We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The watchers do not like it when you watch them…

Our masters do not think it is appropriate for us to observe and record the fact we are being observed and recorded…

That reminds me of of something I posted in 2002.

16 comments to The watchers do not like it when you watch them…

  • Mr Ecks

    Where have all those commenters gone?

    Surely death can’t have claimed them all?

  • Rich Rostrom

    “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light,” and that includes ordinary criminals. Incidentally, are private businesses and private citizens wrong when they place surveillance cameras on their own property? Because criminals and terrorists want to evade or break those as well.

  • “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light,” and that includes ordinary criminals

    And it also included ordinary people doing things that should not be criminal but which are, and ordinary people disfavoured by those in power.

    Incidentally, are private businesses and private citizens wrong when they place surveillance cameras on their own property?

    No. My problem is with state use of CCTV when it grants push-button at-will access to state functionaries, rather than “Excuse me sir, there was a mugging last night near your home, would you mind us checking your CCTV footage between 10:30pm and 11:00pm?” – I have zero problem with that. What I am not so keen on is integrated panoptic surveillance.

  • Mr Ed

    It took me a while to make sense of the picture in the OP, but it seems really odd and self-referential if they think that people should be grateful to be asked to be looking out for people who are looking at security cameras, as looking at the cameras is a bit like an actor on stage breaking the fourth wall.

    Anyone who has been on a long-distance train journey in England recently will be used to the moronic and sinister ‘See it, Say it, Sorted‘ announcements that pepper the journey in-between lame explanations for the incompetence of the service. What they might say instead could be:

    “If you are attacked by Islamist suicide bombers (other denominations are available), you’re totally done for, and please don’t fight back, as that might create a hostile environment AND WE WILL GET YOU IF YOU DO! Wait for assistance to arrive, once we have checked the reaction on Twitter for hate speech. And please remember to carry plenty of fluid with you on hot days, in case the train breaks down or gets stuck, as, once again, you’re done for if that happens.”

    That would have the virtue of frankness.

  • I like to think
    (it has to be!)
    of a cybernetic ecology
    where we are free of our labors
    and joined back to nature,
    returned to our mammal
    brothers and sisters,
    and all watched over
    by machines of loving grace.

    Richard Brautigan – All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

  • Julie near Chicago

    JG, I wonder what Susan Calvin would think of that.

  • Eric

    What I am not so keen on is integrated panoptic surveillance.

    What’s particularly galling is the surveillance they do have doesn’t seem to bother street criminals very much. You’d think with the loss of privacy at least you’d be able to walk the streets in safety, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  • Itellyounothing

    Too much CCTV to check except when motivated.

    Sadly some of the strongest motivations are political beliefs or opposition to said, rather than investigational professionalism.

  • the other rob

    Anybody who is actually up to no good knows to don a hi viz vest, first. It renders them invisible to surveillance and immune from questioning.

    Fuck! I’m going to be in town, next week, for a couple of days. Tossers won’t let me bring a sidearm, not even if I pretend that I used to be a Paddy terrorist.

    @Itellyounothing: There’s also a healthy market in candid porn, when the CCTV captures folks going at it like beasts.

  • staghounds

    I have to confess I don’t understand the poster in the picture. What does it mean?

  • It means if you see someone taking a picture of CCTV with their phone, you should report them to the authorities

  • Pat

    So if someone is checking out the CCTV an informant is necessary or at least useful in determining this.
    I wonder what else the CCTV is useless or poor at detecting.

  • Richard Thomas

    Why are we asking people to do this? Surely this can all be done with software so that the phone will report its owner and enable GPS tracking so that the powers that be can have a “little chat” at their leisure.

    I hope sarcasm is sufficiently implied.

  • staghounds

    Well it’s damned bad postering anyway.

  • bloke in spain

    There’s some delightful little lasers, you can buy in from China. One I’ve got puts out about 5W. Easily enough to ignite a match head. Very useful for fine engraving. If you needed to do any..

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