Why stop at recording conversations on buses?

October 19, 2012

What a superb idea it is to monitor conversations on buses! ("MTA is recording bus conversations," Oct. 18.) Everyone understands that the kind of people who ride buses can't be trusted. The shame is that we haven't yet carried the idea far enough.

Obviously, if the kind of people who ride buses should be monitored, we should also monitor those who ride light rail. And people who ride in airplanes can't be trusted, as 9/11 and numerous hijackings have demonstrated. In fact, security measures in airports would be greatly helped if we recorded all the conversations in airports, and, of course, we should extend the policies to trains and train stations.

It might seem that recording all these conversations would overburden our monitoring and surveillance capabilities, but rapidly improving technology should take care of that. In fact, we could overcome many of the problems with imaginative use of current technology. Cell phones can already be used to track our locations. They could be used to record and transmit conversations if only appropriate functions in them were hard-wired to be always on.

And, utilizing such capabilities while requiring everyone to carry a cell phone, we could record all conversations, and thus ensure security in all public places, government-owned buildings, and places of business. Oh, what a secure place America would become!

Ken Allen

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