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George Orwell Was Right — Security Cameras Get an Upgrade

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the big-brother-would-be-proud dept.

Privacy 499

Jamie stopped to mention that Bloomberg is reporting on a recent addition of speakers to public security cameras in Middlesbrough, England. From the article: "`People are shocked when they hear the cameras talk, but when they see everyone else looking at them, they feel a twinge of conscience and comply,' said Mike Clark, a spokesman for Middlesbrough Council who recounted the incident. The city has placed speakers in its cameras, allowing operators to chastise miscreants who drop coffee cups, ride bicycles too fast or fight outside bars."

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I, For One (0, Redundant)

jack_csk (644290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363714)

Welcome our new talking camera overlord.

Re:I, For One (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17363808)

Tags: telescreen

Re:I, For One (-1, Flamebait)

loki_tiwaz (982852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364096)

i never throw my coffee cups randomly. i don't throw anything randomly. i prefer to put it in the bin. are you antisurveillance people gonna say we should be able to litter public spaces? how about i go find your house and litter it with cheap wine bottles. how would you feel about that?

i personally got sick of f**kwits throwing rubbish randomly about 20 years ago (and i'm 30yo). if this stops b**tards from throwing their stinking cigarettes everywhere instead of taking the time to stub them out and putting them in the bin without causing a fire, good. i never throw garbage in public space.

i wonder whether the commons in ye olde england got littered with rubbish like they do now. or what about the idiotic tagging? do you really want this shit in your neighbourhood?. this has nothing to do with freedom to be a good citizen. i personally have wished i could say to every c**t that i saw flicking cigarettes into heavy use public spaces 'uh, you coulda stubbed that and put it in a bin' but then again did the council give much thought to making that reasonably easy to do? but they never thought about it either.

man, what a hassle. the cameras speak. at least now when i am threatened physically on camera someone is gonna say 'oi'.

maybe all you people who think that universal surveillance haven't suffered chronic harrasment. it's quite interesting that this aspect of the surveillance scenario is the strongest justification. i'm all for it.

go on fucker, trash the public space, harrass the weak ones. you are on camera. SUCKIT.

Re:I, For One (5, Insightful)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364146)

The problem isn't so much the use you describe, but the potential misuses of the system.

At the lowest level, I know of one anecdotal story where couples having a quickie in a popular spot were unaware a camera had gone up; and the security guard watching was in fact recording their sex, compiling the events into tapes, and selling them.

At the higher level, we run into a problem where a society becomes ever more effective at imposing its value system upon the members of that society. As JSM said, "society executes its own mandates". What happens when these cameras are present in a area rife with racism and the viewers themselves are racist? I can imagine blacks being harshly treated, with intolerance, and whites being let off or lightly treated for the same acts.

At a higher level yet, the issue becomes that of concern about the ways in which this new capability will interact with other new capabilities - such as massive State databases. The State has always kept information on us, but in analog systems, which are inherently so slow to use that the practical uses of that data were sharply limited. When, however, access becomes effectively immediate, what you have isn't more of the same, what you have now is *new and different*. It's is a qualitative change, not a quantative change. In this vein, mixing massive video survelliance with massive databases and police monitoring, very real concerns begin to arise - in particular, that we are finally loosing *freedom*, for we are no longer free; we MUST do what society and State expects us to do.

The terrible mind-trap here is people going "well, that only means not doing things which are bad, so what's the problem?"

V says... (5, Interesting)

Spock the Baptist (455355) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363716)

"People sould not fear their governments, governments should fear their people."

Re:V says... (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363740)

Maybe that's why the video cameras are going up?

Re:V says... (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363782)

It's funny you post this, because as soon as I read this article post I immediately thought of that movie and saying. There are many levels to this. Big brother always watching. At what point does society get to the point where you don't even want to leave your house unless it's a secret tunnel throgh the sewers?

Re:V says... (5, Informative)

porkmusket (954006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364328)

Good movie, but credit where it's due, they're paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson. "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. "

it's for your own protection (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363718)

because god forbid we might think for ourselfs, or act up.

The bigger question is... (4, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363720)

Will people who flip the bird at the cameras and keep walking be regarded as individuals or traitors to the state?

