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Watching me, watching you.

Every breath you take, every move you make, a camera will be watching you - Times Online
Walk down any high street in Britain today and you will instantly be under surveillance. All around you, lampposts and shopfronts bristle with CCTV cameras, many of them privately operated and unregulated. They are watching you in case you are bent on shoplifting or engaging in violent disorder.
The man on his knees rifling through the pile of rubbish by the kerb is not, as you might have thought, a tramp but a fly-tipping investigator from the town hall. He and the officials in the council offices down the road have the power, should they chose to use it, to recruit informants to spy on fly-tippers, dodgy stallholders and housing benefit cheats.....

Organisations such as MI5 and MI6, GCHQ and the Serious Organised Crime Agency use bugging and tapping as everyday tools of their trade. But surveillance and interception are also increasingly used by police forces across the country. The rural West Mercia Constabulary, for example, recently advertised for “substantive constables” to fill posts in its Covert Authorities Bureau.
As you go about your daily activities, you can be followed by men or women from the Office of Fair Trading, the Health & Safety Executive and the Rural Payments Agency. The Charity Commission, the Food Standards Agency and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain can seek authorisation to conduct surveillance operations against those they suspect of wrongdoing.

Every one of the 474 local authorities in the country has the same right and can seek permission to examine your phone records, text messages and e-mail history.

Sir Christopher Rose, the Surveillance Commissioner, reported a rise in the number of local authorities using their powers of surveillance. “Covert activity is still most often used by departments that deal with trading standards and with antisocial behaviour and by those that administer benefits"....

How did this happen? Why among all the western countries have we allowed ourselves to be so spied upon? It is not as though we weren't warned, it wasn't as though we didn't hold our liberty dear, but somehow we frittered it all away.


The crazy thing is that without someone watching the screens and plods on the ground to react to observed crimes, the whole bloody setup is an expensive waste of money.

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