Bugged on the bus
Surveillance in the aftermath of terrorism.

By Charles Russo

IN THE WEEKS leading up to the recent terrorist attacks on the United States, debates over surveillance in America were raging on various fronts. From the use of public face-scanning cameras in Tampa to federal judges rebelling against workplace surveillance, the legality of Americans spying on Americans was being disputed from all sides of the political spectrum.

If you think surveillance cameras and hidden microphones are only remotely connected to your daily life, think again. You're being taped on Muni. Most San Franciscans are well aware that Muni trains and buses use surveillance cameras to create a visual document, but few city residents know that our public transportation system also records sound. Yes, your conversations are being recorded by digital audio while you ride the train.