UK is a police state

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Mane
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Mane » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:02 am UTC

Malice wrote:
Mane wrote:What's your point? The system is designed to look for terrorists, not dissenters....


Oh, I see the problem. Your glasses are some kind of weird rose color. You should really get that fixed.

Nobody would complain about a police state which was uncorruptible; but the fact remains that our government is comprised of humans, and all people are easily corrupted by power into abuse. All it takes is the wrong sort of people inheriting the system, and turning the eye on its enemies instead of Britain's. That's why you have to nip these things in the bud. By the time a system like this has fallen into the wrong hands, it's too late to do anything about it.

And that's the duty of every voter in the UK, to make sure they don't elect the 'wrong hands'.

I still have my doubt about whether the system would work, ether for good or bad, but I really must be going to bed now.

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Solt » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:50 am UTC

Malice wrote:You're quoting Alias out of context. He or she is referring to credit card companies recording credit card purchases for anything bought with a credit card. This is neither specific to tobacco nor England, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the idea of a police state. It was just somebody else talking about how they prefer to be off the grid.


You are... not so careful about reading and confirming before making accussations:

Alias wrote:i work in a shop and the people that rant at me (or on one memorable occaison throw a latop at my head) because i ask for their address seem very...petty. the govornment already knows where you live, what you earn, when you're online, whether you have a tv, car, family or child... what difference does it make if they know you bought 20 marlboros and some bourbon?


Where does Alias say anything about credit card companies? He explicitly implies that it is the government collecting this information. Seriously Malice, how wrong you are is just embarrassing.

Now if Alias' post was misleading and it is the credit card companies asking for these addresses and not the government, then obviously my criticism was unfounded. But I was certainly NOT quoting him out of context. In fact my interpretation was very conservative. PLEASE read the actual quote before accusing me of taking things out of context.

22/7 wrote:
Solt wrote:You cannot buy certain relatively harmless products without it being recorded (bomb making material being watched is understandable, but tobacco?).

This is also out of context, but Malice has covered this already.


22/7 wrote:Solt was (what feels like intentionally) misinterpreting what was said and I was explaining how he was misinterpreting.


Hey, 22/7, you are kind of an asshole.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:54 am UTC

Uh, Solt.

You cannot explicitly imply anything. To imply is by definition to be implicit.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Solt » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:03 am UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:Uh, Solt.

You cannot explicitly imply anything. To imply is by definition to be implicit.


Yes I realize that. But look at what he wrote. He said the government will get the information without actually saying that it is collected by them. I felt it was the only fitting way to describe it.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Malice » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:40 am UTC

Oh, I see the issue. I read what Alias was responding to...

michael24easilybored wrote:in my own personal fight against the man I've stopped using my debit / credit card to buy stuff and just use cash now. That way the only thing the system knows is how much money I spend and which atm I used to withdraw it, rather than where and what I spent it on.

I know that probably makes no significant difference to the international conspiracy against me, but at least it makes it a bit easier to keep track of how much cash I'm pissing away on a daily basis :)


And assumed "the man" meant "credit card companies", because who ever said the government has access to those records? But apparently that was a mistake? I'm not sure whether it was mine or Michael's. Either way, I apologize.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby michael24easilybored » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:54 am UTC

credit card companies, government, whatever, it's all part of the global conspiracy man. Look to the skies!

actually, I no longer believe alien spacecraft are regularly visiting the earth - because nowadays I would guess that at least half of all people in the developed world carry a little mobile video camera aound in their pocket (their mobile phone) and I would guess that maybe a quarter of those people might decide to put that footage up on youtube. So therefore, based on my rather simple logic 1 in 8 people who see a UFO hovering over their house will film it and put it on youtube, and if aliens really are flying around in the sky then youtube would be full of UFO films. But it isn't!

I suppose the real question is what is the government doing to remove all these videos and how do they find the time what with all the other monitoring they get up to?

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby 22/7 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:03 pm UTC

Solt wrote:Hey, 22/7, you are kind of an asshole.
My world? Shattered.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Skateside » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:08 pm UTC

I've really lost the point of this thread.

...weren't we talking about the amount of CCTV cameras in the UK and the implications of those numbers? How did the US government's stalking of a professor, China's internet ban and a North Korean famine get into this?
Malice wrote:Coming next month, it's Google Panopticon!

