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UK Police Now Double As CCTV Cameras

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the comforting-gaze dept.

Privacy 161

First time accepted submitter Voxol writes "From the international capital of CCTV cameras now comes the latest innovation: always-on police-mounted night-vision capable cameras. 'I can't imagine that there is any downside to having such an invaluable piece of kit like this on hand' say police."

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Oops - wire must have come loose. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969541)

I was really hoping that this incident of police brutality was caught on video so as to prove my innocence, but unfortunately we've run into a hardware problem.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (5, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43969745)

It's still a step in the right direction—it's no longer the police's word vs. the suspect's, but "the police officer says he was having convenient technical difficulties at the same time his account of the incident is in conflict with the suspect's." It looks worse in court, since police will be more than happy to produce video when they are innocent. This is much better than no camera at all.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (1)

GODISNOWHERE (2741453) | about a year ago | (#43970223)

Actually, this is a good example of how wearing Google Glass can protect you from the police. If you have a video recording of the incident, it is much less like that the police BS will work in court. Unless they suppress it, of course.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970243)

How does it protect me from you?

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43970471)

Well, yeah—it's always in your best interest to have a recording of your own actions. At least, as long as you can't be forced to give it up.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970701)

Idiot. Haven't you heard of 'pen cams'? Why are you suggesting something as ludicrous and expensive (and visible) as Google Glass, when you can buy a HD pen cam for about $30 on Ebay, and film COVERTLY? Thus the police can't stop you because they don't know you're doing it. You can put it in your back pocket and face AWAY from the police while they're beating somebody up, and they won't have a clue.
How can all of you idiots on Slashdot NOT know about pen cams?

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43970369)

The problem is that there is no damage to the police's case in court if they claim to have a legitimate reason why the video is not available. On the other hand if you fail to mention something you later rely on in court or if you forget your password it is evidence that you are lying and will be used against you.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (4, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43970463)

I think it still leaves room for doubt, doubt that previously was much harder to place. If we assume the police are deliberately using (for example) scheduled maintenance windows to commit brutality, and the suspect is not aware the camera is disabled, then due to Bayesian reasoning we can say with certainty that the officer is more likely to be lying even when there's a legitimate technical failure. (Although we have no way of knowing how much more likely without a lot of data that has not yet been made and, anyway, wouldn't be obtainable.)

  • 1. Cop knows the camera is working + suspect expects the camera to be working -> brutality claims easily proven/disproven, both parties have a disincentive to claim brutality occurred
  • 2. Cop knows the camera isn't working + suspect expects the camera to be working -> brutality can't easily be proven, cop knows there won't be any evidence
  • 3. Cop doesn't know the camera isn't working -> as #1

Obviously there are other factors at work like judgement of character, but the mere fact that the officer would be more confident in being able to get away with brutality should make even legitimate reasons cause a heightened suspicion.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (3, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#43970957)

I'd be happier if it were touted (and designed!) as such: a tool to protect the public as well as aid the police. The camera itself might still fail to work (intentionally perhaps), but if it does work, the video should be uploaded to secure storage immediately and treated as evidence, i.e. the coppers shouldn't be able to conveniently "lose" the footage.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (5, Insightful)

Urkki (668283) | about a year ago | (#43970265)

I was really hoping that this incident of police brutality was caught on video so as to prove my innocence, but unfortunately we've run into a hardware problem.

First step is having cameras. If there is a high rate of tampered cameras, next step will be more tamper proof cameras. Also, same officer always having camera malfunctions sounds like something many officers would want to avoid, for fear of internal investigation. If there's any chance of catching hell for being a bad cop, it will have a chilling effect.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970319)

If there's any chance of catching hell for being a bad cop, it will have a chilling effect.

You must be new here. We rarely, if ever, discipline our police force.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (2, Insightful)

Imrik (148191) | about a year ago | (#43970431)

How about a data retention policy to delete any video not flagged as evidence. Make sure the retention time is less than it would take for a citizen to file the legal paperwork against an officer that would get it flagged.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year ago | (#43970521)

Our arrest warning stipulates that anything you say "may be given in evidence." That's both for the prosecution and the defense. As such, evidence they lose is just as bad for them; "Their word against mine" in court is actually quite fairly weighted. No such protection from the opinions of a jury, though.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#43970617)

Actually this has been trialled in a few areas now and each area has reported a drop in both police brutality and assaults on police officers.

