IMPERIAL CENTER – Emperor Palpatine yesterday signed into law the long-debated COFS (Cameras On Freighter Scum) Act, requiring all pilots of freighter-class starships to wear body cameras. Proponents of the law hope that it will reduce the criminal activity that has surged at imperial shipping hubs.
Stormtrooper RD-4414, who patrols the docking stations of Imperial Center’s Coco Town, is hopeful. “These freighter pilots are bad news. I don’t want to stereotype or anything; they’re not all clones. But enough of them are skirting regulations that we need these cameras in order to enforce imperial law.”
The body cameras are designed to provide more than a month of continuous video recording on data discs. Affected pilots, who will receive the devices for free, would be required to upload the data whenever transferring shipment records. Unauthorized deletion of the discs would be a criminal offense.
Chancellor Aktoo of the Senate’s Security Council admits the law’s implementation will be costly but feels it’s necessary.
“We are not simply cracking down on tax evaders. Some of these freighter pilots are murderers and serious criminals. Blaster incidents are up 40% at depots. If weapons are drawn, we need to know who shot first and prosecute the guilty party.”
The new law is not without opponents. In addition to concerns about privacy and implementation, some wonder if it’s enforceable. Dan Starskipper of Freighters Federated thinks the regulation adds undue burden on honest, law-abiding pilots while missing those it’s designed to reign in.
“Regulated pilots are not the kind of criminals that the media makes us out to be. The real villains are the for-hire guys in the outer systems. But the empire doesn’t enforce laws out there as it is.
“Why should we expect bad pilots, who already have unlicensed blasters and smuggling compartments, to follow body camera laws?”
Nor has Emperor Palpatine explained how the program will be funded. During his state-of-the-empire address, he identified a balanced budget as his first priority aside from ending the rebellion. However, with funding for undisclosed military projects up 500%, a deficit seems inevitable.
A budget in the red would likely result in further government loans from the Hutt systems, which Starskipper says exacerbates the issue. “Criminal pilots work with the Hutts. Everyone knows that. As long as we keep trading with them, the empire is supporting the very same pilots they’re trying to eliminate.”
Protestors across Imperial Center have heard arguments such as those from Starskipper, and they’re not convinced. They insist Emperor Palpatine is right about the cameras saving lives.
“We’re tired of living in fear,” said one local Rodian who was celebrating the news. “Keep an eye on those pilots so that us regular citizens can make honest wages and return home safe to our families.”
Written by C.W. Briar