CBC Radio 1 Ideas
March 13, 2008
Canada’s national broadcaster boosts public knowledge of the dangers of encroaching surveillance in The Suspect Society, an expose of surveillance culture throughout the West: “By 2010 for example, there will be more security guards than teachers in American schools. But, the uniforms aren’t just being worn by security staff.”
“Military symbols and myths are gaining prominence in western societies. In Britain, a recent report recommended that military personnel continue to wear a uniform in their daily life as citizens to boost support for themselves. One of Canada’s military boosters is Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In April, 2007, he told us that the Battle of Vimy Ridge is Canada’s creation story. Military Heroics. Bunker politics. Us against Them. The world, indeed seems more dangerous than ever, in the most intimate of environments. In daycares within Canada, the US, Britain and Australia, there is now video surveillance of very young children, easing we’re told, parental anxieties. Never mind cameras at intersections, in elevators. Cameras everywhere. In Baltimore, they’ve gone further. Based on an idea from Glasgow, Scotland, blue flashing lights have been installed around Baltimore – to signal: this is a high-crime neighbourhood.
A grant worth millions of dollars from the United States Department of Homeland Security has helped pay for Baltimore’s video fortress. That video is streamed into the Baltimore Police Depatments “Watch Centre”. In New York City and London, England similar surveillance is called, “The Ring of Steel”.”