13 August 2003

Cameras are a lot more affordable than extra people

Some schools now are relying on the "unblinking eye" of webcams to watch and preserve a video record of every school day.
When students in Biloxi, Miss., show up this morning for the first day of the new school year, a virtual army of digital cameras will be recording every minute of every lesson in every classroom.

Hundreds of Internet-wired video cameras will keep rolling all year long, in the hope that they'll deter crime and general misbehavior among the district's 6,300 students -- and teachers.

''It helps honest people be more honest,'' says district Superintendent Larry Drawdy, who, along with principals and security officers, can use a password to view classrooms from any computer. In an emergency, police also can tune in.

While I realize the intentions are benign, this bothers me greatly. I guess I should have never ever read 1984.