Land of the Observed

Hoboken: Land of the Observed

My feelings about “video surveillance” have varied throughout the years. I believe that private video recording is perfectly okay (and very well should be), to protect your property and land. Those types of (non-monitored) installations might prove useful if your property or well being is threatened, and can help in nabbing who violated your rights. But monitored surveillance (by some kind of “public authority”) is not a trend I’m comfortable with. We’re going from “land of the free” to “land of the observed and judged” at a break-neck pace.

Cameras at public parks. Traffic light cameras. Highway cameras. Satellites. You know the drill. And there’s a good chance a live human being is sitting there watching you. And paid for with money from you and your neighbors. You can’t opt out.

Imagine if you and your friends felt like engaging in a fun “play fight” along the waterfront one fine spring day? You know, to show off your kickboxing talents? Well, then there’s a good chance some cop will be down there “investigating” you doing what you consented to do, asking for ID, running a check, etc. Just because they “thought” something was going on on the video screen. Would you be okay with that? I certainly wouldn’t want anyone meddling in my business.

Those in support of public monitoring will likely say that this kind of intrusion will “help solve crimes” and keep bad guys off the streets. But I don’t think they’ve had any kind of notable impact on safety. Our streets are already safe all things considered. And if someone is hell-bent on committing a crime, they often don’t care about what their chances of being caught are. You know, they’re either too drunk or deranged to give a crap before the “damage is done.”

At what point does it “cross the line” for you?

Hoboken land of the observed

About Hoboken411 Photo of the Day
The Hoboken Photo of the Day is a regularly updated section on

Conceived and launched in 2006, the original Hoboken Photo of the Day category contains thousands of pictures and includes many other subsections, including Drunk Bread Crumbs, HDR Photography, Hoboken Digital Art, and more.

We feel that by photo-documenting the city of Hoboken season after season, “a picture is worth 1000 words,” and can tell a myriad of stories encompassing the good, bad and the ugly contained within the mile-square. Our constantly-evolving way of maintaining a historical archive of memories and sights.

Want your picture featured? Simply email with your photo and back-story!

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Land of the Observed"

Sort by:   newest | oldest

We used to have neighbors and neighbors looked out for each other. Now with residents, rather than neighbors, drug deals are happening right in the open.