The City of Oakland, and many other cities across the nation are spending millions of dollars on technology designed specifically to track the movements, actions, and conversations of its inhabitants. The claim is that these kinds of technologies, automated face and license plate recognition systems, GPS trackers, and even drones are a necessary and essential part of law enforcement.
I argue that these measures are designed only for the capture and incarcerate portions of law enforcement and do little to nothing to prevent crime or deal with its aftermath. The days of believing that a world-wide panopticon in which the fear of being observed prevents us from breaking rule and law is long over. Now, we understand the desensitization that comes from living our lives in front of cameras and on social media. None of us care, not enough to shift our behaviors. The threat of public comment or shaming does not loom large in our minds, and especially not in the minds of those made desperate by circumstance or poverty.
The shutdown is an opportunity for us to reevaluate what we fund and why, and press our opinions into the minds of our clearly lost for connection to reality law makers. Consider your privacy. Consider your free will. Consider that the United States already incarcerates more of its population than any other country. Consider finding your voice.
To contact an elected official:
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