Orwell's Omen**; I wasn't the first by a long way and I won't be the last; back then 20% of the world's CCTV cameras were in the UK: four million cameras covered almost every town centre and, of course, the numbers have been growing although I doubt now we have such a large percentage of world CCTV. Recent news reminded me of this: "you won’t be able to drive in or out of the town without being clocked", this sinister-sounding phrase said with pride by 'the town centre manager' of Royston:
"The town of Royston in Hertfordshire is to become Britain’s first ‘ring of steel’ town, with hidden Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras installed on every single road in and out of the town" [Big Brother Watch]Now, ANPR isn't CCTV and you may think it quite close, however, see image and read on. The Town Council says that residents details will be safe (how many data lost/stolen stories are there every year? Dozens) and that the cameras are to "give the police hard evidence as they track known villains" but the fact that ANPR have released details of its hopes to combine with Scottish police and other national security bureaus it tends to add weight to what Charles Farrier of the group 'No CCTV' said when he accused the police of creating a UK-wide tracking grid "to keep tabs on everyone". I tend to agree, especially when you read what they do: The ANPR introduction tells us that:
"Just capturing number plates and storing them is not much use by itself. Each new vehicle is automatically displayed upon detection within the event panel"Jeez: click on the image above to enlarge or scroll down the linked ANPR page and look at an event panel: apart from the car etc there is a picture of the driver, name, address, job, telephone numbers, e-mail...
** Amusingly, or not as the case may be, I read Orwell's words ('Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.') just today reading about BBC giving a very dodgy version of Libyan history (credit to pounce_uk on BBBC)
Read online: 1984