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UK Plans To Monitor 20,000 Families' Homes Via CCTV 693

metrix007 points out a story in the Sunday Express with more surveillance-camera madness from the UK, where the government now wants to place 20,000 CCTV cameras to monitor families ("the worst families in England") within their own homes, to make sure that "kids go to bed on time and eat healthy meals and the like. This is going too far, and hopefully will not pass. Where will it end?"
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UK Plans To Monitor 20,000 Families' Homes Via CCTV

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  • Big Brother (Score:5, Funny)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:02AM (#28914945) Journal

    Dont worry people! This will be broadcasted on television too so you wont be missing anything. As you know, the tv show "Big Brother" viewer amount has been going down and advertisers want something fresh!

    • Re:Big Brother (Score:5, Insightful)

      by arogier ( 1250960 ) * on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:21AM (#28915019) Homepage Journal
      There is no freedom if everything is criminal.
    • by gerddie ( 173963 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:44AM (#28915113)
      In the UK, TV watches you!
  • Holy shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:05AM (#28914947)

    This is an actual, verbatim representation of Orwell's vision for the future (today's present). There isn't any needed for interpretation, it's literally 1984. Wow.

    • by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:58AM (#28915167) Homepage Journal

      I think there is a plan behind it. A project was founded to find out how much surveillance people will endure until seriously, unavoidable riots occur in a well-off society. I also think the reason the project was started so that people, after revolting against cuts into their privacy, have a better foundation and understanding for freedom and privacy.

      However, the Brits didn't react according to the expectations of project coordinators. Unfortunately, no end date was agreed upon for the project.

    • by haifastudent ( 1267488 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:27AM (#28915271)

      This is an actual, verbatim representation of Orwell's vision for the future (today's present). There isn't any needed for interpretation, it's literally 1984. Wow.

      Somebody should give Amazon a call, I hear they have experience in making these "1984" matters disappear.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You are mentally ill, that book you refer to never existed. When you hear the knock on the door, go quietly...
    • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:09AM (#28915745) Homepage
      Why not just give these "worst families in England" to the 456 and be done with them?
  • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:08AM (#28914953)

    You just can't make hyperbole out of this shit anymore. Get the fuck out of England while there isn't a 30ft concrete wall preventing you from doing so. Either that or start killing your politicians.

    • by mustafap ( 452510 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:27AM (#28915045) Homepage

      I wouldn't worry about it too much. As an englishman living in england, I can tell you these newspapers are rubbish. Page 3 probably has "Elvis is alive and working as a roadsweeper".

      There are about 50 million people in the uk, so it only takes a *tiny* fraction of the population to have enough idiots to write this rubbish and the remainder to buy newspapers printing it..

    • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:36AM (#28915077) Journal

      You know, we Americans really ought to give the guys in the UK credit. I mean, every time we seem to sink farther and farther into a police state, with crap like warrant-less wiretapping ( gotta love that hope and change!) and other Big Brother style crap, along comes the UK to prove "hey, it could always be worse!"

      So I personally would like to extend the folks of the UK a hearty golf clap, for proving that no matter how bad of a corporate ass kissing, police state loving pile of douchebags we end up with writing our laws that we will always have the UK proving that nobody beats them for CC loving, neighbor snooping, big government bullshit. Thanks UK! /golf clap/

    • by squidinkcalligraphy ( 558677 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:00AM (#28915173)

      Look; I know that this is a touchy subject, but after working for 5 years (in Australia - things aren't quite as bad here as they are in the UK or the US) as a teacher with kids from the rough side of town, I can tell you there are some seriously fscked up families out there. That warrant some kind of intervention, yet too often the departments responsible for this sort of thing are too fearful of being seen as some Orwellian over-lords. Often it comes down to an issue of human rights, particularly with children involved. Why bother having laws against child abuse if you don't police them? Democracy isn't "do whatever the hell you want" - it involves responsibilities to our fellow people, and people who don't want to undertake those responsibilities need to be handled in some way. Putting cameras in their homes might be better than sending them to jail.

      I'm not for a surveillance sort of a state, but when everyone complains of governments becoming "nanny states", I see a lot of people that need a nanny.

      • by u38cg ( 607297 ) <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:34AM (#28915303) Homepage
        I agree with you; but my response is that if the parents actually need 24 hour supervision to look after their kids properly, then the kids need to be taken away. I can't really see how that's a worse outcome than growing up in such a messed up family.
        • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:36AM (#28915565)
          According to the governments documentation on these schemes (which makes no mention of cameras, by the way) the 24 hour supervision is used when the parents are indeed one step away from having the kids taken away from them. Having the kids taken is the stick used to try and improve their behavior.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Artifakt ( 700173 )

          Yes, there's many times when the kids only chance is to get them into a normal home environment. If the society can come up with enough good foster parents, or ways to find more stable relatives and get them to take in the grandkids, nephews or whatever, this is frequently the best option. Unfortunately, taking the existing kids away doesn't stop people from having new kids. That would most probably require compulsory sterilization in most cases. There we are, several slips farther down the slippery slope m

      • by Threni ( 635302 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @07:10AM (#28915427)

        Exactly. You have to understand how violent England has become in the last 25 years, and how many completely worthless people exist. I went to a baseball game in Pittsburgh a few years ago, and was amused to see about 10 police from when I left where I was staying, getting to the stadium, and back home again. You'd probably see a group of more than 10 police at the the nearest tube station when there's a football game in the UK. I'm concerned about my liberties in terms of net access, email, right to take photos etc, but if there's some sort of clamp down on the families producing criminals and lowlife who are just going to spend their entire lives living on benefits provided by my tax; stealing my car; making *every* town in the UK a loud, dangourous, smashed up place between 10pm and 2am (when pubs close) then I'm 100% behind it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You're only looking at the symptoms.

        This is your basic statecraft Judo; Tension is created to excuse the use of Gestapo muscle. In this case the tension is created through a mult-generational application of terrible education and terrible living standards so that people become frustrated fit to bursting. The youthful rage you're talking about is an honest and healthy reaction to slavery. The solution isn't MORE pressure.

        But people have been successfully dumbed down to the point where this is no longer as

  • by ttlgDaveh ( 798546 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:11AM (#28914965) Homepage

    For the love of jebus, ignore the Daily/Sunday Express just as much as the Daily/Sunday Mail. They are terrible, borderline-racist, reactionary publications with a fixation on Big Brother (Orwell, not the terribe reality show) and 'foreign types stealing our jobs'.

    There's a site [] dedicated to the terrible nature of these publications, which is well worth a read, if only for a giggle.

    • by malkavian ( 9512 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:25AM (#28915259)

      From the phrasing of that post, I'll have a stab and say you're quite left wing, and happily buy into the Labour spin.

      First off, there are sites saying how bad the news is on any given source (including things like the BBC and so on). This does not mean the site that decries the news sources is any more reliable themselves.

      Secondly, throwing in the word "racist" and expecting any argument to be over just doesn't work so much these days. Quite a few studies have shown that everybody discriminates (on just about every factor you can think of). Including the papers you read (which presumably you think are ok, because they say what you want to hear, and you don't feel like hunting down a site which says how bad the news quality is in it).

      Finally, and most importantly, show me the disputation that proves this isn't actually happening. You'll be hard pressed, because it is actually in place at the moment, merely being expanded upon.

      Classic spin tactics on your part. Really must applaud. However, wrong.

      Oddly, however, I've known families like the ones being watched. They're the kind that'll send their kids round to burn out your car because you told their dog off for savaging your baby. Playing the club music at full volume until 4am every night and generally making the neighbourhood a really bad place to be in (because, of course, it's a free country and they can do anything they want any time they want, nobody's allowed to tell them any different, otherwise they don't have any 'respeck', and thus deserve a knife in the gut).
      I'm stuck in the conundrum of absolutely hating surveillance with a vengeance, and thinking what the hell is anybody meant to do with people who act like that?
      You just know that as soon as any measure is put in place, it'll widen in scope to creep up to the point it encompasses everyone, and then what do you do?

