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640 comments

Black cocks continually pound the anal region (0, Troll)

(TK11)Dessimat0r (672416) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147108)

-INSANE-PRIEST--INSANE-PRIEST--INSAN
I___________,.-------.,____________I Slashdot
N______,;~'_____________'~;,_______N fucking
S____,;____LINUX FUCKING____;,_____S sucks
A___;___SUCKS, YOU FUCKING____;____A
N__,'____SLASHDOT RETARDS.____',___N Rob Malda
E_,;___GET IT INTO YOUR HEAD___;,__E is a
-_;_;______._____l_____.______;_;__- cocksucker
P_l_;____________l____________;_l__P
R_l__`/~"_____~"_._"~_____"~\'__l__R Slashdot
I_l__~__,-~~~^~,_l_,~^~~~-,__~__l__I fucking
E__l___l________}:{__ (O) _l___l___E sucks
S__l___l_ (o) _/_l_\_______!___l___S
T__.~__(__,.--"_.^._"--.,__)__~.___T Rob Malda
-__l_____---;'_/_l_\_`;---_____l___- is a
-___\__._______V.^.V___((oo))./____- cocksucker
I__O_VI_\________________ll_IV___O_I
N_____I_lT~\___!___!___/~ll_I______N Fucking
S_____I_l`IIII_I_I_I_IIIIll_I__o___S lameness
A_O___I__\,III_I_I_I_III,ll_I______A filters,
N______\___`----------'__ll/____o__N will
E____O___\___._______.___ll________E this
-_________\..___^____../(_l___O____- ever
P_________/_^___^___^_/__ll\_______P fucking
R_O______/`'-l l_l l-';__ll_l___O__R WORK?!
I_______;_`'=l l_l l='__/ll_l______I
E_____O_l___\l l~l l__l/_ll_l______E Your mother
S_______l\___\ l_l l__;__ll_l__O___S was good
T__o____l_\___ll=l l==\__ll_l______T in bed, she
-____o__l_/\_/\l_l l__l`-ll_/______- grunts like
-_______'-l_`;'l_l l__l__ll_____O__- an ape.
I_O_______l__l l_l l__l__ll________I
N____O____l__l+l_l+l__l__ll___O____N Rob Malda
S_________l__"""_"""__l__ll________S is a
A__O______l____o_o____l__ll____O___A cocksucker
N_________l,;,;,;,;,;,l__ll________N
E_____O___`lIlIlIlIlIl`__ll________E
-__________llIlIlIlIll___ll_____O__- By Dessimat0r
P__________`"""""""""`___""________P (c)2003 Trollkore
-INSANE-PRIEST--INSANE-PRIEST--INSAN

The bishop, while living, was a follower of God.
Now dead, his rotting fingers are able to raise
an army of skeletons from the grave.

Trollkore
"I hate you, I hate your country, and I hate your face!"

# Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) # Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated # Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) # Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. # Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. # Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. # Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. # Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

Is it REALLY a bad thing? (5, Informative)

Pete (big-pete) (253496) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147113)

I would welcome rather than fear more cameras on the streets in the UK. There is one thing that privacy advocates are forgetting, for there to be an impact on your privacy there needs to be either a person at the other end of the camera, or an automated consequence.

With so many cameras, I doubt there is the manpower or the interest for someone to look at them all, only the ones that are really relevent - where a crime or suspicious behaviour has already been reported. After this the cameras are simply pointing out the facts of the situation, and are we really that afraid of facts and consequences of our actions (if those actions are illegal or suspicious)?

At the moment I feel that I trust the British government enough that this is an acceptable situation, look at the impact the congestion charges [wikipedia.org] (and enforcement cameras) have had on London traffic for example.

-- Pete.

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147125)

there needs to be either a person at the other end of the camera, or an automated consequence.

You mean something like a computer? But these electronics machines doesn't exist of course.

Instead of putting cameras everywhere, maybe the UK gov should stop all those muslims that show in public their hatred for Europe and the USA...

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147160)

It's not flamebait, it's insightful. I can't believe what's happening to the mods today...

Haven't you seen all those imams saying in front of their praying places how they will crush every one of those dirty non muslims???

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (5, Insightful)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147192)

"There is one thing that privacy advocates are forgetting, for there to be an impact on your privacy there needs to be either a person at the other end of the camera, or an automated consequence."

Nope, us privacy advocates understand this problem, and would like to point out that the camera's deterrent nature falls completely off once the first person has undertaken an illegal action under the camera and *not* faced any kind of punitive action. The majority of cameras are run by third party companies where they can be funded. I happen to live in a town where they spent all the money on the cameras and didn't have enough to staff them. Incidentally, the siteing of the cameras is also illegal under the CCTV extensions to the data protection act. But that's okay, they're the government.

"I trust the British government"

Well, I'll continue to be one of those naive privacy advocates until you shift your arse enough to understand that the government doesn't really care if you trust them or not, and that the time when you don't trust the government might be a few days too late to do anything. Also, it should be pointed out that it's local councils that handle cameras outside of the M25, and they've been models of civic pride. Discounting the special deals they make with developers. Or minor cases of corruption.

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (4, Insightful)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147204)

There's the slight matter of who watches what the cameras produce, and where that footage gets to [bbc.co.uk].

If there were more rigidly enforced rules as to what can be recorded and how it can be used, then perhaps the cameras wouldn't be so bad - instead, you can get filmed by dozens of cameras and not have a clue what's being done with the footage.

Cameras might be helpful in catching criminals, but too many times you see fuzzy, single-frame-per-second, black-and-white video footage of an armed robbery with the police asking if anyone in the public recognises the masked perpetrators...

Then there's the mast-mounted CCTV cameras in town centres and the like, which merely have the effect of shifting crime out of the field of view of the cameras' lenses...

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (5, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147205)

After this the cameras are simply pointing out the facts of the situation, and are we really that afraid of facts and consequences of our actions (if those actions are illegal or suspicious)?

