Surveillance … It’s a Good Thing.

Sure I get it.  Hacking, spying and cameras watching your every move might leave you thinking that this surveillance obsessed society in which we exist is not benefiting anyone, except for industries who thrive on collecting every minute personal detail.  There must be some good in it somewhere.  Well consider my argument before you go knocking over a speed camera, giving a CCTV the middle finger or putting another layer of tape over your laptop.

Speed camera

red-light, green-light, 123 by Mark Wilke (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Surveillance can fight crime.

There are many examples where security vision has enabled law breakers and down-right horrible people to be identified and found guilty of crimes.  Just this year, police have urged residents with CCTVs in the City of Casey (Melbourne) to join a database which could assist with investigations and subsequent convictions.  People power against those who choose to misbehave and cause harm in the community.

Zissou (2013, p. 15) notes that after 600 security cameras were installed across Baltimore in America, the city’s crime rate dropped by nearly 25 per cent.  Furthermore, supporters of video surveillance confirm that officials are not interested in watching us shopping or walking our dogs, it’s only those conducting criminal activities who should be worried.

Surveillance can provide security.

Lyon (2013, pp. 4-5) argues that surveillance systems make sure we get paid correctly, that terrorism and drug-trafficking are contained  and that we can pay our way through an ordinary day without requiring a pocket full of cash.  Who wants to visit the bank every time we run out of cereal, milk, toothpaste, toilet paper, petrol … you get the idea.

Even when the plastic we use instead of money is compromised, surveillance can be there to assist.  I have had phone calls from my bank in the past notifying me of suspicious overseas purchases on my credit cards.  If it wasn’t for the vigilance of surveillance and its rapid response, then I could have been in for a big shock and a world of financial pain.

What about home security systems?  It’s home surveillance.  It’s a system.  It also provides security.

‘Most people in modern societies regard these accomplishments as contributing positively to the quality of life’ (Lyon 2013, p. 5).

Surveillance can entertain.

Have you ever accessed web cams from around the world that are situated in famous locations?  I often catch myself sitting at the laptop observing the rush of people, countless yellow cabs and the mesmerising neon display of Times Square in New York.  These cameras allow me to reflect on some fantastic memories of my time in that amazing city.  Guess what?  They are cameras watching people go about their busy day in a busy city, oblivious to the fact that little ol’ me is back in Australia watching what they are up to 16,000 kilometres away.  Yes it’s a form of surveillance but it doesn’t appear to be doing anything evil does it?  Except make me jealous of those tourists.

I’m jealous of myself when I see this photo!

Joe iphone pics 055

Taken by Joe Bovalino, 11 December 2013

In a weird way we need to monitor the monitors.  Surveillance should be regulated and be used wisely; however it’s not all bad.  It can help in crime prevention, gives us a sense of security and it can entertain us, perhaps even make us laugh.  As long as it’s not me being caught doing something embarrassing!


(526 WORDS)


Lyon, D 2013, The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society – Computers and Social Control in Context, Wiley: Hoboken, EBSCOhost, viewed 24 August 2016.

Zissou, R 2013, ‘Eye spy: should governments install surveillance cameras in public places?’, Junior Scholastic/Current Events, 19, EBSCOhost, viewed 29 August 2016.


25 thoughts on “Surveillance … It’s a Good Thing.

  1. Hi Joe!
    I found this blog was very easy to read because of its simplicity and the good flow of how the information presented. As a resident of the City of Casey area, I haven’t heard about rallying of residents to join a database to help with investigations but I found this very interesting. I think it’s a great idea and as you mentioned, surveillance can fight crime.
    I like your creative use of vine and using humour in your tweet while on the topic of CCTV surveillance. It’s refreshing and entertaining.
    Thanks for a great read!
    – Samantha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Joe!

    I really enjoyed reading your piece, I think you delivered your argument well and the overall structure is great. Also liked how you embedded your tweets in places where it really helps back up your statements. You also make great use of scholarly sources throughout.

    I definitely agree with you that surveillance is certainly a great thing, especially what you said in regards to preventing crime and providing us a sense of security. I think a lot of people have a negative opinion towards surveillance, when it comes to thinking about their privacy, so it’s great reading an argument talking about the positive sides of it all.

    – T

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Joe,

    Love your post! I think the way you have structured your blog post makes it really accessible and easy to follow. I love your short subheading-style sentences that preface your discussions, how the text is broken up into small sections by relevant and entertaining tweets and photos.

    Your use of the bolded quote also adds interest and adds to the overall aesthetics of your post! Its very refreshing to read a discussion of the positives of surveillance, and you have covered several different areas in a clear and succinct manner!

    Great style of writing that is really appropriate to online blogs! Great work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Joe!
    Great blog post, I like how you speak about the utopian side of surveillance instead of the negatives, a very interesting take and the first I have seen. Your blog was well written, I enjoyed how you incorporated your own voice into the piece, I found this to engage and lighten the mood with the audience.

    Your integrated media broke up the text quite well, kept me entertained and engaged with the blog post.

