Saturday, 26 May 2007

Big Brother Watches Over Orwellian Britain

Would You Mistake This Mobile Police CCTV Unit For A UFO At First Glance?!?

Britain ranks #1 in the Global league table for the ratio of cameras to people, with 20% of all the world's CCTV cameras being used in Britain.

There is ONE CCTV camera for EVERY THIRTEEN people living in the Britain.

And what is the percentage of the level of improvement of detection rates (of violent offences) since the introduction of CCTV? Yep, an overall 0% increase in detection rates!!

Hampshire Police Chief Constable Speaks Out Over Orwellian Society

Deputy Chief Constable of Hampshire Police, Ian Readhead has questioned the extensive use of CCTV cameras, especially so in small towns such as Stockbridge (which is part of the Hampshire Force Area) where parish councillors have spent £10,000 installing CCTV.

Ian Readhead was speaking to BBC One's, “Politics Show”.

"I'm really concerned about what happens to the product of these cameras, and what comes next. If it's in our villages, are we really moving towards an Orwellian situation where cameras are at every street corner? And I really don't think that's the kind of country that I want to live in”.

The National DNA Database

Another database that has grown alarmingly in the past two years is the National DNA Database, Mr Readhead as well as calling for tighter restrictions on CCTV is raising the issue of why so much DNA is being kept.

This is as well as Police indiscriminately taking & storing DNA from every person they question or arrest, guilty or innocent!!

Hundreds of thousands of children aged between 10 and 18 have had their DNA added to the database despite never being cautioned or charged for any offence.

Originally touted as a, “Database for known offenders” it is quick becoming a database of the mass populous, with over 3.7 million Britons on it and this number is increasing rapidly.

This should ring alarm bells for everyone, especially with the, soon to be compulsory Identity Card. The Database State has arrived!!

And surely this is defeating the object of the full goal of the exercise, or at least the goal as we were previously lead to believe. For rather than having a National DNA Database of known offenders which they could more easily index, it appears that they are compiling a database of the entire country which surely at the very least interfere with the speed of the entire process. Because instead of searching through just the criminals' DNA, they will have to sort through the entire DNA Database for comparisons, ultimately costing more time, effort and money.

There are an estimated 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain. One for every 13 people.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas has raised concerns about Britain , "Sleepwalking into a surveillance society" with more cameras on the street and extensive monitoring of consumer behaviour.

The day after Deputy Chief Constable of Hampshire Police voiced his growing concerns over the increase of CCTV cameras, a new Police, “Spy Drone” is announced in Britain!!

A, “Spy Drone” which was originally used for military reconnaissance was unveiled and paraded for the public today. The silent, “Eye in the sky” was revealed the day after Deputy Chief Constable of Hampshire Police, Ian Readhead voiced his fears over Britain becoming an, “Orwellian” society.

Officially titled, “The Microdrone,” it measures a mere 2ft between the tips of its eight rotor blades. While almost completely silent it is designed to hover above crime scenes and send footage to officers on the ground. It only has a maximum speed of 15mph but can take off and land in all weathers.

It is to be trialled in Liverpool and is the first time anything like this has been, and I quote, “Put to civilian use in this country”. (Which for myself, raised the immediate response of when and why has <as is implied> the military used this in Britain? But I digress.)

The Police are hoping that the Microdrone will eventually replace many flights that their existing manned helicopter currently undertakes and more importantly at a significantly reduced cost. Or at the very least offer valuable assistance to the helicopter and its crew. Also the Microdrone will be used in conjunction with existing mobile CCTV vans, which have been in use for quite a while now.

The business development manager for Microdrone. Alistair Fox said that,

"We believe they are ideal for police use -they can be up in the air in just three minutes, they are relatively easy to fly, and they can provide high-quality images back to officers on the ground. They don't need clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority because as they weigh less than 7kg they are officially classified as toys”.

Click On Picture To Enlarge
The Microdrone, Click On Picture To Enlarge

Talking CCTV Cameras

And all of this comes around a month after it was announced trials are commencing of talking CCTV cameras (which are already under way in Middlesbrough among other places). And all of this is being engineered with NO PROOF that any type of CCTV cameras do any good in preventing or reducing crime!!

In fact quite the opposite, as the number of CCTV cameras has risen, so has violent crime and robbery.

So, if even the people who are governed with policing the areas are voicing concerns that the government are constantly installing new cameras and as it's evidently not deterring the criminals, one has to question if there is an ulterior motive at play?

So we have an increase in CCTV cameras as well as ones fitted with speakers which enables the operator to speak to people that they are viewing, we have military style UAV's being employed in civilian sectors by the British Police. Again with speakers and the ability for communication. Is the governments insistence on pushing the introduction of Identity cards for all UK residents borne from keeping its citizens best interests at heart, or is it really just a megalomaniacal need for more power and ultimately more control?

Is, "Transformational Government" just Doublespeak for, "The Database State"

"Transformational Government" is the current, “Buzzword”. Doesn't sound that bad does it? A little bit vague perhaps. Well, the idea of it (and ultimately of the Identity cards) is to link all of the existing databases together or at least to allow the National Identity Register (NIR) to index them.

This means that your NIR number will basically be the barcode of your entire life. Another new phrase being proffered by the, “Transformational Government” is, “Information Sharing”. Oh yes, it gets better!! Any information you share with a public servant in any sector, could be electronically passed to just about anyone!! Or worst, accessed by criminals (and I don't mean just the government!!)

Everyone over the age of 16 will be required to register for an ID card. ”The Identity Cards Act” sets out fifty different sorts of information to be held on each individual, these range from name, address and date of birth to a record of all the occasions on which your record has been accessed and by whom. Also, Home Office regulations pushed through makes it possible to indefinitely extend this list in the future.

The NIR is covered by the Data Protection Act 1998, so theoretically an individual will be able to see the NIR information held on him/her. However a little further investigation uncovers that the Data Protection Act itself qualifies for several exemptions for viewing information that is used by government.

Even though you may be allowed to check the data that is stored, you are unable to correct any wrong information that is being held about yourself!! Also stressed is that, “You are personally responsible for the accuracy of the information!” How you can guarantee any form of accuracy when you apparently are offered no control over the final data which is included in the finished file is a little unclear.

Also, the Home Secretary has the power to change information held about you at any time, without your prior knowledge or consent. And indeed, no notification after the change of data is required or offered.

Britain is supposed to be a, “Western Democracy,” isn't it?

What's next for Britain? A Ministry Of Love (Miniluv), Telescreens and The Thought Police?

Rather than the Totalitarian approach of regulating nearly every aspect of public and private behaviour, the British Government it would appear is instead intent on cataloguing every aspect of public and private behaviour.

But to what end?

And more importantly, will it justify the means?

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