Saturday, May 23, 2009

British Cops Creating Nationwide License-Plate Surveillance System

Via -

Britain is working hard to maintain its place as a leading surveillance society. Building on the massive "success" of its widespread use of CCTV cameras, police are now installing a system that will use the cameras to track and log car journeys. CCTV cameras across the UK are being added to the system, which automatically recognizes and stores license plate numbers, then adds them, and the location in which they were spotted, to a central database. Police, of course, say the system's great at reducing and solving crime, and one police bigwig says that arrests are up 40% in his area since cops started using the system. But just because arrests have increased, it doesn't necessarily mean crime has been reduced. He further defends the system by saying "innocent people have nothing to fear from the way we use it" -- which all too often is used as an attempt to justify pretty nasty governmental intrusions on privacy and liberty. This system sounds like another part of Britain's attempt to record the lives of its subjects in databases, alongside its database of info on every child in the country, and details of all the internet and phone traffic there. Will people there get up in arms over all this government surveillance, or are they saving their ire only for the likes of Google Street View?

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