Re:Oops - wire must have come loose. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970967)

Which would lead one to wonder, are there really fewer assaults on officers, or is the BS charge of assaulting an officer no longer an option for dealing with "contempt of cop".

Can it be used (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969559)

against the Police actions too?

Re:Can it be used (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970069)

It will! The police are sheep, oh the irony!

GG for cops. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969583)

So Google Glasses comes to the police? Were are the "privacy" complaints now?

Re:GG for cops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969589)

Touche...

Re:GG for cops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969607)

Who will watch the watchers watch the watchers?

Re:GG for cops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969713)

Who will watch the watchers watch the watchers?

Who will watch the watchers watching the watchers watching the watchers watching the watchers?

Re:GG for cops. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969721)

Who will watch the watchers watch the watchers?

Who will watch the watchers watching the watchers watching the watchers watching the watchers?

It's Watchers all the way down...

Re:GG for cops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970025)

The thing's hollow — it goes on forever — and — oh my God — it's full of watchers!

Re:GG for cops. (1)

Voxol (32200) | about a year ago | (#43970697)

As with a lot of Pratchett jokes, it's a lot bigger on the inside:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down

and of course:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quis_custodiet_ipsos_custodes

Re:GG for cops. (5, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | about a year ago | (#43970127)

Sam Vimes.

Re:GG for cops. (1)

Absolutely.Geek (2913529) | about a year ago | (#43970151)

Where are my mod points when I need them.....Loved his work in The Fifth Elephant.

Re:GG for cops. (2)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year ago | (#43969791)

Well first off the cops already record most things (at least here in 'Murrica), this just adds another layer outside the cars. Second this could be a boon for accountability, though the rate of "missing" recordings will probably be troublesome. Third this is Britain, not America, the British long ago gave up any semblance of privacy.

Prediction: Police Violence footage still missing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969595)

How much do you want to bet that the officers will figure out how to get rid of footage that would make them look bad?

Re:Prediction: Police Violence footage still missi (0)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43969615)

they can just put on a lens cover, when the situation at hand looks to get a little dirty

Re:Prediction: Police Violence footage still missi (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#43970129)

Harder to block the mic as well. Far more suspicious if both the lens is accidentally obscured and the mic is damaged.

Re:Prediction: Police Violence footage still missi (0)

Camael (1048726) | about a year ago | (#43969665)

Reading TFA, it doesn't say anything about the camera being "always on".

Leaving open the possibility of using the "camera was not on" excuse. Why go through the hassling of explaining what happened to the footage instead of simply claiming it doesn't exist.

Re:Prediction: Police Violence footage still missi (2)

tsotha (720379) | about a year ago | (#43970181)

But as Samantha Wright points out above, the very fact the camera was off casts doubt on the officer's testimony.

But... But... (2, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#43969599)

How are you supposed to bludgeon suspects mercilessly?

Ah, they have to download them onto a computer! Sadly the victim's resisting arrest appears to have badly damaged the camera. We were unable to recover any video from it. NOW I don't see any down sides!

Meanwhile In Soviet Russia (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969601)

All russian police cars got equipped with cameras.

Aimed inwards.

(At least there is an insight in, and admission of police corruption there)

I believe all police activity should be filmed (5, Insightful)

BenJCarter (902199) | about a year ago | (#43969605)

To cut down on the "he said she said" and reduce the ability of police to lie. Pictures or it didn't happen. Or at least their testimony is more open to reasonable doubt.

