HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Snitch Society
Pubdate: Sun, 13 Jun 2004
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2004 Calgary Herald


Before we became inured to cameras watching us pump gas, do our banking and
using the washroom; before we stopped fretting about ubiquitous databases
keeping intimate details of our lives and finances; before -- simply --
today, we lived in a freer society where privacy was a God-given right that
still had some meaning.

But today, we live in a society were police see absolutely nothing wrong
with trying to enlist letter carriers and meter readers to snoop on Calgary
residences -- the very homes they are assigned to provide a service to -- in
the campaign to detect illegal marijuana grow operations.

Let's be clear: Grow-ops are an evil blight in our neighbourhoods. Police
should use every appropriate means at their disposal to attack this growing
problem. However, enlisting the people you, as a customer, allow to approach
your house to be snitches is a country mile from appropriate.

Calgarians, and indeed all Canadians, must start asking themselves how
willing they are to allow the state into our figurative bedrooms, in the
name of whatever noble objective rules the moment. Do we really want the
mailman peeking into our windows while we sip morning coffee in our
underwear? Joseph Stalin would be proud.

Those who want to rat on their neighbours already have an incentive -- the
Crime Stoppers program pays hard cash to willing Judases, and has many
successes to its credit.

The meter reader should stick to the job he was hired to do. Unless we are
ready to forgo a freedom our soldiers died to defend, what goes on inside
your home is very much none of his business.
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