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Lip-Reading Surveillance Cameras

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the open-the-pod-bay-doors dept.

Privacy 271

mrogers sends us to Infowars for the following news from the UK, "which is fast becoming the front line of the war on privacy": "'Read my lips..."' used to be a figurative saying. Now the British government is considering taking it literally by adding lip reading technology to some of the four million or so surveillance cameras in order identify terrorists and criminals by watching what everyone says. Perhaps the lip-reading cameras and the shouting cameras will find something to talk about."

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271 comments

Solution (3, Insightful)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944245)

Quick and dirty solution: Pig Latin.

Re:Solution (1)

mattatwork (988481) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944323)

Or don't accentuate every word when you talk...they'll see your lips moving incoherently and won't be able to distinguish what you're saying. There is also the low tech option and just go inside to talk where they're aren't any cameras....

Re:Solution (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944709)

There is also the low tech option and just go inside to talk where they're aren't any cameras....

A good low tech option in my mind would be to vote the dumbasses out of power that think this is a good idea.

Re:Solution (1)

Who235 (959706) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944825)

Or don't accentuate every word when you talk...they'll see your lips moving incoherently and won't be able to distinguish what you're saying.

Look at the bright side, everyone in the UK might soon start talking like they're in a poorly-dubbed Kung-Fu movie. That always cracks me up.

Seriously though, these camera developments are getting scarier by the hour. People, it just isn't worth it. No amount of security is worth that kind of BS.

Re:Solution (1)

Xemu (50595) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944353)

Quick and dirty solution: Pig Latin.

All they want is to identify the terrorists: Allah and Jihad are the only words the system needs to know.

Re:Solution (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944447)

And Durka. Don't forget Durka. If there's one thing South Park has taught me, its that Terrorists say that a lot.

Re:Solution (4, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944971)

And it will still not recognise them.

Germans found that out in world war 2 and used it. Apparently, no matter how good you get in a language you use different lip technique from the native speakers. As a result a professional lip reader (or a deaf person trained to lip read) will pick you out right away.

Back on the British topic. Just looking at the 7/7 and 21/7 bombers you have more than 4 different ethnic origins - Somali, Jamaican, Ethiopian and various different tribes originally from Pakistan. Each of these will be using a non-standard lip technique. While it may be possible to get some relatively low reading rate by a professional who has unlimited time to look at the tape, a real-time automated system will fail miserably right away. The only ones it will pick out will be Caucasian whites of English origin (I suspect it will fail on Scots and Welsh) who for some unbeknown to us reason have decided to discuss 7/7 instead of Chelsea vs Arsenal (that will probably be 1-2 people in the whole country anyway).

Re:Solution -- Rhyming slang... (1)

zen611 (903428) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944549)

That's what rhyming slang was/is all about. It changes so fast that the only people who understand you are your direct peer group. At the time I was exposed to it, an acquaintance said she couldn't even understand her husband if he used it at home.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944935)

Real solution: Move to a country whose ruling government isn't quite so far along on its road to oppression.

What's that? I'm a coward for not dedicating my life to fighting the inevitable tide of oppression? You're damn right my family is more important to me than politics, and if the best thing for my family is to get the hell out, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Re:Solution (2, Interesting)

yams69 (986130) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945149)

What about the masks that everyone was wearing during the SARS epidemic? I still see those in airports, so it wouldn't be too out of the ordinary.

This will all work fine (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944255)

Until someone invents stealth technology to circumvent it. Like covering your mouth with your hand.

Re:This will all work fine (4, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944299)

Ah, but then you have something to hide. And they know it and will soon be picking you up to have a chat about it. After all, if you weren't doing anything wrong, why would you care if your Big Brother knew about it? He just wants to make sure you're living a comfortable and safe existence!

Re:This will all work fine (5, Insightful)

olego (899338) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944375)

You know, I used to think that everyone who said that was being sarcastic and was merely making fun of the government... Until I watched a couple of press releases by the government and realised that these things are actually said.

And that really freaked me out.

Re:This will all work fine (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944531)

It's because thjey believe it.
Hell I'm willing to give the people who want to implement the benefit of the doubt, but not the next people who will be in charge.
Get involved.

Re:This will all work fine (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944305)

Until someone invents stealth technology to circumvent it. Like covering your mouth with your hand.

just like our premier league footballers are doing now to avoid their coaches orders being lifted by the opposition during a match...

