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Spy drones added to Britain's "surveillance society"

Discussion in 'Legal' started by glockamolee, May 23, 2007.

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  1. glockamolee

    glockamolee Member

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    Spy drones added to Britain's "surveillance society" By Luke Baker
    2 hours, 6 minutes ago

    (Sorry state of Liberty across the Atlantic)


    LONDON (Reuters) - It could be the 4 million closed-circuit television cameras, or maybe the spy drones hovering overhead, but one way or another Britons know they are being watched. All the time. Everywhere.

    The latest gizmo to be employed in what civil liberty campaigners are calling Britain's "surveillance society" is a small, remote-controlled helicopter that can hover above inner city streets and monitor suspected criminals.

    Unveiled in the north of Britain this week, it could be introduced across the country if deemed a success, fuelling an already intense debate over whether the "Big Brother" world George Orwell predicted is now truly upon us, or whether such scrutiny is merely essential for security in the modern era.

    "For us, this is a cost-effective way of helping to catch criminals," said Simon Byrne, a senior police officer in the Merseyside district who launched the spy drone project.

    Britain is now the most intensely monitored country in the world, according to surveillance experts, with 4.2 million CCTV cameras installed, equivalent to one for every 14 people.

    So blanketing is the surveillance that the average resident of London runs the possibility of being photographed up to 300 times a day just moving around the capital, civil liberties campaigners Liberty say.

    The pervasiveness of the cameras, combined with the government's plans to introduce digital identity cards for all citizens in the coming years and expand its DNA database, has led to calls for a halt until the impact can be better studied.

    In a report issued earlier this year, the Royal Academy of Engineering warned that increased monitoring of society actually risked provoking a breakdown in trust between individuals and the state, eventually causing more harm than good.

    "The state should remain the ultimate protector of citizen rights to privacy and should not garner new powers to invade the privacy or increase surveillance without strong justification," it said in a study filled with carefully measured language.

    "SOCIAL SUICIDE"

    As well as civil liberty campaigners growing increasingly alarmed at the tightening web of surveillance, some police officers have also expressed concern, saying excess monitoring is disrupting otherwise tranquil communities.

    The deputy chief constable of Hampshire, a leafy county west of London, said this week he feared Britain was becoming an Orwellian society, with quiet villages now wired with cameras.

    "I really don't think that's the kind of country that I want to live in," Ian Redhead told BBC television.

    The conundrum for many is that while they don't want to feel constantly under surveillance themselves, they don't mind demanding the benefits of CCTV if it might do some good.

    When the Cutty Sark, a famous 19th century trading ship, went up in flames on Monday in a possible arson attack, the first call by angry citizens was to urge on the police to study footage to see if any perpetrators could be spotted.

    Perhaps the greatest perversity about the explosion of surveillance is that experts say it doesn't necessarily do any good. While crime has gone down in some areas, studies show that it's seldom due to the presence of CCTV cameras. In fact, there is evidence that cameras can provoke more criminal behavior.

    "If people start to feel they are constantly under surveillance, the feeling of being watched starts to create the behavior that the surveillance was there to prevent," said Kirstie Ball, an expert in the impact of surveillance on society and a professor at the Open University Business School.

    "Once you feel the screws are being turned, that your every move is being pinned down, you actually start trying to find ways to get around what's become a pervasive system."

    An irony is that while most people don't want to feel monitored or observed by a government, many will reveal lots about themselves on Web sites and reality-style TV programmes, getting titillation from what would otherwise be an irritation.

    Yet ultimately, she worries that the breakdown in trust that can be created between individuals and the state by excess surveillance is the greatest long-term worry.

    "It can actually make for a slow social suicide," she said.
     
  2. MrRezister

    MrRezister Member

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    So, it's just like a prison, where everyone is safe all the time. It must be paradise over there!
     
  3. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Scary how the reality in the UK is emulating fiction. And not just 1984...