      Much as my 'knee jerk' reaction is to say that this is awful, being surveilance, it's one that leaves me feeling edgy, but it's worth looking at. And keeping an eye on very closely to watch its creep.

      Like fixing anything badly broken in a system, sometimes you have to use extraordinary measure to fix a dire problem. Monsters we are, lest monsters we become.

  • by Florian Weimer ( 88405 ) <> on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:11AM (#28914969) Homepage

    Other news sources (Telegraph, Daily Mail) mention "24-hour supervision", but no CCTVs. Without the CCTVs, it's not really that different from homes for the elderly.

    • by ( 302970 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:50AM (#28915135)

      Without the CCTVs, it's not really that different from homes for the elderly.

      Except it's "non-negociable2 meaning "forced on families" and highly invasive to their lifes. I'd challenge it in the european courts for breach of human rights in a heartbeat. Thankfully, the united kingdom is part of an organization that does recognize those.

  • And away we go... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 24-bit Voxel ( 672674 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:14AM (#28914989) Journal
    Children's secretary Ed Balls sure does have some.

    That they are even talking about this is nefarious indeed. What we the people should be doing is insisting on our legislators and lawmakers being CCTV'd 24/7 along with phones. (With exceptions for national security.)

    Imagine how much corruption would be uncovered this way. If the representatives choose to conduct business elsewhere it can be assumed they are guilty of something or at least worthy of voting out.

    Yes, that sounds much better.

  • Orwellian (Score:5, Funny)

    by w0mprat ( 1317953 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:17AM (#28915003)
    In case you were wondering Orwell's1984 is not actually a manual for statecraft. Just to clear that up.
  • Soviet Russia (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:18AM (#28915007) Homepage

    No one is watching Big Brother in the UK anymore, so instead they're going to use the classic Soviet Russia twist:

    (takes deep breath)

    In UK, Big Brother watches you!

    Plus, Davina McCall needs something to do besides those hair colour adverts.

  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @05:27AM (#28915049) Homepage Journal

    First, they came for the paedophiles; and I didn't speak, for I was not a paedophile.
    Then, they came for the hoodies; and I didn't speak, for I was not a hoodie.
    Then, they came for the problem families; and I didn't speak, for I was not a problem family.
    Then, they came for me. But I was in Canada by then (please?!)

  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) * on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:07AM (#28915199) Homepage Journal

    I spoke to one of my British immigrant friends about the big brother attitude in England, saying I understand it's financially motivated in the U.S., but I couldn't see what motivated it there. He said a large portion of the population has absolutely no sense of personal responsibility and wants some one else (the government) to handle that for them. Of course this isn't everyone.

    Let's look at history and see how British citizens who didn't agree with the crown acted and what came of it:

    Scotland - William Wallace. They fought a good fight but ultimately failed. They made their point and over time, since people allowed the fight to die with him, it didn't matter.

    Quakers, Puritans, other settlers. - Fled to the New World to escape the mainland oppression only to experience oppression by remote control. They eventually rebelled, established independence and we now have the United States. Some time later Canada decided to break free also - a little more peacefully and they still have the Queen on their money. I wouldn't.

    It's time for the English citizens to have a civil war. They've already screwed up, they've let their government take their guns away, so it's going to be difficult, but I'm sure they can manage. If enough of the populace proves they're willing to go to war with rakes and shovels it may just get enough attention to prove to the government they're serious and the government may start listening. I'm sure it would only take a few government officials dieing during riots and stealth assassination missions before they agree to consider that 1984 wasn't meant as an instruction manual.

    It's very important that the people declare war and actually send over a document declaring such, if they don't it's no better than gang terrorism.

    The U.S. proved such a thing can work.

    • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:00AM (#28915697)
      They've already screwed up, they've let their government take their guns away

      We never had guns in the first place. When handguns were finally outlawed, it affected only a few thousand people out of sixty-odd million. As far as I know the mainland UK has never had a culture of individual gun ownership.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rohan972 ( 880586 )

        We never had guns in the first place. When handguns were finally outlawed, it affected only a few thousand people out of sixty-odd million. As far as I know the mainland UK has never had a culture of individual gun ownership.

        I don't know, what do you think of this article: []
        In a material sense, Britain today has much less of a "gun culture" than at any time in its recent history. A century ago, the possession and carrying of firearms was perfectly normal here. Firearms were sold without licence in gunshops and ironmongers in virtually every town in the country, and grand department stores such as Selfridge's even offered customers an in-house range. The market was not just for sporting gu

    • by Burb ( 620144 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:08AM (#28915733)
      Wrong on so many levels. Unless it's a troll in which case, hey you win. As has been pointed out elsewhere, most perceptions of WIlliam Wallace in popular culture are driven by that awful Mel Gibson film which could not have been more innacurate if it had a plasticene Grommit alongside Wallace. I can't speak for Quakers, but certainly a lot of settlers like the Puritans were intent on setting up their own theocracy in the new world as well as escaping persecution at home. Did Canada break free? I don't recall a Canadian War of Independence? No, it was done piecemeal and largely peacefully. I don't care if they have the Queen on their notes; at least no one pretends the British Crown is infallible like some of people in the US who believe the Founding Fathers were but a little lower than the angels. As to Civil War we've had ours thank you very much and it didn't solve much. Meanwhile the USA is full of far too many people who think that if you talk like Alan Rickman you must be the bad guy. Give me a break. We don't brainwash our kids every morning in school by making them worship a flag either. Polemic? Yes, of course. I've visited the USA many times and have found most people to be regular guys. I don't form my opinions of the USA based on the National Enquirer and one chap who emigrated to England from the States who I met in the pub. I suggest you take a broader look around. The UK is full of idiots of all political shades and colours just like any other nation. I don't want live in a country where you can't feel safe unless you have a gun. Fine. You do? Fine, your call. Just get a grip.
  • Good! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:33AM (#28915295)

    I know your all going to compare it to 1984, say this is a big brother police state, but to be honest, if you live on an area affected by youths who make you terrified to go outside, who intimidate you if you do, who will not hesitate to key your car, smash in it's windows or even set it on fire, who make it the norm to set of fireworks in the street and even post them through letter boxes, then you wouldn't be moaning about their human rights.

  • by RotateLeftByte ( 797477 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @06:47AM (#28915339)

    El Gordo is off on his hols and the underlings feel they can let out silly proposals like this. Then the ministers get to keep their TV hours up by spending copious amounts of time saying that this is only a proposal knowing full well that it will never happen.
    The 'Comics', newspaper like the Daily Wail and Express need to fill their copy and stories like this are exactly the sort of thing to fill the 'silly season'.

    Besides if by some legal mangling, the cameras were ever to be installed, they would be:-
    (within minutes)
    1) Stolen and sold down the Pub for Drink,Fags or Drugs.
    2) Vandalised
    3) The house sublet to a nice family ensuring nothing for the monitors to see.

    Anyway, NuLab will get a real tanking in the next election and the Tories will have all their attention on getting the country out of the financial sesspit that Gordon 'prudence' Broone has got us into since 1997.

    Finally, as this is in a clear breach of the European Human Rights Directive I think many of the wailers here should get a life.

  • Two words (Score:5, Informative)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Sunday August 02, 2009 @08:12AM (#28915763) Homepage

    Two words tell you everything you need to know about this story:

    Sunday Express.

    Move on. Nothing to see here. And, Slashdot, for God's sake... please check your sources in future rather than the random cranks.

    For those who don't know, imagine that bit in Men in Black where Tommy Lee Jones checks the papers for "information"... one of those would be the Sunday Express.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.