Monday, 10 November 2008

You're being watched...

Here's another reason why 1984 needed to be sent to the 646 - whether they take note or not - the state of CCTV in Bristol, which I'm guessing is replicated in most cities across the UK. I have been sent some rather interesting statistics and info.

The City of Bristol has 347 CCTV cameras, and a further 43 traffic cameras. All of the CCTV cameras have very powerful zoom, and ALL footage from ALL cameras is recorded, 24 hours a day. Don't think Bristol City Council don't have the capacity to do this, because they do. The BNET fibre network goes all over Bristol and takes the CCTV pictures in Digital back to a central HQ where they're monitored and recorded.

Furthermore, ALL of the traffic cameras are running ANPR, so any car they want to track can be.

Take a look at the amount of cameras just in the city centre:

That big blob in the centre of the map is at the new Carboot Circus development.

You might say; "Well, that's fine. The cameras will catch all the chavs that try to nick stuff from shops, and all the pikeys driving without insurance".

That's probably all it's used for now. But the point is, the capability exists for some serious abuse of power. Think about it, you can be tracked anywhere, pretty much, in the centre. Worse than that, if they spot you and want to know where you've been, they can find that out too. Oh, but they aren't interested in little old me, are they? After all,

If you've got nothing to hide, you needn't worry.

And are you actually, seriously, suggesting that you TRUST the government, local or national? Given everything that's happened? Fuck me, take the example of recent data losses, of which there has been ridiculous amounts. These are just the ones we know about! How many countless other "breaches" do you suppose have occured? (I love the word "breach" by the way, an attempt to make it sound better than it is. A bit like "abscond" instead of "escape").

The public sector has proven, time and time again, that they are simply not fit to deal with any kind of sensitive data. And yet Jacqui Smith still thinks we trust her plans for ID cards. The private sector fucking manage it, why don't the public sector? God knows they have enough cash thrown at it. Is it just Council "laziness"? Or is it more than that?

I've always thought the Public sector purely exists to give jobs to those who are otherwise unemployable in the private sector. I'd hope I would be proved wrong, but it seems pretty fucking unlikely so far.


Panopticon Britain said...

Christ, I'm not going to Cabot Circus again. I don't like the idea of the government knowing what types of overpriced clothes I buy.

Guthrum said...

Where is CCTVHQ is Bristle then ?

Bristol Dave said...

Brunel House, round the back of the Council House. The "Emergency Control" department have got a bomb-proof CCTVHQ room which also doubles up as a mission control in the event of a disaster.

Old Holborn said...

8.2 Million now work in the public sector. 27 million receive benefits directly from their "benevolent" masters.

"The difference between a Welfare State and a Totalitarian State is a matter of time"

Rog said...

Of course with enough ANPR cameras all over the country, we will essentially be tracked everywhere at all times, without tracking devices needing to be fitted.

Big Brother's already here, isn't he?

Noel said...

Sorry but while I agree that excessive CCTV use is worrying and has potential for abuse I find fault with your facts regarding this map.

Firstly this map is rather outdated. Secondly that big blob in the center is not Cabot Circus.

I circled a few keys areas of this map

In red I circled the areas of Kingsdown, St Judes, Next door to Trinity Police Station, St Pauls, Easton, Lawrence Hill. These are all troubled residential areas that I think truely deserve CCTV (Although we could talk all day on long term solutions to crime in these areas).

Circled in green are the relatively low CCTV areas of Broadmead and Cabot Circus. Based on this map, city center CCTV use does not appear to be excessive. Of course with the age of this map things could be quite different now.