“We’re going to have more visibility and less privacy. I don’t see how you stop that,” admitted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a surprisingly candid interview about the future of the surveillance state in the Big Apple.
While admitting that increased surveillance was “scary” and that governments will have to be thoughtful with their laws, he seemed to side with prioritizing radical transparency, especially through the use of automated drones, “but what’s the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building? I mean intellectually I have trouble making a distinction.”
This puts Bloomberg squarely at odds with the growing number of states and congress members either enacting or proposing moratoriums on the use of drones.
Indeed, he went on to imply that the fears against drones were somewhat unjustified, especially since security cameras already exist:
“The argument against using automation, it’s this craziness– oh, it’s Big Brother. Get used to it. When there’s a murder, a shooting, a robbery of something the first thing the police do is go to every single building in the neighborhood and say let’s see your security camera.”
The NY Daily news notes that the New York Civil Liberties union has identified roughly 2,4000 cameras already affixed on Manhattan buildings–a presence that is likely to increase if Bloomberg’s most recent interview is to be believed.
Lest Bloomberg be labeled as a surveillience hawk, the interview took on a tone of inevitability, rather than advocacy: “Everybody wants their privacy, but I don’t know how you’re going to maintain it.”
Listen to part of the interview with WOR-AM host John Gambling, below. We’ll have more analysis soon.