It’s natural after an attack such as the Boston Marathon bombings to want to ratchet up security, but Americans are starting on a “slippery slope” when they start allowing more cameras in public places, claims Sen. Rand Paul.
“If the government’s going to use cameras to watch us they need to have probable cause,” the Kentucky senator said on Fox News Channel
. “They need to have an argument to use the Constitution to do surveillance on us. And then I’m OK with it. But willy-nilly on everybody all the time in open spaces, I’m against that.”
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Paul clarified that he has no problem with private businesses putting cameras outside their buildings to protect their property. But government, he argued, has enormous power that can be abused.
The senator, popular with his father Ron’s libertarian supporters, said that lots of “emotion and anger” typically follow such attacks. But he added that support for added security at the expense of personal freedoms fades over time.
He warned of a “slippery slope” toward the Orwellian world of “1984,” in which cameras were in bedrooms and everywhere else as the government kept its citizens in line.
“It’s a terrible precedent,” he said. “We need to be very, very careful with the expansion of cameras.”
Paul noted that the cameras used to catch the Boston bombers were primarily owned by private businesses using cameras to protect their property. “I’m not against that,” he said.
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