May I make a much bigger point of this comment? Everyone seemed to gloss over it, but Malice has a really good point here -- very much like, if not identical to, the point that Mane demonstrated in his telephone conversation analogy: any surveillance must be properly documented and filed if there's to be any search.

CCTV images are currently filed by time, date and location. By tracking through the library of those, yes it is possible to follow a person from the time they enter the CCTV camera range to the time they leave it. Contrary to seemingly popular belief, this very rarely includes the front door of a house, but I digress. For someone to track a person using a search function, someone would have to document every single person in shot for every frame of every camera. They would have to assess the clothing, posture and mannerisms of any individual and show beyond reasonable doubt that the figure shown is "Joe Bloggs of College Road, SE21". Wikipedia estimates that there are 500,000 CCTV cameras in London, so you can clearly see the impossibility of the task.

So what are CCTV cameras used for? More than anything else, deterrence. A hardened criminal will find ways around CCTV cameras, but the average opportunist will reconsider comiting crime in a monitored area because of the increased chance of being caught. This can go to ridiculous extremes* -- no human position of power is free from corruption -- but average, law abiding, citizens feel safer with CCTV around*

I don't see how that makes the UK a police state.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby 22/7 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:04 pm UTC

Skateside wrote:May I make a much bigger point of this comment? Everyone seemed to gloss over it, but Malice has a really good point here -- very much like, if not identical to, the point that Mane demonstrated in his telephone conversation analogy: any surveillance must be properly documented and filed if there's to be any search.

CCTV images are currently filed by time, date and location. By tracking through the library of those, yes it is possible to follow a person from the time they enter the CCTV camera range to the time they leave it. Contrary to seemingly popular belief, this very rarely includes the front door of a house, but I digress. For someone to track a person using a search function, someone would have to document every single person in shot for every frame of every camera. They would have to assess the clothing, posture and mannerisms of any individual and show beyond reasonable doubt that the figure shown is "Joe Bloggs of College Road, SE21". Wikipedia estimates that there are 500,000 CCTV cameras in London, so you can clearly see the impossibility of the task.
If that were truly the only way to use CCTV information, then you'd be right, let them jerk off to their hearts content. The problem is that that's not even remotely necessary. You can quite easily use, for instance, a credit card purchase, ATM withdrawal, known phone call, etc. to see where a person is and when and use the CCTV from there. The CCTV is not their first choice when trying to find someone for the reasons you've already detailed.

In addition and along the same lines, you don't have to have someone listen to and then log a phone call for that information to be helpful. You can simply start listening to the phone calls of person X once you have some reason to suspect that you need to, or you can just run it through a voice recognition program to "listen" for key words. Is the software perfect? No. Will you get hits that aren't particularly helpful/related? Absolutely. Does that mean that the information is unusable? Absolutely not.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby optionalredmark » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:23 pm UTC

Alias wrote:calling it a ploice state is sensationalism, for now.

the 42 days does utterly worry me though.


hey, your other post got locked. So I'm responding here.

Anyway, habeas corpus was suspended several times in the USA over different wars. Most recently, the President canceled habeas corpus rights for any noncombat terrorism suspects, as defined by the office of the Presidency. Basically, they can say anyone is a suspect of terrorism and send individuals to prison without reason, or length of time--merely by saying they're a terrorist.

So, no, the USA stopped doing this a long time ago.

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Falmarri » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:44 pm UTC

Skateside wrote:CCTV images are currently filed by time, date and location. By tracking through the library of those, yes it is possible to follow a person from the time they enter the CCTV camera range to the time they leave it. Contrary to seemingly popular belief, this very rarely includes the front door of a house, but I digress. For someone to track a person using a search function, someone would have to document every single person in shot for every frame of every camera. They would have to assess the clothing, posture and mannerisms of any individual and show beyond reasonable doubt that the figure shown is "Joe Bloggs of College Road, SE21". Wikipedia estimates that there are 500,000 CCTV cameras in London, so you can clearly see the impossibility of the task.

So what are CCTV cameras used for? More than anything else, deterrence. A hardened criminal will find ways around CCTV cameras, but the average opportunist will reconsider comiting crime in a monitored area because of the increased chance of being caught. This can go to ridiculous extremes* -- no human position of power is free from corruption -- but average, law abiding, citizens feel safer with CCTV around*

I don't see how that makes the UK a police state.