Re:This will all work fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944743)

I foresee large, bushy mustaches coming back in style in a big way.

lip-read a speaker? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944287)

Perhaps the lip-reading cameras and the shouting cameras will find something to talk about."
Sure, as soon as camera manufacturers start putting realistic mechanical lips[1] on their shouting cameras.

And as soon as that is possible, I'd like to license the technology for a venture of my own, involving about 40 lbs of latex and a metal skeleton. It'll be the best prom evar!11!

Sounds vaguely familiar (3, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944303)

Just don't ask it to open the pod bay doors.

Re:Sounds vaguely familiar (2, Funny)

blindbug (979761) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944679)

I hope I don't get in trouble for telling that girl the other day that I wanted a Fig Newton.

obvious (5, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944307)

When the lip reading cameras come online, they will see that everyone is repeating this sequence of numbers;

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

some one has to say it (3, Funny)

phrostie (121428) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944313)

" Rotate the Pod please HAL "

Re:some one has to say it (1)

john83 (923470) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944635)

" Rotate the Pod please HAL "
Yes, well unfortunately the British government already seems to have thought of a Beowulf cluster of these.

Parabolic mic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944315)

What's wrong with a parabolic mic? This looks like a solution in search of a problem to me.

Everyone wear mic's and submit email to UK govt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944317)

Why not just have everyone wear microphones 24/365 and submit all emails to the UK government? It would save a lot of money on monitoring. For all the fans of big government, here is yet another wonderful example.

Countermeasure (5, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944329)

You could easily defeat the system by wearing a burqa or other type of veil. Then you'll never be mistaken for a terrorist. Right?

Re:Countermeasure (5, Funny)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944451)

You could easily defeat the system by wearing a burqa or other type of veil.
Or a Guy Fawkes mask, if you were so inclined. It's more stylish, at least.

What's the current state of this tech? (1)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944337)

Seems like the potential for error is huge. Really scary either way.

Written constitution and bill of rights. (2, Insightful)

Palmyst (1065142) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944399)

That is what Britain needs, yesterday. This unwritten constitution business gives too much power to the political class, and they are obviously not above exploiting it to the max.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (2, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944463)

Having a written constitution and a bill of rights isn't helping much on this side of the pond. The politicians have found that everything can be explained to the satisfaction of the voters by saying "interstate commerce" and "terror". Those voters who aren't sufficiently convinced are gradually pushed into lower income brackets so they'll have to spend more time at work and less time asking questions of their political leaders.

I don't know what the solution is anymore.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (1, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944551)

The US is nowhere near as bad as the UK in these regards. Also do you have any idea how the US government even works, voters are irrelevant in this regard. The bill of rights and constitution do not prevent any law from getting passed. They allow the supreme court to strike down laws that they deem to not conform to them. Then again you seem to be one of those nut cases who thinks there is some grand conspiracy in place so I guess your knowledge of the US government is average for a person of such views.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (3, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944665)

What you've described is a system which is easily defeated by flooding. You're asserting that Congress has no duty to stay within its defined boundaries and that it is the Supreme Court's job to strike down illegitimate legislation. I think the problem is obvious when there are only seven supreme court justices and over five hundred congressional members.

But don't let the obvious prevent you from insulting me. If it makes you feel better then go ahead and do it to your heart's content.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944885)

You're asserting that Congress has no duty to stay within its defined boundaries and that it is the Supreme Court's job to strike down illegitimate legislation.
No. He's asserting that the Constitution does not prevent Congress from passing laws that violate it, which is true -- just as establishing a curfew for your kids doesn't prevent them from staying out late. Congress, like a kid, will break the rules. It's up to the Court to decide if curfew has been broken. It's up to voters to punish Congress.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944929)

In any other profession it's called operating outside of duties, or insubordination, and is grounds for immediate termination. The flood exploit is obvious when Congress passes close to one thousand new laws every year.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944987)

In any other profession it's called operating outside of duties, or insubordination, and is grounds for immediate termination.
Which is why US legislators always maintain plausible deniability.

The flood exploit is obvious when Congress passes close to one thousand new laws every year.
Worsened by the complexity and scope of those laws -- riders, ridiculous clauses, etc.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945083)

When viewed in that light then you're right. There is nothing preventing Congress from passing laws which adhere to the Constitution...

