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London 2006, Meet London 1984

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the what-is-the-newspeak-for-change-the-channel dept.

422

Draape writes "Shoreditch TV is an experiment TV channel beaming live footage from the street into people's homes. According to the Telegraph U.K. television will broadcast from 400 surveillance cameras on the streets, into people's homes. For now they are only showing it to 22,000 homes, but next year they plan on going national with the 'show'. They fly under the flag 'fighting crime from the sofa'."

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Sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328777)

Sweet cam whores get free bandwidth! That rocks!

Bobby on the couch (4, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328793)

Considering how unarned bobbies struggle to catch a running crim, one wonders how a couch-bound lard-ass is going to do it from the wrong side of an ethernet connection.

If they did this in USA then they could rig up remote controlled guns or such and get a better crime resolution rate.

Re:Bobby on the couch (3, Funny)

michaelmoran (879981) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328803)

Excellent Idea!!! My wasted youth playing Duck Hunt wasn't for naught!!!

Re:Bobby on the couch (5, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328808)

If they did this in USA then they could rig up remote controlled guns or such and get a better crime resolution rate.

What do you mean could rig up remote-controlled guns? [live-shot.com]

It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328781)

And its not 1984 if the government can't see into your private space.

Remember - expectation to privacy and expectation to privacy in a public space are very different things.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328789)

I agree with you wholeheartedly. But I don't think this was particularly necessary to avoid abuse. After all, I could already see what the CCTV cameras could see by going outside. Not that this would occur to the average Slashdotter.

Mod parent up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328794)

Totally agree with Whiney Mac Fanboy.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (4, Interesting)

Kuukai (865890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328795)

There's a threshold though. If I do something stupid and 8 people see, I might shrug it off. If I do something stupid and 80 people see, I might not hang around that part of town. But if I do something stupid and 80,000 people see, then I might be scarred for life. It's just not meant to work that way.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (3, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328819)

But if I do something stupid and 80,000 people see, then I might be scarred for life. It's just not meant to work that way.

80,000? If you do something that's both stupid & funny - it will spread via email / youtube / etc and be seen by 80 million!

Please note, that I wasn't particularly endorsing this 'public' CCTV (note the "closed" part of that acronymn is getting less accurate all the time) program. Just saying that the comparisons to 1984 are sensationalist.

Oh - and cameras do appear to work to some extent - I don' think US readers are aware of the sort of casual violence that used to surround many English pubs around closing time. The introduction of CCTV really did change that alot.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328850)

If you know of one pissed up yob who would refrain from fighting just because of a camera up on a mast then please do tell me.

The biggest deterant has been big doormen and LOTS of visible police.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (2, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328867)

If you know of one pissed up yob who would refrain from fighting just because of a camera up on a mast then please do tell me.

Yup - Ted, from down at the Red Lion.

(surely One isn't enough for you?)

The biggest deterant has been big doormen and LOTS of visible police.

Hmmmmmn, you're right that lots of visible police helped, but frankly big doormen were as much a part of the problem as anything.

I think the police have been helped enormously by CCTV - it backs up their presence with a more realistic threat of conviction.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (5, Interesting)

hobbes75 (245657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328988)

As far as I am informed: The violence dropped just after the relaxing of the police enforced closing time of the pubs (which is only several years after the introduction of heavy surveilance of the general public). Main reason is probably that less drunks are the same place at the same time since they go home over a 2h period instead of a 5m period.

... AND ... (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329026)

Main reason is probably that less drunks are the same place at the same time since they go home over a 2h period instead of a 5m period ... AND that the drunks are not pissed off because they are FORCED to go home!! :-)
(Down here, when the pub's owner wants to send the hardcore drunks out, he starts cleaning the place -- which occasionally involves flooding the floor with soapy water and moping it, and yes, I had my fet wet this way a lot of times...)

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (4, Funny)

datafr0g (831498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328948)

If I do something stupid and 8 people see, I might shrug it off. If I do something stupid and 80 people see, I might not hang around that part of town. But if I do something stupid and 80,000 people see, then I might be scarred for life. It's just not meant to work that way.

Hey, you're not alone, especially not on slashdot. The same thought goes through every Open Source coders mind when they submit code to the repository.

:-)

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328993)

If you do something really stupid, billions will see you do it because of the internet. I would say roughly 3-5billion people will see it.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (0)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328809)

Well, I can use my telescope to look through the windows from a distance. So it's OK if I put such telescope to look into your windows and then upload images to a public site?

BTW, curtains won't help, I have an infrared camera.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328842)

Well, I can use my telescope to look through the windows from a distance. So it's OK if I put such telescope to look into your windows and then upload images to a public site?

Apparantly you didn't read my comment: Remember - expectation to privacy and expectation to privacy in a public space are very different things.

I don't think your room is a public space, so I think your expectation to privacy there should be high. My comment was a response to the 'teh 1984' sensationalism of the headline summary. A sensationalism your post echos.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328921)

I don't intrude to your private space, I just use a camera in a public place.