    If I had to point out anything that needs improvement (and this would be me nit-picking), be mindful of your in-text references – not a biggie but one of them is (2103, p.015).

    Otherwise great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Laura, thanks for taking the time to read the blog and thank you for picking up on the in-text reference, I can’t believe I missed that! I’m not sure I can predict what academics will be writing about surveillance in 2103! Fixed now, Joe.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Joe

    I really enjoyed this blog post as it’s one of the few that discusses the benefits of surveillance as opposed to all the negatives. The post was very easy to read and flowed nicely which also added to my enjoyment.

    I liked the variety of multimedia sources you used which ranged from pictures, embedded tweets and you even challenged yourself and used vine.

    I also thought you had done some further research both with academic resources as well as what goes on within your community which also makes me think you have a personal interest with this topic.

    Good work Joe, keep up the good work

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Joe,

    Thanks for your great post. I really enjoyed read it. Your post is easy to understand. This post’s structure is very clearly and easy to follow. It is great that you include multimedia. Also, it is nice that you shared your experience in this blog.

    When I thinking about surveillance, the first thing come to my mind is about the negative of surveillance. Sometimes, I forgot the positive of surveillance. So, your post is really helpful.

    Excellent work! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Joe,

    My favorite live cam is the one at Abbey Road, like most it’s a tad boring to watch though, hahaha.

    The point you make about reduction of crime is interesting, but doesn’t this mean they just go elsewhere to commit crimes? My research into CCTV in schools many of the kids say they just go where the cameras aren’t, to ‘break school rules’.

    At work, we watched a security video of a customer running into the sliding doors about fifty times, it was most entertaining!

    Only thing I can think of to improve your blog is that two references is the minimum, feel free to use more.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love how optimistic you are in this Blog! It’s really good to see a blog that really only focuses on the positives of the wonderful technology we experience every day, so good work! I like that you have rhetorical questions and anecdotal evidence, these techniques really personalized your blog for me, and made it fun to read. I like how you talk about not only Australia but also America, this adds strength to your arguments. As for the embedded media you have used, it’s good to see you’ve included you own but also creative commons content. I think it would’ve been good to debunk the negatives a little bit more than you have potentially. Overall it’s really Good read. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Joe,

    I absolutely loved your blog! I was drawn in from the first line and was laughing by the end of the first paragraph. After reading through many different blogs it is refreshing and fun to find one that has a utopian approach to the topic of surveillance! The examples you put forward from your own life, especially the bank one, are things that people can relate to and may even make people change their minds on the issue. I completely agree that surveillance gives you sense of security and the video/embedded tweet you used was a short but catchy way to show people this. Great referencing throughout and the tone of your writing made the blog easy and entertaining to read. I would honestly love to read more of your work!

    Danielle ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Danielle, such great comments. I really appreciate it and glad you got a bit of a laugh from it. Be sure to follow my Word press site if you want to get notified of anything else I write in the future. Good luck with your own blogging. Joe.


  10. Excellent blog. Although I personally prefer to see surveillance from a more dystopian perspective, it was very refreshing to see a blog post coming from the Utopian point of view. Although surveillance can be used for underhanded means, you did an excellent job of arguing that at the current state, it benefits us more than it restrains us. Your blog has made me consider editing my own blog posts to address these very valid points. Additionally, your references were well picked, and there’s no doubt that the statistics that surveillance reduces crime could be denied. Excellent job, and thank-you for giving me more perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi, Joe!
    I really like your write because it is informative and has good sequence flow so the readers will easily understand the message and information that you want deliver. Moreover, you write is more interesting because you put your argument, embedded tweet, creative video and picture very well and interesting so the readers will enjoy to read you blog until the end of the part. Furthermore, your blog is being one of my favorite blog that I read so far because your write is completely prefect for me. Thank you for your great job and looking forward to read your next post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great work Joe!

    First and fore-mostly, I enjoyed that your blog-post looked at surveillance from a positive point-of-view. Your contention was clear from the very beginning, and I loved your personal quirky style of writing. More importantly though, you’ve managed to separate your arguments in a cohesive manner; surveillance fighting crime, providing security and being a form on entertainment.

    You reference scholarly works and a news article to demonstrate that surveillance devices can not only be a deterrent for crime, however raise a good point in stating that those who review surveillance footage are most likely only interested in crime itself. Furthermore, the embedded video of you at home reiterates how surveillance devices can protect us personally.

    Only suggestion I have is to perhaps research a funny surveillance video gone viral to demonstrate surveillance as an (unfortunate) form of entertainment.

    Really great way of looking at things Joe! Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hey Joe,

    This was a very insightful and interesting read. I found it quite refreshing how you demonstrated a viewpoint that didn’t necessarily promote surveillance as an amazing thing, but explained how it can be utilised as a safety tool or in your case, a form of entertainment. The way you integrated media throughout your blog was done really well. A very engaging read and consistent tone used the whole way through your writing. I feel a little more colour could really help your page out visually and would also entice the reader’s eye a little more.

    Liked by 1 person

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