Archive for the ‘Privacy’ Category
We know you own the connection so are free to do as you wish with it, but in the interests of convenience, privacy and security, can you please stop requiring people to ‘signup’ for access. IE, request name, email and sometimes a phone number. You know full well people will use fake information, and if you demand legitimate data, you are going to lose some customers.
We don’t expect to give up our privacy when travelling on business or pleasure.
For example, McDonald’s use O2 and demand the customer’s mobile number. This is creepy and should be deterred.
How about businesses simply give out a WiFi password that is changed every so often to stop people nearby misusing the signal, like they used to do?
Fight back club: If you have a mobile signal, tether you device (laptop etc) to your phone or boycott the establishment.
Since starting this blog, I have repeatedly hinted at examples of the significant missuse and pointlessness of CCTV, never mind it’s significant breach of personal privacy and sense of space. Those who support it have to date, completely failed to prove it has any use or that it isn’t misused.
Whilst I spend my life thinking about, designing and developing cool technology, and would prefer to spend my time on those subjects, it has been real world experiences that shocked me into writing about matters beyond my regular remit and education. The first was several years ago when I drove into Putney, London, taking a left of Putney High Street to park on a minor road. I pulled in on the left and parked in a legal spot. I then went about my business.
A few days later I received a penalty charge notice from the council to say that I had driven up a one way street. Apparently, (and a first for me), the small side road was one way, and yet I had not noticed the signs. (I drove back and they were tiny and I photographed them.) Fair enough, I had made an error, that on a main road could have been dangerous. But it wasn’t the fact I was not even being given a chance to explain (a separate issue) that stunned me into disbelief, it was the fact that to backup their claims, they presented a series of colour thumbnail photos showing my car driving up Putney High Street, PRIOR to me making the left turn.
The issue is, why was my car being photographed or video recorded prior to an offence or alleged offence?
If they had presented a photo of my car in the parking space, that would have been understandable.
This was a huge breach of privacy and made me think, how much of our vehicular travels (and even pedestian travel) is recorded?
So I began to sit up, take notice and blog accordingly.
I have mentioned this above incident before, so I’ll move onto the matter of the day…
Whilst taking a break from work just now, I read that the authorities have released CCTV footage of a little girl the day she was murdered. It shows her in a leisure centre. There is more footage of the accused too. Which begs the question, why was a leisure centre recording young children going about their day? Who watches the video? And even if it isn’t being viewed, why was it kept for so long!? To be perfectly frank, why are their cameras in leisure centres, hotels and other locations where people are going about their privacy business?
If it was because there had been a spate of thefts and they were trying to catch the thief, and the police installed a temporary camera (as they did on my father’s premises once, and caught the thief too), that is understandable – it is a limited time installatio and monitored by no one until the next crime, and then used to catch the criminal, removed and no doubt erased after prosecution.
It seems that the UK is full of creepy people, but it’s not the ones who commit the crimes that are the issue (there will always be creeps), it is the fact that we are ALL obviously being recorded – in colour – as my own Putney experience and the footage of the little girl show.
The fact is, the CCTV didn’t stop the crime, and it never will, because unless the authorities install cameras everywhere, back allys, foot paths – and even monitor the cameras connected to some contemporary TVs, the criminals will simply choose a camera free location! And if the cameras are hidden, that is even worse, because then we won’t know we’re being recorded, yet another major breach of privacy, trust and sense of space.
All said, what should be of concern is not the above, it is the total capitulation of the British public and now after the Boston bombings, the Americans too, to this dystopian behavior whose motives are sinister and worrysome.
Image credit: The Geek Hideout
I have already written about my experience in Oxford where I came across an innocent young lad laying in a pool of his own blood after being assaulted in public. A homeless man then cradled the lads head and I called 999 for an ambulance. They then put me through to the police whose response summed up just how useless this country has become. “Yeh mate, we’re watching it all on CCTV.” My mental response involved expletives, but was tempered to “Well, it may be better you get out here onto the street ASAP.” (5 minutes later the ambulance and police arrived, and I left upset and appalled.)
A few months later, I witnessed and photographed 9 police officers pulling over a significant number of cars off St. Giles for exceeding the pointless on that area of road 20mph speed limit. No police officers patrolling the heart of a city that lives on drugs and alcohol, but plenty making a nice little earner for the council from innocent hard working motorists, taxi cab full of passengers included. (The aforementioned photo is on a prior VA post.)
