In 1950 while I was a senior in Good Old Franklin High in Rochester NY, our honors English class received a book report assignment. It was a shock. We were to read and comment on the novel Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell. In his writings, Orwell contributed many words to the English vocabulary. In Nineteen Eighty Four, the term “Big Brother Is Watching You” became the very symbolism of a giant super state watching endlessly over the prole or the little guy.
Over fifty years have passed since I did that book report. The year 1984 has come and gone. The Cold War is no longer. We do not have super states like Oceania. George Orwell could not in his wildest essays ever dreamed up a creation like the internet. But Orwell’s creation is very evident and is with every one of us, no matter what country we live in. Here is an insight into everything we have ever wanted to know about hidden surveillance cameras
Today, hidden surveillance cameras are more common around the world than most of us realize. They can be found in banks, bus stops, department stores,7-11s, fast food restaurants, homes, and ATM machines. They are on almost every continent. These cameras were initially fed into video recording devices. Now they are monitored by real life security personnel and are channeled through the internet in order to deter crimes and rapidly identify offenders. The chances are fairly certain that if you’ve been in any gambling casino in the modern world that you have been carefully scrutinized on surveillance cameras As for government, if you have been in any office of federal, state, or local government, a hidden surveillance camera has captured your image.
Surveillance cameras are so small they do not take up a lot of space. When in place, they are not obvious. They are quite affordable when compared to other security methods. Surveillance cameras are effective in small ‘mom and pop’ type stores and restaurants. However, they are not a crime deterrent. They can only be used as evidence after the fact. They can provide valuable evidence to law enforcement, but they cannot stop the crime from happening.
To deter crimes, surveillance cameras must be used in conjunction with a law enforcement unit or a manned security patrol. In stores, cameras are mounted in “chrome domes” in the ceiling or else may sit behind store decorations. Do not be shocked if one of Santa Claus’s reindeer might be housing a surveillance camera. After all, the Christmas season sees shop lifting at peak levels.
Surveillance cameras may make you the unwitting star of the latest and greatest porno flick. Pornographic webmasters have installed webcams in every conceivable place where they can photograph people that think they have privacy. No hiding place is even close. They have set up webcams in rest rooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and most of all, motel rooms. Not only is Big Brother watching you, but the rest of the internet world is watching you as well. A long time favorite TV show used the expresson, “Smile ..You’re on Candid Camera ! How true.
There are however, a few drawbacks you should know about when considering a small, hidden, surveillance camera as part of a home or business security plan. Be aware that these cameras offer a very narrow or limited field of view. If these cameras are being used to identify perpetrators of a crime,a defense attorney in a court of law could easily establish reasonable doubt unless the defendant is well within the camera’s field of vision. Also, these webcams are very small and do not necessarily offer the best quality and highest resolution when it comes to photographs.
If you are hoping to catch employees, nannies, and housekeepers in the act of stealing from you or abusing their authorities and privileges, then a hidden surveillance camera is an excellent choice. The same holds true for customers who would steal as well. These cameras can quite often be valuable tools in identifying those who transgress against you. However, the hidden nature of surveillance cameras really prevents them from being an effective crime deterrent and this should be carefully considered before relying on them as a sole means of defense or security for your home and/or business.
Here is another expression that George Orwell may not have thought about. It is, “Only The Attorneys Win.” Surveillance cameras must furnish the evidence to obtain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. It is too easy for even a novice defense attorney to have a case thrown out of court based on surveillance camera evidence. The surveillance cameras mounted on light poles to catch you driving aggressively or running a red light or speeding may be susceptible to challenge.
The bottom line is simple enough. Get a good attorney. He or she just might be clever enough to outwit Big Brother.