OpinionGovernments that increase citizen control through technology have forgotten the role of a democratic system, and succumbed instead to the power technology gives them
      – BorgClown, 2009-11-15 at 05:04:27   (29 comments)

On 2009-11-15 at 05:13:38, BorgClown wrote...
For example, wiretapping used to be strictly regulated on phone lines, but several countries are more permissive about network wiretapping.
On 2009-11-15 at 09:25:50, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I guess it's hard to disagree, but historically governments have only become democratic to prevent uprisings. In Britain the King or Queen were the government, had ultimate power and would simply execute anyone who spoke against them. This regularly led to people attacking the ruler and rebelling against unjust laws. Democracy had to be fought for, and is difficult to maintain even in a Western society. Technology simply makes it easier for the government to try and control rather than serve, but that's the government's tendency even without technology.
On 2009-11-15 at 09:55:49, BorgClown wrote...
Do you feel England is becoming such government? I'd certainly wouldn't want to be recorded by public cameras everywhere, for example.
On 2009-11-15 at 09:56:18, BorgClown wrote...
And mass-deployed face recognition software is spooky too.
On 2009-11-15 at 13:35:21, Lee J Haywood wrote...
If you had a single camera watching over a shop, then you wouldn't consider it to be a big problem. It's more the sheer number of cameras that you're talking about, yet most of the cameras in the UK have no-one watching them - they're simply recording recent footage. Even face recognition is only useful in the sense of looking for people that are already suspects in a crime. If you have 60 million faces, even a 1/1000 false hit rate would yield 60,000 matches for a human to go through - so it's not like such software could watch where innocent people are going in any useful way. There is one development which is quite disturbing though, if there's any truth to it. Clearly crowdsourcing the viewing of CCTV footage is open to abuse as it really would allow innocent people to be viewed. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1218225/Internet-game-awards-points-people-spotting-crimes-CCTV-cameras-branded-snoopers-paradise.html
On 2009-11-15 at 16:40:10, DigitalBoss wrote...
This is the price you pay when you allow your government to become too powerful. The nanny-state has to watch over you for your own good. You can't defend yourself, we took that right away from you, so we have to do it. Every time a law is passed, liberty is lost. You say "who will build the roads?", well, if the government builds them, they take an ownership position and declare the right to video surveillance on anyone using it. Government = BAD. One day, you people will realize this. This is one of my arguments against the healthcare reforms that Democrats have proposed in the US. They don't want to reform healthcare, they don't want to improve our health, they want to take it over completely. This is nothing but a power grab. If given this power, everything that they want, all the power, can be tied to what is good for your health. Oh, you can't have that kind of car, it is bad for your health. Oh, you can't eat that kind of food, it is bad for your health. Government = BAD.
On 2009-11-15 at 16:47:29, DigitalBoss wrote...
They will NEVER allow crowdsourcing. Mark my words. If you agree with the whole video surveillance thing, it seems to be a good idea because thousands of eyes watching must be better than tens or hundreds. But the problem is, they don't want you to help because they don't want you to know what is really happening in your community. It will shock the shit out of you, and make you ask questions that they do not want to answer. They want to control the appearance of control.
On 2009-11-15 at 17:06:17, DigitalBoss wrote...
I disagreed on this opinion. So called, democratic governments have not forgotten the role of a democratic system, they are indeed following it. Democracy is about mob rule, the rights of the minority, the individual, are overridden by the rights of the many. This is what a democracy is all about. The government acknowledges that the rights of the group outweigh your rights as an individual. This is why the founders of the United States of America started a republic, a constitutional free republic, where the individual has rights that the majority cannot supersede. Is it a free republic today? No. Since the progressive movements of the early to mid 20th century, the "New Deal", and "The Great Society", we have changed, and we have lost rights. The goal is to stop this change, and reverse it, before it is too late.
On 2009-11-15 at 20:15:52, Lee J Haywood wrote...
We get to watch how CCTV is used by the police in our BBC TV shows, e.g. Traffic Cops. In some cases, the CCTV operator tracks a suspect moving through a city centre and is in radio contact with the police officers and helping them to close in. In other cases, a crime has just been committed and either was caught on CCTV or the camera footage provides critical information that helps identify the suspects. I do think that there's the potential for abuse with any technology, including CCTV, but I also see a positive side to having it as a means for the police to be more effective - which has nothing to do with government control. It may be that one day CCTV footage helps me personally, by helping the police investigate an incident I'm involved in, and may even prove my innocence.
