Demands to Expand the Surveillance State Arrive on Schedule

I said the first thing the state would grab for after the bombings in Boston were more surveillance powers. As if on queue a Republican from New York is using Monday’s tragedy to demand more cameras to spy on the general populace:

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC: Congressman, briefly, do you think that this will lead to more cameras? I know it’s controversial, there are privacy issues. Boston does have a lot of cameras. European cities, led by London, have the most. Are Americans going to have to get used to more surveillance on a daily basis?

REP. PETER KING (R-NY): I think we do because I think privacy involves being in a private location. Being out in the street is not an expectation of privacy. Anyone can look at you, can see you, can watch what you’re doing. A camera just makes it more sophisticated, but it’s no different from your neighbor looking out the window at you or a police officer looking at you walking down the street.

So, I do think we need more cameras.

Surveillance powers are always the first thing the state grabs for after a tragedy. It’s a fairly safe thing to demand because the general population often view more state surveillance powers are rather benign. Another benefit of surveillance powers is that it expands the state’s watch without having to expand the number of people employed by the state to any notable extent, which keeps more money in the hands of the politicians. Before you know it we’ll be emulating London’s Big Brother situation.