November 20, 2007

SphincterCam Florida: The Most Paranoid State in the Union

"Your photo has just been taken and we will use this photograph to prosecute you. Leave now!"

Where on Earth are they developing virtual emergencies that will improve how first responders deal with real ones?
Where on Earth are they creating underwater systems that can detect explosives on ships entering U.S. harbors
Where on Earth have they developed Fiber optic biosensors capable of rapidly detecting contaminated food and water?
Where on Earth are they developing tiny drones that can zip around obstacles in dense urban environments?

All questions asked (and answered) at the Florida boosting web site with the tag line: "Florida. Innovation Hub of the Americas."

"Innovation" is evidently everywhere in this scaredy-cat state jammed to overflowing with gated community geezers:

Talking camera aimed at sex on the beach

The county is exploring the idea of installing "talking" cameras at several of the public beaches to ward off or catch people engaged in public sex.

"I'm all for it," said Commission Chairman Michael DiTerlizzi, who first proposed putting Web cams at beaches after several recent arrests of men soliciting men for sex at county beaches. "Anything that deters that kind of activity is going to be good....

"FlashCAM devices sense motion and then flash a bright light, said David Graham, assistant to County Administrator Duncan Ballantyne.

"After being activated, the cameras issue a pre-recorded verbal warning to let people know they are under surveillance, Graham said. Sixty seconds later, they start recording....

"DiTerlizzi's call for surveillance also comes after several high-profile arrests statewide and nationally involving elected officials soliciting sex in bathrooms.

"The commissioner said he wants cameras watching everywhere on the beaches and parking lots but not in the public bathrooms because it would be an invasion of privacy."

So, let me get this straight. DeTerlizzi's problem is that men (notably "elected officials" such as, say, Florida commissioners) have been hooking up in public bathrooms for semi-public sex. His solution is to place a vastly expensive network of robot spy cameras everywhere except public bathrooms out of a concern for privacy.

We certainly hope that, in the classic tradition of Florida commissioners, that DiTerlizzi got slipped a fat, unmarked envelope at his lunch with the sales rep from Q-Star, the maker of the cameras. He'll need all the funding he can get as tourism dies in his town. After all, if you can't have semi-public sex on the beaches of Florida, what reason do you have for going there in the first place?

Speaking with my old friend -- who is currently incarcerated in a strippers' bar somewhere in Florida -- we both marveled at this "position" taken by Commissioner DiTerlizzi. Having a lot of experience with Florida, my friend didn't for a moment buy the DiTerlizzi promise of no cameras in public bathrooms. "That would be the first place I'd look," he said, "and I'd look carefully. On second thought I'd just double down on my current policy of staying out of public bathrooms altogether. I mean, what's next? SphincterCam?"


Posted by Vanderleun at November 20, 2007 9:49 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Sounds proctocal to me.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at November 20, 2007 1:34 PM

I'm proposing a new national flag for our nation. It would feature a cowering sloth on a yellow background. Sort of like the snake flag but "Don't tread on me" will be replaced with "Don't hurt me!" or "Safety First!"

Posted by: StephenB at November 21, 2007 7:34 AM

I suspect this will simply result in masked men keeping score of how many times they score on camera.

Posted by: Julie c at November 21, 2007 8:35 AM

He has a good idea, but for the wrong reason. There are, after all, a number of pay sites around covering public sex, and they apparently get a fair amount of change for what he proposes to give away for free.

What Florida needs to do is to establish a subscription site showing public sex as captured by Florida's public sex cameras. The warning also needs to be amended so it says, "You are about to be taped having sex in a public place. Please rearrange yourselves so we have a better shot of the action. If we like what we see we'll be getting in touch with you regarding paid work."

Handle this right and Florida could just about eliminate taxes, and provide quality instructional material for sex education.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at November 21, 2007 11:50 PM