Facts as seen by who? Suspicious according to what criteria? Into which context will our activities be placed?

At the moment I feel that I trust the British government enough that this is an acceptable situation, look at the impact the congestion charges (and enforcement cameras) have had on London traffic for example.

Honestly, you trust the government at the moment (I'm also from the UK)? I certainly do not, and by the dramatic plunge in confidence ratings for Labour I'm not alone (not advocating an alternative party, merely pointing out the failings of the one in power).

And yes, let's look at the London congestion scheme. Brought in ostensibly to cure central traffic problems, when revenue undershot expectations they decided to extend the scheme to the suburbs against the wishes of 76% of the inhabitants, and today it's announced they're also raising the price. Trffic problems? Revenue raising.

Also, where do you think the people who used to drive have gone? What's happened to them, what's happened to their quality of life? Or do you feel it is co-incidence that there have been so many Tube failures lately after a surge in passenger numbers and drastic overcrowding on certain lines?

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147209)

Tony Blair, George Bush, Bush, Blair, Bush Blair.

(just thought I'd get a head start)

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (2, Insightful)

piquadratCH (749309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147222)

and are we really that afraid of facts and consequences of our actions (if those actions are illegal or suspicious)?

Who decides what's illegal and what's suspicious? Not to long ago, some jerk decided that being Jew is illegal. Now imagine what would have happened if he had the means our governments are installing today. Noone can guarantee that there will never again be someone in charge like Hitler or Stalin, so lets at least guarantee that they will not have a preinstalled surveillance network at their disposal...

Parent is NOT a troll (1)

fondue (244902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147229)

FFS. Americans: Please accept that in other countries, we are able to distinguish between public safety issues and privacy concerns. The government is not using CCTV cameras to spy on you. Take the tinfoil helmet off.

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147238)

At the moment I feel that I trust the British government enough that this is an acceptable situation

Do you think the cameras will go away if you suddenly get a government you don't trust?

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (2, Interesting)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147249)

I would welcome rather than fear more cameras on the streets in the UK. There is one thing that privacy advocates are forgetting, for there to be an impact on your privacy there needs to be either a person at the other end of the camera, or an automated consequence.

With so many cameras, I doubt there is the manpower or the interest for someone to look at them all, only the ones that are really relevent - where a crime or suspicious behaviour has already been reported. After this the cameras are simply pointing out the facts of the situation, and are we really that afraid of facts and consequences of our actions (if those actions are illegal or suspicious)?


Yes, but someone is always looking at some of the cameras, and when they are, who's to say what they're looking at? Are they just leering at tits and ass (as one earlier NYT article reported) or stalking certain individuals just for the juvenile fun of it, or are they seriously ignoring everything else and just paying attention to violence and thievery?

And if the cameras aren't a bad thing, then why don't they put some webcams up with a view of the guys watching the cameras, so that interested persons (like all of those civil liberties groups) can take a look at them? If they can look at us to make sure that we're keeping in line and doing what we're supposed to, then why can't we make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to?

At the moment I feel that I trust the British government enough that this is an acceptable situation, look at the impact the congestion charges (and enforcement cameras) have had on London traffic for example.

Is it the cameras or just the expense? If there was a $9 toll at every entrance and exit to New York City, I'm sure that would cut down on their congestion problems, too. People in the neighboring states already complain about how much it costs just to get to New York City with all the local tolls along the way. If there was a $9 toll on top of that, they just wouldn't go.

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (4, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147268)

At the moment I feel that I trust the British government enough that this is an acceptable situation, look at the impact the congestion charges (and enforcement cameras) have had on London traffic for example.

You trust the government at the moment. Well, that's nice. What about the next government which you don't trust. I guess they'll just go and remove all the cameras then since you don't trust them.

And also, why do you cite the conjestion charges? They were implemented by Ken Livingston, who was voted in despite the Labour party rigging their internal elections so he wouldn't run under their name. He was in fact kicked out of the party as a result of running for (and becoming) tha Mayor (reinstated now, since it makes the Labour party look good to have a guarnteed winning candidate). So your example of a good government which you trust with speed cameras is actually something independend of the government set up by someone expelled from the ruling party.

Well, I'm glad you trust that. I don't.

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (3, Interesting)

severoon (536737) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147273)

As in most things, there are two sides to this issue.

Side 1. More cameras don't bother me. When will people realize that what they do in public is in the public domain? It is merely the fact that a person isn't physically there viewing you, but viewing you through a remote connection. What is the difference between that, and if the person were physically there?

To put it another way, if you're on a public beach reading a book, would you feel as if your privacy was being invaded because others might look at that book and know what you're reading? In order that your privacy be maintained, does the beach really have to be empty? Conversely, if the beach is crowded is your privacy more compromised somehow than if it were empty, because more people can see what you like to read?

Of course not...read a book in public, the public will know what you're reading. If you don't want people to know what you're doing, don't do it in public.

If you think cameras mounted around town is the worst "invasion" technology has to offer...just wait. We already have cameras so small they fit in a pair of eyeglasses--in the next hundred years I wouldn't be surprised to see people having devices such as cameras and phones implanted in their bodies. A camera embedded in the eye with a terabyte flash drive could record a lot of video--all day, every day. That means, if I have such an implanted device and I stroll into the men's locker room at the local health club, I could record what I see and open a peep show porno site. Anyone could.

Our ideas will undoubtedly change about privacy. If there's another person around, in the not-too-far-off future, I believe you will have to acquiesce that what they see the world may potentially see.

Side 2. More cameras create a power imbalance. While it is true that the purpose of the cameras is for good, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. One must be wary of keeping a proper power balance so that, should someone on the power side decide to misuse their access, they would still be limited to the realm of the reasonable.

