Big Brother Is Watching You In G.B.

Big Brother Is Watching You In G.B.

This is a discussion on Big Brother Is Watching You In G.B. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Seems our Brit friends have come up with yet another foolproof crime fighting tool, the helmet cam! There are implications in this for the U.S., ...

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Thread: Big Brother Is Watching You In G.B.

  1. #1
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    Big Brother Is Watching You In G.B.

    Seems our Brit friends have come up with yet another foolproof crime fighting tool, the helmet cam!

    There are implications in this for the U.S., too.

    LONDON -- Britain is taking its surveillance to a new level, strapping video cameras to the helmets of its famed bobbies -- a move the government says will cut down on paperwork and help prosecute criminals.

    By providing dramatic footage of victims, suspects and witnesses, judges and jurors will be able to "see and hear the incident through the eyes and ears of the officer at the scene," Minister of State for Security Tony McNulty said.

    The Home Office said it was allocating $6 million to fund the devices for Britain's 42 police forces -- enough to buy more than 2,000 cameras.

    Police already use handheld cameras to monitor crowded events and the new head-mounted devices, worn around the ear or clipped on to a helmet, have been used on a trial basis by police in Plymouth, in southwestern England, since 2005. Similar cameras are used by security guards at sports venues to hunt for soccer hooligans.

    Britain is not the first country to use such cameras, versions of which have been tested in Denmark. But the national rollout will tighten Britain's web of video surveillance, already the most extensive in the world. The country is watched over by a network of some 4 million closed-circuit cameras, and privacy advocates complain the average Briton is recorded as many as 300 times a day.

    In a report on the Plymouth pilot project published by the Home Office on Thursday, policemen praised the head-held cameras for deterring bad behavior and providing excellent evidence against crooks.

    They said rowdy youths quickly calmed when they realized they were being filmed, and those arrested for drunkenness seldom challenged police when shown videos of their behavior.

    Prosecutors credited the cameras with emboldening victims of domestic violence to press charges against their partners, although the director of Rights of Women, Ranjit Kaur, said she has not been convinced the footage alone could help secure a conviction.

    The Association of Chief Police Officers, an independent body of senior police officials in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, gave the devices a tepid welcome, cautioning that courts might someday expect everything police said to be backed by video evidence.

    "The introduction of personal digital recording equipment for police officers and staff brings benefits and risks," the association said in a statement. "We need to guard against creating an expectation that all police activity ought to be supported by the use of digital recording technology."

    Civil rights campaigner Liberty praised the guidelines for using the devices included in the Home Office report. Spokeswoman Jen Corlew noted that police were instructed to inform members of the public they were being recorded and that the footage not being used in an investigation had to be erased within a month of its creation.

    But Ben Ward, Human Rights Watch's associate Europe director, expressed concern.

    "The privacy questions raised by the plan will turn on whether the safeguards, including on notification and storage, are uniformly respected," he said in a telephone interview in London.

    The American Civil Liberties Union also expressed concern, predicting the United States would soon follow Britain's lead and subject Americans to even more video surveillance.

    "Head-mounted cameras are a little bit of a double edged sword when it comes to civil liberties," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's technology and liberty program in Washington, D.C.

    "They record police misconduct, improper interrogations and seem to have an effect on having police officers kept in line. But this just becomes another extension of widespread video surveillance," he said in a telephone interview.

    Steinhardt predicted the U.S. would soon give police the same power since America already has followed the example of Britain, "the world's innovator when it comes to surveillance and surveillance technology."

    Britain's Home Office said the cameras -- which have enough memory to hold 24 hours of video -- were not intended to record continuously. Officers would turn the devices on and off at their discretion, speaking into the camera after turning it on to explain where, when and why they were starting it. A second explanation was required before turning the device off.

    The report also cautioned against taking extraneous video when entering private homes, and said officers should turn cameras off during strip searches. But it also threatened disciplinary action against officers who deliberately masked the camera's view or deleted video from the camera's memory.

    The Home Office said it was exploring other uses for the devices, including fitting them with the ability to send video live to a command center, or special license-plate recognition software which would enable police to identify stolen or suspicious vehicles just by looking at them.


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    As far as being on video, I'm not doing anything illegal, so what I don't care, your being recorded 10+ times a day. If you really want an eye opener go ont one of the satellite imaging sites type in your zip code or lat and long then see your house, cars, the tree in your yard. And this doesn't even come close to the detail the Military has.

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    All those cameras with police watching everywhere and still the subjects of the UK are much more likely to be the victim of violent crime than any citizen of the US.

    Makes you think that maybe the better way to do things is to let everyone be responsible for their own safety and defense huh?

    But there I go making sense again......silly me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighter_56 View Post
    As far as being on video, I'm not doing anything illegal, so what I don't care, your being recorded 10+ times a day. If you really want an eye opener go ont one of the satellite imaging sites type in your zip code or lat and long then see your house, cars, the tree in your yard. And this doesn't even come close to the detail the Military has.
    Could you name a site or two?...I'd like to try one out...

    Thanks...

    ret
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    http://maps.google.com

    in some areas you can even zoom down to a 'on the street' look.. where they had someone go out and stand in the middle of the street with a camera and take a picture of everything around them..

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    Big Brother Is Watching You In G.B.
    LEO's are already witnessing the actions and arrest. A helmet-mounted videocam isn't much different from a dash-mounted videocam in officers' cars here in the States.

    A video recording of what the officer sees is merely recording for posterity what the officer already sees. "Big Brother?" No. It's not much different than one LEO having a partner on-scene who witnesses the same thing and can corroborate the facts. Of course, video/audio is a bit more graphic for others (juries, tribunal members, judges), who weren't on-scene).

    When in public, one's actions are witnessed anyway. Like momma always said: don't do anything in public you wouldn't want discussed on the Sunday morning paper's front page.
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    One thing about it...

    the stories sure do change when someone finds out that its all on camera.
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    The limitation is that there has to be a cop there on the scene to catch whatever crime on camera.

    What I'm waiting for is the day when they force every citizen to wear a video/audio camera, with a 15 year prison sentence for anyone who disables or removes his camera. This way, everything you do, everywhere, will be recorded. Any person you kill or otherwise wrong, you'll be recording yourself doing it. Anyone who comes in contact with you will be recording you and vice-versa. Heh. I wonder how many years we have left...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Mike View Post
    All those cameras with police watching everywhere and still the subjects of the UK are much more likely to be the victim of violent crime than any citizen of the US.

    Makes you think that maybe the better way to do things is to let everyone be responsible for their own safety and defense huh?

    But there I go making sense again......silly me.
    Couldn't have put that much better myself!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackofspades View Post
    http://maps.google.com

    in some areas you can even zoom down to a 'on the street' look.. where they had someone go out and stand in the middle of the street with a camera and take a picture of everything around them..

    I've used the Google Maps site, but it's not very current...doesn't even have my sub on it...was looking for something more up to date.

    But thanks...

    ret
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