Re: I believe all police activity should be filmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969803)

any digital anything can be tampered with - and it can be very difficult to prove it has not

this has already been used (successfully) as a defence against speed camera traffic offences

Re: I believe all police activity should be filmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970059)

Considering how technology for faking pretty much anything on film will soon become available and easy enough to use for skilled amateurs, I foresee a bright future for experts that can tell in court what is the real thing and what is fake. The currently starting era of everything we do being recorded and thus provable will not last very long and in the future any proof recorded now will - justifiably - be called into question. In the future there will be plenty of "birthers" calling into question all sorts of incriminating "leaked videos" of politicians and they shouldn't even be considered crazy then.

Re: I believe all police activity should be filmed (1)

Absolutely.Geek (2913529) | about a year ago | (#43970169)

The way to get around this is to have continuous upload to both police servers and a independent 3rd party (whatever the police watchdog is in your counrty of choice). Then if the files are required in court, then there is a three way verification process to fall back on to prove the veracity of the evidence in question.

Practicallity wise I don't see this happening, it would be a nightmare to keep this kind of system running. But if the public pressure for 100% verifiable police evidence is strong enough, it could be implemented. But it will be expensive.

Re:I believe all police activity should be filmed (1)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#43970139)

Elvis Costello was the first https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watching_the_Detectives_(song) [wikipedia.org] followed then by Montreal http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/06/02/1243200/montreal-union-wants-a-camera-on-every-policemans-uniform [slashdot.org] and now the UK police. A move in the right direction when used with strict controls on stored images so that the chain of evidence can be assured.

Re:I believe all police activity should be filmed (1)

andrewa (18630) | about a year ago | (#43970287)

If you think "Watching the Detectives" is about police surveillance, then you need to actually listen to the lyrics. It's about a woman that the singer finds so attractive, "pulls your eyes out with a face like a magnet...". Costello once explained the title of the song in an interview, saying he was trying to have sexy time with this lady but she was more interested in "watching the detectives" on TV. Don't get cute...

Re:I believe all police activity should be filmed (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#43970621)

Me too!

Especially when they are peeing in a public restroom, and they get footage of themselves, and anyone else that happens to be there. I expect they will work in mirrors when the officer is washing their hands.

And with no way to turn it for lunch breaks, we can see when they take too long, or are technically off duty and make comments to other cops who are technically off duty.

Re:I believe all police activity should be filmed (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43970797)

To cut down on the "he said she said" and reduce the ability of police to lie. Pictures or it didn't happen. Or at least their testimony is more open to reasonable doubt.

Quite frankly I'm beginning to find the hate directed at police quite disappointing. I mean sure we hear about once or twice a month of a case of police brutality, but then there's 12000 police officers in the UK. Are you surprised that the occasional incident goes bad?

I think police should be filmed too. The last local case of police brutality was caught on film and run in the news which showed two officers run up to and beat down on some teenager.
More footage of the same event was released a few days later showed three officers, one of which was knocked unconscious when hit with a brick that was thrown by the teenager in question.

Probably won't prevent police brutality (3, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#43969625)

Police wear the cameras on the front of their stab vests and after attending an incident download the footage captured onto a computer where if needs be it can be transferred onto a DVD to be presented as evidence in court.

Seems that since it's all in the police hands, they can make it disappear pretty quick also. So unless they have no way of tampering/deleting the video in the camera, my guess is they will just delete what makes them look bad.

Re:Probably won't prevent police brutality (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969875)

At which point you charge them with destruction of evidence. They are claiming a crime was commited, and they destroyed the proof?

Re:Probably won't prevent police brutality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970085)

At which point you charge them with destruction of evidence. They are claiming a crime was commited, and they destroyed the proof?

Except that every single time the claim will be that the suspect assaulted them and damaged the camera in the process.

Re:Probably won't prevent police brutality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970973)

If you think the British government will pay for a new camera without at least three different forms you're mistaken. What's more likely is that officers who are frequently "clumsy" face a disciplinary hearing for being so careless.

Re:Probably won't prevent police brutality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970293)

Three words: "obstruction of justice".

all for it... (0)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43969635)

I'm all for police wearing cameras, provided that they cannot disable them. Unfortunately, it sounds like these can be disabled.

Re:all for it... (0)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year ago | (#43969695)

I'm all for police wearing cameras, provided that they cannot disable them. Unfortunately, it sounds like these can be disabled.