For instance, does our Constitution favor the individual over the government, or the other way around? Does the Bill of Rights protect the rights of government and guarantee certain powers and inalienable rights to the government? Do criminals have to prove their innocence, or even show a preponderance of the evidence? (The answer to that last one is: neither--the state has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a much higher standard than a simple preponderance of the evidence.)

Why is there an inherent mistrust of government and authority built into our founding document? It is because the Founding Fathers were wise in knowing that nameless, faceless organizations take what they can get and use it to the full extent possible. This is not to place a value judgment on such behavior, it is simply a fact of life because governments, like all organizations consisting of people, include lots of different people with lots of different views on what is and what is not ok. Agreement must be, to some extent, forced upon them when it comes to the invariants of the social contract.

Do cameras everywhere rise to the level of creating a significant power imbalance between the individual and the state? I'm not sure...I see the usefulness of cameras used by private business (banks, convenient stores) and I do not yet feel they've invaded my privacy. Then again, private businesses are owned by individuals, which are usually not organizations that can extend the reach of a government.

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147295)

Why do you think it is necessary to have manpower to look at all the cameras all the time? Did you not RTFA? It is the combination of cameras and digital video storage - and face recognition software for that matter - that makes this so interesting.

Of course you don't have to monitor everything in real time. One day Big Brother gets interested in Joe Bloggs - let's see what Joe's been up to. Crank up the search software and see all movements of Mr Bloggs for the last week, month or whatever.

If you don't believe this is possible then you probably don't believe that Google can search 4 billion pages in 0.001 secs either...

Re:Is it REALLY a bad thing? (1)

TyrranzzX (617713) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147304)

Think ahead, my young tinfoil hat grasshopper.

Where are all those wires going? Hmmmm? Sure, we can say they're going into local cop shops, but who really knows for sure? Lets say they're going into cop shops, where do they go from there? Lets hook those camera's up into facial, voice, and lisence plate recognition software. What then? Then, lets hook this massive database into a massive multipoint processing system; first process is updating the database, then a daily scoring and filing away, then a weekly complete scanning of entries to identify patterns and update a file, then another system to check those files against potential terrorists.

Then lets replace the word of terrorists, with say, protestors, or mabye those with motive to do crime and terror acts...ahh, poor people, libertarians, all those the elite need to get rid of in order to gain control, those who fight in their own countries for freedom from tyranny.

don't worry, the US is catching up (5, Insightful)

Slashbot Hive-Mind (810267) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147115)

Everyone--from good hearted people to downright argumentative trolls--misses the point on spying.

I don't care about online privacy. I'm not worried about government spooks sifting through my e-mail or web surfing habits and finding out that I like brunettes with long legs, long hair, and almond shaped eyes. It really doesn't concern me. If it were some supercomputer sitting in a back room chewing through e-mail looking for "homicide, suicide, terror, assassinate, secret, password, 9/11" or some other stupid set of keywords or tracing kiddie porn that'd be fine by me. At least until the anti-pr0n people decide that moral righteousness has no bounds and start coming after willing adults with no real sex life and a speedy net connection.

Face it. We live in the real world. People in power let it go to their heads and they often use it for purposes other than those in which it was given to them for.

What I'm worried about is that the guy down the block is an FBI agent. Or CIA. Or NSA. Or some local politician who knows one. One day I'm walking down the street and a candy wrapper drops out of my pocket onto his lawn. Now this guy is such a straight laced Bible thumping tight a__ POS that he uses his political muscle to find out who I am and begin harassing me. "He dropped a candy wrapper on my lawn! He's a litterer! He's no good for society! Besides, I saw him carrying home a six-pack of beer! He must be an alcoholic as well!"

Where's the check and balance? There is none. Who could prove it? No one. Who can stop it? No one.

Echelon, Big Brother surveillance, the Anti-Terror bill. They all suck for the same reason that the Windows registry sucks: there's no way to secure them from people misusing them to hijack the system.

Re:don't worry, the US is catching up (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147145)

> Where's the check and balance? There is none. Who could prove it? No one. Who can stop it? No one. Where's the surveillance in your scenario? It made no sense to me whatsoever. > Echelon, Big Brother surveillance, the Anti-Terror bill. Echelon is comparable, but even Blunkett isn't trying to get surveillance cameras in our homes, and having surveillance cameras on the streets doesn't take away Habeas Corpus, so the other two aren't comparable.

Actually there are checks in GB (4, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147153)

You are entitled to see any footage recorded of you at any time - not that this is (yet) commonly done, but there was a politically/comedy-orientated issues show (forget the name, could have been Gorman) where a host filmed his attempts to get the camera footage that he knew he was caught on.

You can't just walk into the records office and say "I want all camera footage of me at any time in any place", but you can obtain footage if you're more specific - how specific I don't know. Perhaps if more people did this (and then sued if the footage wasn't forthcoming) the authorities would be less likely to be so keen on them...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the only way I'll be happy with continual surveillance of such overwhelming magnitude is if *all* the footage from *all* the cameras are available online - the average MP is going to be a lot less happy about cameras being used left, right, and centre if he knows he'll be caught speeding at 4:00am by some anorak

That said, the vast majority are in London (which visitors to the country think is typical - it couldn't be farther from the truth!), and a huge percentage of the headline figure are the CCTV cameras in shops that point at the counter, all privately owned and I don't have a problem with them if they help prevent robbery.

Simon

Re:Actually there are checks in GB (3, Informative)

irn_bru (209849) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147216)

The Comedian was Mark Thomas [mtcp.co.uk], a sort-of British Michael More, albeit with (usually) more reasoned arguements. His website still includes [mtcp.co.uk] helpful information about your rights to see CCTV footabge that has been taken of you.

Re:Actually there are checks in GB (1)

TwistedSquare (650445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147225)

That said, the vast majority are in London (which visitors to the country think is typical - it couldn't be farther from the truth!)

I have noticed this tendency recently, after it was pointed out, of a lot of people (especially Londoners) to confuse London with Britain. Claims are made that "Britain ...." but they really mean "London ...". Whereas in fact I think that London is fairly dissimilar to the rest of the country. Just an observation.

