George Orwell was a bit early...but it's coming soon.

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George Orwell was a bit early...but it's coming soon.
« on: December 30, 2005, 02:21:40 pm »
In George Orwell's 1984 there were "Thought Police" and the threat of "Big Brother" was
all around, watching everything and everyone.

Have no fear (or perhaps have a lot of fear) for it's about to happen.
Our brothers in the UK will soon be Watched and this is just the start.

I saw an episode of an old TV show called "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" years ago where there
were cameras along the roadways. The Admiral was on his motorcycle speeding to work one day
when one of these cameras reacted. It showed a laser beam quickly scan his license plate (which
had no numbers or letters but rather a large BAR CODE! At the time, I thought...pretty cool!

The times have changed. Read the article:
Britain to monitor EVERY car journey

December 27, 2005 When George Orwell?s book Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949, he wrote of a world where humanity?s every movement was monitored by Big Brother ? recent developments in the UK suggest his landmark work may prove chillingly prophetic. Two recently syndicated articles by journalist Steve Connor serve to highlight just how far the British Government has progressed in its quest to monitor the movements of its citizens. The articles entitled Britain will be first country to monitor every car journey and Surveillance UK: why this revolution is only the start begin by detailing the UK Government?s plans for a network of tens of thousands of cameras that automatically read the number plate of every car passing them, hence constructing a massive database of every vehicle?s movements so police can analyse any journey a driver has made in the previous five years ? computers capable of adding together thousands of exact times and locations of a vehicle every time it takes to the roads. Within three months, the computers will be storing 35 million number-plate reads per day and the plan calls for the network to be massively increased in the number of data collection points, with service stations, local traffic authority cameras and supermarket carparks to be added. The second article suggests the scheme will inevitably be broadened to incorporate facial recognition and a much greater number of data points.

UK will be first to monitor every car journey
Follow full article below

By Steve Connor

26 December 2005
Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years.

Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years.

The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which are being converted to read number plates automatically night and day to provide 24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as towns, cities, ports and petrol-station forecourts.

By next March a central database installed alongside the Police National Computer in Hendon, north London, will store the details of 35 million number-plate "reads" per day. These will include time, date and precise location, with camera sites monitored by global positioning satellites.

Already there are plans to extend the database by increasing the storage period to five years and by linking thousands of additional cameras so that details of up to 100 million number plates can be fed each day into the central databank.

Senior police officers have described the surveillance network as possibly the biggest advance in the technology of crime detection and prevention since the introduction of DNA fingerprinting.

But others concerned about civil liberties will be worried that the movements of millions of law-abiding people will soon be routinely recorded and kept on a central computer database for years.

The new national data centre of vehicle movements will form the basis of a sophisticated surveillance tool that lies at the heart of an operation designed to drive criminals off the road.

In the process, the data centre will provide unrivalled opportunities to gather intelligence data on the movements and associations of organised gangs and terrorist suspects whenever they use cars, vans or motorcycles.

The scheme is being orchestrated by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and has the full backing of ministers who have sanctioned the spending of ?24m this year on equipment.

More than 50 local authorities have signed agreements to allow the police to convert thousands of existing traffic cameras so they can read number plates automatically. The data will then be transmitted to Hendon via a secure police communications network.

Chief constables are also on the verge of brokering agreements with the Highways Agency, supermarkets and petrol station owners to incorporate their own CCTV cameras into the network. In addition to cross-checking each number plate against stolen and suspect vehicles held on the Police National Computer, the national data centre will also check whether each vehicle is lawfully licensed, insured and has a valid MoT test certificate.

"Every time you make a car journey already, you'll be on CCTV somewhere. The difference is that, in future, the car's index plates will be read as well," said Frank Whiteley, Chief Constable of Hertfordshire and chairman of the Acpo steering committee on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).

"What the data centre should be able to tell you is where a vehicle was in the past and where it is now, whether it was or wasn't at a particular location, and the routes taken to and from those crime scenes. Particularly important are associated vehicles," Mr Whiteley said.

The term "associated vehicles" means analysing convoys of cars, vans or trucks to see who is driving alongside a vehicle that is already known to be of interest to the police. Criminals, for instance, will drive somewhere in a lawful vehicle, steal a car and then drive back in convoy to commit further crimes "You're not necessarily interested in the stolen vehicle. You're interested in what's moving with the stolen vehicle," Mr Whiteley explained.

According to a strategy document drawn up by Acpo, the national data centre in Hendon will be at the heart of a surveillance operation that should deny criminals the use of the roads.

"The intention is to create a comprehensive ANPR camera and reader infrastructure across the country to stop displacement of crime from area to area and to allow a comprehensive picture of vehicle movements to be captured," the Acpo strategy says.

