Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Orwellian Blueprint Becomes Reality

Earlier this month the Libertarian Party sent a copy of George Orwell's 1984 to every MP.

"To be taken as a warning, not as a blueprint", the accompanying notes said.

Well, too late, by the looks of it.

The City of Portsmouth (which also happens to have been the location of the story in the next article down about the idiot school teachers who wouldn't trust a mother's judgement) is having cameras with predictive software installed.

These supposedly intelligent cameras are meant to identify "suspicious" behaviour such as someone "loitering" or a car travelling too fast.

The "the innocent have nothing to fear" argument just doesn't wash with me anymore; not under this government. What are the odds that:

...we'll have a whole new set of offences about triggering the suspicions of security cameras;
...people get arrested and detained when they have committed no crime;
...these cameras will be used to gather information about the activities of those opposed to the government;
...the software will fail and alert police to wholly innocent behaviour;
...the information gathered will be lost / stolen / left on a train ?

Let's be clear. With a government like this one (which has invented almost one new criminal offence for every day that it's been in office) there is no advance in technology that cannot be used to impinge further on the freedoms of the people. These cameras can "detect" "suspicious" (whatever that means) behaviour. The next generation may be able to recognise faces, and microphones may recognise voices. Then the government would be able to watch you. Where ever you go, whatever you do. Whoever you do it with.

What's needed is a Bill of Rights that reins in the government's powers and abilities to snoop on its people. I blogged earlier in the week about the couple who'd had council cameras installed in their bedroom because there was a "suspicion" (note no offence) of maltreatment of a child. There's a lot more where that came from.

No comments: