behind you.”

“Warning! Warning, lady: If you have to wear a bikini that small here, you MUST put on SPF 30 sunscreen!”

“Hey kid: We saw you spit out that gum. Drop your skateboard, and scrape up that chewing gum RIGHT NOW!”

Ah, the joys of modern living. Aren’t we lucky to live in such an age of technological advancement?

Jacob Armbruster
El Cajon


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