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Author Topic: Big Brother  (Read 2601 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Big Brother
« on: October 07, 2010, 03:44:50 AM »
I already know some of the reactions that will come in, regarding camera's in cities. Oh, it's a massive invasion of privacy, it's the first step towards the movie Equilibrium.

Well, I gotta be fair with this one... the camera's themselves are not a bad thing. It's their misuse that is the issue. If all they do is provide police another view point, and there for get officers onto the scene of a crime quicker, then I have absolutely no problem with the camera's at all.

But for even a slightly corrupt Government, this is the perfect tool for them to spy and dictate in a Draconian fashion.

Only reason this topic jumps out at me now is because camera's are appearing in some cities in my state of Queensland, Australia, and I'm a little annoyed at the reactions on the news :/ The police say "It provides a safer environment" while the other 'experts' are calling doom and predicting the start of a fascist totalitarian Government.

The lack of a sane voice on this issue that doesn't swing to one side or the other is just annoying me :/

Offline errantwandering

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Re: Big Brother
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 04:00:43 AM »
What government is not at least somewhat corrupt?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Big Brother
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010, 11:31:50 AM »
The thing with cameras is that they provide an impartial witness.  Not only do the criminals know that their actions are being recorded, so do the police.  Police cars in the States (can't speak for other countries) have 'dashboard cams', that get turned on when the lights start going.  I've seen cases where the criminal's actions get recorded, and they end up facing more severe penalties because of something the officer didn't see.  I've also seen cases where the officer's actions got recorded - or where the officer made a point of taking something 'off camera' (fortunately for the victim in that case, not far enough off-camera), and the officer faced charges.

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Re: Big Brother
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 01:45:11 PM »
Cameras record not only civil wrongdoing but injustices perpetrated by those who are supposed to be on the side of justice. Cameras can be made to lie, but only with some significant effort and a lot of time. I think that with enough transparency, we'll find it more a boon than a liability.

You put the camera anywhere near my home, however, and you get a kick in the teeth.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 02:00:42 PM »
When your in a public place such as a street, sidewalk or intersection there is no right to expect privacy. Now if they put them in ones home that is another story but that is not on the table right now is it?

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 07:15:41 PM »
Turns.

Here.  Get my good side.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2010, 10:04:17 PM »
When your in a public place such as a street, sidewalk or intersection there is no right to expect privacy. Now if they put them in ones home that is another story but that is not on the table right now is it?

Police in certain states arrest people who film them, but they can film us? I don't think so.

I'm a HUGE opponent of public CCTV systems. There's enough evidence they don't alter crime at all in any significant way in a lot of places. Plus other uses like red light cameras are a scam to say the least.

Giving government and police more power in this regard is not something I support. It can, and will be abused if it needs to be and I frankly don't want to live in a 1984 police state, thank you very much.

Offline Noelle

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2010, 02:07:00 AM »
I'm a HUGE opponent of public CCTV systems. There's enough evidence they don't alter crime at all in any significant way in a lot of places. Plus other uses like red light cameras are a scam to say the least.

Could you kindly provide us with said evidence so we can see?

Quote
Giving government and police more power in this regard is not something I support. It can, and will be abused if it needs to be and I frankly don't want to live in a 1984 police state, thank you very much.

Also for this, too, some kind of support would be nice. If it will inevitably lead to a doomsday 1984-type scenario, then I am plenty curious to see the evidence that points to it happening. My skepticism regarding the matter is mostly due to the fact that people are willing to assume the inevitable worst of all situations; Obama's in office, we're going to soon be Mother Russia and the Communist Crew (I believe I'm going to start a band with that name), the government is helping get the economy back in order and suddenly they're trying to control everything ever, people advocate for more gun control and they're trying to strip the citizens of ways to defend themselves for the upcoming militaristic takeover, Muslims are given a community center and worship space and then we have our own personal terrorist factory...and so forth. Mostly baseless claims.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 11:15:15 AM by Noelle »

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2010, 09:39:24 AM »
http://www.pcworld.com/article/137459/cctv_cameras_dont_solve_crimes_say_london_politicians.html

"The city has over 10,000 publicly funded CCTV cameras in public areas, but only one in five crimes are solved, said Dee Doocey, a spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrats political party on the London Assembly, the elected body which determines transport and policing policy for London's 32 boroughs and the City of London itself.
Using figures obtained from the London boroughs, the Metropolitan Police Service and public transport authorities through Freedom of Information Act requests, the Liberal Democrats compared the number of crimes solved in each borough with the number of CCTV cameras installed there.