Don't think for a minute that the police intend to use the videos to clear suspects of wrongdoing, or to have documented evidence of police abuse that can be used in court.

It's the other way round: the police want video evidence to prove either that someone was rebellious during their arrest, or that the police didn't abuse them. People often try to blame the police in court to get off easy, and the police always has to prove they didn't use undue violence during the arrest. So videos are a good idea.

Unfortunately, it's a rather one-sided protection, as the police would never show videos in which they'd appear to have abused their powers. On the other hand, the lack of video itself would appear extremely suspicious in court I suppose, and would bolster a defendant's claim of police violence.

Re:all for it... (5, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a year ago | (#43969733)

Unfortunately, it's a rather one-sided protection, as the police would never show videos in which they'd appear to have abused their powers.

I don't know how things work in GB, but in the USA, the defense can subpoena the footage and, if they feel it would help, can submit it to the court themselves as evidence. And, I'd hope, any police claims that the video has been lost or not properly preserved would go a long way toward refuting their claims.

Re:all for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970331)

the defense can subpoena the footage

And there's the problem for Team GB. There are no powers of subpoena.

Re:all for it... (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | about a year ago | (#43970515)

...but in the USA, the defense can subpoena the footage and, if they feel it would help, can submit it to the court themselves as evidence...

Yeah but the snag is that you must apply for it in a highly nasal voice and a hick accent.

Re:all for it... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43970615)

Also the UK has no rule against self-incrimination, so failure to present footage that shows one in a bad light can count against someone.

Re:all for it... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43970671)

My, they teach some interesting things on DeVry's JD program.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_silence#England_and_Wales [wikipedia.org]

Re:all for it... (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43970889)

That's an interesting "right to be silent" you point to: you have a right to be silent, except the jury may draw "adverse inferences" if you "fail to give evidence at trial or answer any question". Sounds actually like the DeVry graduates got it right.

Re:all for it... (1)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | about a year ago | (#43969909)

There are plenty of scenarios where the concept won't help - or could be misused/abused...

Having said that, those shortcomings do not invalidate the concept.

Whenever there are two police officers present, they would need to conspire to turn off their cameras (or delete the footage). That can still happen, but the likelihood will reduce significantly for each additional officer. And it only takes one officer with a healthy conscience to keep their camera rolling.

I don't think that there is a silver bullet, but steps that reduce the odds of miscarriages of justice are a step in the right direction.

As a side note, I'm pleased to see a general trend toward allowing citizens to record police activity. Hopefully, that will be adopted more widely over the coming years.

Re:all for it... (1)

Faluzeer (583626) | about a year ago | (#43969967)

snip...
People often try to blame the police in court to get off easy, and the police always has to prove they didn't use undue violence during the arrest. So videos are a good idea.
snip...

Hmmm

Does this actually occur? I know that in the UK, blaming the police would not help a person to get off, indeed it is more likely to increase any sentence. As for the police having to prove they did not use violence / excessive force, the UK courts seem to except to almost always accept the word of the Police regardless of how far-fetched the Police version of events is. It is only when there is overwhelming independent evidence of the violence / excessive force that the authorities / courts look at the allegations.

Re:all for it... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#43970217)

I'm not aware of it happening. Maybe a defendant gets off if there's good evidence that the police had a disproportionate racist response or something, but that's just an issue of politics and a condition of making the bad press go away. The only other closest thing I can think of is questioning the probable cause. if the evidence was gathered with probable cause, it can get thrown out.

Re:all for it... (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | about a year ago | (#43969715)

Or how about without video footage suspects automatically go free, in the case of police abuse no footage means officer is guilty.

Oh wait I forgot I don't live in my idealized fantasy, carry on, beat the public and arrange false charges.

Re:all for it... (1)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year ago | (#43969809)

Neither of those are ideal either, both are just as ripe for abuse.

Re:all for it... (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | about a year ago | (#43969955)

Well my comment is alluding to the ability of skewing possible tampering against the police' own interest as a possible disincentivising of tampering.

