Big Brother is Listening to You

In my EU and EPSRC-funded research work on the social and legal issues raised by automated processing of CCTV footage, I have naturally had to become something of an expert on the whole surveillance topic, in order to gain the correct context. During this, it was my understanding (based on both pubished work and discussions with law enforcement) that the police and other major CCTV operators were highly sceptical of the acceptability to the public of microphones, even where cameras are generally accepted in the UK. Of course there are places that are still beyond the pale for cameras, the most obvious being toilet facilities, even outside the cubicles.

It would appear that this reluctance to use microphones is not universal, however, and is even beginning to crumble in the UK.,,176-2471987,00.html

There are some interesting rays of hope, however, in that even ultra-authoritarian Home Secretary David Blunkett, now a back bencher after a second resignation from ministerial office, has called these proposals an unacceptable move towards a surveillance society. Some commentators are playing the “hypocrite” card, but if Blunkett has had a conversion on the road to Damascus, then I’ll happily include him in the fight against too much surveillance.

3 Responses to “Big Brother is Listening to You”

  1. gunge says:

    That is, toilets not in one’s own cubicle, I presume you mean? Cause personal I like to shit at my desk..

  2. a_cubed says:

    Hmm, NA/UK terminology problem here. The cubicle is the little box inside the room designated as toilet/restroom/bathroom/whatever contianing the pan (what NA-types call the commode). I don’t know what you call them over there, but in the UK they’re called cubicles.
    Then again, given what most cubicle workers produce at their desks, the parallel terminology is probably appropriate.

  3. sieber says:

    And what are they called in Japan?