It happens to look into your window while you're cheating your wife? Tough luck.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (0, Offtopic)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328939)

You're building a straw man argument - what you're talking about has nothing to do with either my comment or the story.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (2, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328954)

That's called a 'hyperbole'.

But let's consider a real situation: your house may be a private space and out-of-bounds for cameras, but all exits will be constantly monitored.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328989)

Uh, no. I don't know what kind of backwater hellhole former Soviet state you're from, but here in the civilized world unauthorized surveillance of a private area is an unlawful intrusion no matter where the camera is.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329041)

I'm from Russia. And here it's illegal to broadcast ANY image of a person without his/her consent (with some exceptions for images of large groups of people).

but here in the civilized world unauthorized surveillance of a private area is an unlawful intrusion no matter where the camera is

Is it as illegal as a total wiretapping of phone calls?

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328812)

I would say there is an expectation of an *appropriate degree of privacy*.

If I'm in my home, I expect no one else to see me.

If I'm in a street, I expect only the people on the street to see me.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328853)

If I'm in a street, I expect only the people on the street to see me.

That hasn't been the case since video cameras were invented - anyone could legally film you on the street & rebroadcast it as they saw fit.

Don't try to simplify this - mass CCTV coverage is a complicated issue & needs to be discussed as such.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328878)

Nah, they need your permission to broadcast it if you're identifiable in the film and not part of a crowd e.g. you are singled out.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328865)

Next step will be offering free satelite TV, in an attractive 'all you can eat' package on condition that you have a 'home invasion cam' installed in your lounge.

You mark my words; people will be queueing up for such an offer.

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (4, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328991)

Indeed, surely the expectation of privacy in a public space approaches zero as technology increases? Why should it be any other way? The whole AT&T meets the NSA is just a consequence of a space that most people thought was private (relaying messages) turning out to be public. The rich & important in society have always treated messaging as a public space, otherwise we wouldn't have developed crypto systems.

But in this case the video being sent is from cameras mounted *in the street*. If I walk out my front door I can watch what you are doing there anyway, so why expect that it is private? Besides there could be other interesting applications for this that we don't find until we try it. One odd aspect is why transmit the video as a TV signal? 400 cameras, 400 URLs and a constant live stream. That would be interesting. Wondering what's going on in town - have a fly around and see. The hack that ties it into the OS polygon data for UK cities and Google Maps would be pretty awesome.

 

Re:It's not 1984 if everyone can watch everyone (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329019)

And its not 1984 if the government can't see into your private space.

Of course it's not 1984... yet. That sort of change happens in increments with people accepting a loss in freedom one tiny bite at a time. It doesn't happen all of a sudden or else there would be a revolts and people would realize what was happening.

And yes, it is a loss of freedom and an invasion of privacy. When you walk down the street, you do not expect that an entire nation of couch potatoes is watching... only the police on the surveillance cameras (another tiny bite already taken). Once this happens, you will expect that at any given moment, the entire nation could be watching you. Will you scratch your ass thinking noone is looking? Will you feel comfortable letting out a roaring belch because noone is around? Will you kiss your girlfriend or boyfriend in public?

Or will your actions and the way you carry yourself change subtly with the knowledge that at any given moment you could be on national television?

Welcome to 1983.

NO LONDON. (1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328788)

I AM your Rights on the line.

ME

ONLY ME

what a sorry state we are in.

Prevent crime? (5, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328790)

I refuse to think that I'm the only one who believes that this won't actually help prevent crime. Sounds like the title is used to raise publicicity, public opinion, and ratings, but not actually describe the show.

From what I understand, the police in the U.K. already monitor those cameras with a huge staff. Adding another 500 people (assuming that's the number of people who actually bother to watch the show for hours on end) who don't know what to be looking for is only going to add to the number of false calls that the police already receive.

999 calls (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328848)

As parent says, the cops already get too many false 999 calls. The manpower to deal with more calls ("Well his eyes are too close together, I bet he just mugged someobdy...") is likely going to be far higher than that required to get the same number of useful results if the cams were closed and watched by trained staff.

Reality TV has just got away with itself. What next? "Vigilante Grannies finger hoods for cash!"

Re:Prevent crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328871)

Of course it won't make a difference, the police are too busy [telegraph.co.uk] to do their jobs anyway, and would rather harass people flying British flags which "might offend minorities", people selling food in the lbs instead of kgs and drivers going 2mph over the speed limit than investigate actual crimes.

Britain is now the world's largest floating lunatic asylum.

Re:Prevent crime? (5, Interesting)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328905)

What this really is, is an exercise in "grooming" the public to accept privacy invasion on an even greater scale.

CCTV cameras are known to have a definite effect on crime; they displace it to camera-free areas, where it obviously isn't anyone's problem. There was an incident a few years ago, along a road out of the city where every building is a shop, restaurant or pub. Some runt went around spraying graffiti on every establishment that was not CCTVed. The only images were a few blurred, grainy ones of him running from one shop to the next.

If the "experiment" is not universally opposed, the government will find a way to take it nationwide. The more affluent areas of every city will be filled with cameras that anyone can monitor. Crime will simply be displaced to the non-CCTV areas. Meanwhile, the public will gradually be getting used to the concept of never expecting to be able to go totally unobserved. The way will be paved for ever deeper intrusions into individuals' lives.

"Mummy, does Jesus watch you when you're on the toilet?"
"As long as he's watching channel 36, yes!"

Do UK police actively monitor? Or review tapes? (1)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329066)

Not being a UK citizen, I wonder how well the UK police actually monitor the cameras they have. In the US, where most such cameras are used by private security, they're not monitored very well. In my office building, for example, cameras are located throughout the facility. And the camera feeds go directly to the security desk, which I walk past several times a day. In my experience, the guards rarely are watching the camera feeds. On the other hand, when we did have some items stolen, the camera tapes were reviewed to ID the crook. See also the post-911 investigation which used camera tapes. Or the Oklahoma City bombing which used the tapes. In the UK, how much is active monitoring, and how much is using tapes to gather evidence after the crime occurred?

Monitoring in the UK (1)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329122)

From what I understand, the police in the U.K. already monitor those cameras with a huge staff.

I don't know about London, but that's not what happens in my city. A handful of local authority staff watch the monitors: the police are allowed in when there are particular ongoing incidents, and they can ask for tapes of particular incidents, but the police may not just sit there and watch in case anything interesting should turn up. (And even if they were allowed to there's no way there would be any spare police to do this job.)

The Code of Practice [cambridge.gov.uk] gives a reasonable overview of how the system works.

wow (2, Interesting)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328791)

combine this with the automated "racial profiling" with their ANPR cameras [timesonline.co.uk] , and you've got an episode of COPS!

"BRITAIN'S most senior policeman Sir Ian Blair is facing a race relations dilemma after the release of figures that reveal almost half the number of people arrested in relation to car crime in London are black. Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, has signed off a report by his force's traffic unit which shows that black people account for 46% of all arrests generated by new automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) cameras."

Re:wow (1)

David Off (101038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328826)

Interesting article. The only qualm is that the ANPR also targets cars suspected of being linked with crime. This may explain why more blacks are pulled as "intelligence" may have been put into the system linking their cars with crime. This intelligence is human generated and subject to race bias. GIGO. The journalists didn't seem to pick up on this.

Of course it may be that blacks commit a disproportionate amount of crime linked to cars.

Re:wow (2, Interesting)

Maquis196 (535256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328861)

I work on a community team and we use the ANPR facility quite a bit, the main reason is that its a GREAT figure generator! Thats what the home office want these days I am afraid. Safer Neighbourhoods was created to address the concerns of the community we serve but instead we have to use things like the ANPR to get figures to make sure that our existence is worth while.

Racial profiling is a bit of a harsh thing to say, having spent countless hours on ANPR operations ive discovered that the ANPR is actually the least descriminate form of crime fighting going. It reads number plates for crying out loud, it doesn't actually look at whos driving! If your car has no insurance, then your gonna get pulled over! No tax? pulled over. Theyre all punished on my operations.

Just my two pence

Maquis196

Re:wow (1)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328949)

Racial profiling is a bit of a harsh thing to say, having spent countless hours on ANPR operations ive discovered that the ANPR is actually the least descriminate form of crime fighting going. It reads number plates for crying out loud,

Well, that's why I put "racial profiling" in quotes. Because ANPR is really targeting the poor and uneducated. In London, the majority of the poor and uneducated apparently happen to be black. Let's face it: if they weren't uneducated, they wouldn't be caught. And if they were any good at being criminals, they wouldn't be poor.

And to be perfectly honest, the poor and uneducated make the best COPS episodes.

Re:wow (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329083)

There really aren't that many black people in the UK, even in London. The problem with black Britons is that a great many of them live in shithole ghettos like Harlesden, the murder capital of the UK.

We should have active government intervention to break up ghettos and disperse racial communities.

No obvious correlation (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328999)

black people account for 46% of all arrests generated by new automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) cameras


Are you are trying to imply that ANPR is discriminating against blacks in some way? Unless licence plates are allocated according to a racial profile, I cannot see how this could happen.


From the article you linked:


The report tacitly appears to address concerns among ethnic minority communities who believe they are unfairly targeted by the police through stop and search powers. Black people are up to six times more likely to be stopped than whites.


If I interpret this correctly, it means that when police officers get to choose whom to search, they choose blacks over whites in a 6:1 proportion, while the automated system chooses them in about 1:1 proportion. This is still not racially neutral because, according to the article, blacks are only 11% of the London population, but still the automated system seems to be more fair than human cops.


OTOH, if for any reason at all there are more blacks involved in crime than whites, then the only way to stop this kind of racial discrimination would be to cease all efforts to fight crime.

 

Best use of govt. property (1)

KrisCowboy (776288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328796)

In India, people pee on the streets. That's the best use of government property I ever saw. This one's even better.

