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There is wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And clouds like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.

Nought warm where your hand was,
Nought gold where your hair was,
But phantom, forlorn,
Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.

Cold wind where your voice was,
Tears, tears where my heart was,
And ever with me,
Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.

November by Walter de la Mare
August
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Big brother is watching...

mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
As cameras appear at unlikely spots across the globe, activists raise fears about lost privacy and say society might be on the doorstep of a dystopia where Big Brother sees all. THIS ARTICLE tells of face-recognition technology that can check passengers in on flights, without need for passports.

In London alone, there is estimated over half a million securities cameras (for a population of 10-12 million). There are over 4 million cameras in the country, representing about one for every 14 people. It is thought that an average Londoner can be caught on camera typically 300 times in a day. Though the UK has only about 1% of the world's population, the EVENING STANDARD reports that it has 20% of the world's CCTV cameras.

China is reckoned to have the most cameras, with 170 million used to watch its 1.4 billion population. Beijing and London are reckoned to be the most watched cities. (https://vintechnology.com/2011/05/04/top-5-cities-with-the-largest-surveillance-camera-networks/)

France has been relatively slow in installing cameras. However, according to a very recent report (5 May 2019), Nice tops the list with 2,145 cameras on public roads (plus 170 in tramway trains) for a population of 344,000. The country's other major cities — including Paris, Lyon, and Marseille — have their share of cameras too. But France doesn't allow the use of facial recognition technology, which is now commonplace in China and is also making inroads in Great Britain and the United States.


Do you feel that Big Brother is watching you? How far do you feel safer by having cameras watching your every move? Do you think that they infringe your privacy? What is it like in your country?



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Comments

  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    I think there are a lot more cameras etc now, but on the whole, I think that if you're a law abiding citizen they're there to protect you rather than to spy on you.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    This is my view too. I'm not sure how effective they are in crime prevention but at least there's a chance that what they pick up, if a crime is committed, might help track down the culprits.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    This is my view too. I'm not sure how effective they are in crime prevention but at least there's a chance that what they pick up, if a crime is committed, might help track down the culprits.

    Definitely. If you're not doing anything wrong there is no way that these cameras can be used against you.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    There are some cctv cameras near a Buddhist stupa in Kathmandu where a lot of Tibetans go. It is all rather sinister as if they actually work, it is because the Chinese are checking up on Tibetan people. This is when their use might not be so good.
  • VokVok Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm all for cameras as I think it can deter wrongdoers from committing crimes. As to privacy, I think I'm too boring to be watched.
    @mheredge why do the Chinese watch for Tebatans?
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    The Chinese have it in for supporters of the Dalai Lama @Vok. Sometimes there are peaceful demonstrations in favour of 'Free Tibet' (which the Dalia Lama does not support) and so there is always the concern that Big Brother China is checking up on these people to apply pressure on the Nepal government to further persecute them.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    Vok said:

    I'm all for cameras as I think it can deter wrongdoers from committing crimes. As to privacy, I think I'm too boring to be watched.

    @mheredge why do the Chinese watch for Tebatans?

    It can deter some people, but then others just try to mask their identity in order to avoid all of the cameras.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    If miscreants know where the cameras are, they can avoid being caught on camera but often they either don't think or seem not to see them.
  • VokVok Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭

    It can deter some people, but then others just try to mask their identity in order to avoid all of the cameras.

    It's true, but if cameras are everywhere then the moment they take off their mask can be tracked down too.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    In the bedroom or bathroom? I hope not @Vok!
  • VokVok Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    It might be already in the pipeline @mheredge . Who knows?
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    I have scanned my ceilings for any sign of Big Brother but so far so good. Mind you, Big Bro would die of boredom spying on me!

    I think it might be easier to spy using computers. That little spot on the top of the screen is a camera isn't it?
  • VokVok Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, it is @mheredge . Mark Zuckerberg has his laptop front camera covered with a sticker. I suppose he has the reasons to do so.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    I think the only time it has ever watched me has been on the very rare occasion I used Skype with it on @Vok.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    Vok said:






    It can deter some people, but then others just try to mask their identity in order to avoid all of the cameras.


    It's true, but if cameras are everywhere then the moment they take off their mask can be tracked down too.

