Is Video Surveillance Trampling Our Freedoms?

Americans are being spied on constantly, whether they realize it or not.

Video surveillance is everywhere, and the cameras aren’t going away any time soon – mainly because there are too many of them put in place by government, businesses or individuals.

These days, video surveillance can be extremely effective. For instance, when law enforcement agencies investigated the Boston Marathon bombing, surveillance cameras from businesses up and down the street helped them zero in on the perpetrators. But, unfortunately, that extra security comes with a a huge tradeoff in privacy.

“It’s great for law enforcement, but it infringes on our rights to be free from unlawful searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” said Yoni Levoritz, founder of the Levoritz Law Group. “You should be able to travel around the country without being watched every step of the way, but these days it seems like you can’t sneeze without being on camera.”

Levoritz shared his concerns about the civil liberties issues with Inside Counsel, even as he acknowledges the advantages those all-seeing cameras provide. He said, “Certainly, surveillance cameras give investigators a great tool when a crime is committed, and there’s something to be said for that. But the risk is that, as we give up a measure of privacy, it’s turning the country into something the Founders didn’t want.”

Today, it is unlikely that video surveillance is keeping us secure, according to Levoritz. The San Bernadino shooting, the bombing of the Airport in Turkey - which has more cameras than most New York City Streets, the 2016 Chelsea Bomber who also left pipe bombs in New Jersey, and the recent bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. These cameras seem to be used primarily for viewing scenes of the crime afterwards, but by no means making us safer.

“People still die and are no more secure having the cameras present,” he said. “In fact, terrorists use the cameras and are aided in terrorizing people when the videos are shown over again to the public. Rather, like locks on the doors, or harsh gun laws designed to hinder the second amendment, you only keep the innocent people out and criminals at large well-armed.”

The positive argument for video surveillance may be that the cameras assist in the process of capturing people after Jihadist events. But, since most of the bombers are celebrated and praised and the lives of the infidels proudly displayed as being decimated. On the other hand, video surveillance allows Big Brother to take control.

“One of the freedoms that the founders fought for was the right to move about freely, the right to associate without being guilty just because people think differently than the mainstream, and that the government must be reined in because it has too much power, which was the main purpose of the Constitution,” he explained.

So, is video surveillance worth giving up our privacy for?

“Absolutely not,” said Levoritz. “Nearly everyone today has a smartphone and the constitution is to protect us from the government, if someone sees something, they will say something, so long as they are not in fear of the liberal media accusing them falsely of being an Islamaphobe and people are encouraged to step-forward regardless of who or what they see.”

Ultimately, video surveillance was created to prevent people from expressing themselves, and is used to track our every movement. What would our founders who fought tyranny have said as they were being hung for treason because they decided to go outside and every move was being watched on video? 

Levoritz explained, “Just as the cameras could not stop the bombers in France, England, or NYC, our courts are simply re-writing our history and constitution to suit the needs of the present, and that slippery slope has led to nothing but the silencing of the innocent and the propaganda machine of the evil terrorists who take joy in our cameras watching their evil deeds.”

Further reading:

LexisNexis' Federal Civil Procedure Guide Looks to Cater to 'YouTube Generation'

How Lawyer-Negotiators Averted Hollywood Writers' Strike

The Legal Issues of Augmented Reality Video Game Development

FTC Tells Paid 'Influencers' to Disclose When Instagram Posts Are #Ads

Contributing Author

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Amanda Ciccatelli

Amanda G. Ciccatelli is a Freelance Journalist for InsideCounsel, where she covers intellectual property, legal technology, patent litigation, cybersecurity, innovation, and more. She earned a B.A....

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