Rob Fisher has an interesting posting up about police harassment, as displayed in a reality TV show. Basically, the police took it upon themselves to mess with some apparently quite innocent citizens, fishing for crimes that they might have committed. And it turned out one of them had apparently done something evil. He had, apparently, committed the crime of failing to be on the police driver database. Said the policeman: “You don’t exist” …It turned out that the database did contain him, but spelt slightly differently.
Rob Fisher is depressed about all this. But what I think this episode – by which I mean not just the police harassing people, but it being on television, and Rob Fisher copying out what they said and blogging about it – is that one of the benefits of total surveillance (see my immediately previous post) might be that the authorities might find themselves having to behave rather better.