Are you that naive about technology? There's very sophisticated face recognition software that I'm sure can automatically track anyone they want whenever they enter or leave cctv range no matter where they are or what they're wearing.

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby TheAmazingRando » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:36 pm UTC

It doesn't matter how sophisticated face recognition technology is (though I imagine that, from far away, in low resolution, you would end up getting a lot of false positives). Even given incredible technology, running a scan on every single person in every single frame of every single camera...even if you have it narrowed down to a very specific area, that's a lot of work. Not to mention that we're talking about archives here, in many cases, and not videos that are being tagged in any way while live. So we're talking about a computer opening these videos (of which there are hundreds of thousands), running through them frame by frame, finding every face, and checking each face against an archive of potential matches, somehow deciding whether or not it's a false positive...even the best face recognition software that I've heard of relies on a human operator to check against the database of potential matches, because it's impossible to get a definite match on a single person, facial structure just isn't that radically unique, especially from further away, in grainy footage, with people moving. I think you're vastly overestimating the reliability of CCTV face recognition technology.

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Falmarri » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:38 am UTC

So your point is that because it doesn't work perfectly, it's OK to record everyone going about their daily business? What about in a year or 2 when it does work perfectly and they do have a database of everyone and all they have to do is type in your name, and the computer tells you every location any CCTV has captured them in, how long they were in range of that CCTV camera, and you can bring up footage of that time from that camera by clicking a link next to it. You don't think there isn't something at least crudely similar in place now? If there wasn't, what's the point of recording millions of hours of CCTV footage?

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:44 am UTC

I never said it was right or wrong, I just said it isn't happening right now.

EDIT: and if you're talking about a comprehensive list, you need to realize what your talking about. Even the best facial recognition software requires human input to check against the swarms of false positives. There was a study a year ago that showed that 8 out of ten automatic IDs on CCTV, where the subjects were standing still even (no motion blurs), were false positives, and I haven't heard of any massive breakthroughs in the last year. This means that every single person on the frame needs to be singled out, scanned, and manually IDed against a list that even a human won't necessarily single them out on if you're checking them against a list of every single person in the country, if we want to get a comprehensive list. Identifying every single person, manually, over 500,000 cameras? That would take a fucking army. And even then, there's a good chance that the information would have a lot of holes.

Are there people who want to do it? Maybe. But saying you have to be naive to believe that it isn't happening right now is fucking ridiculous.

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Solt » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:05 am UTC

Computerized face recognition technology is quite good and getting better all the time. If I remember correctly, the best in the field is actually better than the human eye.

There also exists mood recognition, both from the face and from the way you are walking, intent recognition, behavior recognition (meaning the computer can tell you if someone is being knifed). Now, whether all this is at production/deployment level or just in the early stages of research, and whether it is even very good, I don't know. But the technology exists and the one thing you can be sure about with technology is that it WILL improve. It WILL become close to perfect. It is probably wise to do any postulating on the ethics here with that in mind. Any argument that depends on the inability of the technology currently available is foolish.

Malice wrote:because who ever said the government has access to those records?


Well, I feel it is relevant to point out that the government and indeed the credit card company has no access to what, exactly, you bought. All they know is that x store charged you y dollars/pounds and someone approved the transaction. It is usually up to the store to keep the detailed record, unless (here, anyway) it is a dangerous product like cough medicine/pills, fertilizer, guns, etc.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:17 am UTC

Solt wrote:It is probably wise to do any postulating on the ethics here with that in mind. Any argument that depends on the inability of the technology currently available is foolish.
Certainly. And, for what it's worth, I'm very uncomfortable with the level of surveillance in the UK, if what I'm reading is accurate.

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Solt » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:34 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:There was a study a year ago that showed that 8 out of ten automatic IDs on CCTV, where the subjects were standing still even (no motion blurs), were false positives


You have to understand how government works. Their job isn't efficiency or saving money. It is security.

When we look at a system like this we think "waste of time, they would never do it."

When a security agency looks at this they think "shit, we just made the country 20% more secure!"
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:18 pm UTC

I know, and I wasn't saying the government wasn't trying to do any face recognition with these cameras, I'm sure they do. And I'm sure they would love to have the kind of system Falmarri was describing. I was just explaining why, at the moment, it is technologically highly infeasible that even a primitive version of that system is in place, because of the amount of time and people required.

