It sounds like something from a dystopian science fiction novel, but it’s real. The Oxford City Council in England has decided that all of the city’s 600 taxies are to have video and audio recording equipment — to record all conversations of occupants. It’s for “public safety,” of course.
According to the politicians who passed the law, all conversations are to be recorded, but no conversations will be listened to unless it’s a “police matter.” And we know that such information in the hands of police is never abused, so we don’t have to worry.
This is a great idea, but it needs to be expanded greatly. For instance, to protect against the risk of workplace crime — or even sexual harassment — they need to insist that all businesses record all employee conversations. And homes are rife with domestic violence, so every home should be required to have multiple cameras in every room. And given the fact that charges of rape so frequently come down to disputes over what happened, it definitely should be mandated that cameras record all sexual activity. (But your privacy is assured, because no one will look at the video — stored by the police, of course — unless there’s been a crime committed.) And since politicians frequently turn corrupt and take bribes, the City Council members need to be recorded 24/7 in all of their private conversations.
Surely the council members wouldn’t object to placing themselves under the same kind of surveillance they demand of the general public, because politicians never pass laws that don’t affect them as they do the public, do they?