571 – Bearly Dressed• 04


Since this is being written before the contest is finished, we will have to wait until Wednesday to find out who the winner is! Oooo, I can’t wait!

Britain has got a serious problem.

There is one active security camera in Britain per fourteen persons living there. With just one percent of the world’s population, they utilize twenty percent of the world’s security cameras. But of these 4.2 million cameras, only one in a thousand is being watched. One in a thousand!

This has got to stop.

And fortunately for Britishers, it will. Internet Eyes is a new company set up by one Tony Morgan, to make certain that no one in Britain does anything without being anonymously watched by someone else. Tony’s brave new scheme is to allow internet users the world over to act as the nations’ new police force, watching the cameras’ footage in real time and alerting camera owners and police whenever they see something they don’t like. Deputy security police will accrue points for spotting crimes (bonus points if it’s a real crime!) and winners will win actual cash money. Up to £1,000!

As for me, I can’t wait to sit around all day long watching people getting on and off the subway, hoping someone drops a gum wrapper or a potato chip so I can zap ’em with my mouse. Even better, you can monitor four cameras at once so you can invite friends over for parties to watch Indian immigrants and pasty people with bad teeth as they muddle through their day… hopefully doing something illegal or at least rude so that you can make a little coin.

If this catches on maybe the U.S. government will go ahead and start using the spy software already developed by hackers to snoop on folks, utilizing the webcams attached to everyone’s computer monitors. You could call it the “Fat Guys Masturbating” channel, and instead of cash you could win Kleenex and new eyes.

If the trend continues worldwide I predict a catastrophic failure as nobody will want to watch the cameras at the places where the most security conscious congregate… golf courses, country clubs, and anywhere else old white guys like to hang out, and there will be a sixteen year waiting list for the beaches in Brazil.

What will happen in the end? Just keep your eye on Britain.

30 Responses to 571 – Bearly Dressed• 04

  1. A friend works for the local council and largely the 100 or so cameras that monitor the town centre (maybe a square mile tops) are used so council workers can watch other council workers walking home after dark to check they are OK. Oddly they still didn’t stop the odd gang walking around with golf clubs beating people up. Maybe it was assumed they were going to play golf and couldn’t afford a bag so carried one club each, I don’t know.

    Why is the future never cheap flying cars?

    • What the future is depends on who’s making it. Right now that’s a bunch of stupid, dishonest and corrupt “businessmen” and politicians mostly. I remain unconvinced it’s an entire step up from Stalin and Lenin and those mass-murderers.

  2. Yay, The Truman Show meets Big Brother Reality TV!

    A million cameras won’t help if the Beancounters cut the police budget so that there aren’t enough cops employed to be able to quickly respond to a crime in progress. But that is old news.

    And anyone who has seen the Japanese cyberpunk anime series “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” shows how much FUN it can be living in a society where ubiquitous cameras and spy drones and satellites and cyberbrain hacking equal total surveillance.

    But letting private citizens spy on each other, for cash!, via 4.2 million cameras… wow, I mean, not even the Staatssicherheit, the intelligence service of the German Democratic Republic ( = Soviet-controlled East Germany before the reunification of Germany in 1990) came close to that! (But mostly only because they didn’t have a network of 4.2 million digital cameras back in those days.) Sheer brilliance, man, I tell you. There’s no way that system would ever be abused… wait, what’re you saying? We’re not on planet Vulcan, but on Earth? Shit.

    What a cost-saving stroke of genius! (*cough*) Come on, let’s retire a few more cops and replace them with a nation of untrained Peeping Toms not accountable to anyone! I’m sure YouTube will just love hosting all those semi-legal videos of your neighbors taken off the camera feed! The only thing this will eccomplish is bloating the bureaucracy even more, because not only will whole generations of lawyers have to deal with all the complaints by civil rights activists filing class action suits, but the civil servants will have to deal with the claims of millions of people WORLDWIDE claiming that they are eligible for the money the UK government promised for snooping. But how do you define “useful information”?

    And what happened to the FEAR THE TERRORIST! paranoia we were fed not so long ago that evil terrorists from Terroristan could use Google Maps or cameras to spy on the layout of Western cities and building and use that info to blow up some local McDonalds in Texas? 🙄

    • Somehow I’m even less concerned about terrorists getting ahold of these feeds than I am marketing people. I don’t know what they would do with it exactly, but I am certain it wouldn’t be pleasant.

  3. Fact: Security cameras only weakly deter crime, mostly they are crapshoot-level tools for forensic tracking of the participants in a known crime, IF the footage is recorded, adequate quality, pointed in the right direction at the right time, and can be found and searched meaningfully.
    British are too married to their caste system to put real effort into addressing the root causes of crime so you end up with stupid wastes of everything like this.
    Not that people on the other side of the pond are smarter, but….

    • No one is smarter than anyone. The only folks who “appear” smarter are those who control less territory, and are thus unable to do as much harm.

      Individually people are intelligent and kind, but as a group the “survival mentality” kicks in, and they become a bunch of idiots. This is why a country run by sober faced sixty year olds will act like a pre-schooler. They just can’t help it. And if they could, they’ll be shouted down by the rest.

  4. Just make an unpleasant facial expression a crime and anyone on the internet will be eager to catch all those who aren’t smiling for the cash reward.

    Is everyone joking or did everyone really not notice the “Big Brother” aspect? (and I don’t mean the reality TV show)

    • I bet they did, Eric.

      Still, I suppose it is appropriate to point out that most of those bleak, dystopian future dramas come from Britain.

      The day you wake up and your government has blocked you from seeing HOLE, it’s all over.