Re:The bigger question is... (5, Insightful)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363774)

I'm pretty sure the biggest question has already been asked, namely: "WTF is up with Britain becoming a surveillance state?"

Once the barriers to surveillance are being eroded, everything else - while not besides the point - pretty much follows by matter of course.

People act differently when they're being watched. How can it be a free state if they are being watched, then?

Re:The bigger question is... (-1, Troll)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363964)

Good. Very good. How much longer can we tolerate the cantankerous boors turning our cities into places of bestial debauchery?

An ideal society must always strive to be a surveillance state. In the old times the good people were never alone, but always watched by an impartial Judge that saw every transgression and metted out the punishment accordingly; God was that Judge.

Now, the cameras extend the same heavenly ideal to the godless heathen scum that spit on the street, jump ahead of elderly women in a queue, and steal the pennies from the blind.

It is interesting to notice that those voicing their discontent are precisely the ones treating our streets as their personal sty.

Re:The bigger question is... (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364114)

that's a very interesting opinion.. i can't help but wonder who paid you to have it..

Re:The bigger question is... (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364196)

What the hell? Sure the grandparent post was lame, but your reply was just as bad. Obviously he's just trolling. Do you seriously suppose someone would pay him to post something no one will pay attention to? Either you are dumb, or trolling yourself.

My guess (2, Interesting)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364212)

Well, given the use of those neat little ASBOs the Brits are so fond of (which basically allow the courts to arbitrarily criminalize ANY "anti-social" behavior), it's safe to say that any flagrant display of disrespect can be grounds for imprisonment (though you'd have to do twice--once for the ASBO to be issued, and once again to be arrested as a violator of the ASBO.) It likely comes down to the whim of the camera operator as to whether or not this happens.

I'd explain in detail why this is such an obscenely bad thing, but I just don't have the energy. Seems like English-speaking countries in general are a bad place to live if you enjoy personal freedoms (and no, I'm not comforted by the fact that it's much worse in most Arabic speaking countries. This isn't a fucking playground; "they started it!" isn't a valid excuse.)

correction (2, Informative)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364242)

Actually, I just realized you *could* be arrested after only one "anti-social" sign of disrespect. Apparently, the courts issued a pre-emptive ASBO for the entire town of Skegness, allowing the police to imprison anyone (for up to six months) whom they deemed disruptive even if they haven't actually broken any laws. (Explicitly included was the power to disperse any "crowd" consisting of two or more people.)

I don't see what's stopping them from issuing a similar ASBO covering the entire camera network...

next up (5, Funny)

WindowsIsForArseWipe (990338) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363748)

Lasers added to cameras with speakers to deal with those who don't obey

Re:next up (5, Funny)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363766)

"ATTENTION CITIZEN, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND WALK AWAY!"
"aw, fuck off ya pig"
*pew pew*

ARGH!!!!

too many caps too many caps too many caps

Re:next up (4, Funny)

cooley (261024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364256)

Come on folks! That's funny, even if just for the "pew pew"....

Re:next up (1)

Mnemonyss (1043602) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363840)

I agree in some ways, but perhaps instead of adding lasers as a weapon, maybe it will be a vaporizor that can simply vaporize litter. Then we'd never have a problem with litter. Maybe when fights break out they could play something funny - a tune or a comedian - lighten the mood *shrug* I can see ways in which this could be used pro-actively as well as reactively.

Re:next up (1)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364080)

I realize that you where just coming up with a quick example, but if people want to fight, they will fight.


-Red

I don't think this is that bad (1)

kingkade (584184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363768)

Not a bad idea, what's the difference if it was another person instead? I'd figure most would flip off the camera anyway...not like that's a crime. Doubt they'll summon the police to fine you for dropping a cup on the floor though I have to admit I'd like to see the people who do get embarrassed for doing something b/c they know better.

This 1984 comparison's much more useful for other more infuriating examples, like a national ID.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363804)

In America, hand gestures can be considered harassment. Flipping of the camera could be like harassing an officer of the state?

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

cloak42 (620230) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363842)

Harrassment implies the ability to DO something. Sexual harrassment, for example, is partially defined as it is because it implies the ability to exert pressure due to a working environment (i.e. a male superior vs. a female subordinate).