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby The Reaper » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:39 am UTC

Since when was the UK not a police state? :\

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Dream » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:57 am UTC

Under the proposal, internet service providers and telecoms companies would hand over millions of phone and internet records to the Home Office, which would store them for at least 12 months so that the police and security services could access them. It is understood that more than £1bn has been earmarked for the database.


Hmmmn...
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Falmarri » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:20 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:I know, and I wasn't saying the government wasn't trying to do any face recognition with these cameras, I'm sure they do. And I'm sure they would love to have the kind of system Falmarri was describing. I was just explaining why, at the moment, it is technologically highly infeasible that even a primitive version of that system is in place, because of the amount of time and people required.


Since when is time or money a problem for the government? Just throw a few billion dollars and a few hundred million man hours at the problem.

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:27 pm UTC

Falmarri wrote:Since when is time or money a problem for the government? Just throw a few billion dollars and a few hundred million man hours at the problem.
As much as this feels like feeding... were you under the impression that the government has a shitton of people sitting around waiting for ridiculously high-man hour-intensive projects? I mean, yeah, they can fairly easily throw a bunch of money at it, but they've got to have people who weren't doing this before sit down and start doing it. That's a lot of new jobs, or at the very least a sizable jump in productivity for those people who are currently working for them.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Dream » Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:33 am UTC

22/7 wrote:
Falmarri wrote:Since when is time or money a problem for the government? Just throw a few billion dollars and a few hundred million man hours at the problem.
As much as this feels like feeding... were you under the impression that the government has a shitton of people sitting around waiting for ridiculously high-man hour-intensive projects? I mean, yeah, they can fairly easily throw a bunch of money at it, but they've got to have people who weren't doing this before sit down and start doing it. That's a lot of new jobs, or at the very least a sizable jump in productivity for those people who are currently working for them.


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Re: UK is a police state

Postby quantumz » Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:18 am UTC

Wow, that got pretty heated on pg. 2 for a while. I was going to say people should relax a little, that this is just what the government e-bots want(Mane and Solt are bots sent to draw out the radicals?), but things seemed to have cooled off a little.
[Mane &/or Solt: that was not a personal attack, I find it very unlikely that you are AI systems.]

I'm concerned to hear about the proposed "42 days imprisonment cuz you look suspicious" law, but I'm more shocked about the anti-social ban. The vagueness of what warrants an ASBO and the potential severity of the punishment (I read up to 5 years in JAIL) lend themselves to serious potential abuse. As it stands now it's in the hands of judges to make good decisions about what action is justified, but in a state of widespread fear/panic/nationalism/nation-wide-judicial-hangover-from-all-night-court house-rave ... that last one could get messy.

The fact that it is legally possible to get jail-time for repeated rave-hosting is scary.
I had to look up "rave" to make sure it meant the same thing in England!

...as far as monitoring internet and phone activity, you should have learned fromTHIS GUY that once it goes into a computer, it's public domain.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Solt » Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:39 am UTC

I wonder if there would be a comprehensive CCTV system in the US if we were small enough. The UK is half the size of California with double the population of the state. The Brits have an average of 637 people per square mile while the US has a whopping 80.

Surely the physical ease of setting up such a system played a major factor in its deployment in the UK and is an argument against its deployment here.

How much better would our government be if they could afford the same thing?
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby The Cat » Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:17 pm UTC

"Absolute power corrupts Absolutely" Baron Acton. This cannot be permited in any free country without proper oversight. ie evidence of wrong doing presented before a judge.

I can think of all kinds of ways that would destroy the benefits of the "gold star system". For example Lets say that a corrupt land developer wants to destroy his competition or an enemy under this system. To make a long story short, the honest hard working business man is destroyed, the corrupt developer gains more power, the officers mom gets a new house, and the officer still has a 90% A rating with the department. Happens all the time. Stop abuse of the Patriot Act!

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Skateside » Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:34 pm UTC

Most CCTV cameras are actually privately owned. A show will have a couple dotted around the place so the checkout clerk can keep an eye on people the other side of the shelves.