    Yes, although at the moment I think there are too many blind spots where they could get out of sight before they take their mask off, though.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    Travelling through what was formerly part of the Soviet Union, my generation and older remember the days of communism. There the state was very much Big Brother though to varying degrees. It was bad in Romania during the 1980s. Travelling there as a student with a friend, we felt that we were being watched all the time - and we were. People were afraid to speak to us as they were questioned after by the police.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    A legal challenge against a British police force's use of facial-recognition technology on passers-by in public spaces began on Tuesday in a potential landmark case that could set limits on the increasingly common surveillance method.

    It's being seen as an invasion of privacy.

    http://news.trust.org/item/20190521172657-8zbw9/
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    A legal challenge against a British police force's use of facial-recognition technology on passers-by in public spaces began on Tuesday in a potential landmark case that could set limits on the increasingly common surveillance method.

    It's being seen as an invasion of privacy.

    http://news.trust.org/item/20190521172657-8zbw9/

    Again, it's one of those things that could solve a lot of crimes, and people should only ever be afraid of it if they have something to hide.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    Everyone could also provide the police with their fingerprints and DNA if really the public wanted to help prevent crime but I don't think this will ever happen if civil liberties is an argument to consider.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    Everyone could also provide the police with their fingerprints and DNA if really the public wanted to help prevent crime but I don't think this will ever happen if civil liberties is an argument to consider.

    I have always said that babies' DNA should be taken at birth and put on the database for exactly this reason. And then perhaps prints once they reach high school age (a baby's prints would be a bit small, I imagine).
  • VokVok Posts: 1,584 ✭✭✭✭
    @GemmaRowlands I've hear that fingerprints don't change over the time. Baby's prints are small but I suppose still can be used for tracking down later in life.

  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    I don't think you have to provide finger prints when you apply for a passport in the UK but you do in France. They must have a very useful database of fingerprints.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    Vok said:

    @GemmaRowlands I've hear that fingerprints don't change over the time. Baby's prints are small but I suppose still can be used for tracking down later in life.

    Well if that's the case and they could be used, I don't see the harm in taking them at birth. It wouldn't cause the baby any harm!
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    Of course criminals can always wear gloves, but it would be a lot harder to disguise DNA.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm not sure if there was a camera somewhere that alerted the hostel I was trying to find a way in, but I was extremely glad to be rescued from knocking on doors that were not at all where I wanted to go.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    Of course criminals can always wear gloves, but it would be a lot harder to disguise DNA.

    Yes, I have a friend who works on crime scenes, and he says that usually people leave DNA behind as it's just too hard not to.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    The discovery of DNA to track down criminals was a major breakthrough in crime detection.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    Do you ever feel like you are being watched at work?

    This article describes how increasingly big brother is watching your every move in the work place.

    The gig economy is exploding and millions of people relying on flexible short-term jobs to pay their bills.
    By 2035 most people will be working without the security of long-term contracts and every move will be monitored at work thanks to billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

    “There is a disconcerting Orwellian aspect to this type of surveillance since potentially every move of an employee can be monitored and analysed in ways that workers do not control, and they do not know the way that the obtained information can be arbitrarily utilised by the employer”, Theodossiou says.

    Continuous monitoring can stop employees being able to control any aspect of their life within the workplace, which causes stress and would significantly harm the working population, mentally and physically.

    http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190705-we-were-constantly-watched-it-felt-like-we-were-in-prison
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    Do you ever feel like you are being watched at work?

    This article describes how increasingly big brother is watching your every move in the work place.

    The gig economy is exploding and millions of people relying on flexible short-term jobs to pay their bills.
    By 2035 most people will be working without the security of long-term contracts and every move will be monitored at work thanks to billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

    “There is a disconcerting Orwellian aspect to this type of surveillance since potentially every move of an employee can be monitored and analysed in ways that workers do not control, and they do not know the way that the obtained information can be arbitrarily utilised by the employer”, Theodossiou says.

    Continuous monitoring can stop employees being able to control any aspect of their life within the workplace, which causes stress and would significantly harm the working population, mentally and physically.

    http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190705-we-were-constantly-watched-it-felt-like-we-were-in-prison

    People should always be informed when they are on camera, and it should also be made clear that the footage will not be used unless there is a very good reason to view it.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,747 ✭✭✭✭
    Well since yesterday the British government voted against continuing to follow the EU regulations that protect workers' rights, I think you can forget any sort of humans rights on this sort of thing being upheld in the new post-Brexit UK, sad to say.
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