Except for that pesky little pledge to uphold the Constitution. Then, yes, I know, it's all made better by plausible deniability--but that leads to conspiracy theory, doesn't it?

Supreme Court (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944965)

I think the problem is obvious when there are only seven supreme court justices and over five hundred congressional members.

If they increase the Supreme Court to nine justices, that will improve the ratio.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944977)

I think you meant 9 , yep, NINE Supreme Court Justices. At least, last time I counted them.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945145)

Well, the mistake was in putting all the responsibility on the Supreme Court. Any lower court can knock laws down, or change the way they must be interpreted. But in general the system works as described.

While Congress may well have a duty to stay inside particular bounds they often overstep them in practice. The Executive branch does as well, in the event you haven't read any Slashdot articles on anything bad happening at all and noticed that sooner or later someone will blame Bush.

And higher level Federal Court decisions usually have much broader impact than one single law. For instance, if the Supreme Court lends any legal merit to the idea of Defensible Intent all of this debate about the Consititution says this and Amendment X says that will all be a waste of time. Regardless of anyone's interpretation and regardless of whether we repeal any part of it lawmakers, as long as they intend for something good to happen, will be able to do anything they want. More or less.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (1)

NeoPaladin394 (1044484) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944751)

American voters are...irrelevant....to American laws.....?!

*head asplode*

Then what are we, chopped liver? Can you elaborate on this? I'm guessing you're just talking about the inner congressional process once the ball starts rolling, but saying voters aren't a part of making laws...

And at this point, it's pretty obvious that there are many behind the scenes actions going around. I don't see how anyone, at this point, can NOT believe that there are SOME conspiracies of varying levels going on in Washington. Three words:

Christmas Tree Bills

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944857)

Rakishi has a history of combing political discussions and violently asserting that anyone who isn't a complete chump is a psychologically troubled conspiracy theorist. My interpretation is that Rakishi is well aware of the herd psychology which governments and financial institutions apply to the voters and consumers, and probably is a personal beneficiary of those systems, and it gives Rakishi a b0ner to verbally abuse people who would dare challenge the supremacy of the systems which provide for his or her priveleged lifestyle.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (3, Insightful)

Khisanth Magus (1090101) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945105)

The problem is that we have no ability to vote on laws. We can only elect people we HOPE will represent our interests when those laws are proposed, and also write to our representative and hope they listen to us. But they can just as easily ignore the people who elected them. Throw in things like attaching bad laws onto other bills that need to be passed and you have the makings for a government that the people have very little say in.

Re:Written constitution and bill of rights. (2, Interesting)

zrobotics (760688) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944951)

While I agree that the UK fares worse than the US in these regards, that still does not mean that there is a vast "conspiracy" afoot in the US. However, it is clear that, slowly but surely, personal liberty is gradually being suppressed in favor of security in the US. While the parent may be a tinfoil-hatter, that doesn't make his point invalid. The patriot act, guantanamo bay, warrantless wiretapping, etc. could all be called unconstitutional. So, while an unwritten constitution provides less protection than a written one, either can be usurped when the individuals in power find that their personal interests are best protected by "unconstitutional measures".

Succinctly put, citizens can't depend on their governments to provide them with rights. They must demand these rights for themselves. In both the US and the UK, the respective protections of personal liberty were not created by the government, they were created by dissident groups who managed to establish said rights, often with the opposition of the ruling parties. The truly terrifying thing is that few seem committed to any sort of positive action. Everyone bemoans the degradation of these rights, but there are few groups actively doing anything about it; and the groups that are doing something (ACLU, EFF, etc.) are subjects of public scorn. So, rather than relying on political systems (The Constitution, the courts) as you suggest, more emphasis needs to be placed on collective action.

And yes, I know that 99% of the people in any given population are far too apathetic to actually do anything.

Would this work? (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944427)

I'm really curious as to how this would work with people who spoke less than perfect English... as in.. Brad Pitt's character in Snatch. How long till you figure someone gets arrested when a camera incorrectly reads their lips?

Re:Would this work? (3, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944691)

as in.. Brad Pitt's character in Snatch
Pikeys! I fookin hate pikeys! They are always guilty of something or other so arresting them is OK.