"Our figures show that there is no link between a high number of CCTV cameras and a better crime clear-up rate," she said. "Boroughs with thousands of CCTV cameras are no better at doing so than those which have a few dozen.""

http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/2009/11/cctv-cameras-dont-reassure-they.html

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/06/cctv_cameras.html

"Pervasive security cameras don't substantially reduce crime. There are exceptions, of course, and that's what gets the press. Most famously, CCTV cameras helped catch James Bulger's murderers in 1993. And earlier this year, they helped convict Steve Wright of murdering five women in the Ipswich area. But these are the well-publicised exceptions. Overall, CCTV cameras aren't very effective.

This fact has been demonstrated again and again: by a comprehensive study for the Home Office in 2005, by several studies in the US, and again with new data announced last month by New Scotland Yard. They actually solve very few crimes, and their deterrent effect is minimal."

I operated a massive CCTV system for a security firm, we caught so little it made the millions spent on it seem pointless. Also, anyone who believes the government in a place like the US can't become corrupt and give rise to a Stalin-esque figure is naive.

When you're being watched in public all the time, it's like being told you're guilty before you've even done anything. I don't trust the police nor the government to not abuse these things, and never will. There's numerous other studies and articles like the few I posted above, I've been all about this topic for years.

Plus like I said, the police in places in the US don't want you filming them yet they can film you? Yeah, no.

Offline Jude

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2010, 10:02:40 AM »
http://www.pcworld.com/article/137459/cctv_cameras_dont_solve_crimes_say_london_politicians.html

"The city has over 10,000 publicly funded CCTV cameras in public areas, but only one in five crimes are solved, said Dee Doocey, a spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrats political party on the London Assembly, the elected body which determines transport and policing policy for London's 32 boroughs and the City of London itself.
Using figures obtained from the London boroughs, the Metropolitan Police Service and public transport authorities through Freedom of Information Act requests, the Liberal Democrats compared the number of crimes solved in each borough with the number of CCTV cameras installed there.

"Our figures show that there is no link between a high number of CCTV cameras and a better crime clear-up rate," she said. "Boroughs with thousands of CCTV cameras are no better at doing so than those which have a few dozen.""
That's an extremely flawed measure of the effectiveness of CCTV cameras on crime for the following reasons:

1)  That study doesn't even attempt to measure the number of crimes deterred by the cameras, just those that were solved.
2)  The presence of CCTV cameras results in crimes noticed/reported that would otherwise be completely invisible to the public eye.  These cases are naturally more difficult to solve.  Thus, the presence of CCTV cameras may actually decrease the amount of crimes solved while still doing its job admirably.
3)  Even if the cameras in those instances were proved ineffective, that doesn't mean the use of CCTV is ineffective, just that configuration of CCTV.

The only way to really test this effectively would be to take a measure of the crime rate before, and after, while keeping things like property values and everything else that effects the rate of crime constant.

http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/2009/11/cctv-cameras-dont-reassure-they.html

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/06/cctv_cameras.html

"Pervasive security cameras don't substantially reduce crime. There are exceptions, of course, and that's what gets the press. Most famously, CCTV cameras helped catch James Bulger's murderers in 1993. And earlier this year, they helped convict Steve Wright of murdering five women in the Ipswich area. But these are the well-publicised exceptions. Overall, CCTV cameras aren't very effective.

