Britons Start To Fight Back Against the Surveillance State

Having grown up in Britain, pre-surveillance state, it’s amazing to me that during the last twenty years the British have just meekly accepted the ever-increasing and encroaching surveillance powers used by all levels of government in the U.K. But at long last there’s some resistance, at least at the local level, as reported by the New York Times:

Poole, England — It has become commonplace to call Britain a “surveillance society,” a place where security cameras lurk at every corner, giant databases keep track of intimate personal details and the government has extraordinary powers to intrude into citizens’ lives.

A report in 2007 by the lobbying group Privacy International placed Britain in the bottom five countries for its record on privacy and surveillance, on a par with Singapore.

But the intrusions visited on Jenny Paton, a 40-year-old mother of three, were startling just the same. Suspecting Ms. Paton of falsifying her address to get her daughter into the neighborhood school, local officials here began a covert surveillance operation. They obtained her telephone billing records. And for more than three weeks in 2008, an officer from the Poole education department secretly followed her, noting on a log the movements of the “female and three children” and the “target vehicle” (that would be Ms. Paton, her daughters and their car).

It turned out that Ms. Paton had broken no rules. Her daughter was admitted to the school. But she has not let the matter rest. Her case, now scheduled to be heard by a regulatory tribunal, has become emblematic of the struggle between personal privacy and the ever more powerful state here…


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2 Comments on "Britons Start To Fight Back Against the Surveillance State"

  1. styx marx | Oct 26, 2009 at 1:13 pm |

    Well God Forbid…oops I mean…well I don't know what I mean…but the point is as long as this sort of thing does'nt intefere with the weekend's planned 'voting schedule', then who cares? the voting..? which voting? No no an election to replace all those mps who no longer wish to serve their communities as the 'perks scam' has been rumbled and will have to be curtailed…though not stopped..completely anyhoo I was on about the important voting in the various 'talentless showcases' that the public is being fobbed off with as 'entertainment' and not only is it cheap for the producers but with the fools who do the 'voting' paying them for the privledge its a 'win win' entertaining profit for them…every now and then a little controversy is thrown to the 'baying, paying public' to ensure 'bums on their own sofas with phones to the ready' come the night….when…the usual suspects are the winners as expected…if you don't believe it..go to the bookies and look at any of the odd given on this sh**!

    By the way, when I mentioned 'voting' at the beginning of this
    'ere comment..the clue was in that first remark…'voting…weekend', don't think however if those who seek to oppress us thought it would get them into the sort of jobs where no-one would question the 'profits' made on the 'dispersables' and '…anything else', that they would'nt perhaps give up an odd weekend for a chance of a ticket on that 'gravy train'…ah well there's always European seats to vie for…now that used to be the 'daddy' of all the 'gravy trains' with jolly holidays on the continent to boot….funny how quiet even those known as 'Eurosceptics' have all gone….and should'nt that twat from the bnp [my lower case there…!] be somewhere near the place he is supposed to be representing the guileless folk who voted with their 'jackbooted feet' to send him there! Once he and the filthy Nazi wannabe's have just all looked up as I mention the 'much unremarked' expenses like a 'lottery win', when they get there feet in the right 'footwear' ie 'slippers' which match their expensive silk smoking jackets….they will be occupied like the rest of the MEPs filling in the 'expenses claim form' as something must keep them all so busy that their existance is barely noticed by the public until they are forced once again to seek to get on/stay on/shop on that exclusive of exclusives…EuroExpenses Claim….or EEC..? As for the surveillance state if anyone is really interested in all the crap that is collected, is gonna be collected and from the database that has already been collected….ad infinitum…well let them have as much as they want as 'too much Info is worse than none at all,.as the piles of debris which is collected just becomes a 'refuse tip' of 'data which no-one really wanted about joe and josephine bloggs, is perched precariously around the 'local anarchists or anti-euro-protesters' and will eventually bury it where no-one can be bothered looking for it and we'll just hope nobody hijacks any aircraft…business as usual then, inefficiency the bain of efficiency….then there is the added bonus that any 'data discs/devices..' will become far too numerous for the 'idiots & their laptops' to carry around so that's your details secured at a stroke…so give them all they want, fill in all the useless crap sent to you and send it back, as the more they want to know, get to know….the less they will know, the less surveilled we'll all be and the important stuff….well if you've got a decent typist to input it all, it will be safe…even from the 'state'!

  2. robertleather | Nov 2, 2009 at 11:48 am |

    Three years ago I reported to Alex Jones that the 'talking surveillance camera” that was fitted in Salford, Greater Manchester was a complete failure as 9 out of 10 people simply ignored the voice and 3/10 of those instructed the operator to go forth and multiply. The result is that the system was taken out of operation and a real police officer has their 'beat' extended to include the shopping area.

    So big brother way well be watching, but hardly anybody is listening.

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