The impact of Orwell’s phrase ‘Big Brother is watching you’ is under threat – it seems now almost quaint, antiquated, drained of its horror by our growing familiarization with the very real proliferation of surveillance infrastructure. The domestic use of CCTV, unmanned drones, and even blimps proliferate or are under discussion as we become conditioned, acclimatized to a security culture of fixed and mobile platforms for enforcement and surveillance. The average citizen of London, England may be photographed 300 times a day in the course of their activities by around half a million cameras and yet multiple studies have shown that CCTV are ineffective at preventing crime. The question, then, must be – whom are they protecting and to what end?
Smoking Guns — Suggested Reading
Archive (Most recent headlines first)
UK: Filmmaker Captures Absurdity, Empty Threats Of Police Terror Stop Laws | Army Preps ‘Unblinking Eye’ High Altitude Airship for Afghanistan | UK: Birmingham stops Muslim CCTV, license plate surveillance scheme | FAA Experiments With Integrating Drones in Civil Airspace | Police And Courts Regularly Abusing Wiretapping Laws To Arrest People For Filming Cops Misbehaving In Public Places | Toronto streets get 77 more surveillance cameras for G20 | Predator drones to begin flying Texas border patrol in a matter of months | Officials seize on Times Square incident to push precrime surveillance network expansion | Waterloo firm creates ‘flying robot spies from the skies’ for global law enforcement market | School laptops took thousands of images of students: Lawyer | Massive fortress Ottawa in the works | US Forest Service admits putting surveillance cameras on public lands | UK schools ‘break law’ to spy on pupils | UK Parents Angry Over CCTV In School Toilets | Australia to fingerprint, face-scan visitors from Muslim nations | More Details Emerging About School Laptop Spying, And It Doesn’t Look Good | RCMP needs broader overhaul, more cameras, Senate group says | School Spycams Case Explodes As Feds Initiate Probe | UK photographer films his own ‘anti-terror’ arrest | Pennsylvania schools spying on students using laptop Webcams, claims lawsuit | RCMP to test Taser cameras | UK Police use spy drone for first domestic arrest — without airspace clearance | Future police: Meet the UK’s armed robot drones | Let the Olympic surveillance begin | UK police plan to use military-style spy drones | UK: Photographers protest over terror search laws | Olympic surveillance cameras causing concern | B.C. to get license-plate scanning system | US Domestic Espionage Alert: Spy Drone Discovered
Cops with cameras future of policing: Vancouver chief | UK: Municipal council snoopers alone watch public on 60,000 CCTV cameras | UK: From snapshot to Special Branch: how my camera made me a terror suspect | New OPP cameras scan licence plates | UK: Photographer questioned under anti-terror laws for taking pictures of Christmas lights | US citizens fight back against traffic cameras | More police security cameras approved for Toronto | Precrime: Artificially Intelligent CCTV could prevent crimes before they happen | EU Plans Massive Surveillance Panopticon That Would Monitor “Abnormal Behavior” | In UK, 1,000 cameras ’solve one crime’ | Quebec’s photo radar starts ticketing | Britain To Put CCTV Cameras Inside Private Homes | Sarnia resident plans ‘moon’ protest of US border spy balloon | UK: Woman detained for filming police search launches high court challenge | US: Town on SF Bay wants to photograph every car | Volunteer snitches man cameras in Lancaster, PA. | UK Schoolkids Protest CCTV, Hidden Microphones in Class | UK installing license plate scanning network | Toronto police board challenges chief on CCTV deterrence, demands ‘phase-in’ | UK: Retaining images from surveillance of protesters ruled illegal | Police laud Toronto surveillance cameras, critics not so sure | Criminologists: CCTV schemes in city and town centres have little effect on crime | Winnipeg police confiscate documentary filmmaker’s camera | Guardian reporter detained for taking picture of sea near Bilderberg conference | Australian nightclub installs face-scanning security system | Police seizures of cameras prompts B.C. complaint | NYPD seeks to expand anti-terror program to midtown | Police erased cellphone video of fatal shooting, witness alleges | Pre-Olympic transit ads encourage citizen surveillance | UK: Calling the police to account for anti-photography law | UK: Landlord fights police plan for CCTV at pub | Plan to add Toronto red-light cameras on hold | Security cameras proposed for downtown Sydney | UK House of Lords warns over ’surveillance state’ | UK Terror Law To Make Photographing Police Illegal | Let’s face it, soon Big Brother will have no trouble recognising you | Military challenge: Make spy data more accessible
UK: Big Brother CCTV to spy on pupils aged four — complete with CPS evidence kit | Toronto surveillance project to enter new phase pending review | Australian Citizen Journalist Charged for Filming Police under Anti-Terror Law | Social services set up CCTV camera in couple’s bedroom | New surveillance program will turn military satellites on US | Red light cameras not going up fast enough for Toronto budget | NYC Residents Furious over Invasive Surveillance Grid | Security officials to scan D.C. area license plates | CCTV cameras spying on hundreds of classrooms | CCTV doesn’t keep us safe | Hats banned from Yorkshire pubs over CCTV fears | Billboards that look back | Tanks, Face-Scanning Cameras Part of ‘Discreet’ 2010 Games Security | $4 Million Earmarked for Cameras, “Respect” at Toronto Schools | Vancouver Olympics security cameras raise privacy concerns | CBC Radio Broadcasts Expose of North American Police State | Surveillance cameras to keep an eye on downtown Calgary | Privacy International responds to Ontario Privacy Commissioner ruling on CCTV | School removes CCTV cameras from children’s toilets after furious protest from parents | West Virginia: Bill Turns Traffic Cameras into Spy Cameras | When Surveillance Cameras Talk
Charges laid after Winnipeg street blocked off for hours | Ottawa police chief calls for more surveillance cameras | T.T.C. Starts Camera Installation On Buses & Streetcars | Toronto police seek feedback on installing security cameras | Premier Thinks Yonge St. Cameras Should Stay, John Tory Wants Them In Ent. District
Discuss your findings here.