Big Brother Watching You

Isn’t it unnerving enough that every peaceful, law-abiding Briton must go about their lives surrounded by clearly visible CCTV cameras monitoring his or her every move?

Imagine: where an errand as mundane as purchasing a curbside sandwich sarny from a vendor is recorded, scrutinized over, and archived for later (possible) evaluation.

Britain, with more than 22% of the world’s CCTV cameras in operation, has no qualms about its rampant voyeuristic practices, and continues to erect new cameras on a daily basis.

David Davis, previously a conservative party member of Parliament, in his fight against the rising “Orwellian State” could be called the “Nostradamus” of the civil liberties world (or at least the erosion of such).

His perceived clairvoyance, and long-time protest, is now in the spotlight again with the announcement of the government’s latest decree in regard to online file sharing.

Under a new, three-month-trial law, computer users illegally sharing files in the UK will receive letters warning them of their behavior, declaring that they are being monitored.

Many letters will arrive in the hands of parents, who may or may not be aware that their children are sharing files online. It’s estimated that over 6 million Britons are getting their download “fix” illegally online.

And some big names are getting involved: Virgin Media, BSkyB, Carphone Warehouse, BT, Orange anad Tiscali all are dedicating resources to the “significant reduction” in illegal file sharing.

So where does the monitoring end and the intrusion begin? It appears that line in the sand was smoothed-over long ago when the 4-millionth security cam was installed somewhere on a street in London.

The measured, creeping hand of big brother forces us to look to the future: a day when we’ll all inevitably be micro-chipped, databased, and controlled via remote satellite should we step out of line.

Ok, so maybe I don’t need the latest Robbie Williams single that badly after all…

[Via NewScientistTech]

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