Re:Actually there are checks in GB (1)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147234)

You are thinking of the excellent Mark Thomas [mtcp.co.uk]. He mixes comedy with investigative journalism - it;s an interesting and entertaining mix.

Re:Actually there are checks in GB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147262)

You are entitled to see any footage recorded of you at any time

That might be the case when things get to court.
The problem is that BECAUSE anyone can install cameras that same ANYONE can do ANYTHING with the pictures.
It's only a matter of time untill people will get harrasses by exploiters of such systems.
A law is needed to specify who can operate cameras in public areas. Plus these pictures should only be available to licenced entities, preferably only the police. And even then an independant overseer would be a nice thing.

Re:Actually there are checks in GB (1)

doodlelogic (773522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147266)

the vast majority are in London

Very true. In and around the Square Mile (the financial district of London) there is a set-up known as the "ring of steel". In theory, every square inch of public space in that area is under the view of at least one security camera.

Re:Actually there are checks in GB (1)

awol (98751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147276)

Further, the Data Protection Act would make it an offence to misuse the data as feared by the original poster. The check is there. The balance is there.

As for whether it is a good thing or not, I think good, because I am one of those that believes that there is a legitimate reduction in privacy in public spaces, but there are other views of equal merit.

as for the effecacy of the cameras in "impacting" (reducing, deterring, convicting) the statistics from the proponents and opponents tend to cancel each other out in the difficult to measure "deterring and reducing" categories, but the conviction category (including guilty pleas) is increased enourmously by the presence of CCTV (http://www.privacy.org/pi/activities/cctv/cctv_fa q.html). But I think what is most undeniable is that citizens do feel safer when moving about in a CCTV area and that, fallacy or not, is the kicker since the perception of risk has become artificially inflated in the past 30 years and correcting that is a good thing.

Re:Actually there are checks in GB (2, Interesting)

ballpoint (192660) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147307)

Maybe this isn't 100% related, and some people think that traffic cameras are good (I'm not one of them), but here in Belgium you can obtain the pictures made by a traffic camera if you get fined by simply asking for them.

The problem is that, if you do that, the authorities state that you are not cooperating. They automatically deny a settlement, and you have to go before a police judge. Unless you supply overwhelming evidence - you are considered guilty by default, and you have to prove you're not - you will receive a much steeper fine and a criminal record.

So you have the right to get the records, but you are paying dearly if you exercize it.

All rights in theory, none in practice.

Re:don't worry, the US is catching up (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147161)

So what you are saying is that you are a pr0n toting, candy eating, beer guzzling dude. And you are paranoid that your neighbor might be a straight laced, Bible thumping, government connected wacko.

Will the real paranoid wacko please stand up?

Re:don't worry, the US is catching up (1)

Slashbot Hive-Mind (810267) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147250)

Its called, a slipperly slope.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

Re:don't worry, the US is catching up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147277)

There just had to be an anti-MS comment somewhere ;-) Well done!

In a thoroughly scientific survey... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147119)

... of most people I know here, almost all are wildly in favour of CCTV in public places.

Also, if images are recorded digitally (rather than on magnetic tape) you're entitled to request copies of all scenes you appear in, due to the Data Protection Act.

Re:In a thoroughly scientific survey... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147184)

What about Digital 8 format then???

It has nothing to do with digital versus magnetic tape. I have no idea where you got that piece of misinformation, as preposterously funny as it may be.

hah.. (0, Flamebait)

KingPunk (800195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147120)

well, considering that they agreed with bush on the whole Weapons of Mass Destruction, and what not.. and they were totally wrong, i wouldnt put that much into that claim. in all fairness, i think China is. they're some sneaky bastids! :o

Re:hah.. (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147213)

"they agreed with bush on the whole Weapons of Mass Destruction"

'they' were 50/50 split over the question of war, and we've been haranguing our MPs about the invisi-weapons since the whole thing broke. Incidentally, three MPs resigned over the mess, and if Blair makes it back into the leadership of the country, I'm personally going to raise holy hell.

Seems to be part of the British Psyche (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147122)

Most British Sci-Fi authors have always included the Big Brother syndrome, most British movies directors have a fetish for CCTV and such devices in theri movies, most British game producers include examples of being video taped and watched.

I blame it on our repressed sexual desires, and thus our need to be voyeurs.

Re:Seems to be part of the British Psyche (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147157)

Offtopic? Worst moderation ever!

Re:Seems to be part of the British Psyche (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147172)

I agree with this. The Big Brother syndrome is something new in our countries and should be taken into account.

Only when I'm in public (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147124)

If you're in a public area, being recorded is fair game. It's no different than if a store employed security gaurds to watch over you while you shopped, or having a police officier stood on the corner watching everyone go buy. People get all uppity because it's technology, and we all know technology is bad, right?

I was attacked several years ago. Unprovoked; they were drunk, I was drunk. Anyway, the attack resulted in me being partially blinded in one eye. The police never caught the idiot who did it; not that they didn't try, but I couldn't exactly give them a good description. I wish there had been a camera at the spot where it happened. I fucking wish! So don't bleat on about personal privacy, because you've already got it. Unless you're in public.

Re:Only when I'm in public (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147147)

they were drunk, I was drunk.

And you are proud of it? I would be ashamed...

Re:Only when I'm in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147154)

Proud of what? Did I say I was proud? Since when is stating fact pride? Do fuck off.

Re:Only when I'm in public (1)

jhunsake (81920) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147181)

Unprovoked; they were drunk, I was drunk.

Unprovoked my ass.

Re:Only when I'm in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147221)

You were there then were you? Newsflash for you skippy, millions of people get pissed every day in the UK. You, Mr. Slashdot poster, are pure enough to condem each and every one of them are you?

