Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Holidays in the Gun

Welcome to safety.

Britain is in danger of “committing slow social suicide” as such Big Brother techniques as surveillance cameras and recording equipment spread into every aspect of our lives, the nation’s information watchdog will warn this week.

A new report from Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, will say that the public needs to be made more aware of the “creeping encroachment” on civil liberties created by email monitoring, CCTV and computer tracking of our buying habits.

It is understood that one of the concerns in Mr Thomas’s report is the use of special listening devices which can be placed in lamp posts, street furniture and offices. These are already widely used in the Netherlands to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.

More than 300 of the cameras with built-in microphones have been fitted in benefit offices and city centres. The equipment can pick up aggressive tones on the basis of decibel level, pitch and speed at which words are spoken.

Westminster council has already started piloting the listening devices, but experts say the use of these microphones raises questions about how surveillance can be used to intrude into the private lives of citizens.

He will also call for greater regulation of companies that supply surveillance technology which provides “convenience or safety for the more affluent majority”, but not for the vulnerable such as children, immigrants and the elderly.

Well, the police can view and listen on damn near anything a citizen does, and this doesn’t seem to worry people.  But thank God private citizens can’t own guns.  That would be terrifying.

Constant 24-hour police state surveillance is civilized.  Gun ownership and personal self defense is for American neanderthals.  If you’re raped, don’t worry, the police are watching it happen.  No need to defend yourself.

Posted by Lee on 04/28/07 at 11:21 PM in Europe and the UK • Permalink


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