"This development forms the basis of a 24/7 vehicle movement database that will revolutionise arrest, intelligence and crime investigation opportunities on a national basis," it says.

Mr Whiteley said MI5 will also use the database. "Clearly there are values for this in counter-terrorism," he said.

"The security services will use it for purposes that I frankly don't have access to. It's part of public protection. If the security services did not have access to this, we'd be negligent."

Why this revolution is only the start

The new national surveillance network for tracking car journeys, which has taken more than 25 years to develop, is only the beginning of plans to monitor the movements of all British citizens. The Home Office Scientific Development Branch in Hertfordshire is already working on ways of automatically recognising human faces by computer, which many people would see as truly introducing the prospect of Orwellian street surveillance, where our every move is recorded and stored by machines.

Although the problems of facial recognition by computer are far more formidable than for car number plates, experts believe it is only a matter of time before machines can reliably pull a face out of a crowd of moving people.

If the police and security services can show that a national surveillance operation based on recording car movements can protect the public against criminals and terrorists, there will be a strong political will to do the same with street cameras designed to monitor the flow of human traffic.

A major feature of the national surveillance centre for car numbers is the ability to trawl through records of previous sightings to build up an intelligence picture of a vehicle's precise whereabouts on the road network.

However, the Home Office and police believe that the Big Brother nature of the operation can be justified on the basis of the technology's proven ability to catch criminals. "In simple terms criminals use vehicles. If you want to commit a crime, you're going to use a vehicle," said Frank Whiteley, the Chief Constable of Hertfordshire, who leads the project. " There is nothing secretive about it and we don't want it to be secret, because we want people to feel safer, to see that they are protected."

A 13-month pilot scheme between 2003 and 2004 found the performance of the police improved dramatically when they had access automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras. Project Laser 2 involved 23 police forces using specially fitted vans with ANPR cameras linked to a police database. It led to a fivefold increase in the arrest rate for frontline officers.

But these mobile units will constitute only a tiny proportion of the many thousands of ANPR cameras that by next year will be feeding more than 35 million number plate "reads" every day into the new national data centre at Hendon, north London, the same site as the Police National Computer.

Mr Whiteley, chairman of the ANPR steering committee, said the intention eventually was to move from the "low thousands" of cameras to the " high thousands".

One camera can cover many motorway lanes. Just two ANPR devices, for instance, cover north and south movements through the 27 lanes of the Dartford crossing toll area on the Thames.

By March next year, most motorways, main roads, town centres and petrol station forecourts will be also covered. Some cameras may be disguised for covert operations but the majority will be ordinary CCTV traffic cameras converted to read number plates. "What we're trying to do as far as we can is to stitch together the existing camera network rather than install a huge number of new cameras," Mr Whiteley said.

More than 50 local authorities have already signed up to allow the police access to data gathered from their CCTV traffic cameras. Northampton, Bradford, Stoke and the City of London have had ANPR cameras in use for some time. Many smaller towns, such as St Albans, Stevenage and Watford are in the process of being wired up.

"We also talking to the commercial sector about their sites, particular garage forecourts. One of the biggest truisms about vehicles is that they have got to fill up with petrol," he explained.

Supermarkets are soon to agree a deal that will lead to all cars entering their garage forecourts having details of their number plates sent to Hendon. In return, the retailers will receive warning information about those drivers most likely to "bilk" - drive off without paying their bill.

The plan beyond March 2006 - when the national data centre goes live - is to expand the capacity of the system to log the time, date and whereabouts of up to 100 million number plates a day. "In crude terms we're interested in between two and three per cent of all vehicles on the roads," Mr Whiteley said.

"We can use ANPR on investigations or we can use it looking forward in a proactive, intelligence way. Things like building up the lifestyle of criminals - where they are going to be at certain times. We seek to link the criminal to the vehicle through intelligence. Vehicles moving on the roads are open to police scrutiny at any time. The Road Traffic Act gives us the right to stop vehicles at any time for any purpose. So criminals on public roads are vulnerable.

"What makes them doubly vulnerable is that most criminals not only burgle and steal, but they also don't bother to tax their vehicles, insure them and things like that," Mr Whiteley said.

Early in the new year the National ANPR Data Centre will be able to cross-check its database against all vehicles lawfully taxed and insured. All unlawful vehicles will be flagged and when they pass an ANPR camera their movements will register as "hits". The Home Office and the police believe that such a surveillance tool will have a dramatic impact on crime detection as well as the public's attitude to traffic policing.

"The first plus is that we can concentrate our resources on the vehicles we should be stopping. The other plus side is that the 97 per cent of law-abiding motorists should never be bothered by that," Mr Whiteley said.

