Archive for April, 2014

Cheating congressman isn’t a reason to abuse law enforcement surveillance cameras

April 12, 2014

Recently there was a national news story about a GOP congressman who was caught on a surveillance camera planting a sloppy wet one on an aide. An image was leaked to his local paper and the predictable media feeding frenzy began. However, the one question not asked that is quite important is this one: When did striking against political foes become an appropriate use of law enforcement spy cams?

Think about it: being a cheating skunk of an elected official is NOT against the law. There is no evidence of a crime taking place here. Whoever leaked this footage did so for the expressed purpose of doing POLITICAL damage against an elected official.

If people cheer on ‘cheater cams’ as a legitimate use of government spying, then why not have the NSA tap phones of elected officials and listen for naughty talk and leak the nastier examples to radio stations? Maybe they can send out drones to peek in hotel windows and live stream whenever a member of the wrong political party is in bed with a special friend.

Folks, this stuff is scary. We are told that there is no reason to worry about 360 degrees of surveillance of every call and cameras on every corner and a someone scanning our emails — and yet we just had someone leak footage on a U.S. Congressman who has some power to fight back. If those listening to the calls, scanning the emails, and looking at the video cameras are unhesitant to go after a somewhat powerful member of Congress, then they have no fear at all about going after a lowly private citizen.

Why stop at leaking to the newspaper? Why not leak to an opponent’s political campaign or maybe engage in a bit of blackmail? I ask, as have others before me: Who watches the watchers?

It was wrong and likely illegal what was done to this member of congress. I don’t care whether he is the lowest form of life on Earth — there is no excuse for abusing law enforcement spy cameras in this way. If this isn’t investigated and someone punished severely, then what stop the next spy with a grudge from doing the same?

You may cheer and laugh today, but what happens when the next camera points at you?