Reasons To Sail Away #3
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING! ( and Talking and Listening!)
The UK now has the highest number of CCTV cameras in the world. Recent estimates put the number at 4.2million, that’s 1 for every 14 people or put another way the UK has 1% of the worlds population and 20% of it’s CCTV cameras! The government has today announced a scheme to roll out thousands of talking CCTV cameras (this is not an April Fool!). Operators will monitor people for ‘anti-social’ behavior and issue warnings and instructions through loudspeakers. There are also plans for ‘listening’ cameras to monitor for incriminating conversations. Future developments in face recognition software and microchips in passports and ID cards could allow the movements of individuals to be followed easily. This raises the possibility of terrorists constructing a bomb that only detonates when persons of a particular nationality are in the vicinity!
In addition our roads are covered with nine different types of speed enforcement cameras, recent estimates put the number at over 6,000. There are many more mobile enforcement vehicles and hand held radar guns the roads are also covered by congestion zone cameras, number plate recognition cameras, traffic flow cameras, traffic lane enforcement cameras and many more. This last type are particularly innovative, many cities are introducing car sharing lanes during peak periods, the idea being to encourage vehicle sharing and reduce congestion, some people are of course trying to take advantage by placing life-sized cardboard cutouts or inflatable dolls in the passenger seat so these new cameras will have thermal imaging to detect body heat and catch them out!
We also have store loyalty cards that record what and where we buy our food. How long before Government has information that allows identification of individuals who eat and drink unhealthly and give them a lower priority for health treatment! Huge databases of medical records and DNA samples are now being held. Now I’m all for some sensible crime prevention measures but I don’t want to live in a country where my every move is watched by faceless, nameless people reporting to Government. I am not a number!
My toast " To the freedom of the Oceans!"