    • [Screams and sounds of laser fire in the distance, and the sound of running feet, coming closer. A wild-eyed and singed clone rounds the hallway corner at top speed and stops when he notices in horror that he has stumbled into a junction with a yellow-clearance hallway.]
      The Computer: “ARE YOU UNHAPPY, CITIZEN?!”
      Luckless Red Clearance Citizen: “Gaa! No no, Friend Computer, I am happy, um, ecstatically happy! Ahahaha.” [He eyes the corner nervously. There’s a rattle of track rollers approaching.]
      [Soothing music from loudspeakers drowns out the following screams and chainsaw noises.]
      [Luckily, a scrubbot arrives a minute later to clean up the organic’s body fluid malfunction. At least the citizen’s next clone cannot be fined for his predecessor’s failure to bleed in the wrong security clearance color. And so Happiness (and Cleanliness, which is next to [censored]) is once again restored to the Alpha Complex.]

  5. I see nothing wrong with having millions of cameras watching thousands of people on a tiny island. I mean seriously its the best reality show there is.

    I tried watching TrafficLand Cameras all day but I don’t get the same intimacy level as I do with Britain. I mean seriously did you see that guy that walked across the street at 2 am on camera 4590.01 wearing flipflops! Hysterical!

    Don’t get me started on Baltimore street cameras… everyone avoids them because they have that Blue light that probably was meant to attract people, too bad it keeps them away. Can’t get any good viewing out of them.

    Now Traffic Speed cameras are the way to go, how often do you get to see a Ford GT going 200mph not on a racetrack.

  6. Sounds like a colossal waste of time, money, and equipment. Not to mention extrordinarilly creepy. How would Americans feel if they knew the Austrailians or Canadians were watching us standing at a bus stop or shopping for underwear, hungrily waiting for one of us to do something wrong so they could make money? It’s just wrong on so many levels. How many cameras are watching the politicians? Probably zero.

    • Not sure, Jesse, although the government in Britain (well, England anyway) recently had a major scandal erupt when it was discovered just how much they were reporting as “on the job expenses”. Might make things a little more even if whatever level of scrutiny was to be brought on the public was brought on the politicians first.

  7. Actually Peter Chung already showed us what happens next in the brilliant early 90’s American cartoon series Aeon Flux:
    Some idiot announces the”New Openness” where every second of every citizen’s life is on camera and available for everyone else to see. Spoiler: the important people just fake it when it comes to them. Still it’s a new plateau in paranoia that has only recently become possible. Also British people are generally boring (IRL, not comedy series), hard to believe they need that much watching.
    Oh and Kevin, your flying car? Yeah. They stole that one from everyone. It’s been possible for decades, but eliminates freeways, border security, and the oil industry to name a few. We were totally supposed to have flying cars by now. It’s called a blimp. We don’t get to have them because of the Hindenberg.

    • Actually there is a man who makes flying cars, sadly they never caught on. Plus they are cramped as heck because they have to be so light.

    • Every so often I look at the progress of lighter than air craft and shake my head in disbelief that we haven’t got them yet. When *everyone* is hysterical about the environmental cost of jetting around the world why aren’t we all just taking an extra day or so and doing it by airship?

  8. This is great! With our omnipresident being a great fan of orwellian things everywhere, I can’t wait for us to catch up! 😀 He’s doing everything he can, but, sadly, there are some morons who deter him with bullshit like freedom, intimacy…
    However, I am proud to say that my hometown now boasts its own set of cameras 😀 I even had a shot at being paid to watch them, but, feeling undeserving of such an honor, I declined.

    Sadly, I fear this is the way of the future, for britain, sure, but also for us, at least with this government, as we have more and more cameras popping up, with never, ever, a camera disapearing. Pretty useless against crime, costing way too much money, dangerous for your privacy and liberty, but all this doesn’t matter so long as the right people are happy and feel secure.
    Worst thing is, they so easily sell this to people frightened by bullshit talk about crime and insecurity, and, even when people are against it, they do it nonetheless.
    I’m disgusted, sure, but also resigned.

    (btw, kevin, are you aware of our “prince jean” problem? I think you’ll like this)

    • I’m with you in wishing Obama had reversed more of the previous administration’s more idiotic security policies, though the increased cameras are actually a product of the W tax cuts. When there is less money to spend on police because you’ve reduced the tax base, it seems much cheaper to replace them with a camera. Unfortunately most of the nation isn’t in a place where tax increases are likely to be accepted. (It’s not like most folks feel like they have any extra cash laying around for more cops right now.)

      • Actually, I was speaking about sarkozy, a great admirator of Bush (Not so of obama: His loyal followers even said he should have been nobelized 😆 )

  9. Sixteen year waiting list for the beaches in Brazil?!
    Woot, I’ll walk three blocks and wave at the cameras, maybe I’ll be famous!
    … That is, if that doesn’t become illegal. Or look illegal to anyone watching.

  10. caste system in britian? Our governement is rapidly creating an equal society.
    All the workers are taxed to bu***ry and Pensions savings are raided by them to make us as poor as
    the benefit claimaints. Then there are the people with money, leaving our shores as fast as possible.
    So we’ll have a class system of
    Benefits people.
    The idiots who work
    Politicians on the make
    My local MP managed over the past 5 years to work himself from about 600 out of 650 of overall expenses claimed to 88th, not bad for my public servant, do you think all the rest stopped claiming expences?

    Just remember you not a bad person, you just do bad things, and you need to be caught and punished, unless of course you an immigrant, then you need to attend a citizen course