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New CCTV Site In UK Pays People To Watch 214

pyrosine writes "Have you ever felt like being paid for watching live CCTV footage? The BBC are reporting CCTV site, 'Internet Eyes' is doing exactly that. Offering up to £1000 to people who report suspicious activity, the scheme seems an easy way to make money. Not everyone is pleased with the scheme though; the Information Commissioner's Office is worried it will lead to voyeurism or misuse, but what difference does it make when you can find said webcams with a simple Google search?"
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New CCTV Site In UK Pays People To Watch

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  • The CC in CCTV? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by peterprior ( 319967 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:15AM (#33805692)
    I always thought the CC in CCTV stood for 'Closed Circuit', meaning the pictures are not being broadcast.

    I know they're not being broadcast over RF but shouldn't making them available to anyone via a website be classed as 'broadcasting' therefore making it Open Circuit TV or just 'TV' ?
  • Sounds great! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tacarat ( 696339 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:19AM (#33805712) Journal
    We need this in America, but bolt it onto our elected officials and non-elected public servants. You know, to monitor them for voyeurism and abuses.
  • by b4nd0ler0 ( 1597801 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:21AM (#33805724)
    Seriously, very often these news related to invasion of privacy, police state, Orwellian-like developments come from the UK. They seem a society obsessed with surveillance of their own citizens. What's wrong with these guys? Haven't they got anything else to do?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:44AM (#33805846)

    The quicker this is rolled-out, the quicker you'll be able to profile your young victims

  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:50AM (#33805874) Homepage Journal

    Clearly they have or they wouldn't be asking the public to watch for them. This is not an invasion of privacy, the cameras are in public places. This is only "Orwellian" in your own head, because you have to take everything to ludicrous extremes rather than accepting that in reality, schemes like this are positive for society. The only problem would be if they started putting cameras in houses, but nobody has actually done that before, and nobody in their right mind would even try it in a democracy.

  • Re:The CC in CCTV? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bigjb ( 725336 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @05:52AM (#33805890)
    I am pretty sure that this is going to end up with some interesting court appearances just from looking at the Information Commissioner's Office own guidelines for viewing CCTV [ico.gov.uk];

    Viewing of live images on monitors should usually be restricted to the operator unless the monitor displays a scene which is also in plain sight from the monitor location.

    and as an example:

    Example: Monitors in a hotel reception area show guests in the corridors and lifts, i.e. out of sight of the reception area. They should be turned so that they are only visible to staff, and members of the public should not be allowed access to the area where staff can view them.

    and also the following on the release of footage:

    Any other requests for images should be approached with care, as a wide disclosure of these may be unfair to the individuals concerned. In some limited circumstances it may be appropriate to release images to a third party, where their needs outweigh those of the individuals whose images are recorded. Example: A member of the public requests CCTV footage of a car park, which shows their car being damaged. They say they need it so that they or their insurance company can take legal action. You should consider whether their request is genuine and whether there is any risk to the safety of other people involved.

    and even better on the next page concerning responsibilities [ico.gov.uk] and the display of signs:

    Signs should: be clearly visible and readable; contain details of the organisation operating the system, the purpose for using CCTV and who to contact about the scheme (where these things are not obvious to those being monitored); and be an appropriate size depending on context, for example, whether they are viewed by pedestrians or car drivers.

    Typically the one thing you do see in any public area in the UK with CCTV, is an indication that CCTV is in operation, hopefully if the guidelines are followed and the signs go up in shops and they will see some drop in customer numbers because people are not willing to accept that level of invasion of privacy.

  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:00AM (#33805916) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, think of the children!

    This is obviously going to cause far more crime than it stops, because currently nobody can sit on a park bench and observe people passing by, and when they know there are cameras in public places they're a lot more likely to try and kidnap children!

    Got any more stupid arguments you'd like to trot out as excuses so that nobody can watch you while you're shopping?

    I'm a lot more likely than most people to get into trouble from CCTV, as I'm out doing Parkour several times a week, including the occasional bout of trespassing or what might be deemed by some as anti-social behaviour. However, I still think CCTV is beneficial to society as a whole. I'd rather get arrested for climbing a wall, than have a mugger or rapist go free because there is no evidence.

  • Re:One difference (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ewrong ( 1053160 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:02AM (#33805922)
    Why would you discourage people from linking to your website?
  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:09AM (#33805952)

    That's because the "massive CCTV system" is largely a sprawl of private cameras owned and run by businesses to benefit themselves, rather than (even nominally) the public. Publicly owned and run CCTV systems are on a much smaller scale than you might expect.

  • Re:One difference (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:11AM (#33805964) Homepage Journal
    well.. 1000£ for suspicious activity. there has to be a catch there, since conjuring up suspicious activity is much cheaper than 1000£. and you can't sue anyone for 1000£ for suspicious activity. even if the suspiciously acting guy is found guilty, how/why would money flow to these chaps?
  • by stalkedlongtime ( 1630997 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:31AM (#33806060) Journal
    The brits are using a time-proven formula to make their citizens demand previously unpopular policies. It's called Problem-Reaction-Solution. Once a problem is allowed to get bad enough (say, crime) there will be a reaction from the enraged populace, and they will eagerly embrace the solution (say, snitching) offered by the people who engineered the problem to begin with. Governments do it again and again because the public falls for it every time.
  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:32AM (#33806062)

    I think I know what he was refering to when he was talking about secret gag orders.
    Google the "Minton report"
    http://mirror.wikileaks.info/wiki/Guardian_still_under_secret_toxic_waste_gag/ [wikileaks.info]

    The newspapers were gagged from even reporting that a report about toxic waste dumping existed at all, they were aslo gagged from talking about the gag order.
    It's not all conspiracy theory crap.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:42AM (#33806092)

    Publicly owned and run CCTV systems are on a much smaller scale than you might expect.

    But they are practically all connected to the same database which is easily accessible to nearly anyone - as this particularly story demonstrates - and thus magnifies the potential for abuse by many orders of magnitude.

    FYI - here are some actual stats on the number of public CCTV cameras in the UK - it is pretty high, starting with nearly 7,500 in London:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8159141.stm [bbc.co.uk]

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @07:05AM (#33806216)

    However, I still think CCTV is beneficial to society as a whole. I'd rather get arrested for climbing a wall, than have a mugger or rapist go free because there is no evidence.

    Would you rather have a reformer politician blackmailed into silence because the entrenched powers acquired a clip of him entering a motel with a hooker? Even if he she just happened to be walking in the lobby door at the same time as him?

    Then there's that funny thing - CCTV footage getting "lost" [wikimedia.org] when it would have contained official misconduct.

    The pantopticon is a tool of the powerful for the powerful sold to the citizens by convincing them that they are weak.

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings