Thursday, January 27, 2005

Big Brother II

Instapundit posts on a topic that we have discussed before - traffic cameras. Glenn links to Classical Values, where Eric argues against them and proposes (but of course does not advocate) a couple of ways to beat them.

He calls them "destestable, unconstitutional devices," but I'm not so sure about either of those charges.

He refers to the Confrontation Clause of the Constitution, which states:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

The only phrase I see that could be used to frame a case against the cameras is the right " to be confronted with the witnesses against him." However, the camera surely is a witness, and if properly used is more reliable than a human witness.

I don't think he has much of a case - it mainly consists of accusing the government of "computerized Big Brotherism."

The cameras are a law enforcement tool, like radar guns and fingerprint kits. They must be used properly and not abused, but they are surely not unconstitutional.

I've heard some decent arguments against the cameras (such as discretion), but I don’t think this is one of them.

Update: While I'm linking to Instapundit, check out these articles he points out. Well armed citizens seem like quite a deterrent to me.