Re:all for it... (1)

xelah (176252) | about a year ago | (#43970667)

Not being able to disable them does come with a few problems, though - enough that the 'cautious' thing for a force to do is allow it. Police come in to contact with a lot of people who really don't want their identities, locations or information disclosed for very good reasons - from informants to domestic violence victims. Compulsory cameras does risk getting more 'I don't know nuffink' answers and fewer crime reports, not to mention the potential shitstorm if pictures of a celebrity, politician or victim get leaked or sold to the more dodgy media or other criminals.

EASY steps (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969647)

This is worth repeating, there are easy steps to reducing surveillance of your personal life:

I've moved my stuff off Google,Hotmail and Yahoo. I never used Facebook or the others on the list. You should too. It's the simplest easiest way of removing PRISM rights from the NSA.

To take yourself off the phone graph, use multiple prepay phones (not just cards), use one for home/private use one for work/business use one for girlfriend etc. Don't mix them up and don't use them repeatedly in the same location. Leave each phone is a single location is the easiest method of breaking the location test. Have a dodgy friend whose always spouting anger at [anything]? Best avoid talking too much to him on the phone.

The Internet surveillance is far more problematic. Watch what you say online, what for words that can be used against you. Be aware of people who try to take language to the extreme, they're no different than agent-provocateurs planting drugs on protestors. By adding extreme comments to this forum, they gave the NSA the right to dig into every Slashdot users mail as a potential terrorist. Be aware of that game and avoid joining in.

Re:EASY steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969663)

fuck the police

Re:EASY steps (4, Funny)

Chas (5144) | about a year ago | (#43969669)

Sorry, I'm more selective with my bed partners.

Re:EASY steps (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43969787)

"Chas"?, Chas Bono? Didn't you used to be female?

Re:EASY steps (2)

Rubinhood (977039) | about a year ago | (#43970239)

"I've moved my stuff off Google,Hotmail and Yahoo....
...use multiple prepay phones
...Watch what you say online"

It looks like NSA has already backed you into a corner. Doesn't your story prove that they have too much unwarranted power and should be dealt with, instead of everyone just quietly letting them get away with such atrocious invasion of privacy?

Re:EASY steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970341)

Hmmm.. Yeah.. Er, no. I'd really rather not have to spend my whole life looking over my shoulder, thanks.

Re:EASY steps (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43970387)

Problem is I have a life. My friends use Facebook to organize social events, they won't keep up if I change my phone number ever month or two.

Re:EASY steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970643)

Problem is I have a life.

Ooh, nice! I'm looking for one of those. Where did you get yours?

Re:EASY steps (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | about a year ago | (#43970977)

Problem is I have a life. My friends use Facebook to organize social events, they won't keep up if I change my phone number ever month or two.

Problem is, I, too, have a life, and I don't have a Facebook account. Are your Facebook friends all so shallow that they wouldn't/couldn't erm, I dunno, PHONE you? or TEXT you? or EMAIL you? or KNOCK ON YOUR FUCKING DOOR?

This bullshit "I need Facebook or I won't have a life", doesn't indicate a lack of life, it indicates a lack of brain, so yeah, perhaps the same thing.

cheers,

Re:EASY steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970419)

This is worth repeating, there are easy steps to reducing surveillance of your personal life:

[...] To take yourself off the phone graph, use multiple prepay phones (not just cards), use one for home/private use one for work/business use one for girlfriend etc. Don't mix them up and don't use them repeatedly in the same location.

I don't think any prosecutor will have a hard time convincing any jury that this sort of behavior is circumstantial evidence that you are Up To No Good.

Re:EASY steps (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year ago | (#43970531)

I never used Facebook or the others on the list.

Know someone who does? That's enough for them to know you.

Re:EASY steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970605)

So you curtail your own free speech rights? "Very good, citizen. We need more patriots like yourself."

You just let the NSA win, dude.

