Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Creepy cameras

Now this is just creepy. England is weird. I mean, Orwell wrote 1984 there, but this still seems to appeal to them. I know, I know, I know, cameras are everywhere these days, but I find the idea they're taping me at the ATM a lot less disturbing than the idea that some government-appointed Jiminy Cricket is staring at a monitor waiting to shout me down if I pick my nose or don't excuse myself after burping. This crosses a line for me.

From the Beeb:

'Talking' CCTV scheme expanding

Talking" CCTV cameras that tell off people dropping litter or committing anti-social behaviour are to be extended to 20 areas across England.

They are already used in Middlesbrough where anyone seen misbehaving can be told to stop via a loudspeaker, controlled by control centre staff.

Home Secretary John Reid has earmarked nearly £500,000 to add speaker facilities to already-existing cameras.

Critics say the cameras are absurd and an intrusion into everyday life.

Mr Reid told BBC News there would be some people, "in the minority who will be more concerned about what they claim are civil liberties intrusions".

"But the vast majority of people find that their life is more upset by people who make their life misery in the inner cities because they can't go out and feel safe and secure in a healthy, clean environment because of a minority of people," he added.

The example they give:

1. Pedestrian is spotted leaving can on bench.
2. Talking camera: "Please fetch your can."
3. Talking camera: "The bin is behind the phone box."
4. Talking camera: "Thank you for using the bin."

How it ought to go down:

1. Pedestrian is spotted leaving can on bench.
2. Talking camera: "Please fetch your can."
3. Though morally a douchebag, pedestrian exercises his free choice and gives camera the finger.
4. Assholes all around, but a blow for liberty is struck!
5. Next time, pedestrian realizes he was being a jerk and "bins" the can on his own. Hopefully.

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