Re:Best use of govt. property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328841)

In London at night, as in many western big cities, drunks pee and vomit everywhere.

Ummm CRIME?? (4, Funny)

consonant (896763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328798)

They haven't really mentioned in TFA what kind of crime they're targeting. I imagine they mean the snatching-old-ladies-handbags kind, but I suppose this could occur:

Haughty socialite: Hello Police? I just saw a crime being committed on the 1984 channel.

Operator: Yes ma'am. Please give us your location.

HS: 42 Anstoltue Street.

O: And what is the nature of the crime in question?

HS: This guy, he had sideburns.

O: Alright ma'am, but what's the crime?

HS: HE HAD SIDEBURNS I TELL YOU! IN 2006!

O:

Transparent society? (2, Insightful)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328799)

Do you want to live in a society where only the government has access to the cameras or one where everyone has access?

Re:Transparent society? (4, Informative)

masterpenguin (878744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328837)

The ol David Brin Theory. I'm not going to explain it, I'll just link away

Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Explained (1)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328904)

The short version of the theory: we're all going to be monitored, because those in power want to. The best retaliation is to stalk them right back. The problem with it is, certain activities by the politicians are going to be kept secret by them exempting themselves from surveillance, and certain politicians, like Kennedy, can get away even with breaking the law.

I'd like to see a site that monitors the location of every member of Congress 24/7, who they talk to, etc..

Re:Explained (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328941)

The short version of the theory: we're all going to be monitored, because those in power want to.

Talk about your authoritarian nonsense, what's next: "resistance is futile" ?

Re:Transparent society? (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328846)

oh PLEASE. The main argument against security cameras and ubiqitous surveillance is that the goverment consists of NORMAL PEOPLE. When (if) I'm captured on film going into an adult bookstore, the less likely possibility is that the right-wing christian goverment of the future will come for me. The more likely possibility is that my mother-in-law will be working at security camera HQ. Shenannigans ensue.

Re:Transparent society? (2, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328849)

I want to live in a society where people don't *feel the need* to snoop into my business.
Granting what degree of camera access to which parties is just a technicality. My concern is with the underlying issue. Just like with guns in the USA: I don't care what system you use to allow or restrict weapon usage to different people. But I care about the reasons why you feel the need to be armed to the teeth. (This used to be more true sometime ago, now that I see Europe has turned into a dictatorial regime once again, I start to understand why weapons might be desired)

Re:Transparent society? (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328869)

Do you want to live in a society where only the government has access to the cameras or one where everyone has access?
That's a trick question, right? What about NO CAMERAS?

Re:Transparent society? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328903)

Unfortunately, government and other powerful figures still aren't on the cameras.

Re:Transparent society? (1)

Instine (963303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328943)

hmmm. Not that simple. Would you rather live in a country were just the govt has guns or everyone has guns. Well... Me, I like the fact that per capita, the UK has less than a tenth of the gun crime of the US. I'm actually against the video system being open to all. But I could be wrong, and I'm not against them piloting it. However, how much say will we (the electorate) have in assessing the outcomes of the pilot?

Still. Having lived in Shoreditch, I can tell you its likely to be better than anything showing on ITV.

Nice... (5, Insightful)

st1d (218383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328806)

Ah, the wonders of technology. Bet the folks living there are looking forward to calls like, "What do you mean you're sick? I just saw you at [venue of choice]! Consider yourself terminated!" or "Don't give me that, I saw you looking at that girl. Yes I did. I have it recorded!" or "Um, do you have to pick your nose when you're talking to me on the phone?" or "Yeah, I know you're in the middle of an important dinner. I was just calling you to ask how the food at that restaurant is, because I didn't want to spend the money if it's no good, and I saw you guys eating there. And what's that guy to your left eating?" or "You can't pay me back because you can't remember the PIN to your bank card? Hold on, let me flip on my Tivo, um, here it is..."

Another thought (1)

bpsheen (957313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329086)

I am from the uk and was there last year and had a thought Well they say you were on your way to the pub(bar) for a few drinks with the lads (male company) and you ran into mr. smith who you owe some money due to the fact you needed a small loan until your next paycheque (paycheck). So you reach into your pocket and pull out a few pieces of paper and your wallet and had mr smith your case. mr. smith shakes your hand and says bye and you continue on your way to the pub. Meanwhile, your arch enemy, Mrs. old cow who dosent like you for what ever reason (maybe you are just young and full of your own opinions of the world) sees you on the telly (TV) and decides to call the cops and tell them you are dealing drugs. Problem is once in a dead while you might smoke a little pot and quite now possibly mrs. cow has be given the power to cause you problems. Of course the chances of you being on that camera at that moment are well 1 in 400 at least but the opporunity exists. With a little video editing and just making it look live you could achieve of sorts of wondering scenarios. Think about it!!! Cheerz baz

From the article (5, Funny)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328824)

Jan Ashby, 57, a resident who previewed the scheme before yesterday's launch, said: "I wouldn't say it was spying, but it is nice to see what's going on. Look, there's my local pub."

