Communion Of Dreams

Wait, seriously???
August 3, 2009, 11:04 am
Filed under: Civil Rights, George Orwell, Government, Privacy, Society, Wired

OK, I’m having a hard time believing this, good skeptic that I am:

Government wants more CCTV cameras in homes
Latest Home Office initiative wants to watch 20,000 problem families 24/7

The UK Government’s Children’s Secretary Ed Balls has announced a controversial new CCTV monitoring scheme, in which thousands of problem families are to be monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Balls claims that the £400 million “sin bin” scheme will put up to 20,000 problem families under 24-hour surveillance in their own homes, to ensure children go to bed and school on time and eat proper meals.

“Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction,” reads a report in the Sunday Express.

The other sources I find also link to the Express article, which can be seen here. Here’s a bit from Wired:

Britain To Put CCTV Cameras Inside Private Homes

As an ex-Brit, I’m well aware of the authorities’ love of surveillance and snooping, but even I, a pessimistic cynic, am amazed by the governments latest plan: to install Orwell’s telescreens in 20,000 homes.

The rest just repeats what is in the Express article. From that article:

Pupils and their families will have to sign behaviour contracts known as Home School Agreements before the start of every year, which will set out parents’ duties to ensure children behave and do their homework.

The updated Youth Crime Action Plan also called for a crackdown on violent girl gangs as well as drug and alcohol abuse among young women.

But a decision to give ministers new powers to intervene with failing local authority Youth Offending Teams was criticised by council leaders.

Les Lawrence, of the Local Government Association, said they did “crucial” work and such intervention was “completely unnecessary”.

OK, can anyone else, maybe someone in the UK, shed any light on this? Because I just have a hard time believing that the UK public would put up with any scheme which would put CCTV cameras into the homes of people for 24-hour monitoring. I don’t care how used the Brits are to having their public life tracked by these cameras – this just strikes me as extremely unlikely. So, is this just the Express making shit up, or what?

Because if not . . .

Edited to add, 12:50 PM:
Discussion on MetaFilter seems to conclude that the whole story is just BS from the Express, which has an agenda to push. That fits with my first impression of the story. Anyone else?

Jim Downey

(Cross posted to UTI.)

2 Comments so far
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eems to conclude that the whole story is just BS from the Express, which has an agenda to push.

Because it seems so wrong that it’s got to be right.

Heck, the English invented the idea of the Panoptican – this is a modern refinement of the idea.

Comment by Brian Dunbar

I mean, really.

But it does look like the whole thing is the Express trying to put the worst spin on it. Comments at UTI:

Jim D.

Comment by James Downey

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