Mind your business.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The State Seriously Hates Cameras

Orwell was so very astute in his understanding of the total state, yet the most visible mechanism of state control in 1984, cameras everywhere, has turned out in the 21st century to be one of the most useful checks against state control.

Observe this video from Adam Kokesh, posted to YouTube yesterday:

Best part (2:05): "They're filming on the sidewalk. And they're filming on the sidewalk. And that guy's filming on the sidewalk. And that guy's filming on the sidewalk."

The police don't want Kokesh to film on the sidewalk because it's part of a "commercial operation" and requires a license from the National Park Service. The quotation above and its concurrent video footage show how antiquated the government's understanding of cameras and information is. People are all over the sidewalk filming with their digital cameras and smartphones.

The problem with Kokesh's camera then, is that it's too big and nice. Pretty soon, we'll be capturing footage of the same quality with devices indistinguishable from the ones the tourists are using. What will the police do then to sift the "commercial" operations from the Instagram and Facebook fodder?

And how is the distinction meaningful? Human action is human action. It's all done by actors that believe they are profiting from their actions somehow or another.

Watch the officer at the end of the video, tail tucked between his legs, nervously trembling with a camera and microphone aimed at him. The state doesn't just hate cameras. It's afraid of them.

Your "little brother" is watching you back.

double plus good