She also added "I like to keep an eye on the pub to make sure that my husband does not go there. I'm not intruding on the little bit of a life that he has outside of me, I'm just looking out for his best interests."

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:From the article (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328951)

This trend will eventually drive people away from each other. In a society where everyone can be watched, who is going to trust somebody to know them ? Of course, maybe that's the point.

Re:From the article (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328961)

Or, alternatively, "Why didn't you tell me that you went to the shop in your lunch break? What are you hiding? Went to look at the girls on the checkout, did you? You must have been, since you didn't tell me. Why else wouldn't you tell me?"

Re:From the article (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329008)

You can already do this with mobile phone tracking - sold as a 'think of the children' package.. it can just as easily be used to track other family members, provided you can get their mobile phone for 5 minutes.

This is not the government doing this (they wouldn't dare) - it's just reality TV gone mad. It'll last just until the TV company is sued by people under privacy laws.

I for one am in FAVOR of this action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328828)


I for one am in FAVOR of this action because for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

The reaction? Fighting in the streets to get on the telly you twit! Right then.

Chauncey Gardner

TAL (1)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328834)

Reminds me of the This American Life episode, Spies Like Us [thisamericanlife.org] . Check out act 1, the lobby channel.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

BBC Article (3, Informative)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328838)

Here's a BBC article on the subject [bbc.co.uk] as was in my submission for the exact same story about 5 days ago (grumble grumble).

Re:BBC Article (2, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329016)

Love the caption 'I'm not a nosey neighbour'

They should have printed the rest of the sentence

'.. but I get my kicks out of spying on them'

1984? No, something just as bad (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328839)

We aren't that close to "1984". Yes, at a very superficial level we have some of it's infrastructure in place, but socially and politically we seem to be creeping to the dangerous area of "Brave New World"

Youtube! (4, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328840)

cool vid of some bloke getting mugged outside victoria station. lol!!!!111!! *****

Also interviewed (5, Funny)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328851)

"Estella thinks I'm a nosey busybody," said Ms Havisham. A 97-year-old fan of the channel and who hasn't left the house in years. "But I've seen her walking on the street holding hands with a boy, and I'm not about to take advice from a whore."

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:Also interviewed (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329097)

I applaud you for getting modded up for a Great Expectations reference.

Television Programs (5, Interesting)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328854)

The TV programs in the UK must be pretty bad if they actually get ratings on that channel. I mean... other than the "nosey neighbor" - who is really going to sit there for an hour or more and watch people walking down the street? And how does advertising work? Will people walk by with a sign on their back for Nike and Pepsi? Maybe put a Pepsi machine in one of the camera shots? Anyway, my #1 question is what's the target audience? 50+ years old, single, unemployed people with nothing better to do in their lives than try to catch someone doing something "bad". I'm getting bored just thinking about how boring this would be.

Re:Television Programs (4, Insightful)

joshier (957448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328902)

Yes you're correct, but you miss out one major point.... Pedophiles will sure LOVE this.. i mean.. It has happened before.. people behind these cameras (in police stations) check these cameras... look out for dangers, and guess what?... Nothing happens.. No police are there to do anything. It was a year ago, that shocking footage of this old big guy grabbing a young girl, she's struggling to get away, and you just see it and no one is there to help.. it made me sick.. but the point is.. just because there are cameras doesn't make the place "secure". Anyway, apparrently she got away.. but the point of it is.. Pedophiles like him will love this.. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be fucking filmed when I'm in public for everyone on the internet to snoop on.. fucking nosey cunts. And what happens... Old people or whatever watch this show.. they see a women get raped.. they phone up as fast as they can (of course, they're not the police, so they don't interfere) and what happens next?.. Everyone knows that women has just got rapped, and the victim has just been ridiculed on camera with over 20 thousand people watching.. Yeah, Get TV! fucking nice one.. cock suckers... fucking hell.

Re:Television Programs (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328942)

You know how in every street there's a grumpy neighbour who'll refuse to give you your football back if it accidentally ends up in his garden and who spends his days muttering about them youngsters these days? Well, there's your target audience.

Re:Television Programs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328994)

Yeah, we import so much of our TV from the States - this is what happens. :-P

Re:Television Programs (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329061)

Actually I foresee that a channel like this (or channels) will generate its own programming.

You'll have people basically seeking out street cameras in order to do their own little versions of "Stupid Human Tricks," or "Jackass." Then people will record and share the best bits, clips shows will ensue, and the great majority of people will watch the predigested, narrated clips shows.

Re:Television Programs (1)

bod1988 (925911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329102)

"who is really going to sit there for an hour or more and watch people walking down the street?"

Big brother seems to be successful, I don't see why this won't be

Xtreme Voyerism (4, Insightful)

lamasquerade (172547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328858)

I've always considered anything done in public (i.e. within the reach of CCTV) to be in the public space and not protected from regular CCTV surveillence - I don't really care if some security guard sees me doing anything I'd be prepared to do in public.

