They See Me Strollin', They Hatin'

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The UK's civil libertarians think 90 percent of the country's surveillance cameras—the ones that make Britons the world's most-watched people—might be taping illegal videos.

Under the code of practice and according to the Data Protection Act, CCTV cameras must be visible with clear signs. In addition, camera operators have an obligation to stop images of individuals being seen by third parties.

Mr Ferrie said that operators most commonly breach these rules by not keeping recorded tapes secure, meaning they could potentially be stolen.

The rise of digital cameras opens up further problems because the images can easily be shared as digital files rather than remaining on a closed loop.

Defence counsels in court could theoretically question the legality of CCTV pictures in order to have the evidence dismissed or the case thrown out.

Jacob Sullum noted the UK's most-on-camera status late last year.

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  1. In addition, camera operators have an obligation to stop images of individuals being seen by third parties.

    I understand the impulse, but I think they’ve got it exactly wrong. The only way all that surveillance isn’t a civil liberties problem is if it’s available to everyone. Every camera should be available on the intertubes.

  2. I know in my heart they think I’m white and nerdy.

  3. I know how to stop this. Suggest that the cameras are taping copyrighted materials. Then stand back and witness the power of the copyright lobby.

  4. *stands back and admires the evil genius of ProGLib…

  5. VM,

    I’ve been looking for you. Now that you are meta-standing back, here’s a new word: attainted. It’s in the Constitution (I encountered it in making a posting waaaay down the threadlines), but I’m sure that you can find a better use for it.

  6. They trollin’, they batin’
    Tryin’ to catch me writing dirty

  7. Too bad George Orwell isn’t around to see all the cameras. “Smith, W. hands out of pockets in cells.”

    “We are the dead, we are the dead.”
    “you are the dead.” It was behind the picture.”

  8. Right on Warren, right on.

    The watched must watch the watchers.

  9. ProGLib – back under our bridge, I give that word a shot.

    attaint – to affix someone with a new taint (after URKOBOLD whithers or munches on it, for example)

    that person, upon successful attaintation, is now freshly betainted.

    but this stuff about BATIN. Don’t they realize they should “go away!”?

  10. Hey, VM, you left out “bill of attainder”, which is presumably how you charge for attainting someone.

  11. attaint – to affix someone with a new taint (after URKOBOLD whithers or munches on it, for example)

    Not to be confused with “atainted” — to be without a taint.

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