Re:EASY steps (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about a year ago | (#43970637)

1) Those steps aren't "easy". They involve conscious, thoughtful decisions at every point in your life and no mistakes.
2) That doesn't stop you appearing - in fact, it makes you more suspicious and thus worth investigating. Absence of data is a data point in itself - any old spy movie would tell you that. The guy who exists but has no records, no data, no phone? Yeah, we'll look into him first.
3) You're paranoid if you ACTUALLY do that.
4) As someone whose just trawled their Slashdot history going back years while looking for a particular post I made, I can tell you that I've crowed on these forums multiple times about everything from Guantanamo Bay, the government treatment of Alan Turing, the fact that I have an interest in cryptography, the stupidity of people who can't work out to encrypt data properly, even "potential terrorist scenarios" (i.e. if terrorists are so bright, why did they do X, leave trail Y, or not do Z?).

If the above targets me for interest, then I would be in deep, deep trouble already. Maybe I have been flagged already. Who cares? The fact is that I'm not doing anything that any random, thoughtful person isn't doing anyway - and I have zero intention of causing harm. And it's basically my country's intelligence services job TO FIND THINGS EXACTLY LIKE THAT, but most importantly to SORT THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF.

I once considered applying for jobs with MI5 and GCHQ. I'm a maths and computer science graduate, with an interest in cryptography, and they were advertising positions for exactly that. It seemed like an avenue worth looking into.

I didn't, mainly because 1) I disagree with militarisation of anything I do (a conscientious objector, you could say) and 2) I disagree with an awful lot of the military decisions made by my country (still "backing" the US and their illegal torture programs in Guantanamo, for instance - OOPS! I did it again!). Though I love the work of Turing, I don't love that it probably ended up, indirectly, killing people too. Sinking U-boats, things like that. Yeah, they were the enemy, and it was better than the alternative (i.e. more people dying), but still it's military action.

But if I'd applied seriously, with those organisations I would quite expected someone to dig around on the net and find these things out about me by themselves. That's their damn job, and they wouldn't want to be letting people like me in - people who place their own morals above that of orders from above. If someone tells me "shoot/kidnap/kill/injure him", my first question would be "What? Why? Is he about to do the same to me?" (unless I'm playing Counterstrike, in which case he'll be missing his head before you finished the sentence).

This is what they do. This is what they have to do. Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy. It's very easy to get the wrong people into a place that you don't want them to be. Hell, there's a CIA agent in the news at the moment telling everyone their secrets because he disagrees with how they function. That could be me, in the same position.

You have nothing to fear but driving yourself crazy trying to avoid the things you fear. "I don't like surveillance" leading to absolute paranoia that infests your daily life and stops you meeting up with friends? Yeah, the worst of two evils, I think.

That's not to say that I support a surveillance state (but, if I support ANY element of a surveillance state, it's to have constant, recorded surveillance of police and military procedures so that there is NO element of doubt when it comes to questions of justice being served and law enforcement following the law - hell, what I wouldn't give to have proper footage of some of the greater terrorist incidents that have been reported released, and even parts of the "war on terror"), or spying, or anything else.

There's a lot more wrong in this world than a few cameras here and there. In fact, I'd say there aren't ENOUGH cameras in the right places. Imagine how different the world would be right now if everyone in Gauntanamo had had their evidence, arrest and subsequent imprisonment and (non-)trials recorded and then disseminated to the public. We'd literally be talking a world power being condemned even further, allies disowning it, and maybe even people actually SEEING what a terrorist was planning rather than just being told to believe.

Give me surveillance. In the right places. But leave me to get on with my life without developing paranoia to a state of mental illness, thanks.

They are easy AND empowering (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970779)

1. They're easy because I found ditching webmail for real mail was actually an improvement. I'd switched to webmail so I could us it in multiple places, but that was when my desktops were the usual ways of connecting, technology made portable the norm, I don't need webmail anymore. Getting rid of the NSA by getting rid of these companies is just icing on that cake. It's empowering. I read a lot of comments here, depressed, thinking they can't do anything, but yeh, actually you can and the end result is better.

2. The multi phones business is a suggestion for you. I don't use a phone much, I have real world friends and they chat/live in real world and I don't show up on a phone graph.

3. Paranoia, isn't paranoia if its leaked and confirmed by the president. That's reality, sad reality admittedly. You either go into denial about it or takes steps to mitigate it.