This proposal though, depends on the sort of desire for voyeuristic titilation for which 'we' (being society in general) seem to have an insatiable appetite - implied through the general addiction to reality TV, no matter how banal. In the case of reality TV of course the objects of voyeurism give their explicit consent.

With this proposal we have every act you do in public - every hidden snog in an alley - possibly exposed to the voyeuristic delight of thousands. I don't meant to stigmatise voyeurism, it is obviously a widely held, if taboo, fascination, but I do not think every public act should be potentially watched by thousands. The crime angle is obviously spin, the promoters are depending on people wanting to watch other people without their knowledge, and of course prevention of crime is never a good enough reason to remove essential liberties.

This sort of surveillance does have 1984 connotations, despite the absence of the government seeing into our homes, because it allows every public act to be watched by anonymous masses, and hence yields the potential for social ostracisation of people commiting various non-illegal acts. Imagine the MP or other high profile type 'caught' on camera in a homosexual embrace. Despite the legality of such an act, many such people may not want it to be made public knowledge, and given a secluded enough spot, neither should they have to fear such exposure. Public space can be consumed reletively privately, broadcasting CCTV would remove that right.

Re:Xtreme Voyerism (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328908)

In every neighborhood there is the kooky nosy neighbor always spying on people, wanting to know everything about everybody, gossiping, spreading the most embarassing details of all the neighbors.

Congratulations England, your entire country has become that kooky neighbor. Now all of you are bad as the worst person in my neigborhood.

Re:Xtreme Voyerism (3, Insightful)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328933)

>The crime angle is obviously spin, the promoters are depending on people wanting to watch other people without their knowledge, and of course prevention of crime is never a good enough reason to remove essential liberties.
So if the crime angle is only spin, then what's the real reason they're doing it?
The rest of your post makes sense, but that bit sounds a little paranoid to me.

My guess is crime is exactly the reason they're doing it. It's just not necesarily a well thought out idea. The government doesn't have to be an evil big brother trying to restrict your essential liberties for the sake of restricting them. It could just be populated with idiots.

Meta Cops (1)

Alejo (69447) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328859)

I would love a show where you watch live cameras filming cops. That, or to have online all the live footage of Cops that was edited to protect officers when they went over the line. The people should monitor them.

An interesting but probably doomed experiment (4, Insightful)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328864)

From my knowledge of how another UK town's CCTV system works I can see some issues with this experiment.

(1) The perps will be able to watch, too, won't they. This means that they will be able to work out exactly what the cameras cover and exactly what they don't, and will be able to plan their misdeeds accordingly, by doing things somewhere where there are no cameras. (In real life the perps do not know where the cameras are, what they cover, at a range of how many hundreds of metres they can read a newspaper headline, that sort of thing.)

(2) The perps will be able to watch, too, won't they. So they will be able to have accomplices who can see from moment to moment where the cameras are pointing, and phone or text their mates on the street to tell them the coast is clear.

(3) Prejudice to ongoing operations. Actually they've probably thought of this one, so when cameras are being used as part of a current operation the pictures from those cameras will not be broadcast ... provided that in the excitement of the chase the operators remember to press the right buttons, of course.

(4) Innocent victims. You might be doing something which is perfectly legal and of no interest to the police but which you still might not want your friends and relatives and employer to see. OK, so if you're snogging someone else's wife in the park when you're supposed to be home sick from work then maybe you deserve what you get, but I'm sure that if I tried a little harder I'd come up with a more deserving example.

And it'll make life just that much more complicated for politicians at election time, whether you think this is a plus or minus is up to you:

(5) No candidate or party can put enough bodies on the street to fight a full election campaign across an entire district. So where you concentrate your effort depends (partly) on knowing where the enemy is concentrating theirs. Once upon a time this was done on maybe a daily basis, as party workers reported back to HQ what they'd seen on the streets; nowadays it's more real time as reporting back is done with mobile phones; with publicly visible CCTV you'll be able to see what the enemy is up to even in areas where you don't have any bodies on the street yourself that day, and the candidate or party which can make the best use of this information will get a slight edge.

Re:An interesting but probably doomed experiment (1)

l_bratch (865693) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328892)

(4) Innocent victims. You might be doing something which is perfectly legal and of no interest to the police but which you still might not want your friends and relatives and employer to see. OK, so if you're snogging someone else's wife in the park when you're supposed to be home sick from work then maybe you deserve what you get, but I'm sure that if I tried a little harder I'd come up with a more deserving example.

Not the most serious of things, but I think a fair enough example of something of this sort might be if you were trying to organise a surprise for somebody (eg. wife or girlfriend). It's perfectly legal, but you don't want certain people to see.

Re:An interesting but probably doomed experiment (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328981)

Not to mention 6) Stalker's dream come true. Watch from the comfort of your own home when your victim leaves the house, her habits and when she's most vulnerable.

how honest the system will be? (2, Insightful)

Walter Carver (973233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328884)

This is, somewhat, different than "1984". We (the society) are watching ourselves. Multiple questions after that point: 1. Will they show us whatever goes through the cameras? Or will they filter it? 2. Will this, eventually, function as a transition from "we are watching ourselves" to "they are watching us"? ("they": the government/state).

