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February 19, 2009

Big Brother Is Watching — But Don't You Dare Watch Back

Posted by Dave Blount at February 19, 2009 8:30 AM

Similarities between Britain and the Soviet Union become more striking by the day. It is now a criminal offense to take a photograph of a police officer. As for citizens…

There are more than four million CCTV cameras in the UK, the largest number in the world. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras follow our every car journey, and officers are now routinely deployed at major public gatherings with cameras on their helmets.
Police are even beginning to insist that pubs — as a condition of being granted a licence — install CCTV cameras to watch their regulars having a drink.
Indeed, some pubs are even being told to ban their customers from wearing hats, in case it makes identification by these cameras more difficult — thus the extraordinary situation of Yorkshiremen being told it is no longer acceptable to wear a flat cap to their local pub!

The new law against taking pictures of bobbies is being justified on counterterrorism grounds. But it could have other uses.

There's also the not inconsiderable fact it will make it very hard for Press photographers to record legitimate protests, given the heavy presence of police on the streets at any modern day rally. It will also prevent those protesters who fear heavy-handed tactics from filming the police's response, as is currently common place.

Violators face up to 10 years in jail. In contrast, the punishment for being a real terrorist is having the tabloids cluck their tongues in disapproval when you go out to spend your welfare check.

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Officer! Arrest yourself at once!

On a tip from mandy.