One Nation Under CCTV

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
One Nation Under CCTV

Brighton police chief orders spy camera to catch officers who don't wash up

Police are usually enthusiastic about the benefits of CCTV surveillance, but rank and file officers appear far less happy when spy cameras are set up to catch their own misdemeanours.

A CCTV camera is being installed in a police station kitchen to catch officers who do not wash up. The fourth-floor kitchen at the police station in John Street, Brighton, has been strewn with rubbish, spilled food and dirty crockery since a recent refurbishment.

"What a waste of public money," one officer told the Argus newspaper in a text-message tip-off. "Tough on crime, tougher on causers of grime."

Brighton's new police commander, Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett, today defended the move, saying the camera would deter the "small minority" of his officers committing antisocial behaviour. "Eight hundred divisional police officers and staff have access to a new kitchen and rest room facility at Brighton police station," he said. "Unfortunately a small minority of people have been misusing the facilities, which were provided by public money.

"I have therefore had to reluctantly take the decision that, in order to protect these facilities, we will use an overt camera to dissuade people from spoiling the facility for others. I'd much rather be spending our police budget on neighbourhood policing than on any repairs which may arise in the future. No additional money was spent on the camera as it was already owned by Sussex police."

Someone should tell these cops that if they've done nothing wrong, they've got nothing to hide...


radiorahim radiorahim's picture

The UK has gone absolutely nuts with CCTV.   It's become the "surveillance society".   The government even has plans in the works to monitor all internet traffic!

If you're walking through the shopping district of any city or town in the UK, assume you are being monitored by CCTV cameras.



That's disturbing, the rise of surveillance society.  But I don't know, I have a hard time getting worked up over a surveillance camera in a kitchen where people are leaving it messy...nothing brings out my inner fascist like people who don't do their share of the cleaning in communal spaces!  (Unless, of course, it's me.  In which case, there's always a good reason...)

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I'm reminded of all the hand-wringing and furrowed brows in rapt concern over China's surveillance during the Beijing Olympics. Sadly, China can't hold a candle to the UK. I'm photographed about 100 times a day.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

We were wrong to film journalists


The footage showed that while officers had been asked to monitor protesters against the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station, they showed particular interest in journalists.

An ITV news crew, a Sky News cameraman and several photographers were among members of the press placed under surveillance as they left the camp in August. Later in the day journalists were followed by another surveillance unit to a McDonald's restaurant where police filmed them.

Allyn Thomas, Kent's assistant chief constable who oversaw the operation, said the force "fully accept the right to protest as part of our democracy", but the force had received information that protesters intended to shut down the power station.

"As part of our operation overt filming of protesters was carried out as a means of identifying anyone who subsequently attempted to break into the power station. The situation on the ground was complex with more than 1,000 protesters, together with journalists and camera crews, in a confined area. We accept that police should not have filmed legitimate journalists or camera crews, however it was a difficult task in these circumstances to clearly identify them." All the journalists followed by the surveillance unit were carrying camera equipment and had produced press cards, the official identification of bona fide journalists.

But Thomas said there was "an issue" with officers who had failed to understand press cards, which are endorsed by national police bodies as the official identification for news gatherers.

"We acted on this and have incorporated training about this issue in our guidance for future operations," he said.

Still ok to target legal and non-violent protestors, I guess.


Catchfire wrote:
I'm reminded of all the hand-wringing and furrowed brows in rapt concern over China's surveillance during the Beijing Olympics. Sadly, China can't hold a candle to the UK. I'm photographed about 100 times a day.

Yeah, it's amazing what inroads NuLabour has made into what used to be considered basic civil rights. Total surveillance, long detentiosn with no habeas corpus, etc etc. Hand-wringing required for both UK and China, clearly.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Woman 'detained' for filming police search launches high court challenge

A woman is to challenge the Metropolitan police in the high court, claiming she was handcuffed, detained and threatened with arrest for filming officers on her mobile phone.

Lawyers for Gemma Atkinson, a 27-year-old who was detained after filming police officers conduct a routine stop and search on her boyfriend, believe her case is the latest example of how police are misusing counterterrorism powers to restrict photography.

Atkinson's mobile phone recorded part of the incident at Aldgate East underground station on 25 March, one month after Section 58(a) - a controversial amendment to the Terrorism Act - came into force, making it illegal to photograph a police officer if the images are considered "likely to be useful" to a terrorist.

Atkinson handed the footage, in which an officer can be heard telling her it is illegal to film police and demanding to see her phone, to the Guardian and said she was seeking to challenge the force in a judicial review. The incident was captured on CCTV.