Yeah, I'm sure it was all my fault. I walked upto a big drunk twat with an angry look in his eye and took a swing at him, 'cos you know I figured that me and my scrawny geek body should have made it a push over. It was all my fault, I admit it. I really wanted to have the living shit beat out of me.

You and your friend there are fucking twats of the highest order. You're not posting a GNAA crapflood on Slashdot to piss off a few posters and get a rise out of a few more idiots. You've actually got me rilled up and upset. Do you have any idea how difficult it is for me to even talk about any of this? No, because you're on the other side of an internet connection and it's alright to be a fucking twat and upset people if you can't see them. I can't even put into words here how upset you've made me, so no doubt you'll read this and chuckle to yourself. I hope you're fucking happy. The first twat talked about pride; we'll I hope you're both happy and proud, you pair of fuck sticks. Fuck you and your opinion. You're nothing but a common bully. Worse, you're a coward of a common bully, hiding behing an internet connection where you don't have to see your victim. Cunt.

Re:Only when I'm in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147236)

With an attitutde like that, I'm not surpised you had the shit kicked out of you. Perhaps if you were just a little calmer, took a deep breath, whatever, you wouldn't provoke such trouble.

Re:Only when I'm in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147281)

Christ you just don't get it do you. Do you have emotions? I'll try to be as calm about this as possible: You, Mr. C. Unt and your friend, Mr. T. Wat, are fucking me about and have upset me. Do you get upset, Mr. C. Unt? I'll just state that again, to try and drill the point into your thick skull: I am upset, you have upset me. You have actually managed to upset a real person, sat in a real office, with real emotions. This is not a game, and you'd better believe I'm not calm. If you wern't on the other side of a net connection I'd be shouting, you can bet on it. So take your own advice; if you wern't such a coward who thinks its funny to upset people maybe you wouldn't provoke people into being upset. Like you've done to me.

So yeah, I am angry and I am going to post using inflamitory language and I hope you get the fucking message. I am normally a very nice, calm person, but not only has this been a bad week I've also now had Mr C. Unt and Mr T. Wat upset me. You might think you're clever little chap and I bet you're having a right laugh. But you're not clever, you're a coward (A real coward, not a Slashdot AC.) So just shut your mouth and go troll someone else. I really don't care what you think, because you're little bully. You'll sleep sound tonight because you've not met me, you'll never meet me, and you don't know who I am. But I have to live with that day for the rest of my life, and I have to fight depression every time I open my eye and see that little black dot floating in my field of vision. You don't need to worry about that though, because you're on the other side of an internet connection and you don't see me. You're just posting silly words on Slashdot and it doesn't hurt anyone, right?

Wrong.

Re:Only when I'm in public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147285)

You've got a real nasty attitude boy. Can't say I'm surprised you were given a good arse whipping.

Re:Only when I'm in public (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147312)

was attacked several years ago. Unprovoked; they were drunk, I was drunk. Anyway, the attack resulted in me being partially blinded in one eye. The police never caught the idiot who did it; not that they didn't try, but I couldn't exactly give them a good description. I wish there had been a camera at the spot where it happened.

You'd still be out an eye, they might have got a few months in gaol. More likely, they couldn't be identified or you being drunk would be seen as contributory and they'd get off. Cameras don't prevent crimes by drunks.

it's for the chhhhhildruhn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147126)

Governments will use any excuse to increase their power over citizens. The only way that might work against it is to have 100% surveillance of anyone in public office at all times. It would stop abuse of power dead in its tracks.

Oh brother... (0, Offtopic)

TheWingThing (686802) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147127)

If one of these cameras tape what happens in your bedroom, and both you and your gf think "big brother is watching", does that make you both siblings, and you're commiting incest, and big brother can put you in jail for that?

Record my... (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147130)

Well, just been in the UK for a week (first time), in London and a smaller city, and after a while it really started to annoy and disturb me that wherever I was if I took a good look around I could find a camera covering my position.

It may help the police's work, but I don't know how I ever could get used to it.

Re:Record my... (0)

onion2k (203094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147163)

I assume you weren't mugged as you would probably have mentioned it. I would also assume you didn't mug anyone yourself, you'd have mentioned that too.

Looks like the cameras work then. :)

Re:Record my... (1)

red_one (14125) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147235)

Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, dear.
Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Oh, how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: It's just a stupid rock.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?
[Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money]
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

Re:Record my... (1)

TwistedSquare (650445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147197)

Most people, me included, just don't notice them. Or care if they do notice them. What the article doesn't say is whereabouts the cameras are. In my experience the vast majority (if not all) are in town/city centres, exactly where they are needed most. It is not like they have full coverage of the whole country, just intense coverage of certain areas.

Cameras (3, Informative)

azbot (544794) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147131)

Having just moved to London From New Zealand, I found the amount of CCTV cameras a little surreal. They are everywhere. But non-the-less; it is nice to know that perhaps even if just a placebo, they cameras tend to make things a bit safer. However, as my flatmate found out, cameras don't protect your household.

The streets may be safer, but your possesions still arent - Perhaps thats is why insureance is so high over here.

Re:Cameras (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147264)

Having just moved to London From New Zealand

Welcome to Britain from a fellow Kiwi! Ironically, I'm seriously considering moving home (after 25 years+ in the UK) because I'm sick of this nonsense.

it is nice to know that perhaps even if just a placebo, they cameras tend to make things a bit safer

Sadly, that's just it: they're placebos. Rising crime statistics? Slap in a CCTV programme! But try actually getting the police to view CCTV footage after a crime's been committed and, in Glasgow at least, it's well-nigh impossible.

I'm sure that CCTV benefits someone... unfortunately, I don't believe it's the general public - unless you happen to work for a security company.

Echelon System (0, Troll)

random_culchie (759439) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147133)

This is the name for the British surveilance system.
More info here [heise.de]

Re:Echelon System (1)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147263)

Actually Echelon (if we were to hypothetically assume it exists, eh Mr Blunkett?) is entirely different from what this article is discussing.

