Someone to Watch over Me

I don't know who watches the watchers, but it probably doesn't pay very well.

Someone to Watch over Me

In “Black Candies: Surveillance”, Ryan Bradford (ed.) So Say We All (2015)

dystopian SF (short story)


Walking to the subway that evening, her eyes tired from a day of staring at her screen, Amala was conscious for the first time of all the cameras around her. A faceted black globe hovered overhead in the pharmacy where she stopped to buy a bottle of aspirin. Gray metal boxes with staring lenses sprouted from bank façades and light poles. A tiny eye haloed with infrared LEDs looked down from above the doorway of an apartment block.

She wondered how many of the cameras she could see were tied into the citywide network, opening their window on the world to whomever paid to access them. She wondered whether any of the people around her were under surveillance, pacing across someone’s screen with a red box superimposed on their bodies, and whether she herself ever appeared momentarily on an operator’s display as she unknowingly passed a surveillance subject.

That night she drew the curtains with more care than usual, shutting out more than just the glare of the street lights and the neon sign on the laundromat across the street.