The opening part of the mobile phone clip shows two uniformed police officers searching her boyfriend, Fred Grace, 28, by a wall in the station. Atkinson said she felt that police had unfairly targeted Grace, who did not have drugs in his possession, and decided to film the officers in order to hold them to account.

Seconds later, an undercover officer wearing jeans and a black jacket enters the shot, and asks Atkinson: "Do you realise it is an offence under the Terrorism Act to film police officers?" He then adds: "Can you show me what you you just filmed?"


Catchfire Catchfire's picture

How to Hide from Machines

CV Dazzle is a response. It is a form of expressive interference that combines highly stylized makeup and hair styling with face-detection thwarting designs. CV, or computer vision, Dazzle is an updated version of the original dazzle camouflage from WWI, which was used to protect warships from submarine attacks. Like the original dazzle war paint, CV Dazzle is an unobvious style of camouflage because its eye-catching patterns and colors draw attention instead of hiding from it. As decoration, CV Dazzle can be boldly applied as hair styling or makeup, or together in combination with accessories. As camouflage, this facial markup works to protect against automated face detection and recognition systems by altering the contrast and spatial relationship of key facial features. The variations are limitless.

When disrupting face-detection it is advisable to avoid wearing makeup that enhances facial features. For example, emphasizing the darkness around the eyes with eye shadow or eyeliner would make your face more visible to face detection algorithms. Ideally, your face would become the anti-face, or inverse. In the animal kingdom, this inverse effect is known as countershading. A similar effect can be achieved by creating a partial inverse that targets key areas of the face. For example, darkening or obscuring areas that normally appear light, such as the nosebridege area or the upper cheek. Areas that vary widely, such where facial hair grows, are lower priority. Since eyeglasses are commonly worn by many people, they are not typically considered obfuscations. Results will vary. The CV Dazzle protocols were developed to thwart face detection by OpenCV, which uses the Viola Jones method. The looks shown here were also tested and validated against Facebook’s PhotoTagger, Google’s Picasa, and eblearn.


America's Cyborg Warriors Like The Minority Report, Only Scarier 2008

Antifascist-Calling wrote:
Unfortunately, we don't have to look very far to discover traces of these all-encompassing surveillance projects.

One example was a 2003 DARPA program called "Combat Zones That See" (CTS). The plan was to install thousands of digital CCTV networks across occupied cities in the belief that once the system was deployed they would provide "warfighters" with "motion-pattern analysis across whole city scales." CTS would create a nexus for mass tracking of individual cars and people through algorithms linked to the numeric recognition of license plate numbers and scanned-in human profiles. ...

They've had those license plate number recognition cameras at Can-Am borders here for some time. And I've noticed at least one camera that seems to be looking through my front windshield as well. Has anyone else noticed that?

Because what's good for Iraqis, ie. "enemy insurgents" victimizing American democratizers in Iraq, will be good for us, too.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Stasi in the U.S. of A.? There's an App for that!

“If you see something, say something” is a public safety campaign widely promoted by railway transit systems and airports worldwide. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is promoting “See Something Say Something” to urge citizens to be alert and to help keep each other safe. The MBTA, the 5th largest transit system in the U.S. carrying almost 1.4 million riders per day, was the first subway system in America and is now the first transit system to incorporate Smartphones, 2-way real-time messaging and under-30-second reporting into the See Something Say Something campaign, with the help of ELERTS. The opportunity to crowdsource information from riders who witness suspicious or criminal activities has not been realized by transit systems. The See Say app allows MBTA riders to proactively communicate with transit authorities and also to receive alerts from authorities in emergency situations. For instance, the MBTA can send BOLO (Be On the Look Out) reports to riders, to enlist their help to find missing persons or persons of interest.

The development of the MBTA app is an exciting first that we helped to roll out for the transit industry – and just the tip of such developments that we’ll be a part of as more industries embrace smartphones and crowdsourcing in new and more strategic ways. We see such use as applicable across many more infrastructure organizations like hospitals, school and office campuses, and power utilities. There are exciting developments to come as organizations recognize how they can use ELERTS to improve safety for their employees and customers. Stay tuned!

If you see something say something for smart phones Using this app, riders can send the MBTA Transit Police pictures, text messages, and locations of unattended packages or suspicious activity.


Feds halt border surveillance system - after they get caught:

Apparently it is has been temporarily stopped in order to do an assessment that legally they should have done before starting it in the first place.