When George Orwell was fleshing out his idea for 1984, his seminal novel about the dangers of “Big Brother” and unfettered surveillance, even he didn’t dare to imagine some of the heinous overreaches that we’ve seen in America today.
Thanks largely to the advent of the internet, it has become ever simpler for the powers that be to invade our lives. Between social media, email , and phone records, our every move is detailed in some way, in some report, at a data center for a company whose lawyers are very, very good at justifying the whole thing.
Now, in one of California’s most prominent cities, another Orwellian nightmare is emerging.
In a 7-4 vote on Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors agreed to test Mayor London Breed’s controversial plan to overhaul the city’s surveillance practices, which will allow police to access private security cameras in real time.
Supervisors Catherine Stefani, Aaron Peskin, Gordon Mar, Matt Dorsey, Myrna Melgar, Rafael Mandelman and Ahsha Safaí voted to approve the trial run, while Connie Chan, Dean Preston, Hillary Ronen and Shamann Walton voted in dissent.
The retort was stern, to say the least.