All together now... (-1, Troll)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328889)

"War Is Peace!"
"Freedom is Slavery!"
"Ignorance is Strength!"

"WE LOVE BIG BROTHER!"

Welcome to the World of Tomorrow (5, Insightful)

hernick (63550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328919)

The year is 2016; the place: London. As I make my way home, she is following me on her TV, chatting with me on my mobile. Rare now are the street corners that are unseen by the cameras. I make it a point to know the blind spots - few and far between, certainly, but there are still public places where one can disappear, if only for a minute or two.

If I stay hidden too long, a Monitor in China, Glasgow or anywhere else will raise a red flag and dispatch a nearby Watcher. Indeed, these hundreds of thousands of cameras are constantly surveilled by Monitors - who get paid for each reported occurence of antisocial activity. If a Monitor needs to see what's happenening in a blind spot, or just needs another angle of film to make out what's happening, he can dispatch a Watcher to go shoot the scene with a portable Wireless Internet camera.

Watchers are mercenaries, just like Monitors. Anybody citizen with a clean record can become a Watcher - whereas anybody can become a Monitor, even non-citizens. Both get paid per incident. Anyway, Watchers start their work day by strapping on their Watcher pack and logging on. Some do it part time, but others make a living out of the job. So, a Watcher get dispatches from Monitoring Central and they head out to the specified coordinates, on foot, bike or car, and the Watcher films the potential antisocials.

Whenever circumstances warrant intervention, a Monitor or a Watcher calls the police, who tend to arrive very quickly these days. They have priority lanes and all traffic lights will change in their favour so that they can stop crime more effectively. The police doesn't have such a big workload anymore. Everyone is surveilled as soon as they go outdoors. Those foreign mercenaries, Monitors, are always looking for anti-social behaviour.

I like it. I like The Master System, the most advanced artificial intelligence in the world. It's not quite sentient, and it's still mostly understood and controlled by the government, but it has grown so big. The Master System is the entity that runs the Anti-Social Surveillance and Rapid Action Program, or ASSRAP.

It has limits, and that's why it needs humans to help it. The job of Monitors is not to watch live cameras - it's to watch selected clips and closeups presented by The Master System and to answer questions about those images it shows. If The Master System decides to follow somebody's movements across town, it will use its tracking algorithms to make a guess, but humans are still much more accurate. In order to drive up accuracy, it asks multiple humans the same question. When there is no consensus, more humans are polled until a clear answer appears. Those humans, known as Monitors, are themselves rated on their speed, accuracy and the quality of their answers.

The Master System does its own recruiting, and has learned how to manage all of its systems. No longer do human programmers need to improve it, for that it has gained self-awareness, the power of introspection and of self-improvement. It assimilates all content on the Internet. It begins using the Watchers to attend classes, public events, and even to talk with people. It now uses the Monitors as tools, as machines that contribute to The Master System's own intelligence.

I have accepted The Master System as my new Overlord. It knows all that I do, where I go, and I give myself willingly, carrying for it sensors, letting it see all that I see, letting The Master System guide my actions, speaking into my ears, overlaying information in front of my eyes, enhancing my own potential. I am a mild cyborg, as of yet without implants - but I have given up on my own independence, for that I know how much greater I am as part of The Master System, which knows and sees all, which can punish the naughty and reward its loyal servants.

All Hail The Master System!

I used to have a Master System (1)

wdawson (651316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328980)

and it didn't do any of that cool stuff. I feel like I've missed out on so much, now.

Re:Welcome to the World of Tomorrow (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15329075)

ISBN code, please. I'd like to buy it.

Re:Welcome to the World of Tomorrow (1)

vrai (521708) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329112)

I'm not overly concerned if the monitoring is to be done by a Master System. It only has a Z80 processor, which is hardly ideal for facial recognition - "Thought Crime Detected! Identifying perpetrator, please wait three weeks".

Panopticon (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328924)

It's like one big Panopticon [wikipedia.org] . Note that before the involvement of the general public, the cameras were there really to collect evidence for after the fact. Now somebody is watching. Wonderful.

What's next, are we all going to get a two-way video link in our homes that we can't turn off ?

Forget 1984, the crims are going to love this one (3, Insightful)

nickd (58841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328958)

Lets see, anyone who was on the shady side of things now has a safe and secure way of knowing when all people have left a building that they might want to 'have a look through'. They also now have a way of assessing what might go in or out of a house (ahh tommo has a bmw parked in his garage today) and now have a way to monitor for police or other witnesses coming along that might interfer with what they are doing. They also know now exactly what is covered and not covered by the CCTV's and can assess many ways to disable them.

It's like handing the enemy the feeds from your spy sats - incredibly retarded.

So? (3, Insightful)

nbannerman (974715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328963)

Is this actually any different to walking down the street and being watched by people out of their windows?

I've spent years travelling into London and doing my thing. I spent six months living in London doing my thing.

