According to musician and music producer Alan Parsons (from a magazine called Goldmine back in 2005), this song is about electronic surveillance. Back in 1982, casinos had cameras surreptitiously recording the activities of gamblers. Fast forward to today, and many cities use the technology to monitor streets for crime. Governments may eavesdrop on our telephone conversations to track potential terrorists. Even social media websites and search engines keep track of our mouse clicks and keyboard strokes to target ads and tailor search results.
Electronic surveillance can protect us from harm. The trade-off is a reduction in personal privacy, along with the worry of governments using the data for nefarious reasons. You will hear the line that if you’re not doing anything wrong, then a camera pointed at you shouldn’t matter. However, being watched may blur the division of what is public and what is private in our lives.
It is curious that while many bemoan electronic surveillance by governments and corporations as “Orwellian,” we also increasingly share dozens of pictures of ourselves and our children (often without their consent) on Facebook and Instagram and everywhere else… tagged by location and date-stamped… while being led to a destination by car, with GPS.