A hand gesture to a policeman does nothing except get the policeman upset. A hand gesture to a camera is even less likely to be called a crime, given that (at least here in the states), you have a right to confront your accuser and there is no accuser when a camera gives you a ticket. More than one speeding/red light tickets via camera have been fought to victory over that argument.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363864)

But my point is, flipping the bird essentially means fuck you. And cursing someone out can be considered harassment, if not verbal assualt. Granted it'd probaly only be a disorderly conduct fine, but alas it's still againts the law...no matter how dumb the law is.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

kingkade (584184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363892)

But my point is, flipping the bird essentially means fuck you. And cursing someone out can be considered harassment

I don't believe that's true. It's Freedom of Speech, in my opinion. What kind of world do we live in where flipping the bird or dropping the F-bomb is automatically disturbing the peace or harassment? I agree to a certain extent that it can in extreme situations, but not in this case.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363928)

It's different in how it's presented. Saying fuck out of anger is different than if I say fuck you asshole you fucked it up. Whipping the bird is directing it to someone.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

EvilBrak89 (966478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363946)

The First Ammendment doesn't protect the F-bomb. Sadly.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364246)

Fuck that's fucking fucked.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364076)

following the law just because it's the law, is the worst kind of retardation.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363878)

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

kingkade (584184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363952)

Regarding the article from the UK. I don't know how it works there (US-ian here) but in the US a traffic summons doesn't mean you're guilty. If you read further you'd notice this probably looked worse for police that for the motorist who supposedly broke the "Public Order Act" (anyone have any info on this?). The school's headmaster slammed cops for failing to react quickly enough when a staff member was battered by hoodie thugs who gatecrashed an exam.

As for the second link in AZ, US; you should read your own article, friend: Police in Scottsdale, Arizona have arrested Matthew Cain, 20, for allegedly speeding after he made obscene gestures toward a speed camera...Cain's 1971 Oldsmobile convertible was traveling 82 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. He was arrested for speeding and horrendous disregard for safety. Sucks to be him.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364266)

Oh Jesus Christ! That law was actually enacted in the year 1984. Satire is dead.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

exspecto (513607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363912)

I could have sworn I saw a story not too long ago about a man getting busted for just that (in the USA), but was only able to find a story about a person being fined for it in the UK:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006050295,00 .html [thesun.co.uk]

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363882)

I agree with you. It seems to me that the 'I' age that started in the 1980's has spawned a generation that hasn't learned to consider other people. They think the world revolves around them and they have the right to everything they want to have or do. We now see that people slowly return to a more social society, a 'we' age like we had in the 1970's and before. This whole camera thing is a phase we have to go through to get there. I guess the cameras will be taken down again in ten years or so, when they are not necessary anymore.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364158)

"Get off my lawn you damn kids!"

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364208)

As much as I hope the cameras do come down, do you really want to risk that even if it does teach a generation a lesson about respecting others? I have a feeling talking cameras will just make things worse. Having cameras won't deter crime, it will push it underground and make it harder yet to catch criminals that are actually worth catching. Personally, I'd rather my government cut down on gangs and violent crime than, say, littering or jaywalking.

Once a government has been given a power, what motivation do they have to remove that power? Very little, I'd suspect.

Monitoring is a very slippery slope. Want to defeat a rival politician who is pro-privacy? Just sling things like "You want to get rid of the cameras? What about all the children they protect? Are you saying you are for pedophiles being able to kidnap children from our sidewalks?" Of course, most intelligent people realize what a fallacy that is, but remember, for every 1 person with above average intelligence, there is 1 below average.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363982)

The 1984 comparison made me immediately think of this:

"Smith!" screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. "6079 Smith W! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You're not trying. Lower, please! That's better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me."

This whole situation with CCTV cameras in Britain makes me think more of Bentham [wikipedia.org] than Orwell... not that it makes me feel any better.

Re:I don't think this is that bad (3, Interesting)

SuluSulu (1039126) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364204)

not like that's a crime
...yet.