In other news today, UKIP have shocked the UK government and Lib Dems. I wonder why?
Because as this blog has been screaming for years, Britain has become a repulsive cowardly greedy dystopian illusion, sugar coated with vast debt and state run pomp that fools everyone into believing everything is just peachy, when it is certainly not, even if the sun is out and smartphones are amazing. Whilst I didn’t vote today because I’ve lost faith in the lot of them, this national weakness and subservience to technology, ‘health and safety’, ‘human rights’ (hah!) and for profit law and order has ruined the country and people have rightfully had enough, so are pushing the HELP! button and praying for change.
The bottom line is that all this is going to end in tears, and that is a major understatement. Hate to toot my trumpet, but the record will show that Vision Aforethought has been spot on every time, and whilst it would be great to be right when it comes to positive predictions and analysis, on this issue, I so hope for everyone’s sake I’m wrong, whether it be because those in charge undo the eradication of common sense on their own – or people revolt and rip it all out by force if necessary.
Fight back club: Looks like it’s started!
Above I refer to having photographed some police pulling over motorists in Oxford, an act itself that could be viewed as being a breach of privacy. However, a) They saw me taking the photo and did not object. b) I blurred out all faces and number plates before publishing the image. c) The original photo is secure on my hard drive and inaccessible to anyone else, and in fact, could be deleted. However, I believe what I witnessed was both morally and legally questionable and needed proof before I commented on the matter. I did not take the photo BEFORE the incident, only during!
Oh, and one more thing, why are young people who don’t know better allowed to use social media? It’s a toxic, nasty medium in the wrong or immature hands.
When a lad, our parents would, like most middle class families, send us on exchange trips to stay with families abroad. I remember visiting some close friends and their extended family up in the lovely hills above Alsace. As is French custom (and something we should get back to here), at meal times, we would all sit around a large table and enjoy a long lively meal, with the odd bottle of heart warmer shared between us, – kids included!
I shall never forget the respectable Grandma of the family. She hated having her photo taken. So much so, when a camera was raised to the eye to capture the bubbly scene, she would duck under the table – or even get up and leave altogether. At the time, I thought this odd, it was decades before the Internet and social media, but years later, I understand. Her reasons were not my business, but totally justified. All said, at the time, this was a very rare reaction.
As my photography and videography hobby (and use to document the history of my business) progressed and social networking services blossomed, some people, understandably, became more sensitive to being recorded. I have in fact been told off for taking what were even innocent photos as part of my hobby or as evidence of something. The former one can understand, being we all like to control our image online (I don’t publish photos online unless given permission) or simply don’t want our lives to be documented, in particular if we’re compromised at the time. (Drunk, kissing an unofficial ‘partner’ etc.)
No matter what the reasons, like all sentient beings, most of us have and value our personal space – and have a God given right to do what we like in that space with the assumption that we are innocent of any wrong doing and that after whatever we have done or said, no evidence of that period in time, beyond foot prints should be left behind for others to examine. And only then with good intention.
I saw what you did there!
…and it’s all being archived
As this blog has covered countless times, in particular here in the UK, and some of this appalling behaviour thankfully lead to the Leveson enquiry, the way that CCTV footage (such as in hotel corridors) and people’s voicemail recordings where consumed by others for gain (newspaper sales/voyeurism) is what happens when ones life is recorded or ‘spied’ upon without your express permission.
With the advent of drones (a technology I took much interested in when young, dabbling in robotics and model aircraft – and more recently (1993 – ooh, twenty years ago!), writing a short story predicting their misuse on the battlefield) and image processing technology so advanced, it can be used to spot a face in a crowd of thousands from a mile away, it is now too easy for authorities to over extend their counter terrorism policy to such an extent that (as some councils in the UK have proven) they will be tempted, as will the media, to spy on people in a manner similar to that predicted in Minority Report.
Like many, I find this unacceptable, because beyond the breach of privacy, any dubious entity, a large corporation in particular, could easily tap into footage and use it to monitor protestors who don’t like what said large corporation is doing to the planet and get up to no good.
A few months ago, I coined the phrase, right to Live A Life Unrecorded, or LALU, and believe this is a priceless right that should be defended to the hilt.
