Saturday, June 28, 2008

UK: Big Brother -- not the TV show

I'm not really afraid of Orwellian government -- especially here in the radically individualistic and decentralized United States, but this is a bit creepy -- especially from the cradle of our Common Law, the beloved Magna Carta, and all around cultural great great great grandfather....

The spread of Closed-Circuit TV around Britain to "combat crime" is apparently great to scope out the callipygian women of the British Isles. Nice. Here's the story from the Guardian.

Just who are these people, these swelling legions of unelected, ill-qualified monitors who wield such extraordinary power in our surveillance society? Clarification in one case came last year, when the civilian in charge of a Worcester police station's surveillance team was suspended after detectives found, among one day's footage, a 20-minute sequence of close-ups of a woman's cleavage and backside as she walked oblivious through the streets. Whether the woman ever discovered she was the star of a kind of pervert Truman Show is not recorded. But the offending monitor escaped with a warning and was - unbelievably - back in post within weeks.

In some city centres, such as Middlesbrough, speakers have been put on the cameras, so that those monitoring can interact with potential miscreants. Let's hope these remote bossy boots imagine they're involved in some high-level negotiation, in which they talk down a teenager from his decision to drop a hamburger wrapper on the pavement.

Western civilization is in trouble.

1 comment:

Robert M. Lindsey said...

Wow, 1984 come to life!