Moon 'em and flip 'em the bird. (1)

liftphreaker (972707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363780)

I wonder how they'd react when you moon them and flip 'em the bird. Or better still, have the middle finger tattooed on your butt and moon them.

Re:Moon 'em and flip 'em the bird. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364116)

"Hey you! Pick up that Coke can, or you'll be in big trouble. Hey! Look at me when I'm speaking! Stop pulling your pants down. Don't bend over. Right! That's it! You've had it now, mister! You are in so much trouble. Hey come back here! I haven't finished with you yet! I said come back!"

Next step (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17363794)

The next step is to add a "non-lethal" weapon to these cameras, something to cause pain "when neccessary". Something like Active Denial System [wikipedia.org] . Yes, we need these. Just think about all the children this will save.

Thank god (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364170)

I live in America and not Britain!

The worst is yet to come (5, Insightful)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363796)

Is it too late for Britain to reverse its course? People get used to cameras because they provide security. Then the authorities add speakers to provide more security. In 10 years, cameras will have face recognition systems. This happens so gradually that citizens become accustomed to Big Brother's constant presence and don't question the next move.

50 years from now, I think historians will look at 9/11 (and the Madrid bombings, etc.) as the beginning of the end of privacy standards that literally took centuries to establish. We have to stop this now before it's too late.

Orwell was a man ahead of his time...

Re:The worst is yet to come (5, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363888)

Evil Empires usually don't last that long once they're in full swing. The lust for power usually overrides common sense and more is taken from the people at an increasing rate until one of the following things happen:

1) Other nations capitalize on the situation and invade (war)
2) The citizens get fed up and revolt (civil war)
3) The military gets fed up (now you're really fucked)

Re:The worst is yet to come (5, Insightful)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364098)

Is it too late for Britain to reverse its course?

Agreed. But consider this. I grew up in the UK (been living in the US for many years). If Al Qaeda is responsible for taking away American liberties, because the government uses terrorism as a blanket excuse to invade our privacy, then in the UK it's the yobs and hooligans who are to blame for the surveillance state.

It might be difficult for Americans to understand but, whereas here in the US there's usually a reason/motive for crime (e.g. robbery), in the UK a lot of it is just plain senseless. British high streets have gotten so bad due to mindless binge drinkers and general idiots it seems to necessitate the need for constant monitoring. If the UK has become a nanny state, perhaps it's because a large portion of its citizenry are infants.

Re:The worst is yet to come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364120)

I'm English and I have to agree with everything you've said.

Re:The worst is yet to come (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364262)

Ditto, and ditto.

Re:The worst is yet to come (0)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364322)

No, we have mindless binge drinkers and general idiots. However, we satisfy ourselves by suing each other, and nobody has to get spied on.

How does putting up a camera make things better? You get the knowledge that somebody else is watching them be a drunken idiot? And then somebody tells them they're being naughty? That's progress?

If they were the kind of people who payed attention or cared, they wouldn't be the way they are in the first place. As usual, the only people who get hurt are the ones who aren't causing the problem.

Re:The worst is yet to come (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364102)

In 10 years, cameras will have face recognition systems.

But it won't matter becuase it will be silicon snake oil distrusted by all other than inexperienced camera operators and idoits in politics. That combination however may create havoc and unlucky scapegoats in isolated incidents.

It's very tiresome... (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363814)

...that the only thing anybody knows about 1984 is that it's about a government that spies on its people. If that was the only thing the book was about, it would have been forgotten long ago — there are hundreds of stories like that. This particular story is interesting because it goes insides the minds of the people who make a totalitarian society work. If people actually read 1984, they might not be so quick to refer to it. Because if they did read it, they'd probably see themselves in it — and not as a brave defender of liberty, but as one of the faceless minions of Big Brother.

Re:It's very tiresome... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363924)

I dunno, I kinda picked up on the "unperson someone and torture them" aspect as being particularly relevant.

Re:It's very tiresome... (4, Insightful)

dbc (135354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363996)

Only too true. Unless those cameras installed themselves, maintain themselves, and write their own software, a moderate of army of techies with zero for ethics has prostituted their talents to install such a system.

