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January 9, 2006

Britain to Track Every Car Journey

The Washington Post and Newsweek are reporting tha Britain is about to become the first nation to place cameras on virtually every major road in the country.  These cameras will be able to read 3,600 license plates per hour and will be linked to computers that will analyze the images and cross-reference to police databases of suspected criminals.  Police are pointing to examples where an abducted child was found in a speeding car's trunk, and another where the system flagged a car for no insurance and the stop produced a bust for heroin.

As expected, privacy experts are troubled by the implementation.  London makes high use of cameras as was motivated when the IRA initiated a bombing campaign in the city.  Cameras also came into play when the subways were bombed last July.  The expansion of surveillance has been called "Orwellian."  Privacy concerns aside, the implementation of the system is promoted on the idea of security for the nation.  Australia, Canada, and some European nations are interested in the system as well.

Read the story here.

January 9, 2006 | Permalink


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