Wednesday, March 22, 2006

CCTVs in public buses - Nonsense !

I'll try to be as calm as possible, but sometimes circumstances force my hand. I'll state it simply - I am quite enraged by the Government's intent to install CCTVs in public buses. There are two reasons for my response.

i) It is simply an outrage of everyone's privacy.

ii) It is not a cost-effective way to prevent crime or terrorism.

In fact, my two reasons may already be too kind. Regarding the first point, I wonder what safeguards will be put in place to ensure the security footage will not be misused, and how far back will the records be kept. Quite frankly, it reminds me of George Orwell's police state.

About my second point, I am quite certain that CCTVs are not even effective in preventing crime, much less terrorism. A point to note is that there are few crimes that can occur on buses, so this measure is largely to prevent terrorism. I am not sure how this prevention occurs - does it forcefully stop terrorists from boarding buses or bombs from going off (physical prevention) , or does it mentally deter terrorists ( mental deterence) ? It cannot be the former, so is it the latter ? I am sure it does not deter suicide bombers, but it may deter the 'garden variety' terrorists. That said, they would probably look out for easier targets, in which case we have not deterred terrorism, but displaced it.

I do not deny that CCTVs aid the detection of crime and in prosecution. But wasn't the focus on ensuring our security rather than ensuring our vengance ? In anycase, I found channelnewsasia's article on the CCTV news amusing. In the links for related news, one article was Police still searching for clues three months after London bombings. Hmm someone in CNA has a sense of humor I guess.

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