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Lots of Big Brothers are no better than one Mar 27

theguardian reports a well-meaning but bizarre suggestion that we could roll back the invasion of privacy that comes with CCTV by turning CCTV cameras into webcams.

Footage from surveillance cameras must be made freely available to the public if Britain is to avoid becoming a Big Brother state, researchers warned yesterday.

Under the proposals, networks of CCTV cameras would be turned into public webcams, allowing those under surveillance to see where cameras are directed, what images are recorded and who is viewing the footage.

In principle, the wider sharing of information is a good liberal principle, but this proposals doesn’t allow us to “watch the watchers” as the co-author of the report claims, only to watch each other. While I can see the argument that…

Community members could object if they felt particular cameras were unnecessary or unnecessarily intrusive. This would limit the potential for voyeuristic or prejudicial misuse of surveillance

…I’m not at all convinced it would happen. Rather, we would be introducing a system that allowed everyone to spy on everyone else, as intrusive but less regulated than the current systems.

5 Responses

  1. 1

    my definition of a liberal is someone who has not had their house burgled, what stuff of nonsense I dont give a dam about looking at any surveillance cameras. With the state of our nation we need more video cameras to catch all the criminals that the liberals have let our early or put a tag on.

  2. 2

    Having been burgled twice, I think that’s a pretty dumb definition.

  3. 3

    Hi Will. I didn’t realise you were getting trolls now – I guess this means you’ve made it! Anyway, what do you think about the talking CCTV thingys that have been all over the news today? Part of me is thinking scary-big-brother-invasion-of-privacy-disgrace, but another part just really really wants a go at being sat in the control room 🙂

  4. 4

    are you a liberal then?

  5. 5

    Personally and professionally…