This fact has been demonstrated again and again: by a comprehensive study for the Home Office in 2005, by several studies in the US, and again with new data announced last month by New Scotland Yard. They actually solve very few crimes, and their deterrent effect is minimal."

I operated a massive CCTV system for a security firm, we caught so little it made the millions spent on it seem pointless. Also, anyone who believes the government in a place like the US can't become corrupt and give rise to a Stalin-esque figure is naive.

When you're being watched in public all the time, it's like being told you're guilty before you've even done anything. I don't trust the police nor the government to not abuse these things, and never will. There's numerous other studies and articles like the few I posted above, I've been all about this topic for years.

Plus like I said, the police in places in the US don't want you filming them yet they can film you? Yeah, no.
In-depth analysis of the links you gave doesn't even support the things you're claiming.  For example, http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/police-camera-crime1.htm has links to research that shows that red light tickets are effective (which you claimed they aren't).  The same article also admits that studies have bounced all over the place on the matter, and while there seems to be a trend that "they aren't worth the bang for their buck" it later admits that the cameras are largely underutilized and that, more than anything else, conflicts the idea that they're not useful and instead proposes that we're just not using them right.

Lets be purely rational about this and set all ideology aside.  What is a CCTV camera?  It is a device that records information.  When placed in public, it gives whoever possesses the recording feed information about what is going on in that public area.  Public.  All CCTVs placed by the government do is give the government information about the public lives of its citizens.  Information is certainly power and this is definitely open for abuse, but anything the government is given the right to do is.

Rather than take positions of absolute opposition or total compliance, I think it's far more productive to consider what information the government needs access to and what information it does not, and limit the use of cameras accordingly.  If there's an area a lot of people are assaulted in, I think putting up a few cameras is a pretty good idea.  That does not mean I think we should plaster the parks with them so that we can watch the morning jog of well-endowed ladies or, far worse, spy on protesting/organizing activities of political groups (like if they'd placed cameras on the national mall for Glenn Beck's Rally to Restore Honor).

Sensible lawmaking and separation of powers can protect citizens from government:  simply add into law restrictions on where cameras can be placed and a requirement to obtain permission from a judge in order to do so.  People don't realize it but the government protects them from itself every day:  that's what the court is for, and the system works.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 10:21:40 AM by Jude »

Offline Noelle

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2010, 11:31:35 AM »
I operated a massive CCTV system for a security firm, we caught so little it made the millions spent on it seem pointless. Also, anyone who believes the government in a place like the US can't become corrupt and give rise to a Stalin-esque figure is naive.

I'd say Jude covered your statistics well, but I still have yet to see any of these statistics point to the doomsday scenario you're speaking of.

Do you have any examples of this happening anywhere or is this merely your own baseless claim of inevitability? CCTV has been, in some form or the other, utilized since the early 90's most prevalently in Britain. I have yet to see signs of an evil, plotting, Nazi-Stalin-insert-loaded-word-here-type government who wants to control its citizens. It's naive to give them that much credit. Your government can't be simultaneously incompetent and ignorant of its citizens needs AND a group of evil genius masterminds who have somehow managed the coordination of not only rigging elections to get just the right people in office so that everyone is on board with the plan, but doing a massive intelligence cover-up that prevents anyone from leaking the information -- and if they can already accomplish that, cameras are the very least of your worries.

Besides, you really just answered your own dilemma. You worked for a CCTV security center. You managed to not abuse the system or somehow become a part of their evil scheming takeover group. They let a civilian in and out to tell the story. I'd say that's a success.

You don't have to trust the government...A healthy amount of skepticism does a person good, but automatically equating something like this to the supposed inevitable government takeover is, as far as I've seen, just an urban myth. Books like 1984 are excellent examples of a worst-case scenarios and can teach us a valuable lesson about the way we grant and use power, but let's be real here. Using a work of fiction to strengthen your point probably isn't the most logically sound or realistic thing.

