Category: Big Brother

Big Brother London

 Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.

                                                                                                          -George Orwell, 1984

Seizing upon the opportunities granted by European proximity, I recently made a visit one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world, London, England. Once known as unrivaled power capital of the British Empire, today’s London has turned more into “surveillance society”, as so quipped by the London Guardian.

London boasts nearly one camera for every 14 people, making common Londoners the most heavily-watched populace on the planet. The average Brit is said to be caught on camera over 200 times in one day, dwarfing any comparison to undemocratic “totalitarian” states which ultimately lack the resources to commit to such collective paranoia, a feat easily achieved by the richer “liberal” democracies of Her Majesty’s Kingdom.

What makes the presence of such a security apparatus entirely questionable, one could argue, is the fact that they have not served their entire purpose. According to a study and white paper produced by Urban Eye, the use of the cameras has been described by public officials as a way to both “tackle crime” and to “raise revenue”, the latter goal proving eventually to be the more worthy venture. In fact, research conducted by Scotland yard found that while cameras may have been erected in order to fight and prevent crime, they have proved to be an “utter fiasco“, with only 3% of crimes ever solved by use of the Closed-Circuit Television. A recent investigation by the Daily Mail revealed that all other information gathered by authorities are instead used to create “databases” for subjects, where now shockingly one in four Britons–15 million people–are now on a police database (see picture below).

The goal of Liberty In Exile, in exploring the city and country once labeled “Airstrip One” by writer George Orwell, was to attempt to document what Big Brother London is to the average citizen. Here is a collected photo essay based upon casual travel in the city which no longer holds any secrets:

Big Brother Britain

A consistent theme covered on Liberty In Exile and throughout the blogosphere is that of the surveillance state, known simply as the idea of Big Brother (1984).

Though not expressly implemented as in George Orwell’s classic, the slow transition into the complete surveillance state began many years ago and has, in the last ten years, been expedited at a rapid pace, thanks to the global war on terror.

The genius of the current Big Brother society is its unabashed use and control of private corporations, rather than the solid use of public institutions; being able to subject private companies to certain laws, regulations and controls has given rise to the corporatist Leviathan that may look to exist as separate entities such as Google, Microsoft, the NSA, the CIA, Yahoo, Facebook, AT&T, Blackberry and Apple, but in actuality is a monolithic force that seeks total control to information.

Information of this scope is covered every week on the Liberty In Exile radio program, and much attention is awarded in posts and article selections. Searching only through this site, I was able to find articles on Google mapping all WiFi, giving that information to the Government,  Google discounting privacy, Google in bed with the NSA, Homeland Security and Defense Department look toward Cyber War, mobile x-ray scans, spying motorists and, believe me, thousands more. 

While a complete summary cannot be attempted here, for it would occupy the breadth of hours, days, months and years, it is expectant that Liberty In Exile provide the latest stories and coverage, without the filter of the corporate media.

The latest story comes from the U.K., where the Big Brother state is no longer a fantasy but a reality in all forms:

From the Guardian

Every email and website to be stored

Every email, phone call and website visit is to be recorded and stored after the Coalition Government revived controversial Big Brother snooping plans.
 

By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
Published: 12:40PM BST 20 Oct 2010

The plans are expected to involve service providers storing all users details for a set period of time.

It will allow security services and the police to spy on the activities of every Briton who uses a phone or the internet.

Moves to make every communications provider store details for at least a year will be unveiled later this year sparking fresh fears over a return of the surveillance state.

The plans were shelved by the Labour Government last December but the Home Office is now ready to revive them.

It comes despite the Coalition Agreement promised to “end the storage of internet and email records without good reason”.

Any suggestion of a central “super database” has been ruled out but the plans are expected to involve service providers storing all users details for a set period of time.

That will allow the security and police authorities to track every phone call, email, text message and website visit made by the public if they argue it is needed to tackle crime or terrorism.

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