The article is about the extraordinary number of cameras used to watch streets in the UK.

Echelon concievably might be a US system (in association with a few other countries of which Britain is the most important since we are the one nearest to Europe) that intercepts and listens (via computer analysis, obviously) to international telephone calls etc, to find terrorists and spys and definitely not for insustrial espionage to stuff up French companies, oh no.

Re:Echelon System (3, Informative)

piquadratCH (749309) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147274)

Correction: Echelon is the name of NSA's communication surveillance system. It has nothing to do with the British government or cameras.

Sorry but Monaco has always been the champion (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147135)

The Principality of Monaco (Monte-Carlo) has always had cameras, gvt informers and can legaly tap any conversation anytime. They can send cops inside your appartment anytime they see fit also. There isn't much you can do because of the medieval legal system.

I know that to keep the dialogue alarmist, they mention that ONLY the UK has been a victim of the 1984 school of thought (hey, Tony Blair's socialism is very social hey?! The Torries would have never been allowed this. Oh well, good one Tony.)

Patriot Act (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147139)

But at least the UK doesn't have something as utterly vile as the Patriot Act (though if Blunkett has his way we will pretty soon)

Re:Patriot Act (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147233)

"UK doesn't have something as utterly vile as the Patriot Act"

RIP Bill, Criminal Justice Act and the Terrorism Act 2000 extensions. We just split it up. Note that hacking is a terrorist act.

1984 (-1, Flamebait)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147141)

You know there's a reason 1984 was set in Great Britain. It seems every day that books becomes more relevant. Scary. . .

Re:1984 (4, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147155)

> You know there's a reason 1984 was set in Great Britain. I was written by a Brit [wikipedia.org]?

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147188)

I was written by a Brit

YOU ARE THE BOOK? Speak to us oh holy 1984 and show us the path to privacy!

Re:1984 (1)

beh (4759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147302)

So what?

Karl May [wikipedia.org], a German author of travel stories didn't visit the US until long after writing his books.
Neither did he visit any of the other places outside of Europe that he wrote about. Yet a lot of his stories have been fairly accurate as to the surroundings they have been describing.

Admitted, it's more likely for an author to set his real-world stories in a setting he knows (most likely something close to his place of living at the time of writing), but it doesn't HAVE to be the case...

And the best of it is (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147146)

CCTV cameras have been around in numbers in the UK for a long time. Did it stop the IRA from bombing London some years ago? of course not.

A perfect proof, if one was needed, that putting a country under surveilance may have a little effect on petty high street thieves, but most certainly has nothing to offer to curtail terrorism, and everything to do with controlling the populace.

Orwell.......grave........spinning

Re:And the best of it is (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147169)

Did it stop the IRA from bombing London some years ago?

No, but it helped catch them afterwards!

Re:And the best of it is (1)

tdvaughan (582870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147269)

A perfect proof, if one was needed...

That's not proof. It demonstrates your point, but does not prove it. To do so, you would need to show that the incidence of terrorism is completely unaffected by the presence of surveillance - i.e. turn every surveillance device in London off for six months out of every year and count the numbers of terrorist incidents.

Re:And the best of it is (3, Insightful)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147306)

"Did it stop the IRA from bombing London some years ago? of course not."

Different timelines. Cameras didn't hit their current ubiquity until after the bombing campaigns started to tail off when Sinn fein and the British Government starting talking in the wake of Clinton politicking between the two parties. The 'ring of steel' around downing street followed the mortar bomb attack, and cameras followed after that, but only in central London. Sod the populace as long as the PM is okay.

However, there have been more than several drunken fights outside my house (under a camera), and our town's crime statistics have stayed constant. The police are royally pissed because the cameras have been used as a justification to reduce their numbers in the local area, meaning that cars are administered from the county centre roughly 25 miles away. Calling the police tends to result in a 30 minute delay for them to divert a car, and they act as a visual deterrent more than anything else.

I'm less bothered about the drunken fights (they happen the world over) than I am the complete erosion of the policing of our towns. I'm more bothered that my tax money (council charge, paid to the local council in opposition to wage taxes, which go to central government) being used to buy a camera system that is patchy and considered a replacement for a warm body and brain in a uniform.

"may have a little effect on petty high street thieves,"

Almost none. There was a TV report of a man running a shop who'd invested in a state of the art camera system...put it this way, he dumps the footage to DVD. Now sinee he'd put the camera in, he'd had 250 cases of shoplifting. How many convictions off that? 5.

Basically, when the police arrest someone, the Crown Prosecution Service has to determine whether they can win a case and whether it's in the public interest to convict. So while it's obviously correct to try and convict Paul Burrell of stealing from *Our lady of grace, Princess Diana* [sarcasm intended], after her death, petty theft is not. Case in point. My sister and GF were attacked in the street. The attacker was known as someone who assaults people. The police said that they couldn't press charges because the woman in question had children and it wouldn't be in the public interest to remove a violent prat from the streets. THAT is what we contend with daily in the UK. We're by no means a police state, we just have the apparatus at the hands of the incompetant.

Panopticon (2, Insightful)

hachete (473378) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147162)

Well, we did invent the panopticon.
http://users.rcn.com/mackey/thesis/pa nopticon.html

Good old Jeremy, whose stuffed corpse is still on display in in one of the institutes in London. He also wanted everyone - well, everyone except the well-to-do - to have the equivalent of bar codes on their foreheads. A man before his time, obviously.

