An article by Cory Doctorow looks at the use of CCTV and those who commit crimes in front of the cameras.

Cory Doctorow has written an interesting article for the Guardian examining the use of CCTV as a deterrence and a method of crime prevention. He points to the UK riots as an example of CCTV’s failure to deter criminals, as the rioters looted and caused mayhem in full view of the cameras.

The real story for me is about surveillance, and not the mere use of CCTV footage to apprehend rioters after the fact. It’s about the total failure of CCTV to deter people from committing crimes in the first place… The idea that we can all be made to behave if only we are watched closely enough all the time is bunkum. We behave ourselves because of our social contract, the collection of written and unwritten rules that bind us together by instilling us with internal surveillance in the form of conscience and aspiration. CCTVs everywhere are an invitation to walk away from the contract and our duty to one another, to become the lawlessness the CCTV is meant to prevent.

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