4. If GCHQ is tracking 4000 potential terror plots and there are 100 forums in English which are free enough to discuss govt dissent, and maybe 300 others in other languages. That's an average 10 per forum. Perhaps 20 on a forum the size slashdot.

Do you imagine that a comment like "we need to take back our government with guns" on Slashdot is different from the same comment on hick forum?

"But leave me to get on with my life without developing paranoia to a state of mental illness, thanks."
Ah men to that. But paranoia is in your head, and sadly this mass data trawl is real. Better to face up to it, and mitigate it at every turn. The act of doing that DOES EMPOWER you.

It's simple things too, if you use an online route planning navigator, your favorite locations are there for NSA mining. If you have an offline Garmin or TomTom they are not. A simple switch that also improves navigation experience.
Likewise you have a business, it uses a cloud solution, Microsoft 365, Google Cloud Print, whatever. It sucks I know, but they can help themselves to that data and mine it, and that's business data. You have to protect your companies data from that snooping. It's your job, not a mental illness, your job.

Re:EASY steps (1)

mumb0.jumb0 (1419117) | about a year ago | (#43970853)

If this is how we must act to protect ourselves from tyranny then we have already lost. Being free to mutter to yourself in the dark where no-one else can hear is not freedom of speech.

We need to tackle the cause of the problem. In this case, treating the symptoms is the behaviour they want.

Q: How many cameras is too many to watch? (2)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about a year ago | (#43969779)

I assume we are beyond the point that anyone can pro-actively watch all available cameras in real time (unless automation is much better than I would guess).

So, that moves us away from a priori prevention to simply making a posteriori investigation easier, no?

In other words, yes, you are being "recorded" a lot, but not being "watched". Get over yourself.

Re:Q: How many cameras is too many to watch? (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#43970083)

It's still a little bit creepy.

Re:Q: How many cameras is too many to watch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970131)

This has been the case for years and years now. Probably over a decade. It has been proven time and time again, cameras dont prevent crime, they only document it. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing so long as they are only in public places.

Re:Q: How many cameras is too many to watch? (2)

Jessified (1150003) | about a year ago | (#43970499)

Great so basically we give up all our liberties and get no safety, but at least we can find the terrorists after they blow things up.

Re:Q: How many cameras is too many to watch? (2)

Benaiah (851593) | about a year ago | (#43970601)

As computer power increases, facial recognition improves, databases become linked, ai improves we will all be watched. Someone with the right authority could do a search for all footage, location data, internet traffic of an individual. And wham instant blackmail material. Any activist, opposition member could be charged with enough crimes to give them life in prison. Fake tagging someone in a photo, identity theft. Using your partners credit card, fraud. All of this evidence could easily be compiled and used against you. Having a game of thrones marathon with some friends from an on demand streaming service? DMCA violation? CFAA violation? Illegal broadcasting? One party with infinite power.

Wish this happened in the US. (4, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year ago | (#43969995)

I actually think this is a step in the right direction. They should make it something that can't be tampered with by anyone, police or otherwise. I'm not sure how it works over in the UK but that kind of footage could be subpoenaed in the US if it's available and used for your defense, so it wouldn't be a tool only for police officers. If police are often reporting malfunction or missing footage in cases where their work ethic is being called into question, surely that can't look good for long in a court of law.

Re:Wish this happened in the US. (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#43970091)

As long as they respect my right to record what they are doing, whenever they are doing it.

You can't stop this. (1)

anarcobra (1551067) | about a year ago | (#43970019)

With things like google glass, vr (video recording, not virtual reality) sunglasses, police mounted cameras, etc. becoming more popular the coverage will become greater and greater.
It will also become more and more difficult for police to ensure they disappeared all the recordings of their beatings.
As technology shrinks you won't even be able to tell if those are regular glasses, or recording glasses.

Its a monetisation move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970029)

Think of all the juicy footage they can sell to "Police Camera Action!!!" type shows!!!

