If you love the TV show, Big Brother, and if it’s been a life-long goal of yours to be a contestant on it, then I’ve got good news for all you die-hard reality TV fans; Big Brother is coming to Jordan and in the most hi-tech of manners. The better news is that every Jordanian citizen gets to be a contestant (unwillingly). Okay, so perhaps it was merely a coincidence that I posted this just the other day, but the irony, well that’s something I couldn’t have possibly orchestrated all on my own, and I have the never-ceases-to-surprise-me government to thank for that:
The Public Security Department (PSD) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company to install closed-circuit television systems in strategic sites across Amman. The $2.6-million system will be funded through an economic cooperation grant from the Chinese government which was signed in June 2006. Under the MoU, a Chinese company will design and provide the Directorate of Public Security with an effective command and control electronic system to monitor strategic sites.
“Strategic Sites”? What does that even mean? Ministries? Government departments? Well I doubt the government would have much interest in monitoring itself (because, well, you know). And embassies and the homes of ambassadors and ministers already have them. So where does that leave us? Safeway? Bathrooms? Souq il-Abdali? Mosques? Outside the IAF headquarters?
Umm, is there anyone who’d like to even talk about privacy laws? Wait, do those things exist?
By now, dear reader, you may have already determined my stance on the issue, but it might surprise you to know that I actually think a closed-circuit Amman is a pretty cool idea.
Honestly? I wish I had the job of the guy who sits in that room with all those TV screens that play CCTV feedback all day. It would probably be the most entertaining job in the world. Plus, I would get to grow a white beard and wear a white suit and print business cards with the job title of The Architect” on them, and just freak everyone out with my emotionless face. Think of all the conversation-starters; I would definitely be the life of a party if I should ever go to a party some day.
Sigh. This sarcasm is killing me.
Also, in other news, Jordan Times strikes journalism gold by concluding this article with an explanation of CCTV, based on a Wikipedia entry:
Closed Circuit Television is the use of video cameras to transmit signals to a specific, limited set of monitors. It is often used for surveillance in areas that need monitoring such as banks, airports, military installations and convenience stores, according to wikipedia.org.
Anyways…welcome to the new world order.