    For those of us outside the UK, the experience of being monitored by a flying camera, or doing something that offends the State (like failing to pick up an empty can) and then being accosted by a disembodied voice from a speaker, is familiar only from reading dystopian fiction and playing Half Life 2. Geez, I never expected a civilized country (one allegedly NOT run by space aliens) to try this crap...

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    The Overwatch liked their cameras, too, didn't they?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    "Welcome to City 17. It's safer here."
     
  4. WeThePeople

    WeThePeople Member

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    Let's keep in mind the fact that they were disarmed first.
     
  5. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    P U L L !
     
  6. 30 cal slob

    30 cal slob Member

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    Location, Location!
    LMAO.
     
  7. Speer

    Speer Member

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    It's about Public Safety. It must be good.

    1984film%5B1%5D.jpg
     
  8. EricTheBarbarian

    EricTheBarbarian Member

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    impressive. i wonder how they still have crime in the UK will all of that surviellance? I guess they need someone to watch that many cameras too, maybe thats what the robots are for:uhoh:
     
  9. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    I for one welcome our robot overlords.:D

    Are Mr. Blair's books illegal over there? Or, maybe 1984 is an instruction manual for the government?
     
  10. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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  11. scbair

    scbair Member

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    Pusuing Justin's comment ("PULL"), what gauge & shot size for flying cameras??? Considering the state of arms prohibition in Britain, might I recommend a nice 3/4" pipe, healthy charge of black powder & a capful of BBs?:evil:
     
  12. sterling180

    sterling180 Member

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    :eek:Next a machine-gun turret,will be attatched to that gadget and also the interactive cctv cameras.Wow,now there is a scary thought.

    No,not quite,you see that there are still some types of guns,that are UK mainland legal and shotguns are one specific type of firearms,that are legal.Please do your research into what arms are prohibited over here,okay?
     
  13. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Relax. Spy drones are just the manifestation of the All-Seeing Eye of God.
     
  14. Big Calhoun

    Big Calhoun Member

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    Spy drones in Britain...coming to an American nieghborhood near you soon! Either that or we'll borrow from Brazil and use their surveillance blimp idea.
     
  15. coltrane679

    coltrane679 Member

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    Ah, yes "freedom's on the march" again with our good ally Tony Blair--marching right off the island that is the birthplace of modern democracy.

    Good going, you socialist SOB.
     
  16. mordechaianiliewicz

    mordechaianiliewicz Member

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    Remember, remember, the 5th of November....

    I hope the ghost of Guy Fawkes could rise again. Parliament needs cleansing.
     
  17. GoRon

    GoRon Member

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    They need a PM like RON PAUL


    sorry couldn't resist :evil:
     
  18. Mannix

    Mannix Member

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    Not defending the ignorance of my fellow American, but how long do you think they will remain legal? Considering how much your government seems to trust the proles I would venture to guess 5, maybe 10 years if you're lucky.
     
  19. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Attached Files:

  20. James T Thomas

    James T Thomas Member

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    John Bull

    Britain's government may also be justly concerned about the threat potential and burgeoning Moslem presence in their nation. Thence the government control anxiety.

    Of all the european nations, including France, the Enlglish have placed themselves in a most precarous position for civil calamity and insurrection on a massive scale.

    They may be the first for anarchy, or perhaps on the continent -Spain, where the Moslems are seething to regain what they once had.

    I wonder? How are the gun possesion laws in Spain?

    England, our strong ally, and a nuclear power is ripe and the government knows it!
     
  21. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    Sounds like a good moving taget
     
  22. helpless

    helpless Member

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    My buddy hated the movie V for Vendetta, because he says Guy Fawkes was a terrorist. Funny thing is he also believes that Government and Country are the same thing.
    [​IMG]
     
  23. pacodelahoya

    pacodelahoya Member

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    Gee Wally, Can't they just, you know, vote those big dummies out of office?
     
  24. Lucky

    Lucky Member

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    What's the max altitude you can hit targets with with various loads of shot? Suppose you've got full choke and #5 lead shot, what height can you get?
     
  25. mons meg

    mons meg Member

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    No, you corner them and use a crowbar...that way you can steal their batteries.
     
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