*groan*

Actually, good! (2)

Cogent91 (2203516) | about a year ago | (#43970075)

Now this I actually agree with. I don't agree with cameras being everywhere, but an ability to know any Police Officer approaching you can have their choices reviewed on a real record is a good thing. It'll help keep Cops more honest.

iCop (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43970109)

iFuzz?
iPork?

What a coincidence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970143)

This happens the same day I decide to carry a signal jammer with me at all times!

Re:What a coincidence! (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43970311)

So when the police come to arrest you for interfering with communications*, they can beat you with impunity! Brilliant!

*Not that that would actually stop these devices recording at all.

When looking for a needle in a haystack... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970213)

...add more hay.

Redundant.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970273)

It's so rare to actually see police walking the beat around here (as opposed to eating donuts in their car while they find random motorists to harass, or surfing facebook for politically incorrect speech they can prosecute), that this doesn't really change the equation much for better or worse.

The "capital of CCTV cameras" thing is bollocks (2)

91degrees (207121) | about a year ago | (#43970441)

People always parrot this. The only source is a report based on a survey of two major shopping streets in London and extrapolating from that.

Now, a busy popular street with several banks, restaurants and shops, most frequently part of a chain, is not representative of all the businesses in London. These include one man businesses, consultants, delivery companies and home businesses which have no need for a CCTV system.

Even if the count is accurate, no similar survey has been taken of any other city. Tell me, are CCTV systems used in the rest of Europe? Are they used in the US? Or do business owners assume their customers are more honest there?

Re:The "capital of CCTV cameras" thing is bollocks (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43970571)

King St in Melbourne is the same, lots of violent young drunks on a Friday/Saturday night, therefore lots of cameras. The more violent footage they get on the TV the more it's reputation sinks, the more it's reputation sinks the more cameras they install. It's the same thing as increasing the old fashioned foot patrol, at the end of the day the troublemakers just move to a new location.

Re:The "capital of CCTV cameras" thing is bollocks (1)

stiggle (649614) | about a year ago | (#43970681)

Don't they also include the London Congestion Zone cameras & bus lane cameras & traffic light cameras in their CCTV numbers - after all these are cameras watching the public.

Just because you can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43970505)

Cameras potentially everywhere, to record crime, prevent crime, to catch corrupt police, scan all passangers on planes, trains and busses, lets scan all emails, all forums and all chat channels, lets make laws to have the postal services open all letters and scan them ... and likely we'll even catch a criminal or a terrorist - and by example, we'd argue, that those systems of prevention works. When terrorism, corruption and crime still exists - what then? Can we then start working with the real problems or should we implement more systems? Real problems are poverty, corruption, religious fanatism ...

After some initial revulsion... (1)

Bismuthprince (2938227) | about a year ago | (#43970759)

My first reaction to this news was a knee-jerk negative reaction, but I actually welcome this development.
For starters: my entire problem with surveillance is being seen by authorities at any time of the day, but since these camera's are actually accompanied by an actual, living, authority figure, that point is kind of moot.

Second: I don't really fear they'll just shut off their cameras to destroy evidence of their brutality. Especially in the inner city, there's almost always someone equipped with a camera-phone and a desire to document police brutality. The police's go-to excuse used to be "This video was shot right after the mitigating circumstances explaining why the brutality was necessary occured". If that were a fact, police would be happy to turn over their own version of events. If they fail to produce their own video of the event, or refuse to do so, it seriously hurts their case.

So all in all, barring circumstances I'm too ignorant to think of, it seems like a good development.

Re:After some initial revulsion... (1)

N1AK (864906) | about a year ago | (#43970961)

I completely agree. I don't think the police are all perfect but this kind of change may help some of the better ones do their job better (by stopping some of the BS abuse claims) and make it harder for some of the bad ones to abuse their position.

If a police officer is recording me then he was already watching me. The word of a policeman is generally given a lot of weight in UK courts so if a police man says he saw me do something then my word alone may not be enough to get me off even if I'm innocent. If officers could record then every time they don't it decreases the authority of their position. Is it perfect? No. Will it be abused in some way? Almost certainly. Will it be worse than the current situation? I really fail to see how.
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