Wednesday, April 04, 2007

George Orwell's London Apartment Under 24-Hour Surveillance

This is a follow-up to the November 2, 2006 Library Boy post UK Fast Becoming Surveillance Society Says Info Commissioner that referred to a British study showing that the UK is sleep-walking its way to becoming a society under total computer and camera surveillance:

"This is due to the increasing accumulation of credit card, cell phone and loyalty card information, the monitoring of workers' computer activities, and the spread of closed circuit television surveillance".

"There are now 4.2 million closed circuit cameras in Britain and Britons are picked up 300 times a day on camera as they go about their regular private business".

Well, This is London, an online entertainment guide for the British capital, reports that "(T)he Big Brother nightmare of George Orwell's 1984 has become a reality - in the shadow of the author's former London home":

"On the wall outside his former residence - flat number 27B - where Orwell lived until his death in 1950, an historical plaque commemorates the anti-authoritarian author. And within 200 yards of the flat, there are 32 CCTV cameras, scanning every move".

"Orwell's view of the tree-filled gardens outside the flat is under 24-hour surveillance from two cameras perched on traffic lights".

"The flat's rear windows are constantly viewed from two more security cameras outside a conference centre in Canonbury Place".

"In a lane, just off the square, close to Orwell's favourite pub, the Compton Arms, a camera at the rear of a car dealership records every person entering or leaving the pub".

"Within a 200-yard radius of the flat, there are another 28 CCTV cameras, together with hundreds of private, remote-controlled security cameras used to scrutinise visitors to homes, shops and offices".

"The message is reminiscent of a 1949 poster to mark the launch of Orwell's 1984: 'Big Brother is Watching You'."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:17 pm


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