Quote
When you're being watched in public all the time, it's like being told you're guilty before you've even done anything. I don't trust the police nor the government to not abuse these things, and never will. There's numerous other studies and articles like the few I posted above, I've been all about this topic for years.

Plus like I said, the police in places in the US don't want you filming them yet they can film you? Yeah, no.

Here's the thing.

You're being watched in public every day. You leave your house? Somebody probably looks at you at some point. That's the point of it being called 'public'. Anyone can already see everything you do at any given time you're in public. A camera doesn't have any advantage, it doesn't see anything that your naked eye couldn't see, except it captures it all objectively. But what should frighten you more then, by your standards, is that you're not just getting filmed by the government. You enter a store? You're filmed there privately on security cameras, and yet you don't make mention of them at all. Average citizens can keep privately-operated cameras around their estate for their own security -- what about them? What if we have secret government informants who are paid to submit their security footage to the government?! I think you see where I'm going with this.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 11:36:07 AM by Noelle »

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2010, 11:55:23 AM »
Using a work of fiction to strengthen your point probably isn't the most logically sound or realistic thing.

Hmmm, seems familiar... think I saw a few nice chaps doing just that when they claimed I was going to some really bad place for a really long time because I didn't know this Jesus fellow.

Offline Serephino

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2010, 09:59:31 PM »
I agree with Noelle.  Public is, well, public....  You really don't have an expectation to privacy while out in public places.  And yes, every time we go to a store there is a good chance you're being filmed on a security camera.  They don't really seem to deter robbery and shop lifting, but they can be helpful in catching the person. 

I would only have a problem with this if they put them in places like public bathrooms.  Other than that it doesn't bother me.  Yes, there is the potential for corruption, but that's anything.  If you're going to go with that line of thinking, then maybe the government has secret spies watching us too...  Hey, the USSR had secret police.   

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2010, 07:20:59 AM »
Who used a work of fiction to strengthen their point? I sure didn't. Frankly I don't have the time for these discussions anymore, so ya'll are posting books while I'm typing it out in 30 seconds.

The expectation of privacy in public doesn't exist, still doesn't mean cameras everywhere is normal or should be perfectly okay to everyone. Someone looking at me as I walk by is entirely different than a camera recording my every move and being saved and stored, plus it being watched by a nameless person. I wouldn't let random strangers snap photos of me in public everywhere I went, and I'm pretty sure that would piss most people off.

The problem is it sets a precedent and an infrastructure up for the future which CAN be abused, that's what you're not getting. If a fascist government takes power, will you still accept it? I mean, the NSA wiretap debacle alone was a massive invasion of privacy and regardless of it being in the public, I don't want to be watched. So, save your breath if you're attempting to change my mind it'll never work.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-16856213-cctv-does-not-stop-crime.do

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/the-big-question-are-cctv-cameras-a-waste-of-money-in-the-fight-against-crime-822079.html

etc etc but I'm going on vacation and am done. Google it yourself for numerous op-ed pieces, articles and studies.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Big Brother
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2010, 09:08:31 AM »
Who used a work of fiction to strengthen their point? I sure didn't.

Yes, you did. :)

Giving government and police more power in this regard is not something I support. It can, and will be abused if it needs to be and I frankly don't want to live in a 1984 police state, thank you very much.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2010, 09:31:41 AM »
Yes, you did. :)

That's not using it to strengthen my position, you're not understanding how I used it.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Big Brother
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2010, 09:33:51 AM »
Then you're probably going to have to elaborate, because it appears that way not only to Noelle but to me also.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2010, 09:40:28 AM »
It's called typing as I speak, and just saying I don't want to live in a 1984 police state. Simple as that, it's not there to even bolster my point at all, it's just there because I felt like typing it.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Big Brother
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2010, 09:49:22 AM »
Riight. *thumbsup*

Enjoy your vacation. :)

Offline Noelle

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2010, 12:41:30 PM »
Who used a work of fiction to strengthen their point? I sure didn't. Frankly I don't have the time for these discussions anymore, so ya'll are posting books while I'm typing it out in 30 seconds.

Being condescending and calling longer posts 'a book' is unnecessary -- there are people here who actually wish to have a dialogue about the topic at hand. If you don't have time, then please don't post. Hit-and-run opinions are not favorable. If you're not prepared to discuss your claims and actually read and consider what other people say to you, then this isn't the right section for you to be in.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2010, 01:03:56 PM »
Being condescending and calling longer posts 'a book' is unnecessary -- there are people here who actually wish to have a dialogue about the topic at hand. If you don't have time, then please don't post. Hit-and-run opinions are not favorable. If you're not prepared to discuss your claims and actually read and consider what other people say to you, then this isn't the right section for you to be in.

I've been here many times, and wished to express my opinion and have that be that.

Offline Noelle

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2010, 01:29:12 PM »
I'm really glad. Have a good vacation.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2010, 05:47:17 AM »
o.o vacation.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2010, 08:06:41 PM »
In 1984 they has camera-like devices IN peoples homes overtly or covertly. We are talking in public spaces more like the Demolition Man (movie) which has naughty words detectors and they implanted people with chips.

Really this is a matter of your on the street, if you do something bad they can use it as evidence and if not your fine.

And if the government turns fascist, then we can choose to fight or not to stop them the Founding Fathers showed us that right by their example. Not saying using violence but supporting non-violent resistance and refusing to follow the wishes of the government I would do. But in the US and most Western Nations how likely is that really the military would need to go along with it, the states and the local authorities its far more likely to start another civil war than give the government power.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: Big Brother
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2010, 10:25:38 AM »
In 1984 they has camera-like devices IN peoples homes overtly or covertly. We are talking in public spaces more like the Demolition Man (movie) which has naughty words detectors and they implanted people with chips.

Really this is a matter of your on the street, if you do something bad they can use it as evidence and if not your fine.

And if the government turns fascist, then we can choose to fight or not to stop them the Founding Fathers showed us that right by their example. Not saying using violence but supporting non-violent resistance and refusing to follow the wishes of the government I would do. But in the US and most Western Nations how likely is that really the military would need to go along with it, the states and the local authorities its far more likely to start another civil war than give the government power.

The problem is they already abuse technology for unlawful, and sometimes lawful yet wrong reasons. Many of the lawful reasons being absurd in the first place.

http://www.alternet.org/rights/148312/white_house_wants_to_wiretap_internet_communications

"The Obama administration is drawing up legislation to make it easier for US intelligence services to eavesdrop on the Internet, including email exchanges and social networks, The New York Times said Monday.
The White House intends to submit a bill before Congress next year that would require all online services that enable communications to be technically capable of complying with a wiretap order, including being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages, the Times reported."

The belief that you're fine if you're doing nothing wrong is a naive one that most of this country buys into, sadly.

http://www.alternet.org/rights/148315/patriot_act_nightmare_sees_the_light_of_day_as_fbi_raids_activists

Or this, which they've already abused with FLIR cameras looking for marijuana grow houses:

http://www.alternet.org/rights/148384/is_the_government_x-raying_you_while_you_drive

"No opt-out for the latest in anti-terror technology though, with reports just out in Forbes Magazine and the Christian Science Monitor that the Homeland Security Department has purchased 500 mobil X-ray vans called ZBVs that can scan cars, trucks and homes without the drivers even knowing that they’re being zapped."

Mind you none of this is baseless paranoia, it's real. People buy into it because they think the government protects them. Sorry, governments love control and silencing dissent. People who trust them not to abuse this stuff make me sad, very sad.

Or one final link to ponder:

http://www.alternet.org/rights/148203/yikes_--_first_state_considers_allowing_cops_to_conduct_roadside_drug_tests

While I can see why that could be good, technology as it is cannot prove you're high when you're high on drugs like marijuana. So smoking a day before can get you testing positive, and that's wrong. As the article says at the bottom the kits that would be used frequently produce false positives as well.

Yay government control!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 10:30:49 AM by MercyfulFate »