Thursday, December 22, 2005

1984 Revisited

I read about this plan some time ago, but a post on Boing Boing directed me to this Independent Online article about it. Apparently, as from next year the UK will have the dubious distinction of being the first country in the world where every car journey will be monitored, logged and the details stored for at least 2 years. We all think this is a good idea, don’t we? And we all remember voting for it, don’t we? Personally, I don’t remember voting for the “pleasure” of living in a Police State where I can’t drive anywhere without the details being stored in the Thought Police’s Central Computer for God-knows-who to access?

But apparently this is just the beginning! Once these sinister characters iron out the technical difficulties of automatic face recognition we can look forward to our every movement being monitored, even when we’re not in our cars!

The Police and the Security Services argue that technology such as this will make their jobs easier. They will have much less difficulty not just tracking down people who don’t buy tax discs for their cars, and don’t insure their vehicles, but other much more sinister individuals. They will no doubt trot out the old argument that “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you shouldn’t mind being watched”. They’ll tell us that the overall aim of systems such as this is to make the public feel safer.

Well I’m one of the public, and proposals such as this don’t make me feel safer. They make me feel sadder, and they make me feel resentful that my civil liberties are being eroded significantly without adequate consultation. As far as I can see the car monitoring system is all set to go ahead, so who knows what else Big Brother has planned for us “for our own good”. As far as I’m concerned, if this is the way British society has to go to combat terrorism, the terrorists have already won the war.