Via Bad Astronomy, we hear that “there are 28 CCTV cameras within 200 yards of George Orwellâ€™s house.” This bit of information is brought to you by ThisIsLondon.co.uk, whose rather panicky article concludes in the following manner:
This week, the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) produced a report highlighting the astonishing numbers of CCTV cameras in the country and warned how such ‘Big Brother tactics’ could eventually put lives at risk.
The RAE report warned any security system was ‘vulnerable to abuse, including bribery of staff and computer hackers gaining access to it’. One of the report’s authors, Professor Nigel Gilbert, claimed the numbers of CCTV cameras now being used is so vast that further installations should be stopped until the need for them is proven.
One fear is a nationwide standard for CCTV cameras which would make it possible for all information gathered by individual cameras to be shared — and accessed by anyone with the means to do so.
The RAE report follows a warning by the Government’s Information Commissioner Richard Thomas that excessive use of CCTV and other information-gathering was ‘creating a climate of suspicion’.
Now, I’m not so sure having the feeds from such cameras widely available would be a bad thing. Given that all technologies have upshots and every silver lining has its own cloud, etc., it might actually be pretty cool.
Dreams of the Transparent Society notwithstanding, I think we all know the real reason Britain is so gear to put cameras everywhere. It’s because the newest cameras contain neural-network chips programmed to act as selective quantum observers, capable of altering wavefunction collapse and thereby mimicking the method by which natural Gorgons operate. And thus,
If we pursue this plan, by late 2006 any two adjacent public CCTV terminals â€” or private camcorders equipped with a digital video link â€” will be reprogrammable by any authenticated MAGINOT BLUE STARS superuser to permit the operator to turn them into a SCORPION STARE basilisk weapon. We remain convinced that this is the best defensive posture to adopt in order to minimize casualties when the Great Old Ones return from beyond the stars to eat our brains.