Surveillance society, peaceful ocean view edition.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Does that photo seem like it is just a peaceful view of the scenic California coast off Point Loma in California with some cool pelicans gliding by?

Well, that it may be, but there is more to it.

Anytime you are in public, you are probably on camera.

Another view of those pelicans:

Photo by James Ulvog.

Take a look at the tide pool at high tide.  At low tide, the area in the top right is drained all the way to that one mostly submerged rock on the left, making it possible to walk on about 40 or 50 feet of the currently hidden rock shelf.  There are a number of little pools where various sea life can be seen.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Nice, huh?

The coastal area there is federally protected, meaning there are serious criminal penalties for removing any sea critters, sea shells, or even rocks from the area.

So what, you say?

There aren’t any federal forest rangers anywhere in sight, you say?

Not so fast. Check out those cameras.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Notice how they are pointing?

One is looking straight out towards the water and two are pointing to the protected tide pool. Looks like one may be aimed at the tide pool with the other aimed at the crest overlooking the tide pool and the path leading to the overlook.


Photo by James Ulvog.

You can bet the cameras have a far higher zoom built into them than I have in my camera, even if I decided to zoom in close.

Photo by James Ulvog.

You can count on the cameras feeding the video to a recording device that will hold months or years of video.  No Ranger need be present to check out whether someone picked up some rocks or seashells or live critters. At anytime in the future those videos can be scanned. And used for prosecution.

There are no cameras visible in the parking lot, but I’ll bet they are there somewhere. Would be quite simple to track someone who lifted something from the pool along the path, back to their car, then look up the license plate for an address, then issue a search warrant.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Beware, anytime you are in public, you are likely on camera.

Oh, and don’t take anything with you when leaving the tidal pool other than what you arrived with.

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