Not in Soviet Russia (1)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944431)

This sort of thing was not acceptable even in Soviet Russia. When government included "free" wires radios in apartments where the internet KGB could listen, people would not put up with that BS. But sadly, people will probably do NOTHING in the UK to counter this *literally* 1984 (the book) ideas.

In Soviet Russia, radios listened to people and people got pissed off. In UK, they would just roll over and do nothing. Sad but true from recent examples.

Now time for that popular new hit (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944439)

"Fuck you, I'm a terrorist." This single is rising fast on the charts and is on everybodies lips.

This mission is too important (1)

rantingkitten (938138) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944511)

Dave, although you took thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.

Re:This mission is too important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944603)

Why back in my day, we had robits twenty stories tall. And they ate lips! For breakfast! Uphill...oh blimey wheres my scarf I need some milk.

Be very afraid (2, Insightful)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944545)

The odds against something like this working ar astronomical.
The odds against it being used in court (or worse, being used to "detain" someone) are just about even.

That means some poor schmuck will end up sitting in a detention cell for a decade or so because he shouted for something and the lipreaders thought he said 'bomb'.

Re:Be very afraid (1)

zrobotics (760688) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945121)

I dunno, I've often wondered what kind of "evidence" the US has against those lovely guantanamo bay "detainees". (Side note: has anyone ever called them anything less euphemistic?) Did they just have a funny look about them, or did they not smell so good? Given the number of parallel trends in the two countries, it wouldn't surprise me at all if people were already being detained based on evidence just as weak as lip-reading cameras.

The algorithms must be state of the art (2, Funny)

Sam H (3979) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944553)

Since all terrorists have a beard and speak Arabic, the algorithms used in these cameras must really be state of the art.

Re:The algorithms must be state of the art (1)

srobert (4099) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944963)

LOL, Some of them speak Farsi. If I was modding you'd be funny.

I cannot believe... (1)

Admiral Lazzurs (96382) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944567)

...that this is happening, in the country I live in and the scary thing is that everyone here thinks this is just fine and normal.........

Oh no! (1, Funny)

akheron01 (637033) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944601)

Oh no! Now I won't be able to say 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 in public without fear of retribution!

East London... (1)

dark-br (473115) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944621)

Oh boy... I would like to see this working on East London... "Know what'a'meeeaaan?"

Re:East London... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944711)

Yeah but, no but, yeah but, no but...

Sure ~ I will just make my plans inside (1)

BurningTyger (626316) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944663)

So I am a terrorist ya, do you really think I'm gonna discuss my plan on the street under the surveillance camera?

Serious, who come up with the idea ?

Re:Sure ~ I will just make my plans inside (1)

lottameez (816335) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944815)

I said - Did you place the BOMB UNDERNEATH the TRASHCAN???? The trashcan by that surv- ...uh. I'll call back.

What is the motivation for all this? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944697)

I know fear is a powerful stimulant, but the British seem to be willing to do anything to monitor people, what is the motivation?

Re:What is the motivation for all this? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944845)

power - the politicians want power, and have given the police those powers necessary to stop the people objecting in any worthwhile fashion.

Misleading.. (1)

switch007 (1095791) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944775)

Let me highlight some parts of the article: "government is considering", "Home Office is interested in a project", "Imagine a place..", "Big Brother gadgets that the government wants to or already has", "councils are considering" It's just scaremongering and full of crap.

beware the savage roar of 1984 (1)

schwillis (1073082) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944779)

So 'terrorists' must now suffer the inconvinience of retreating from the view of cameras to talk about terrorist stuff, and everyone else's conversations in public are recorded and monitored by the government. Brilliant.

Almost safe (1)

twistah (194990) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944803)

Now if they could just come up with cameras that read your thoughts and react before you even finished the thought, the war on terror could finally be won!

Who cares ... (1)

voislav98 (1004117) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944831)

A part of the British government is interested in lip-reading, amongst about half a dozen other, equally disturbing technologies. They'll talk the talk, but when the time comes, the cost/reliability will prevent any practical use. Biometrics, anyone?

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944851)

...various despots place orders for thousands.

Free Speech (4, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944853)

I could see something like this having a very chilling effect of free speech.

Think if you've ever complained about the police when talking when a friend, now think if you'd still complaining as loudly if a police officer was within earshot.

This doesn't even have to work, a lot of people walking down the street are still going to feel nervous saying bad things about Big Brother if they feel Big Brother is actually listening.