Perhaps some are reading this post now. I ask: Why do you do it? I fail to see how any professional engineer could consider deployment of such wide-scale serveilence as an ethical and appropriate use of government power, outside of the four walls of a prison.

Re:It's very tiresome... (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364184)

Why do you do it? I fail to see how any professional engineer could consider deployment of such wide-scale serveilence as an ethical and appropriate use of government power, outside of the four walls of a prison.
A) Install it
B) Lose job

Which choice do you think has more short term reprecussions for Mr. Engineer?

  Most people aren't so principled that they would risk their financial security to stand up for their convictions.

Re:It's very tiresome... (1)

ricree (969643) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364276)

This sort of surveillance wouldn't be tolerated unless there was a fair amount of public support(or apathy). I don't see that it would be all that hard to find enough engineers to do the project.

What's the ethical problem exactly? (1)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364284)

Let's think about this.

These speaker equipped cameras don't do anything that a police officer at the scene couldn't do, and in fact do quite a bit less. So if you consider posting the cameras there unethical, it seems you must be opposed to having a patrolling police force at all. And that's a pretty extreme position.

If you consider having a police force good, the size of it becomes a question of economics. You could hire a cop to stand at each street corner 24/7, but the cost would not be anywhere near the benefit, so you accept a certain level of violent crime that you can't afford to address. But with this technology, the cost goes down by several orders of magnitude, and now that service level is economical.

I'm open to the idea that this level of surveillance becomes something qualitatively different and evil than the occasional patrolling cop. But I have yet to see any arguments for that here.

Re:It's very tiresome... (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364342)

I fail to see how any professional engineer could consider deployment of such wide-scale serveilence as an ethical and appropriate use of government power, outside of the four walls of a prison.

It pays the bills and puts a roof over the head and food on the table of some engineer and his family. One cannot eat principles after all and there are worse ways to make a living. If you want to blame someone then blame the government for funding it, not the engineer who builds and installs it.

The real question (2, Insightful)

mulhollandj (807571) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363816)

We should not ask ourselves what can government do with all the power they are accumulating but what will they do. A nation that expects to be ignorant and free expects something that never was and never will be.

Advertising consent. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17363832)

I think there is a great oppertunity for advertising here.
If I can put billboard advertisments in areas where these cameras are pointed, I get a load of people constantly watching 24 hours a day.
The space will be really cheap too, as I could put the ad's in places where pedestrians would not see them, but the camera operators will.

Perhaps special placards could be attatched to the cameras, where I could affix full colour adverts for tasers, video recording systems and handcuffs.

There is always an oppertunity for someone to make money, and I am that man!!!

Not the most insightful comment ever (1)

aliens (90441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363854)

I just started feeling nauseas and it's not from eating too many Christmas cookies.

It would be one thing to use the speakers to alert others to danger, but this is just for behavoir modification.

People of England, you have sold your souls. (4, Insightful)

dbc (135354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363896)

I'm only mildly surprised that the government of a western democracy would propose such a system -- but I'm shocked that the people of any western democracy would allow it -- TFA says the camera:person ratio has reached 1:16 -- why are people putting up with this? It's time to storm parliment with flaming pitchforks. The U.K. has become an out-of-control police state -- and it is the *left* that is pushing for more cameras....

People of England, you have sold your souls.

Re:People of England, you have sold your souls. (2, Insightful)

seriv (698799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364028)

Well, I doubt that the addition of speakers, or for that matter much of the British camera system, are democratic actions per-say. In Chicago, Mayor Daily instituted a camera system without any public meetings or any vote. He just did it. Perhaps part of that is his style, but I imagine something similar happened in England. Cameras might get public opposition if it is a public decision, especially for so many cameras, but if the cameras just appear more and more, people will learn to accept them as a new part of their life. Perhaps the our only hope is for someone to go too far too fast; to create something people will reject flat out.

Re:People of England, you have sold your souls. (2, Informative)

serialdogma (883470) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364052)

and it is the *left* that is pushing for more cameras....

The left in the UK is in steep decline in recent times. So I'm rather curious as to where you got that idea from.

Re:People of England, you have sold your souls. (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364104)

Blair is Labour Party, correct? I got the idea from reading his quote in the article.