If those members of the public supporting surveillance have a problem with this, then they should move elsewhere and start a new society based on such dystopian principles. I think we should invest as much money that is being put into this technology into huge sustainable energy ventures so that we can stop acquiring our energy sources from areas that need our military to defend that in turn upsets the locals (whose culture is diametrically the opposite to ours) to such an extent that they send the very terrorists over that these drones are supposed to hunt down. What a mess we are in. The ‘bad guys’ are winning in a way.
Update: June 10 2013 – Well, in view of revelations of 9 June 2013, that may go down in history as when the right to LALU got a tad more exposure, hopefully, things will change such so that, to quote, those “with nothing to hide” may be assured that if a 3rd party offers a politician/member of the security services/NSA insider a nice little bank hander that our photos/confidential business documents/communications/personal diary/browsing habits cannot and will not, under any circumstances, ever be released to a 3rd party without the express written permission of the owner – namely, YOU, in particular if any of that content has been erased. And if such information does cause embarrassment or other harm to the ‘owner’, then that person or entity will have full recourse to seek significant damages for any harm caused, and be offered legal advice for no fee. Don’t forget, the whole point of my argument is not to stop the security services from going after those breaking or planning to break the law, but to ensure that it is both illegal and impossible for the public to ever suffer as a result of flaws or corruption in the system. Fair dinkum?
Fight back club: Defend your right to Live A Life Unrecorded, (#LALU). United Nations: Can we update the law such that the citizen has to give permission to be recorded and is made aware of precisely what is recording them, position of cameras, drones etc? Service providers – Succinct clear text in your T’s & C’s please. (Note, my employer has for over 15 years clearly displayed our privacy policies and complied with US and UK data protection laws.)
My concerns over all this do not stem from any personal paranoia I am technically competent enough (and am advised by those with significant understanding of online security) to ‘wear protection’, however, like others who have a conscience, it ha been shocking and upsetting to learn of the misuse of personal information for profit by those who have no right to do so.
No, this one is not about the councils, but a subject to be covered in my large WW4/2+2=5 page that deals with the untruths that make up Western society. A less serious but just as annoying matter related to Unsubscribing from email newsletters and other communications, whether or not you requested them in the first place. On countless occasions I have ‘Unsubscribed’ from mailings, with any one or more of the following responses:
- Sorry to see you go
- Unsubscribe requested
- We will remove you from our mailing list within 10 days
- Can you let us know why you are unsubscribing?
Often, more spam (that is what it is once it has been Unsubscribed) continues to arrive. One tries again,sometimes to no avail. In some cases of course, in particular with spam that always was spam, simply by replying to Unsubscribe you are acknowledging you are a real person and inviting more – hence it is best to ignore those and try to get Gmail or other mail client to filter them out, but newsletters are often let through.
The B.S. component of this relate to item 3, above. As an engineer, I can warrant that unless something is done by hand, a database is updated in a matter of milliseconds. I just cannot believe how so many entities today exist with one goal only, to screw the consumer or stress them out!
Here’s to my forthcoming ‘Liberty’ post that will knock the overcomplexity of contemporary Western society, from spending a good portion of your lifetime on hold (at YOUR expense!) to call centres, to the difficulty of finding a no fee parking spot in your local town centre so you can relax, shop, network or socialise for as long as you want without the council or state timing and charging you for the privilege whilst at the same time taxing us left, right and liberal.
Update – 7 Feb 2013: On the subject of B.S., looks like there’s more of it in the food industry, although in this case, it’s H.S. not B.S.!
Beyond the ‘fine’ (more like, theft) in this situation, what is of concern is that the council people were out spying on us, the tax paying citizens of this democracy. Who is keeping an eye on YOU as you go about your hard working life? Yes, you, in your car/van/truck/lorry? Keeping an eye out for dangerous drivers is one thing, but a man in a van? What a gross invasion of privacy and freedom! It is no wonder that despite the horrific massacres of the last few years that Americans still wish to hold on to their guns. They learn from history.
For those wondering how this happens, and as I believe I have explained elsewhere, when the ‘footsoldiers’ of the state, who are often people with extremely little self esteem, get into positions of power (even at grassroots level), they impose their personal insecurities and prejudices on others, with compassion, common sense, fairness and ethics left out of the equation. This is extremely dangerous if it becomes the unchallenged norm.
Fight back club: Don’t look the other way.
I know, I should be out, it’s Saturday evening, but I feel people like this need to be given support by at the very least drawing attention to their experience. Since learning during my youth of far more troubling repression in other European nations, it has been a strong belief of mine that no one should party whilst others are persecuted, in particular if one is in the position to do something about it. It is very very upsetting and frightening to be persecuted as an individual by people working for the state when you know in your heart you’re a good person and your intentions are honorable. As I think I have mentioned many years ago on Vision Aforethought, my first ever experience of being persecuted by the ‘authorities’ was whilst taking casual photographs of fine architecture on London’s King’s Road on a lovely summer’s day – in a public space. Two jobsworths (foreign too!) approached me from either side requesting I erase my photos. Shocked and disgusted, I refused and fast walked off, bemused family member in tow. Since this happened, I never turn my eye away from a news story about people who whilst not suffering the kind of repression that goes on in dictatorships, do feel threatened by the state over matters that are quite simply irrelevant. G-d help the North Koreans, imagine what they go through. If only they had liberation oil.
As most who I dialog with within the pubs of Oxford know, the book that had the greatest influence on my life and beliefs was Lord Of The Flies by William Golding. Whilst not specifically a commentary on the pitfalls of allowing inexperienced ‘incomplete’ humans to be given the reins, (from what I understand LOTF was more a study of how cruel the young can be), it was a heads-up to related issues. That has has been one of the guiding concepts behind this blog. Events mainly involving the British media have reinforced this view considerably.
Today, we have yet another example of how unprincipled / incomplete individuals have been given positions of ‘power’ leading to initially privacy invading consequences, and then tragedy, or as I like to call it, murder by humiliation. (It should be noted that television programming like X-Factor, Dragon’s Den and Strictly Come Dancing that profit from schadenfreude rather than the performances are little different.)
Recently I made the decision to begin publishing opinions on this blog that stood a high degree of threatening my relationship with friends, mainly in the password protected CORETEX section of this blog. (This would be no huge loss, my core friends share my values, and whilst that doesn’t mean we are right, it does at least allow us to gain strength from shared principles, support others with the same opinions and dialog with those who disagree – creating a productive discourse.)
Well, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest people of any age must have to apply for a license before they can be put into a position of power, whether it be pirate radio, a twitter account, a blog, a local rag, a major publication or national leadership. Said license to be based on similar characteristics to say an airline pilot whose behaviour effects the lives of quite a number of people. (For the record, I would happily apply for such a license for the right to publish this blog.)
© 2012 Lionsgate
Broadcasting or publishing is no different than owning/using an aircraft, dog, gun or high explosive and should therefore be treated such. Said license would not of course be based on political views, but on behaviour, with guidelines driven by the rule of law, including libel, health effects and other characteristics. Breach of such license should be punishable by a lengthy jail term, not a financial penalty, else a large entity may simply write off the cost against potential profits.
Freedom of speech is one thing, freedom to do anything you want to harm another individual without warrant is another.
Many have criticised Rupert Murdoch for what his publications did. Actually, he wasn’t in the loop and his YOUNGER staff engaged in unprincipled behaviour as was made fairly clear in the Leveson enquiry when Mr. Murdoch got to speak – under oath, if I am correct?
Entities that started out with grounded or ‘cool’ ideas have gotten out of control, bringing schoolyard behavior to the masses, humiliating and insulting people in public, breaching their privacy, making false or guilty until proven innocent accusations, not to mention public tittle-tattle that belongs in the toilet.
The issue today is that such a large proportion of the global population (in particular in the West) has been dumbed down, that few focus their energies on more pertinent issues, such as attacking or humiliating large corporations who are trashing the planet or (related) politicians who have vested interest in the dirtier way.
Fight back club: Support my suggestion for a license to broadcast no matter the medium, or at the very least, significantly stricter laws on what one can say about or do to other people without their prior permission and in the event of an accusation, a significan amount of legally binding proof.
Update: Sad to learn that a dignified broadcaster and all round (no pun intended!) super guy, Sir Patrick Moore has passed away. What a contrast between him and those this post is mainly about. And how much better our world would be if young people were able to watch his program rather than the trash that is shown during the healthier earlier hours of the day.
Some of us hoped that with the arrival of a more conservative leaning government, some of the highly unethical abusive and greedy actions by council jobsworths would come to an end. Judging from this, it has not.
It is one thing to tweet and blog about such matters, but to try to do something about it is another. As hinted at before, I hope to put time aside to create a non profit organisation to support and defend the innocent victims of state spying and for profit law.
If anyone is interested in such an entity, do comment below. When appropriate, I for one will try to put some money into it. Objective: Provide moral support to and help defend the innocent victims of our for profit surveillance state where you cannot trust anyone, fear to engage in any private activity for fear it will be caught on HD CCTV and have to keep your eyes constantly peeled – in your own country!
Fight back club: Fight back and don’t let up. If you have an opinion on this and/or have also been a victim of such unwarranted behavior, do comment below.
Related, read the paragraph below the Infiltration heading in this Wikipedia entry on the Stasi.
For those new to VA, I began to blog about matters like this after experiencing or observing first hand behavior that was unheard of in the UK prior to my 10 years in the US. Most of this I will publish (if not already) in the future, but for an example of misdirected law, in July 2008, I was in Oxford city centre, the streets were full of people. Right in view of everyone, I saw a bike thief trying to locate and steal unlocked or poorly locked bicycles near to the public library. I began to video and photograph this on my phone and went towards a PCO to report the crime so he could arrest the thief or call for support. The PCO was busy issuing an on the spot (£60?) penalty charge to a very poor looking and frustrated foreign cyclist – I was in ear shot. His crime? He had inadvertently ridden his bicycle along a main shopping street in Oxford, where riding bikes is banned, although the signage is not ‘in your face’, so to speak. (I photographed the PCO issuing the ticket too.)
A sidenote: Pushing a bike through throngs of people causes your handlebars to bash into people. Try it!
Anyway, by the time the PCO had finished issuing the ticket, an appalling act on it’s own – a polite warning would have sufficed! – the thief had gone. I reported the whole matter to the police and forwarded my camera footage and photos. I do not know what happened since, but I can verify that in that city, which is one of the worst examples of reverse law, this sort of thing happens all the time, or used to anyway. I felt much sorrow for the cyclist and if I had known then what I know now I would have intervened both to stop the cycle thief and give the PCO a piece of my mind.
Update (Sunday 7 Oct 2012)
Located July 2008 photo of the PCO and cyclist referred to above. Around the corner, a bike thief is in action! (Photo/video grab to follow when I get time to find it.) But being the thief won’t be good for a quick ££ for the authorities, he gets away with his crime and no doubt continues to ruin the lives of hard working people across the city. Much more on bike crime to come when time allows. And yes, beyond exposing mid-directed law and order I am doing something about it, I have designed a new type of bike rack that amongst it’s other features, will hopefully make it much harder to steal cycles. My employer will try to bring it to market once we finalise the industrial design. The police are already aware of our idea and we hope to work with them and the local council.
…thanks for betraying our trust! We voted you in because you promised to rid the UK of snooping jobsworths, ineffective privacy invading CCTV cameras, money making “30 years of points free driving” motorist entrapping speed cameras – and most importantly, this.
What happend? Lost your self respect and confidence, and projecting it onto the population, like repressive despots? What have you to fear?
So you’re sacrificing our rights to stop terrorists? But what’s the point of life at all if our daily sense of privacy is ruined permanently causing some to get stressed at writing anything controversial, romantic or business confidential with the fear it may be dug up in the future for motives nefarious or schadenfreude? Monitoring a couple having a private snog in an alleyway somewhere hmm, only to have it splattered all over a tabloid the next day after someone sells the footage? Never mind private emails, texts and voicemails.
And by announcing this, those who do really want to commit an atrocity will simply cease to use electronic communications, which leads one to conclude (as many others have) that this is more about monitoring those who question and reject the choices being made in more mundane issues, from energy production to animal experiments. A huge affront to democracy and our right to protest effectively!
I thought all this was the stuff of the previous government and other nations whose repression is so successful, their populace cannot innovate and so remain stuck in a groove of indefinite depression.
Fight back club: Leave the country.
As you will see from the About page for this blog, the surveillance state is a major topic on Vision Aforethought because it can be and is often misused, or fails to deliver any benefits to society or the ‘recorded’. There are countless examples of people spying on others for no other motive than profit and/or voyeurism. It has happened again, but fortunately this time, the guilty party is being prosecuted. The bad news? Such prosecution does not occur here in the UK.
We have been on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years, yet only in the last few decades has it been possible for our public or private moments to be recorded, rather than just observed. The latter preferable because observation remains private, whilst once something is recorded, it can be distributed.
Fight back club: Privacy violated? Sue the bastards.
As an amateur photographer, over the last few years I have noticed just how sensitive people are to being photographed, even if for innocent creative purposes. This no doubt because people assume – in this case wrongly – that the photos will end up on a social networking site. So, imagine becoming aware that random occurrences in your life are probably being recorded, and not always in grainy black and white, but in full colour, as happened to me in Putney (London) a few years ago to my horror after I received a parking penalty charge attached to full colour photos of me driving – taken prior to the alleged offense!
While the previous UK government were in power and I (like many) was getting despondent as we headed towards a privacy invading dignity destroying repressive dystopia, I often thought about where to live in order to escape this awful reality. Also like many, I concluded Australia – where a common sense conservative attitude is nicely blended with a Californian lifestyle.
That was then.
This is now.
So, where to go now?
…yet more evidence that we are no longer heading towards a repressive stress inducing time wasting privacy invading dystopia, we have arrived. But being we’re British, it will continue to get worse. This will lead to a continued collapse of the private economy (as occurs in ALL repressive nations) because people fear doing anything at all that is creative, different or industrious. It will be safest just to stay at home glued to the TV or Internet.
Meanwhile, last week, my bike was vandalised (for the 3rd time) and it was all recorded (yup, really) on that wonderful crime reducing life enhancing CCTV. Let’s see if the police put as much effort into catching the guy who for no good reason destroyed my transport, cost me money, wasted my time and caused much disruption to several people. Me thinks nothing will happen. If a policeman had been on the beat looking for criminals as they are supposed to do, the crime is less likely to have happened. But then, the crim is unlikely to be a ready source of £60 for the government. That’s dystopian justice for you.
Fight back club: The election approaches. Tick the correct box.
Having now got a few pertinent work tasks out of the way, and with so much that’s relevant to the causes and concepts that VA covers now occurring world-wide, it is time to fire up the enlightenment engine again. Vrrm vrrmm – ah hah!
Exhibit A: In 1996 I gave a talk* at SVASE in Mountain View whereby I suggested Netscape had a short window of opportunity to integrate apps into their browser or even make the browser the OS (or the OS the browser?!) – as a way to unseat MS by rendering the ‘boxed’ app obsolete. Alas, Netscape failed to innovate twice, and as is often the case, Microsoft profited from the failure of their competitors to be brave and deliver a workable alternative. Today, Google have announced a plan to do precisely what Netscape should have done years ago with their Chrome based OS, although with broadband speeds now way more viable, it may be that even if Netscape had tried way back then, latency would have made the ‘Web OS’ impractical. Timing is everything.
Exhibit B: With regards to my pet (non work related) subject, the surveillance state, a week or so ago, I attended my first NO2ID meeting here in thoughtful but oft conflicting values Oxford. The speakers (Lib Dem, Conservative, Green Party and another who I cannot recall at present) were all anti ID. An opponent of their views – Nu Labor – no surprise – turned down an invite. Their talks were each extremely lucid and well argued – providing a moment of optimism for those of us concerned about missuse of such technology. Well, guess what? A few days later, the government has announced that they will be re-thinking the whole ID card issue. (To be accurate, one specific politician has made this announcement – it is not policy.) This and a few other recent changes to the law are evidence that democracy DOES work – if you make enough noise and do it legally.
Exhibit C: Related to B, Phorm have thankfully been rejected by BT and Carphone Warehouse / Talk Talk. To quote Mr. Kipling, this is exceedingly good news!
Fight back club: Deliver your well thought out message in a lucid manner and it may create change.
*To see the notes that I handed out to accompany my 1996 talk, click Tough skin 1010 in the right (pages) column.
Of this(1). As with previously published stories on similar subjects, a number of concerned individuals write eloquently below the aforementioned article. Alas, like other breaches of our privacy and dignity, those who sit back and allow it to continue will reap what they sow through such innaction in the future. Just use your imagination. Isn’t it great to know that government and large business (such as the heneous ‘Phorm’) are so powerful we are unable to stop them – except by ceasing to ‘exist’.
Fight back club: Simple really, don’t communicate electronically. There will be nothing more effective than to deprive those who monitor our every breath of the oxygen that feeds their paranoia, advertising dollar or voyeuristic pleasure.
It is unbelievable that this is actually happening in the ‘modern’ world – and here on this island! Many brave souls gave their lives in the past to ensure such an existence never came to be. But with modern technology, it is so easy to be heneous, everyone’s doing it. The fact a whole generation (including some in positions of extreme power) were bought up with celebrity obsessed voyeuristic media, they don’t even comprehend the ethic of their station.
