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Story Time

He ain't snooping, he's my 'Big Brother'

It took awhile for 1984 to get here, but George Orwell's prediction that "Big Brother" would be watching our every move has finally come true.

Recent news reports reveal the Bush Administration has OK'd a plan that will in the coming months give local law enforcement officials access to some of the nation's most powerful spy tools. The instruments that once were only reserved for spying on our enemies are the satellites and aircraft sensors far above us. These high-tech gizmos, reportedly, are capable of not only seeing through cloud cover, but are also able to see right through buildings. I've read these spy cameras orbiting Earth are so powerful they can clearly identify anyone they zoom in on.

We are told the high-tech imagery will greatly aid domestic security and emergency preparedness agencies in detecting threats...from terrorists to illegal immigrants to natural disasters. No question about that.

What is at question, however, is the line the federal government has crossed, in terms of giving access to this military hardware to regular, everyday cops.

We'll be assured, of course, that these high-resolution, see-all photographs will only be used in tracking down people who have come to this country to harm us. All well and good, I suppose...unless YOU (yes, you, the person reading these words right now) are the one whose every movement is being tracked.

Can't happen to YOU, you say. HA!

If I truly detested someone, like YOU for example, and swore I overhead you talking about poisoning the local water source, how many anonymous phone calls to the Department of Homeland Security would it take to get the satellite spy lens zoomed in on YOU?

From my understanding, initially, the data provided by these overhead spy cameras will only be made available to domestic agencies that monitor "high casualty" threats. I've read, though, there is an expectation that state and local police officers will be given access to this technology soon after.

Our local cops may be told by the feds that they can only use the spy hardware in select instances. But once they have access to these cameras, really, what's to stop the cops from using them in their everyday police work, or to see who's breaking the speed limit on an unpatrolled, quiet country lane, or who slapped who during a domestic squabble?

Got any unregistered guns tucked away in the closet? Wouldn't be all that difficult for the local cops to zoom in the spy satellite lens on your home and take a count of your firearms. If guns were detected and you weren't on file as a registered owner, you don't think there's some liberal judge out there who'd be more than willing to give the local police a search warrant to invade your home and confiscate your weapons?

There's also the issue of someone, who has access to all this high-tech gear, abusing his or her power. It's not that far-fetched to think some perverted cop would use the "see-through-buildings" camera to invade our bedrooms and personal lives.

Once a line such as this one has been crossed, there's seldom any going back. In fact, the line almost always seems to get skewed in the other direction...in this case that would mean our local law enforcement officials would be given even more rope with which to hang us.

"Big Brother" has no place in the good old USofA.

Unfortunately, I think George Orwell's prophecy has already come true. We're already being watched, now get ready to really be scrutinized.

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