UK Liberty

Talking CCTV

Posted in control freakery, surveillance society by ukliberty on April 5, 2007

‘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.’

A sudden hot sweat had broken out all over Winston’s body. His face remained completely inscrutable. Never show dismay! Never show resentment! A single flicker of the eyes could give you away.

– Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell

The Ministry of Truth BBC:

“Talking” CCTV cameras that tell off people dropping litter or committing anti-social behaviour are to be extended to 20 areas across England.

They are already used in Middlesbrough where people seen misbehaving can be told to stop via a loudspeaker, controlled by control centre staff.

Home Secretary John Reid told BBC News there would be some people, “in the minority who will be more concerned about what they claim are civil liberties intrusions”.

“But the vast majority of people find that their life is more upset by people who make their life a misery in the inner cities because they can’t go out and feel safe and secure in a healthy, clean environment because of a minority of people,” he added.

The talking cameras did not constitute “secret surveillance”, he said.

“It’s very public, it’s interactive.”

Interactive in the sense that someone drops something, and a disembodied voice shouts, “pick it up!”

i.e. not really.

Competitions would also be held at schools in many of the areas for children to become the voice of the cameras, Mr Reid said.

Downing Street’s “respect tsar”, Louise Casey, said the cameras “nipped problems in the bud” and reduced bureaucracy.

But neglected to provide evidence, it seems.

The talking cameras will be installed in Southwark, Barking and Dagenham, in London, Reading, Harlow, Norwich, Ipswich, Plymouth, Gloucester, Derby, Northampton, Mansfield, Nottingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Wirral, Blackpool, Salford, South Tyneside and Darlington.

See also SpyBlog and Ideal Government.

And stop picking your nose.

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