I came very very close to embedding in this posting images of a swastika and communist red star, but cannot bring myself to do it – yet.
(1) Link © 2009 The Independent.
Like many, I find a lot of what Google do very well thought out and am a big fan, however, they suffer from something that I am due to discuss in a forthcoming (public) talk on privacy, namely, a lack of comprehension of their station. The staff are too young to be able to foresee the consequences of their actions.
Did they not for a moment consider that taking photographs of private homes whose windows and curtains may just be open, not to mention every day private situations ‘in the street’, would lead to protest by the public? As an amateur photographer, I have learned how sensitive some people can be to being photographed, justifiably too. Their reasons are not the business of anyone else.
I have taken a few minutes to play with Street View, and to be frank, it is not only a massive infringement on the privacy of the individual, but in order to remain up to date (buildings are replaced, streets renamed, shop fronts altered) they will need to keep re-photographing streets. The service does of course have many positive applications, from ‘practising’ a journey before you set out, council planning and much more. All said, until each citizen has full control* over how they and their property are represented beyond the physical self, services like Street View should be disabled forthwith.
(Note: I have not included Surveillance State in the category list. That is reserved solely for government peekaboo ventures.)
*That day will come, but it has not come yet.
Fight back club: If this matter concerns you, protest to Google.
Some of what you do is cool, but you screwed up on this one. Suggest you click Undo before it’s too late.
Update: July 2009 – Google are fuzzing SOME of the faces on street view, but you can still look into windows. I confess, it is a damned useful service for pre-planning journeys etc.
…of this hot issue – before it is too late. The Gord really is insecure.
© 2009, The Independent
Fight back club: Simple really, don’t communicate electronically on matters that if you discussed privately in person you would not really want others to know of – even if the subject of said communications was innocent banter. Oh, and write to your MP if you are worried about this. Else, if you’re a subservient Brit (like most alas), who enjoys being in the hands of an untrusting government, go about your day.
I for one have given up with regards to the UK and shall no longer be posting on this matter. I believe that evil is currently winning with regards to propaganda and the general direction of the world. I’m an optimist, always searching for solutions to make things better, but at present, things are spiraling depressingly out of control.
Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!
(Filed under Towards distopia of course.)
As usual, most will read this (and this) and get on with their day to day work / play / Xmas preparations (last minute shopping?), but those who really know what is going on will hopefully sit up, take notice and finally begin to make preparations to fight back with all the force available to stop this goverment in their tracks before it is too late. I never for one second ever believed that I would devote time from my career in product design / business to comment on such matters, but I suppose one of the genetic traits of being a visionary is that you can foresee the consequence(s) of situations and actions ahead of time – whether the results are sweet or sour.
Meanwhile, people are robbed and stabbed, the country collapses in a pile of confused ethics, but all the government can do is think of more ways to punish it’s OWN people for ‘offenses’ that pail in comparison to more pertinent matters. And is it no wonder people don’t have any money to spend as they are fined and taxed into bankruptcy!
So, who of the unemployed masses will signup to sit at a CCTV console and look for couples arguing en route? And how much money will it take to turn you into such a person?
Fight back club: In the event the above madness comes to fruition, harness the due process of law to sue for undue stress, loss of time and infringement of privacy – and of course, avoid parting with any money until any legal action has been concluded. For all you know, your case may become a test case. Alternatively, as per Thompson Travel’s pertinent advertising from a while back, consider that it may be “Time to leave the country”. Thing is, where? If there’s money in it, ‘it’ will be adopted by other nations who begin to lose their way too when it comes to abandoning common sense and trust for a for profit based system of state control. Lord ‘elp us all…
Exhibits A – B – C – D. Says it all. Without any doubt, this matter is more important than any other and it will be interesting to see how the UK Government reacts long term. Ironic, tonight, I’m attending a talk on privacy in Oxford.
© BBC, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian. More to follow, I am late for a meeting!
Fight back club: No matter your opinion on the matter, take it from me, my family tree and what happened in India recently, you don’t want people to be able to identify you without your express permission.
Oh, and madam Home Sec, if you want to cut down on crime & terror, then get the media to raise the bar in their publishing and broadcasting, make parents directly responsible for the actions of their children and put some real meat and bone walking, talking, running* policemen on the street.
*Because CCTV cameras cannot chase criminals or protect victims before the event.