I for one knew the revolution would be televised (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944861)

I just didn't know that our lip-reading overlords would be having the deaf hold down the masses yearning to be free from the tyranny we live under.

Good thing I talk in ancient Aramaic with some Swahili words thrown in ... that will take them a while to figure out ...

creating the mobscene (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944881)

here's a simple solution:

flash mobs.

if every couple of days a few thousand people all said the same trigger words at the same time this technology would quickly be useless.

Profanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944941)

Deaf people / lip readers have a hard time figuring out if you said "Vacuum" or "FuckYou". What will software do?

Do they really work? (1)

nikanj (799034) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944981)

Remember the state of the art in speech recognition? From what I've gathered, reading lips is a lot harder than listening to a person talk. So does this have any chances of working with the technology that we have today?

50% Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18944985)

Looks like those US Civil War types with the long, bushy mustaches were ahead of their time.

It's all about funding (3, Insightful)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945001)

In the US you have endless proposals for blue sky research projects that "might" in 20 years or so lead to something that "might" have a military application. Didn't the DoD even spend money on psychics not so long ago?

Here we don't have big slush funds. (The Govt. can endlessly waste public money on hopeless IT projects, but that's different.) So University lecturers, especially ones from not terribly good universities (have you ever been to Norwich? Don't.), have to try and invent other ways to get funding. Since the Govt. is obsessed with finding terrorists before they manage to get the gunpowder under Parliament again, one way to get funding for a visual recognition project is to suggest it can be used for lipreading terrorists in shopping centres. Of course it won't work, but hopefully by then the guy will have written a few papers and moved a bit up the academic pecking order. And good luck to him. British Government policy with universities basically involves being nice to Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and UCL and stuff the rest. (No, I'm not bitter. My family has degress from 3 of the 4. But I do recognise that it's not a good or fair system)

Heheh, A.E. Van Vogt warned us! (1)

m3talocasnica (247894) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945029)

Back in 2003, such a thing seemed to be an "Unrealistic portrait of a dark future", according to one of the reviewers of A.E. Van Vogt's "Computerworld" on the Amazon site: Check it out [amazon.com]

2001 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18945117)

Open the pod bay doors, Hal.

Missing option: gait detection (1)

parvenu74 (310712) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945119)

Perhaps the most interesting and disturbing development in surveillance is gait detection systems [patentstorm.us] . While a disguise will prevent facial recognition from working, and not saying anything will prevent lip reading from doing its job, there are systems being tested and deployed that can identify an individual by the way they walk (their gait). There are so many ways to positively identify people that implantable chips won't be necessary before long [cnn.com] .

It's a well known fact... (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945159)

It's a well known fact that 98% of all crimes are planned outside in broad daylight. It's also well known by authorities that criminals all refer to eachother by the various unsolved crimes they've committed. It's ALSO a well known fact that when committing crimes criminals like to yell their name and address.

These lip reading cameras are the best things to come along in law enforcement since beating a confession out of a suspect!

It's a scam (4, Interesting)

DeafScribe (639721) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945173)

If the UK goes forward with this scheme, they're getting scammed. I know, from research and real-world experience with people with intensive speech-reading training, that lipreading will yield, at most, about 25% of speech. There are simply too many words that look alike or resist analysis to grasp more than that. You can fill in some of the blanks by the situational context, body language and residual hearing, if there is any. But frankly I see this as an effort to take advantage of gullible government agencies by touting a gee-whiz technological solution that won't work.

Huge Financial Investment (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945187)

Not only will all of these systems rack up costs in implementation, but imagine the administrative and logistical nightmare. Forgetting maintenance (hardward and software) and all, the investment in manpower will be a nightmare. Who is going to respond to what situation? What deems a situation? What requires sirens, what doesnt? How do you handle the situation... automatic detention pending investigation? Who do I sue when I spend a night in jail for telling my friend I want to blow up my car because it has so many problems? How is information logged and accessed? Is it public or private? Who watches the watchers? Who do business's sue when the police roll out and make a scene, thus hurting your business?

I cannot see this ever happening for two reasons. First, eventually the people will stop the recession of their rights - otherwise they deserve what they will get. Second, the system will prove impossible to run for all the reasons above, and many more. Remember, the day you wake up, look at the calendar and see you are living in 1984, you will have not a single person to blame except yourself.
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<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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