The ironic thing is that these cameras have had little or no effect on behaviour or the crime rate. Mind you, there was no systematic monitoring to test the crime-reduction effects of cameras in the first place. Just a wild hysteria which amounted to "put those cameras up or they'll kill all our children."

h

total information awareness (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147164)

i live in the uk now. where i come from you cannot keep secrets. you can only think what they want you to think. everyone is potential informer if you are not with us you are against us. and then you disappear in the night. they don't have the sophisticated level of ubiquitous advanced tech that uk and usa has. but of what they do have, they control.
thats the key. they control and monitor the internet and telephone network, tv, radio.. it's theirs. you have to worry about centralised, unaccountable control. myabe i sound like another 'tin foil hat' but hey all i know is i am not important enough to ever bother with. but what about those who constantly speak out against injustice and fight for our rights? when they start to be repressed and controlled more efficiently, will we still sit back and swallow crap about asylum seekers, terrorists and rising crime rates? i hope not. i came here so i would never have to be harassed for no reason again.

but hey the pay is probably better back home.

But does it help? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147166)

All dandy but my question is does the UK have less criminality than comparable nations?

I'm afraid the answer is NO.

And very strong rules need to be aplied to WHEN en WHO can use this information.
In the UK anyone can (and does) install such systems that look at public spaces and use it for any purpose, not just catching the obvious criminal!

Without clear laws to protect the privacy of the innocent this WILL eventually get out of hand.

Watching the watchers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147170)

I'm all for ubiquitous surveillance of the public, but I think it should be a two-way street.

I think all politicians should be monitored and recorded, as well as all civil servants [especially the police] - pretty much anyone in a position of power over others, in fact.

The technology's there, but it'll never happen - for some strange reason we're expected to trust those in power [for example, the word of a police officer is considered to be beyond doubt in court - but why? They're people, people lie.]. I wonder how many police officers would resign if they were told their every move was to be recorded in their day-to-day work.

Cameras yes,but.... (2, Interesting)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147171)

The usa is still unbeaten for tapping all major comsats. (echelon anyone?).
If you send an international fax or do an call, you can be sure it will be scanned. Yeah.
(btw Due to this practice, some american corps filed patends that had the same writing errors as internal documents of european corps, which were only faxed between company locations....)

americanisation (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147174)

It doesn't take a genius to work out that it is going to be misused, even if it is only petty larceny," said Kittow.

"Petty larceny". Oh, very English. A journalist making up quotes, perhaps? Or did they find an American van driver to ask about what the British think?

Re:americanisation (2, Interesting)

Lurker McLurker (730170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147227)

Actually, larceny is a term from English law, deriving from the Anglo-Norman larcine.

There used to be two types of larceny in English law Grand and Petit. These legal terms are no longer used, but the term "petty larceny" still pops up in conversation.

Re:americanisation (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147254)

I can't think of a time when I've ever heard anyone not from the US say it - especially not a London van driver!

I for one... (2, Funny)

dr_labrat (15478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147175)

..welcome our comera wielding overlords.


No, honestly!!


Brb, someones at the doo....fds.....4.

Let's face it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147182)

it's a jewish conspiracy

Pity that the brits gave up their arms.. (0, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147190)

Not many tv cameras can keep operating after taking even a single blast of bird shot.

-jcr

Re:Pity that the brits gave up their arms.. (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147283)

They can, actually. Toughened plexiglass is transparent....

The external cameras I've seen are pretty resilient. Also very high up, so they're hard to get at.

TBH though these articles are just fluff. 99% of cameras are in-store cameras privately owned (and the US has these too). I know of 3 external ones in my nearest city, and 1 in the shopping centre down the road. It's not like they're all over the place.

London is a completely different ball game (although most of the cameras there are the congestion charge ones, and they're aimed at the road, not at people).

Yeah right (1)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147200)

Because as we all know criminals care about being watched. 1)

Not.

This is like in the former German Democratic Republic. In Berlin they have put one of the many surveillance rooms full of monitors showing videos of public places in a museum. It's supposed to be there as a warning of totalitarian government.

But I guess the real reason is it just didn't meet technological standards anymore. To me it looks the capitalistic Berlin has much more cameras then the socialistic.

1)=Remember the 9/11 terrorists were filmed bording their planes.

It's the laws that are important (2, Insightful)

Lurker McLurker (730170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147203)

I don't care how many security cameras there are. I care about whether or not their use is properly regulated. What s considered to be suspicious behaviour? Can we be sure footage doesn't fall into the wrong hands? How long is footage kept for? Can I be sure that I'm not being filmed without my knowledge?

As long as the checks and balances are there, I'm happy. Governments have always been able to spy on people, what matters is that people are participating in the political process and maing sure they have the power to resist any wrong the government does (note that I'm not talking about owning firearms. Owning guns doesn't give you power over a government- they can always afford bigger guns). Accountability is the key.

Privacy not an issue for most (1, Offtopic)

otisg (92803) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147214)

Just a week ago I spoke to a friend of mine about this. He lives in Kent, UK. He explained that cameras are there because of IRA (at least that is the explanation). I asked about whether people have privacy issues with cameras, and apparently most people do not. I guess if you are not misbehaving, there is nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

Opinion versus Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147220)

No government can distinguish between a differing opinion and intent to harm.

They'd ban this, for example:

AFN FAQ [archive.org]

And arrest 1,100 protestors for claiming G.W. Bush is an excrementally bad president.

security and freedom (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147228)

there is much rabble rousing in the us post 9/11 about giving up precious freedom for dubious secuirty goals

and while i do agree that the patriot act and its ilk is pure bunkum, i still think that some of the rabid freedom advocates are forgetting: people like to continue breathing too

in a post-9/11 world, talking about threats to your personal safety is not pure fud, not just fearmongering: the threat is real and palpable

residents in inner city housing projects welcome security cameras, they don't feel invaded at all: they know it cuts down on crime

the uk's experience with the the ira simply puts them ahead of the us in terms of coping with terrorism, now experiencing its own terror threats

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

blah, blah, blah, snore...

that's a very nice quote, but i can equally say that moderation and practicality always trump idealism and absolutism, and hypersensitivity to every hair's breadth shaving of freedom and liberty in esoteric and hypothetical ways, even for the sake of large palpable and concrete jumps in security just does not make sense in today's world

would i be inventing bogey men and bullshit threats to our life and limb, i would be a fearmongerer indeed

but how anyone could say that about my pov in a world where something like 9/11 is happening... well, there is false alarmism, and then there is a false sense of security

Good or bad ? (3, Interesting)

Metatron (21064) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147231)

It is certainly becoming a very big thing. The cameras are everywhere inside and out. I've even been into pubs that have forced people to remove their hats / caps as it would help obscure their faces on the cctv cameras.

