The BBC have a new series Who’s Watching You, a filleted excerpt (sans establishment friendly ‘balance’) from the story they are leading with to promote it-
A national network of cameras and computers automatically logging car number plates will be in place within months, the BBC has learned.
A number of local councils are signing up their Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems to the ANPR network. As long as the cameras are technically good enough, they can be adapted to take the software.
John Dean, who is co-ordinating the ANPR network for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “It’s the finest intelligence-led policing tool we’ve got.
John Catt found himself on the wrong side of the ANPR system. He regularly attends anti-war demonstrations outside a factory in Brighton, his home town.
It was at one of these protests that Sussex police put a “marker” on his car. That meant he was added to a “hotlist”.
This is a system meant for criminals but John Catt has not been convicted of anything and on a trip to London, the pensioner found himself pulled over by an anti-terror unit.
“I was threatened under the Terrorist Act. I had to answer every question they put to me, and if there were any questions I would refuse to answer, I would be arrested. I thought to myself, what kind of world are we living in?”
Sussex police would not talk about the case.
The police say they do not know how many cameras there are in total, and they say that for operational reasons they will not say where the fixed cameras are positioned.
Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, whose job it is to protect personal data, has concerns about the lack of regulation. He said: “There’s very little monitoring. I mean, my office has very limited powers. We have very limited resources. We are not actively monitoring that area. You’re right to ask the question. No one’s checking it at the moment”
Note the repeating themes -the private corporation the Association of Chief Police Officers working with government, surveillance industry friendly surveys & implementation and the misuse of terror laws to harass dissenters. End stage neoliberal authoritarianism is shaping up nicely (even with the odd hiccup). Worth reading again- China is building the prototype for a high-tech police state. It is ready for export. We have this myth put about that capitalism = democracy/freedom (not least by Edward Bernays) it is PR concocted by corporations, China is a capitalist as they come these days. We are converging towards endemic surveillance, it’s funny London will host the next Olympics. It’s all going to be a shiny happy corporate world and anyone who says different, might need to be watched, closely.