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Fears that the UK would "sleep-walk into a surveillance society" have become a reality, the government's information commissioner has said. Richard Thomas, who said he raised concerns two years ago, spoke after research found people's actions were increasingly being monitored.
The Domesday Book is the record of the great survey of England completed in 1086, executed for William I of England, or William the Conqueror. One of the main purposes of the survey was to determine who held what, and what taxes had been liable under Edward the Confessor; the judgment of the Domesday assessors was final—whatever the book said about who held the material wealth, or what it was worth, was the law, and there was no appeal.
As an ex-Brit, I’m well aware of the authorities’ love of surveillance and snooping, but even I, a pessimistic cynic, am amazed by the governments latest plan: to install Orwell’s telescreens in 20,000 homes.
£400 million ($668 million) will be spend on installing and monitoring CCTV cameras in the homes of private citizens. Why? To make sure the kids are doing their homework, going to bed early and eating their vegetables. The scheme has, astonishingly, already been running in 2,000 family homes. The government’s “children’s secretary” Ed Balls is behind the plan, which is aimed at problem, antisocial families. The idea is that, if a child has a more stable home life, he or she will be less likely to stray into crime and drugs.
It gets worse. The government is also maintaining a private army, incredibly not called “Thought Police”, which will “be sent round to carry out home checks,” according to the Sunday Express. And in a scheme which firmly cements the nation’s reputation as a “nanny state”, the kids and their families will be forced to sign “behavior contracts” which will “set out parents’ duties to ensure children behave and do their homework.”
With millions of CCTV cameras and one of the largest DNA databases in the world, the UK is among the most watched places in the world.
But how does the technology work?
Below is a guide which explains how some of the main types of surveillance operate.
The Court of Appeal has limited police powers to keep pictures of protesters in case they go on to break the law. Judges said police had been wrong to retain pictures of a lawful arms trade activist who was not suspected of any criminal offence.
You get to spy on people growing up! www.youtube.com...
Originally posted by Demoncreeper
I work in the surveillance industry. In fact, my job title is Surveillance Shift Manager.
Throughout my law enforcement/security career, I have done many things that I had physically trained for, and really enjoyed a lot. Being based from a law enforcement family, martial arts, etc...I didn't think I could find a "better" job than being able to apply what I was grown to know, to my career.
Not too many people can say that.
But, I was given sneak peaks into other aspects of the jobs I was doing, that seemed fascinating.
It was a very unfamiliar way, to do what I had always been doing. In fact sometimes I still feel a little "weird" about the ability to monitor issues without being detected.
I've switched atmosphere's as well, and am in the gaming industry. (This ads even more challenge) as things like math, physics can be applied as well. I was really hoping not to need those "tools" again. But it is fun. I really enjoy it a lot. The technology is fantastic.
As for the fears.
My opinion is this.
Information gathered, is for the purpose of the given situation.
Once the situation has passed, the information is "fluff". It really no longer matters, unless the situation has potential to be repeated. In a "fluff" situation, sure the information exists, but is usually a daunting task to re gather it.
Where I know my tools have helped find solutions to horrific events, that otherwise would be left unsolved...I also know that people think we are here to steal your freedoms. That couldn't be further from the truth.
You may not want us watching your back, but when something bad happens, people rely on the info we were able to gather with our surveillance techniques.
I don't agree with cameras in houses. I agree that problem areas could better use a camera on the corner of the street, rather than a policeman on every corner.
The policeman merely forces the problem to where the officer isn't.
The camera is EASILY forgettable after (usually a short period of time)
Despite peoples arguments about fascism/big brother etc...the camera gets forgotten. They often say the same about the policeman on every corner too.
If used properly, is a fantastic tool. Much better evidence presenter as well, than the possibly lying police officer.
Yes, they could easily become the other. But in the hands of humans, pretty much anything can be used for as much good as bad.
I guess it's all about the balance. In the end.