Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Mark, thinks she's got problems? Last week she complained that a family photo posted to Facebook had been circulated on Twitter without her authorization. Well, over a few hours around town that day I counted 57 cameras—at traffic lights, various stores and the bank—and my phone told me I switched between eight different cellphone towers. We are all being watched, whether we like it or not.
So who's winning? It is a battle between you and the government—like Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy comic, but it's gSpy vs. iSpy.
There are thousands of toll booths at bridges and turnpikes across America recording your license plate. There are 4,214 red-light cameras and 761 speed-trap cameras around the country. Add 494,151 cell towers and 400,000 ATMs that record video of your transactions. New York City alone has 2,400 official surveillance cameras and recently hired Microsoft to monitor real-time feeds as part of the Orwellian-named Domain Awareness System. And that is nothing compared with England, where over four million surveillance cameras record the average Londoner 300 times a day.
Popular Mechanics magazine estimates that there are some 30 million commercial surveillance cameras in the U.S. logging billions of hours of video a week. I guarantee that you're in hundreds if not thousands of these. In the year 1984, we only had lame amber-screened PCs running Lotus 123. Now, 64 years after George Orwell sent "1984" to his publisher, we have cheap video cams and wireless links and terabyte drives and Big Brother is finally watching.
So gSpy is winning, right?