The National ANPR Data Centre is being built alongside the Police National Computer because of the need to be constantly updated with lists of suspect drivers and vehicles. The design of the system will also take into account future changes to the way cars will be recognised, such as electronic vehicle identification - when a unique identity chip is built in to the bodywork.

Identity chips are being considered as part of a new road-pricing system based on a network of roadside radio receivers. Such electronic tags would, however, also allow a car's movements to be recorded without the need of number-plate cameras.

Asked whether ANPR will be as important as the forensic use of fingerprints and DNA profiling, Mr Whiteley replied: "It has the capability to be as revolutionary. I would describe it as an ubiquitous policing tool. You can use it in all sorts of different ways."


Fixed cameras at strategic sites

Many thousands of traffic cameras on main roads, motorways, ports and petrol stations will read car numbers using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)

Mobile units

Every force will have a fleet of specially fitted police vans with ANPR cameras. These will work alongside high-speed intercept officers

CCTV in towns & cities

Many existing traffic cameras in towns and cities are being converted to read number plates automatically as part of the new national surveillance network


Police National Computer

The PNC will supply updates on vehicles and drivers of interest to the police

Insurance data

Uninsured drivers will be identified from data provided by the insurance industry

MoT data

Vehicles without a valid MoT test certificate will be flagged

Vehicle licence data

All vehicles without a valid tax disc or with unlawful number plates will be identified


The new National ANPR Data Centre is to be based at Hendon in north London, the site of the existing Police National Computer. It is being designed to store 35 million number plate 'reads' per day, to be expanded to 100 million reads within a couple of years. The time, date and place of each vehicle sighting will be stored for at least two years, with plans to extend this period to five years. Special 'data mining' software can trawl for movements and associations



Every police force will have direct computer access to the National ANPR Data Centre. Intelligence officers will be able to access data on a car's movements over a number of years


The Security Services have special exemption under the Data Protection Act to use ANPR information for purposes of national security. Anti-terrorism will be their main interest
In the world of AI, it's the thought that counts!



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Re: George Orwell was a bit early...but it's coming soon.
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2006, 01:38:25 am »
Art, big brother is already about and a lot more than ppl care to know or realise  :angry

As for the car journeys, may I take this time to sharpen my knives and try to discover your adress as Id tried my best to forget this shameful invasion of privacy (section 8, paragraph 5 for those who dont believe me or want to check it out) as highlighted in the human rights act (europe of all places hehe)

But seriously art, its a valid point and just once again proves that although the EU law prohibits the UK goverment from doing this they wil do it anyway.

We also have on the way if mr tony "i love myself and want to be president" blair gets his way all internet conversations monitered, all web sites visited monitered ???  :zdg_flag_wtf :zdg_flag_wtf :zdg_flag_wtf
They want to plave a tracking cookie (but it does a hell of a lot more than that) onto every pc, this will monitor who you are talking to, where they are, what you have discussed (with use of key/trigger words) where you went, where your gonna go, what your looking at, signing upto etc etc.

thankfully the EU have stopped mr power obsessed blair from making this a reality, but he will keep trying, soon as its a done deal here, expoect it all over the this security?, or a bare faced invasion of our rights and privicy ???

You be the judge good ppl of DG

In this country as im sure in others, we already have cameras all over our towns (great for safety and helping police with trouble i agree) but we are never asked if they can be built/used...again denying us our basic right to privacy.

We are now starting to have cameras fitted to cash machines (for "security").

The latest is the ID cards, we must have them to help with security?...WHAT? its got sod all to do with national security, safety or whatever  crap they say next, its so they can keep tabs on you. And get this, in this country...failure to comply with the ID cards (should they ever come in) will land you in prison?...and ppl think the UK is not a republic dictatorship? hehe...

Again thanks for that art, Im gonna stiop now incase I upset too many ppl in power and black limo's come to drag me away   :grin



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Re: George Orwell was a bit early...but it's coming soon.
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2006, 03:05:20 am »

Think about it...this could open a new market for an enterprising individual or individuals.
Plastic or latex slip on masks. Slip one on just as you pull up to an intersection where
those awful traffic cameras are. Put one on as you go up to withdraw money from your
ATM machine, etc.
One could make a variety of lightweight, different, masks for various occasions, just to
throw of the powers that be.

Might be good for a laugh until you got caught. But then again what would they charge you
with? Attempt to conceal your identity? Failure to demask? God only knows!! :zdg_old
In the world of AI, it's the thought that counts!



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Re: George Orwell was a bit early...but it's coming soon.
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2006, 04:41:26 pm »
Aet, nothing would suprise me :zdg_angryflames