How many people have seen me walking along the street and doing my thing? Probably millions. Can't say I'm the least bit bothered really.

Oh yes!! (2, Insightful)

joshier (957448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15328974)

This is just 'effin brilliant!

I happen to be a pedophile and a rapist, and I cannot WAIT! to subscribe to this :).. Oh yes indeed..

Of course.. Once I subscribe, I can watch full REAL-LIFE Rapings, What a wonder!.. Thank heaven for this public survelince system, without it, I might even be convicted as a criminal if I just watched a women get raped 10 feet away, but now it is on TV I have no problem! No criminal record for me! WoooHoo!

Oh and, I can't wait to watch another one of those innocent children get proper ruffed up, grabbed and raped, it will be such a wonderful sight and I will keep splashing my money over to this system since I can freely feast my ultimate pleasures on it without even worrying one bit!

Also, think about the public humiliation that the women who just got rapped proper on 21st street for EVERYONE who's watching to know all about it, to actually SEE it ALL happen! I wonder how happy that women will feel walking into walk, or even in the public knowing full well she has just been on TV for not just normal peoeple who think this system actually deters crime, but actual other-rapists who delve into this kind of material... Wonderful Yes!

Voyeur's of the world unite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15328984)

Well this should bring 'Dogging' [wikipedia.org] to a whole new level.

The next headline - Police sack 10,000 CCTV staff (1)

Gax (196168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329001)

Police scrap 10,000 staff after the success of their CCTV channel. A police spokesman stated, "We have spent billions of taxpayers money hiring security staff to monitor CCTV footage. The popularity of the CCTV channel indicates that residents have a real interest in their local surroundings. They are our eyes and ears for policing crime."

The police save money and the politicians justify their next pay rise. Responsibility for catching criminals is moved to the public who pay for the privilege. Meanwhile a 15 year old male is mugged and no one is watching it because the world cup is on the other channel. Police operate on a shoe string and cannot justify the expense of checking CCTV footage for small crimes.

*sigh* People wonder why I'm cynical. I wonder why they aren't.

Area Monitored on Live TV. (1)

kahrytan (913147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329002)

I would love this to take place in America. Replace all those crappy web cameras we have now with video cameras. We need to put them on every street and alley in NYC. I will safely bet it will deter crime. If people knew that millions and possibly billions (with the internet) could be watching them, they just might not commit the crime. Live TV recording makes for a great court evidence too.

Security implications?! (2, Insightful)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329003)

Holy crap this is stupid. This basically makes surveillance on people easy (for the bad guys).

"There goes Geoffrey, that means his house is empty, time to go get that new HDTV I want"

or

"Oh, look at that little 12 year old walking to the market by herself. I'll just hide behind that bush and grab her when she comes back in a few minutes."

or anything number of things you can think of. This is beyond irresponsible.

Fight crime my ass, sponsor it more likely (1)

Virtual_Raider (52165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329018)

Forget about your self absorbed fears, do you really think you're so interesting? The REAL downside to this is that it opens the door for all sorts of crooks to dirt-cheap surveillance. Nevermind they watch you cheat on your SO, how about somebody able to trail your moves, have acurate time tables, know your every routine? How often certain people go to the ATM, how guard shifts are changed at certain businesses, what are the best times to catch somebody alone. Nevermind the whole neighborhood my be watching, nothing a good ski mask and a swift stolen car cant handle.

Here's a marketing idea (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329051)

Tune in to the cam in front of Downing Street 10, and as soon as Tony goes for a walk, tape it. Tape everything he does, including the times when he picks his nose, then sell that tape as "The Blair watch project".

I bet you anything, that whole junk disappears faster than it came into existance. Nobody enjoys being under surveillance.

Wow. (1)

RoffleTheWaffle (916980) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329060)

I certainly don't hope I'm the only person who finds this incredibly creepy.

This is better than.... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329064)

...having only a few behind closed doors watching ..."real tv" shows ...add your own

but some questions remain:

will Americans get to watch also (re: US government gets to see teh phone habits of europeans)

when will we get to watch politicians and economic manipulation practices, as this can be exposing. (in the US some local tv does show things like town meeetings, but thats should be a given...)... It has been researched and found that more and higher dollar white colar crime happens than blue colar crime.

So if this camera broadcast is to help reduce crime, how about the white colar and political crime cameras?

 

Given enough eyeballs... (2, Insightful)

Dante Shamest (813622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329068)

...all crimes are caught. But not necessarily prevented.

This could start a new industry! (1)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 8 years ago | (#15329089)

Supposedly they're also considering an "ASBO" channel, where people with anti-social behavior orders served upon them are shown. Combine this with the 10 'tip-off' rewards [yahoo.com] (where you get 10 if you text the police with crime tip-offs) and the CCTV channel, you could make a killing sitting at home, looking for 13-year-olds who've broken the terms of their ASBOs, and cash in via text message. Financial traders have moved from working at the exchange to trading on the Internet from home.. perhaps a whole new generation of telecommuting snitches and crime fighters will come along in the next twenty years?
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