Sunday, May 20, 2007

Orwellian State Coming To A Location Near You

An article in the BBC just confirms my fears of what society will be coming to in the very near future in regards to privacy.
Deputy chief constable of Hampshire Ian Readhead said Britain could become a surveillance society with cameras on every street corner. He told the BBC's Politics Show that CCTV was being used in small towns and villages where crime rates were low.

Mr Readhead also called for the retention of some DNA evidence and the use of speed cameras to be reviewed. His force area includes the small town of Stockbridge, where parish councillors have spent £10,000 installing CCTV.

Mr Readhead questioned whether the relatively low crime levels justified the expense and intrusion."I'm really concerned about what happens to the product of these cameras, and what comes next?" he said."If it's in our villages, are we really moving towards an Orwellian situation where cameras are at every street corner?

It's the frog in the slowly boiling pot of water in action. First we say that because of terrorism, or the children, or high crime in certain areas that we need to spy on everybody in those regards. But, of course it will be limited. Then small towns with little crime start installing cameras. Soon, you will be able to not walk anywhere without being spied upon.

How about in your home you say? Wait for it. I predict that soon, insurance companies will offer you "a discount" (read current rates) if you set up a camera system that is available to the police. That way, they can respond in emergencies more quickly, preventing a greater insurance loss in case of fire, burglary and the like.

How many of us sign up for grocery "savings cards" for convenience, where we don't really get good deals. We are punished by higher prices for not letting our information be shared, sold, and scattered among several data banks or suffer the consequences of less money in our wallets.

No political movement is spreading up here to fight it. The Republicans are going through a drunk with authoritarianism bender at the moment. The democrats are just nibbling at the edges. We will wake up one day, with our DNA stored at birth, our lives videotaped from cradle to grave, and who will stop it once it is already fait accompli?