On 2009-11-15 at 21:27:15, BorgClown wrote...
@DigitalBoss: I imagine you on top of a soapbox at main square, pumping up the upheaval of the masses with a passionate discourse. Then the government takes you into "custody", for your own health =)
On 2009-11-15 at 23:54:48, DigitalBoss wrote...
My friend, someday you will understand.
On 2009-11-15 at 23:55:48, DigitalBoss wrote...
@Lee: You are seeing only what they want you to see.
On 2009-11-16 at 05:03:07, BorgClown wrote...
I'm conflicted about security and transparency. A while back it was usual to buy radios that could tune to police channels, but today it's illegal to sell them here, because criminals tuned up too and ambushed the cops. I like when the law is transparent to the public, but it's understandable if it needs temporal secrecy. The problem is how to reach a balance? How to prevent the abuse?
On 2009-11-16 at 05:56:08, DigitalBoss wrote...
I will bet that just because the radio scanners are illegal doesn't keep the criminals from having them.
On 2009-11-16 at 07:31:42, BorgClown wrote...
Yeah, unfortunately. If you ban radios, only the criminals will have radios. More so, it's relatively easy to mod a regular CB to receive cop frequencies, the problem is, that also lands you on jail =(
On 2009-11-16 at 10:46:33, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@DigitalBoss: What is it about CCTV that I'm not seeing? @BorgClown: The sensible response to the security breaches would be to make their communications secure, not try to stop people abusing the open nature of their broadcasts by passing laws.
On 2009-11-16 at 10:55:05, BorgClown wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: Cannot, criminals are too well financed, and have access to the same technology markets than law enforcement.
On 2009-11-16 at 12:24:09, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@BorgClown: It's true that the criminals could get a copy of the equipment, and it'd be as difficult to change the access codes as it was for the Nazis. But if you have no encryption at all on your radio transmissions then you cannot expect them to be secure, can you?
On 2009-11-16 at 13:13:41, BorgClown wrote...
True.
On 2009-11-16 at 13:26:55, Lee J Haywood wrote...
This does remind me of the way cheques are secured though. In reality, it's trivial to forge a cheque simply by forging the owner's signature. The only thing that really prevents you is that this is an act of fraud - and fraud crimes have heavy penalties.
On 2009-11-16 at 13:36:11, BorgClown wrote...
The really big money is on corporate cheque accounts, but those are secured with a expedition list previously sent to the bank. If your cheque isn't there when you try to cash it, they just say no. Personal cheques, as you say, are very easy to forge, but there is little money there because larger amounts need the clearance of an executive. Such executives normally don't bother to ask from the titular's confirmation though.
On 2009-11-16 at 16:32:14, DigitalBoss wrote...
I don't know what it is that you are not seeing. They will not let me see it either, but I can guarantee that you would be surprised if you were granted access to it. It is the only conclusion for which to come when the crowdsourcing is denied. Anyone can figure out that thousands of eyes watching is better than hundreds, so why will they not allow it?
On 2009-11-16 at 16:36:02, DigitalBoss wrote...
They don't want you to see what is really going on.
On 2009-11-16 at 16:40:26, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It's fairly obvious that opening CCTV footage to untrained members of the general public is a privacy disaster waiting to happen. There would be a huge backlash if a CCTV video ended up on YouTube showing something that had nothing to do with law enforcement but which was detrimental to the person shown. Although CCTV footage is taken in public places, it's still a legal requirement that the public are notified about the locations of cameras. The more of them there are, the more likely it is that footage will show people doing things they expected to be relatively private, even if just picking their nose.
On 2009-11-16 at 18:14:13, DigitalBoss wrote...
I know things about this subject that I cannot repeat. Believe me, I wish I could.
On 2009-11-16 at 18:15:24, DigitalBoss wrote...
I believe I can say this much: I was a part of a large implementation of CCTV. That is all I will say.
On 2009-11-17 at 03:40:20, BorgClown wrote...
Ohhh, X files secret stuff baby!
On 2010-01-28 at 20:21:05, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I have to admit that I wasn't sure if this monitoring of CCTV by the public was actually likely to happen, but it seems that it was. Now it's on hold... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8485056.stm
On 2010-01-29 at 05:14:22, BorgClown wrote...
Big Brother wants to meet Web 2.0