Re:People of England, you have sold your souls. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364254)

The people of England, like the US. reelected a war criminal. This surveillance stuff is harmless in comparison.

Re:People of England, you have sold your souls. (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364292)

This alone is actually quite good. Provided that the people using the cameras and speakers have very strict guidelines they must follow and those guidelines are strictly enforced. Also assuming that there aren't any unfair laws.

Given that the first of the above condition isn't likely to be true in all cases with the second definitely not true at the moment, these cameras are terrible. But the problem isn't the cameras themselves.

1984... (1)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363902)

Makes you want to just go hug Big Brother doesn't it? I love Big Brother.

Brazil ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364030)

Check out the DVD at your favorite linux / gpl / bit torrent / open source outlet today ! You won't be disappointed !!

Freedom and the State (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363904)

The question is, to quote Milton Friedman, "how can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?"

Hmmmm... Hackability (1)

SpamBukkake (1043606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363930)

This would be really fun to hack... "Hey you kids, get off of my lawn!!!" :)

Don't buy it. (1)

vyrus128 (747164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363936)

I think this is a hoax, pure and simple... it's just too far out to be true. Anyone confirm or deny?

Re:Don't buy it. (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364034)

Uhhh, what makes it "far out" in any sense? It uses pretty low-tech, easily available technology, and does something that authorities would like to do. So, what's so unbelievable about it?

Pfft (2, Insightful)

aerthling (796790) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363984)

Anyone who wastes doubleplusgood Victory coffee is probably a Eurasian spy anyway.

Re:Pfft (1)

Tenebrarum (887979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364344)

You mean Eastasian.

dupe. from September (3, Informative)

kae_verens (523642) | more than 7 years ago | (#17363992)

Re:dupe. from September (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364106)

wow, great find :)

kae_verens ftw :D

you're the coolest

- And from now on, stop playing with yourself! (1)

DEBEDb (456706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364018)

- It is God! [imdb.com]

Nothing to see here (5, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364026)

"Sir please close the raincoat and move along, you're scaring the pidgeons."

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364210)

I've seen Pidgeon as a surname (as in Walter Pidgeon), but I'm quite sure the proper spelling for the birds is pigeon, and the dictionary seems to agree with me.

mod me down, please (1)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364040)

i suppose i'm just tired, but it seems to me that some people NEED TO BE CONTROLLED. of course, this has abuse written all over it, but it's also abusive for me to smack someone in the face when they throw shit on the ground and leave it for others to clean up. smokers are the worst. it's somehow societally acceptable to dispose of cigarettes on the ground, like they'll just magically disappear. i know it's wrong, but i don't even chastise my friends about it when they do it.

when everyone signs a petition that says i can smack them in the face when they do something completely incosiderate of their community and peers, then i'll say we don't need any sort of societal controls. SOME PEOPLE NEED BEHAVIORAL MODIFICATION. sorry if that's a shocker. i mean, hell, haven't i already been behaviorally modified into not smacking assholes in the face? how is it fair that i got that against me but the assholes of the world walk free?

Re:mod me down, please (2, Insightful)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364090)

The core issue here, I think, is that by and large, people learn, as they grow up, *why* they should do certain things and not do others; and then as adults, they voluntarily behave in socially acceptable ways.

The problem comes when this process fails, and so as an adult a person behaves in ways which are socially unacceptable.

The issue is how to deal with this.

Clearly, the question has to be asked how these people failed to learn as they grew up, for that is the root of it all; but once that failure has occured, these people have to be dealt with, and that is currently achieved, as you say, behaviour modification - coercion - the threat of externally imposed penalties.

The longer term and larger problem is the risk that police become so effective, with all their monitoring and survelliance, that it begins to impede the proper learning of voluntary socially acceptable behaviour. For it seems to me if you KNOW that you will be caught and punished WHENEVER you do something wrong, you no longer have the ability to *choose* not to do something wrong, and so you will be unable to learn to *voluntarily* refrain from socially unacceptable behaviour.

pleaz (1, Interesting)

Kiro (220724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364062)

can we go easy on the 84 melodrama. sometimes the police brings some benefit for us all (I know, *gasp*) and not every new tool that it's handed is a stepping stone to a dystopia.

