Secure Under Red Ken's Watchful Eye


Proponents of new surveillence systems frequently point to the unintended benefits of exaptation. After all, if our antiterrorism cameras allow us to catch panty-grabbers and drug dealers too, why would anybody complain? In this article from The Register about London's new "congestion charge" cameras, which are designed to catch parallel parking and bus lane scofflaws, John Lettice (clearly the writer's old punk rock stage name), describes where this kind of thinking leads. According to London mayor Ken Livingstone himself, your troubles will just be starting when you wake up with parking tickets like flags stuck on your window screen:

[T]he one thing you've got to remember in London is that 1 person in 10 in London hasn't registered their car, hasn't paid tax and hasn't got insurance, they're just freeloading off everybody else—they're most probably the people who will most persistently not pay. A quarter of them are being sought by the police for other offences. It won't just be that some poor old guy turns up and clamps your vehicle, you'll most likely have police there in protective gear because you might be dealing with a rather serious character.