Street Cameras Able to Zoom in on Text Messages

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Surveillance cameras have become so advanced they can zoom in close enough to see cell phone screens, raising new concerns of a "Big Brother" invasion of privacy.

The London Daily Mail reported that new technology allows security cameras to read a person's text messages and, in the future, could possibly pick up raised voices and detect drugs.

Some legal expects call the new camera advancements "worrying."

"It's quite worrying when we, by default, move to some sort of Orwellian 1984 where the state or 'Big Brother' watches your every move," civil liberties lawyer Michael Bott said.

"We don't realize what we are giving up when we give the state the power to monitor our private lives," he added.

A series of cameras were used last year at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand to test how advanced video surveillance has become. Camera operators were able to scan the crowd of thousands for suspicious packages or behavior, and even read one man's text message.

The revelations were made at a recent privacy conference in New Zealand. It was also revealed that the average person is recorded about a dozen times a day between surveillance devices on streets, stores, banks and other common public places.

Following the 9/11 attacks, the amount of surveillance cameras across in the United States rose by about 30 million.

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