Is this a good thing or not ? Thats the difficult question. There is such a fine line between civil liberties and fighting crime, if you aren't doing anything wrong, then you are supposed to have nothing to fear, but then you don't have to be breaking the law to want people to not find out where you are and what you are doing - it depends on who has access to the information and how it can be used ... and thats the difficult part.

Personally, I think overall I like the CCTV cameras. They are quite popular here in Britain, mostly helped by big cases that attracted a lot of media attention that have been solved and people caught all thanks to CCTV, (Jamie Bulger etc). Do we have to sacrifice some smaller parts of freedom to live in a more secure society ? possibly, yes. It would be great if we could trust everyone, but unfortunately we can't. Don't forget what freedom really is, the freedom to vote for our political leaders, express our opionions freely, live wherever you like, travel wherever you like, set up business, trade, have children, not have children, cover ourselves in baby oil and rub up and down ... oh hang on ;-) .... but I think you see what I mean :-).

Open it up (1)

ironhide (803) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147240)

Prevent big brother from abusing it and ensure that the stream gets untampered (digitally signed by the hardware) to a p2p network, where it is distrubuted for public scrutinity.

Surveillance is at higher levels than I thought (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10147261)

I walked into the small unassuming police station at the end of O'connel street in Dublin a few years back to find out about my passport. I was totally shocked by the back wall of the room, which was covered in around 50 or more colour screen surveillance monitors. OK, it's a capital city, and it has a lot of crime (so i would be for these installations), but that's not what shocked me.

what shocked me was that these monitors covered almost every inch of that sector of dublin, i could see every last spot of the street outside, all in perfect crystal clear quality. It was something to be amazed at. I doubt a single person in the street outside would have realised how much they were being watched.

Difficulty of securing a conviction (3, Interesting)

kahei (466208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147272)


The extremely pro-defendant legal system in the UK makes it _very_ hard to get a conviction for a violent crime such as assault without the use of these cameras. This is a very important factor. Even _with_ the cameras it is still probably harder to get rid of eg the local mugger in the UK than in the US.

So, we see here how a liberal law (making it hard for the police to convict someone for 'just being a scumbag') actually leads to an authoritarian situation when the need comes to make the system actually work.

Not that I particularly object to the cameras, compared to some other Blair-era changes to the UK system...

tin foil (3, Informative)

Frogg (27033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147280)

I live in the UK, and a good sensible measure that I've taken to recently is to line not only my hat with tin foil, but my shoes, socks, trousers, shirt and jacket too. As far as I can tell, it seems to stop the cameras from looking at me.

Ok.. UK Data Protection Act states that fixed cameras are ok, but if they can zoom or move, then you must comply with the act. To comply with the act you must have a nominated data-protection manager in your company (responsible for cycling tapes, answering public enquiries, etc), you must not place cameras where you shouldn't (toilets/etc), you must display the necessary signs (you are not (meant to be) allowed to record anyone without their knowledge) with contact details as to who is responsible for the cameras and who the 'data-protection manager' is, and if you operate cameras of a non-fixed kind any member of the public is entitled to make an enquiry, and providing they give reasonable information (time, location, description of appearance, what you were doing, who else was present, etc), and pay a handling fee of no more than £15(?) then you must either invite that person in to the company to inspect the footage, or (and?), make it available on standard playable video cassette -- and they have to block out the distinguishing features (black strips, mosaic fuzziness, etc) of anyone else who was present in the footage, but not immediately involved with the person in question.

I might've missed something, but I think that pretty much covers it. You can get advice and template letters for making such enquiries from a variety of places on the net, including (i think) from the UK government's DPA website.

It's all fairly serious stuff, lots of businesses (particularly night-clubs and restaurants) don't fully comply with the act (no visible signs in recording areas), and I'd be certain that they'd be unable to produce the required video footage if it were requested.

It sucks really.

Shit -- must dash, some of my tinfoil is more than 24hrs old, and needs replacing.......

Your mobile phone is watching you (3, Interesting)

alanxyzzy (666696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147289)

The mobile phone operators can track your position, sometimes to within a few tens of metres, if your cell phone is switched on, whether or not you make a call. They always log your position if you make a call, whether or not you are being singled out for special monitoring, and keep this data for many months.

Have a look, for instance, at ChildLocate.co.uk [childlocate.co.uk]

Some more links:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-8593 96,00.html [timesonline.co.uk]
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,690 3,1101683,00.html [guardian.co.uk]
http://www.followus.co.uk/ [followus.co.uk]

The cameras aren't necessarily the right way (5, Interesting)

tezza (539307) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147290)

Six weeks ago I got slashed in the face by a guy with a knife on Chalk Farm Road, in Camden [camdenlock.net].

I chased him about 600 meters but he ran into a dark council estate and was not that stupid, the guy still had a knife/friends and I had neither.

The police came. Lots of them. Ordinary bobbies and 5 pairs of CID. I retraced the route. There were 10 CCTV camera along the route that I chased him, and NONE of them were pointing the right way to capture this guy, over 600m. The only footage was from a Sainsburies private CCTV that he ran in front of. The police say Camden is one of the most surveilled areas in London.

Just not that bit.

Britain is a terrible place to be (1)

jopet (538074) | more than 9 years ago | (#10147297)

Last time I travelled there I hated it - cameras everywhere, warnings about 24 hour surveillance everywhere, signs and warnings about what you are or are not allowed to do everywhere. If they enjoy that, ok, but for me it was terrible. Wouldn't want to live in a country like that.
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