Interestingly, a couple of years ago, it was noticed that around 90% of the recorded images were considered useless for failing to store the data under the terms labled in the Data Protection Act.
This theoretically means that turning up to a store armed with your National Insurance Number, bank account details, addres and telephone number and waving them all in-front of the camera before robbing the place will render the CCTV footage unusable, and may even give you enough grounds for suing the store for improperly storing your personal information... To me, that's far more terrifying than ASBOs or Falmarri's technological fantasies.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby 22/7 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:03 pm UTC

Surely this is one of those scenarios where the police/attorneys would realize that the law being enforced was broken and change/remove it?

I know, it's cute that I think things like this sometimes.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Skateside » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:39 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Surely this is one of those scenarios where the police/attorneys would realize that the law being enforced was broken and change/remove it?

You mean write to store owners to point out the pit-falls... right?
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby 22/7 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:44 pm UTC

Surely I don't have to explain why it's ridiculous to restrict a store's ability to monitor it's own premises because a potential robber could intentionally flash his information in front of them?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Skateside » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:50 am UTC

22/7 wrote:Surely I don't have to explain why it's ridiculous to restrict a store's ability to monitor it's own premises because a potential robber could intentionally flash his information in front of them?

Re-write: Sorry, I mis-read your previous post. Yes, in that instance I would imagine that and sensible lawyer would point out that the crime was clearly pre-meditated and get the criminal for, if nothing else, intent to commit theft. But I don't have a huge amount of faith that all lawyers are that moral, and a picture of one's face is considered personal information.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:34 pm UTC

Well, I meant that a law that makes it essentially illegal to record the interior of your store is kind of, well, broken. Especially when those recordings can be the only thing to make a case with.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Skateside » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:51 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Well, I meant that a law that makes it essentially illegal to record the interior of your store is kind of, well, broken. Especially when those recordings can be the only thing to make a case with.

The law makes it illegal to have a TV monitor showing the recordings as you're recording them. It states that they should be stored a at least a certain amount of security. If this standard of security is not met, the opportunity to tamper with the information creates enough reasonable doubt to discredit it in court.

Actually having a CCTV system in a store is highly encouraged.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby 22/7 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:04 pm UTC

Ah, this remark
Interestingly, a couple of years ago, it was noticed that around 90% of the recorded images were considered useless for failing to store the data under the terms labled in the Data Protection Act.
This theoretically means that turning up to a store armed with your National Insurance Number, bank account details, addres and telephone number and waving them all in-front of the camera before robbing the place will render the CCTV footage unusable, and may even give you enough grounds for suing the store for improperly storing your personal information...
made me think that they could get in trouble for taking your personal information or something.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: UK is a police state

Postby Dream » Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:52 am UTC

Having worked in retail in the UK for a number of years, I can confidently say that the legalities surrounding CCTV usage are very well founded. I have never yet seen a store, or heard of one, where proper logs are kept, where hard drives or tapes are properly secured, or most importantly, where time stamps are always present and accurate. I can easily see a situation occurring where a person is falsely accused of a crime because of inconsistent, partial CCTV coverage, and at the very least ends up defending themselves in court against hazy testimony and dodgy evidence. Most places don't even point the things in useful directions.
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Re: UK is a police state

Postby cwoodin » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:47 am UTC

This is slightly off topic now that we've moved on to the implications of CCTV, but I think it fits with the theme -

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7694408.stm
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Extremists to be barred from UK
Tougher measures to prevent extremists entering the UK are to be announced by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
They are designed to stop so-called preachers of hate stirring up tension, and in some cases the names of extremists will be made public.
There have been 230 barred since 2005 but their identities have only been revealed when they publicly complained about being excluded.
Ms Smith is to reveal the full details of the plans in the next few days.
The BBC's Nick Ravenscroft said those already blocked include neo-Nazis, holocaust deniers, certain animal rights activists and religious extremists.
The radical Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed was banned from the UK following the 7/7 terror attacks in London in 2005, when the former Home Secretary Charles Clarke used existing powers to exclude Mr Mohammed as his presence was "not conducive to the public good".
A Home Office official told the Sunday Mirror: "These measures are aimed at preventing anyone who will stir up tensions in the UK from entering the country.
"We have not named them in the past but now, when it was in the public interest, we will.
"They will also be placed on international watch lists which tell other countries that they have been banned and why they were not allowed in.
"Coming to the UK is a privilege. We don't want people abusing that by stirring up tensions."
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I don't know what to think about Big Brother.

Postby Ratio » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:59 pm UTC

My dear SB.

