UK Liberty

Reid it and weep

Posted in database state, surveillance society by ukliberty on April 8, 2007

The Telegraph:

The blunt Glaswegian voice of John Reid, the Home Secretary, is a formidable tool for bringing Labour rebels into line, but perhaps less suited to reassuring the public that a proposed network of talking CCTV cameras does not constitute anything sinister. Speaking last Wednesday of plans to extend a pilot scheme in Middlesbrough, where louts are regularly reprimanded over loudspeakers, he said: “There are always people who will claim that it’s a ‘police society’. It isn’t. It’s a society where the vast majority of law-abiding citizens are doing their utmost to respect each other.”

Tony Blair will be hoping that his “Respect agenda” will form part of his much-desired legacy. What is more certain to form part of that legacy, however, is the increase in mass surveillance of the British. His last few months in office have been characterised by moves to help the state monitor our behaviour.

Hardly had the controversy over speaking cameras begun to fade than John Hutton, the Work and Pensions Secretary, announced that benefit claimants in Harrow would be subjected to lie detectors when they called benefit offices: software will analyse voices for frequency changes believed to be indicative of lying. …

Good article, but I wish they would include links to the reports they refer to, for example the report into children’s databases that the Information Commissioner commissioned.

(If I understand correctly, it is entitled Protecting Children’s Personal Information, 832Kb PDF).

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