Re:pleaz (2, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364124)

In some cases - extremes of which are in Algeria and Iraq - the police ARE the problem. Too much power is not necessarily a good thing.

Re:pleaz (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364264)

not every new tool that it's handed is a stepping stone to a dystopia.

Yeah, but this one is.

Seriously: disembodied voices on poles barking orders at you in the street. That's the kind of cliche they put in movies when they want to establish a dystopian setting.

Dupe? (1, Redundant)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364068)

Isn't this a dupe [slashdot.org] of this?

It's quite simple really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364094)

Just put on a ski mask, get some friends and some baseball bats, and go camera a-smashin'.

Re:It's quite simple really (2, Interesting)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364182)

But remember not to take your mobile phone with you, since that will be tied into your ID card and the cops will be able to see which phones were present at the right time as the smashed cameras and prosecute you.

This is part of what scares me about all this; we seem to be creating these massively effective tools for behaviour enforcement, and not giving a thought to their misuse. What happens if in ten, twenty, fifty years time, the State goes bad?

Re:It's quite simple really (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364312)

Lets not give the police guns because hey, what if they go bad in ten, twenty, fifty years time!

Re:It's quite simple really (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364338)

Well, in the UK, the cops don't have guns.

In the US, the cops have to have guns, because everyone else does, too - which affects and I suspect limits the consequences of the decision to arm the police.

But arming the police is pretty well understood and inherently limited, in that it can only affects situations where police are present, and there aren't that many police. I'm not sure we can say the same about a combination of massive State databases and suveillance will lead us; it will mean, in effect, police everywhere, all the time.

Riding too fast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364110)

So, what's the speed limit for a bicycle?

Re:Riding too fast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364142)

As fast as Chuck Norris can pedal.

Re:Riding too fast? (1)

Werkhaus (549466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364228)

>So, what's the speed limit for a bicycle?

There isn't one. Well, other than the speed of light.
What you can be charged with is the delightfully named crime of 'Furious Cycling' plus any number of other catch-all contempt-of-cop offenses (public nuisance, disturbing the peace etc.).

And in this corner... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364134)

I can see it being used in bar fights.

Bored cameraman: "'Ey, I've got four pounds on the bloke in the red!"

By the way: Go watch 1984. Not only is it a good movie, you'll see how much of an idiot you are for assuming it's all about oppressive police states.

So like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364152)

So don't you think it's past time that citizens start insisting that politicians undergo psychiatric screening for "control freaks", before they can run for election, to STOP this Madness!

Speaking of tracking.... (2, Insightful)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364166)

Anyone notice that when you click on a reply, when you get back to the main tree of posts, there's a checkmark noting you've looked at it.

"You, with the keyboard! Yes, you! Go back and mod that post up!"

Criminals and the elderly!? (2)

jarg0n (882275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364172)

Unmanned spy planes will monitor the movements of citizens, while criminals and the elderly will be implanted with microchips to track their movements, the report says.

Does anyone else think that implanting the elderly with microchips sounds a tad F***KED up?

Here in Illinois... (1)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364186)

we're not far behind. In my town, Downers Grove, there are now cameras at every major intersection. In Chicago, there are cameras in most high crime neighborhoods. Very few seem to care. I won't even mention the number of "private" cameras around any interesting corporate locations.

Smile! You're on Candid Camera!!!

if this is not so bad? (1)

adaminnj (712407) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364222)

what would the McCarthy era had been like if they had this tool?

But Hey The Brits are supposed to be socialist (well Medicine any way). Power to the people right?

Big Brother, good. Little Brother, better! (5, Interesting)

jjh37997 (456473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17364238)

The only problem is that it does not go far enough. Put the feeds on the internet too, open up all the cameras, and install more in all government buildings (if you're a public servant the public should be able to monitor you while you're on the clock). If someone wants to track my movements with a camera I say go ahead.... but only if I get to know who's watching me and I have the ability to watch them back. An open and transparent society can make the world both safe and free. The only thing wrong with traditional surveillance is the imbalence of power between the watchers and the watched.

Dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17364308)

There was an article posted here on this a couple months ago...
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