I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, Big Brother, the idea that those with some levels of power, Government and so forth, are trying to Obtain power beond their rights, and to make sure we don't catch on, they're putting up CCTV, giving us ID cards, cencoring the media and other information etc.
I'm sure you also know the term comes from George Orwell's novel "1984" about the government taking away the rights of it's citizens in order to gain power and wealth.

To put it quite frankly, it sounds like a crock of shit.

This whole "Big Brother" or "Police State" thing, is, in my mind, on Par with theories that we never landed on the moon, that JFK wasn't shot by Lee-Oswald, the idea that MI6 Assasinated Princess Diana, Alien abductions, just utter shit.

The thing is my dear SB, is that a lot of intelligent people, people who think that all those moon landing nuts are wrong, who are worried about big brother, and I'm getting concerned that there's something wrong with me.

1)What are my disagreements? Well, for starters, the idea that my British Government, who drops highly classified documents on public transport, could possibly keep this big government survalience thing secret, is absolutely ridiculous.

How odd it is, that the very same British Government is considered to be the "Worst" nation when it comes to big brother. Supposedly, the average Londoner is caught on CCTV 300 (I think that was it) times a day, and we've got the ID cards in a few years.

There's another concern, CCTV. I sometimes think I'm the only one who thinks they really are there to collect video recordings of future crimes for use in court. I used to work at a place that had CCTV, the footage was never watched, at all, it was only there so if a crime was reported, the recording for that time and place could be checked.
I can fully understand the argument "Oh, if we started a government resistance group, the government could tract our movements." Quite right, but the thing is, you're not in La Resistance, you're getting in your weekly shopping, taking your kids to school.

2) Does the government really Give a damn about our day to day lives? Is our Privacy really being violated, anyone who sees these tapes aren't going to pay any attention to us unless we're stabbing someone.

Oh dear, the last time I made a topic in SB, it was a little bit long, so I'll end this one with just the two points, I'd really like to be proven wrong, I look around at all the people chanting "ORWELLIAN STATE! ORWELLIAN STATE!" (Ironically, like sheep) and people useing the phrase "Big Brother" to the point I'm really getting sick of these terms. I can't help but feel I'm missing something collosal.

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Re: I don't know what to think about Big Brother.

Postby clintonius » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:04 pm UTC

Please keep all replies in this thread up to SB standards. If it becomes a repeat of the N&A thread on the same topic, I'm locking it.
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Re: I don't know what to think about Big Brother.

Postby Ratio » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:09 pm UTC

Sorry Clintonius, I didn't know the forum has had troubles with this subject.

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Re: I don't know what to think about Big Brother.

Postby Indon » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:18 pm UTC

Ratio wrote:2) Does the government really Give a damn about our day to day lives? Is our Privacy really being violated, anyone who sees these tapes aren't going to pay any attention to us unless we're stabbing someone.


I'm going to speak a bit on the viability of this point.

Specifically, that "the government" does not need to give a damn about your day to day lives to be able to access and process any information about you that they have - that's what computers are for.

Each passing year, technology designed to manipulate, handle, and most importantly automatically contextually parse massive amounts of information improves. Right now, it's possible for a government worker to look you up by name and get, say, your identification number. "So what?" You say, "That's not really significant," and it isn't.

But in 20 or 30 years, provided you've got the information-gathering infrastructure in place a government worker will be able to look you up by name and be able to identify say *thinks about something that might affect a brit*, based on changes in pupil dialation between captures, the last time you became intoxicated or high, and be able to tell which, and where you became intoxicated or high.

Now, I don't actually know what drugs are illegal versus legal in the UK, and I have no clue if you use any. But let's assume you use no illegal substances ever, and just drink. "This doesn't affect me," you can then say, "it only affects criminals, and it's good that they can't get away with anything!"

That's all well and good - but what if, say, alcohol is outlawed in your area (perhaps due to some freak supermajority of moral guardians in some house or another)? Since something you do was made illegal, you just got shunted from, "This doesn't affect me," to "they can't get away with anything!".

"But that's a bullshit law!" you angrily contend, and I agree. That doesn't mean the government will never try it, at least if the government of the UK is anything like the government of the United States.

Edit: In short, a more powerful government - and surveillance makes a government more powerful - reduces your ability to effectively defy it when it screws up.
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