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Home > Past Releases and Reports > Privacilla to U.S. House Transportation Committee: Red-Light Cameras are the Big Brother Infrastructure


For Immediate Release

July 31, 2001

Contact: Jim Harper

(202) 546-3701

http://www.privacilla.org

Privacilla to U.S. House Transportation Committee: Red-Light Cameras are the Big Brother Infrastructure

Privacilla Editor Discusses Red-Light Cameras, Surveillance Technology at Congressional Hearing

Washington, D.C. Jim Harper, Editor of Web-based privacy policy think-tank Privacilla.org, testified at a hearing today on red-light cameras in the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. His prepared testimony can be downloaded at http://www.privacilla.org/red-light_camera_testimony.pdf. Selected quotes from his prepared testimony follow:

  • "Increasingly, as Americans travel the streets and highways of the nation, they see cameras bristling from stoplights and streetlights and many people are bristling back. They find these cameras offensive, insulting, and an invasion of their privacy."

  • "Red-light cameras are only the first installation of the Big Brother infrastructure. There is much more to come."

  • "More so than the private sector, governments have the capability and the incentive to take, use, and abuse the personal information of citizens. George Orwell wrote 1984, bringing us the infamous concept of "Big Brother," as a warning against the power of governments not the private sector."

  • "As soon as red-light cameras are used for anything other than snapping suspected speeders and they soon will be these cameras should be shown a red light themselves."

  • "We are a free country and a free people who reject the idea of being monitored by government when we are going through our daily lives peacefully and lawfully."

  • "Congress should protect privacy and reassure the public with a law articulating appropriate and inappropriate government uses of red-light camera data and all forms of surveillance data."

Privacilla.org (http://www.privacilla.org) is a Web site that captures privacy as a public policy issue from a free-market, pro-technology perspective. It has been described as a "privacy policy portal" and an "online think-tank."

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