Once the idea that “Big Brother is watching you” was seen as a threat to civil liberties, but more and more we see people vying for Big Brother’s attention and wanting to be watched.
An armed robber on Staten Island threatened to kill a store clerk unless the clerk streamed the robbery live. Teen brains already challenged by risk assessment push far beyond the safety barrier for the chance to be seen getting frostbite from the salt and ice challenge.
So that online exhibitionism may in part explain why no one really thought much about O’Fallon Police compiling a list of outdoor surveillance systems. Officers want to be able to ask volunteer homeowners and business people to provide footage that might show a car or a suspect in a crime.
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Surveillance shows, and may catch, four suspects who on Saturday broke into a Shiloh electronics store. Video finally caught former Edwardsville police officer Brian Barker after he’d been stealing for 15 years. Riots and investigations followed police encounters with citizens when cell phone videos surfaced.
Big Brother keeps us safe. Big Brother keeps us honest. Hey, Big Brother, hold my beer and watch this!
Maybe we should watch what we wish for.