Not So Great Britain

British Terror Head: “Be a little bit un-British and inform on each other”

July 11, 2007
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Britain faces a 15-year battle to end the threat posed by Islamist terrorists, the Government’s new security supremo has admitted.

Admiral Sir Alan West, the former First Sea Lord, said the overall danger facing the country, from both home-grown and foreign terrorists, was at its greatest ever level and that a new approach was badly needed to tackle it.

In his first interview since his surprise appointment by Gordon Brown as security minister, Sir Alan called on people to be “a little bit un-British” and even inform on each other in an attempt to trap those plotting to take innocent lives.

“Britishness does not normally involve snitching or talking about someone,” he said. “I’m afraid, in this situation, anyone who’s got any information should say something because the people we are talking about are trying to destroy our entire way of life.”


Brown wants international terror register

July 11, 2007
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Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Sunday he wanted a central register of known or suspected terrorists so that information could be shared internationally.

He spoke as his new Security Minister Admiral Alan West warned the defeat of militant radicalism could take up to 15 years, and urged people to become informers.


Airports to get ‘virtual tripwire’ CCTV

July 6, 2007
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Sophisticated closed circuit television camera systems is set to be introduced at a number of British airports, it emerged last night.

Negotiations are understood to have started for installation of technology known as Video Analytics – the use of computers to monitor CCTV images.

The Daily Telegraph has learned that a number of airports – both major and smaller regional ones – have been in talks with companies involved in developing the systems.


What The “Chinese Style” Internet Will Look Like

June 20, 2007
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Control freaks the world over, including most recently Tony Blair, have called for the introduction of a Chinese style Internet, where the World Wide Web is tightly regulated and free speech stifled on the whim of a government censor.

Here’s what Internet 2, the Chinese format, will look like.

Say goodbye to downloading your favorite music or videos in seconds via high-speed cable or ADSL. There is no high speed broadband Internet in China. Since every website you access has to first pass through a government approved list, even the likes of Yahoo and Google lag and stumble onto your monitor, as if you’re using dial-up.


Fingerprinting and eye scans for children as young as five

June 19, 2007
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Schools are to get the go-ahead to fingerprint pupils as young as five, in new measures to be approved by the Government. Ministers will issue guidance telling schools they have the right to collect biometric data and install fingerprint scanners.

But the decision has angered opposition MPs who say collecting fingerprints from children will be a gift to identity thieves.

The guidance will say that personal data, including fingerprints and eyeball scans, can be collected from pupils and used to monitor attendance, so long as schools consult parents first and do not share the data with outside bodies.


Big Brother arrives in Blackpool

June 19, 2007
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The first wave of talking CCTV cameras are being tested. The prospect of talking CCTV is nowhere near as fearful as the reality of hearing faceless voices being broadcast in the street.


U.K. soccer club considers new level of security cameras

June 19, 2007
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When English soccer fans take to the terraces next season, there’s every chance they won’t just be watching the game, they’ll be being watched watching the game too. In the latest addition to what civil liberties campaigners have dubbed Britain’s “surveillance society,” a British company is in talks to supply wireless closed-circuit television technology to a Premier League soccer club’s security staff.

Hidden in lapels and hats, minute cameras would allow spotters in the crowd to beam live pictures from inside the stadium back to a control room where the images could be scanned in real-time for troublemakers and hooligans.

Already trailed in city centers across Britain to cut down on crime, the technology is also used to tackle cash-in-transit theft, an increasingly common form of robbery, and to protect VIPs, according to 802 Global, the company that makes it.


Big Brother targets smokers after smoking ban

June 14, 2007
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Big Brother is watching you when the smoking ban comes into force next month by forcing bosses to spy on staff caught lighting up.

According to reports, company bosses could be fined £1,000 if they do not help investigators.

They must follow government guidance which states: “It is recommended that persons in control of smoke-free premises…keep a written record of any incident where an individual smokes on the premises in contravention of the legislation.”

The guidance also states: “Businesses should be encouraged to contact their council after any incident.”

All firms have been sent Smoking Incident Forms which record the date, name, offence and action taken.


Tony Blair has turned Britain into a land where we are all prisoners

June 14, 2007
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Even George Orwell would be shocked. He described the sinister machinations of a totalitarian police state in his novel, 1984, and laid bare the danger of eroding our basic civil liberties, including the right to freedom of speech and the right to privacy. Although he famously coined the phrase ‘Big Brother is watching you’, even Orwell cannot have foreseen just how prescient those words would prove to be.

Today, in Tony Blair’s Britain – which I naively voted into power ten years ago – we have witnessed a breath-taking erosion of civil liberties.

The truth is we are fast becoming an Orwellian state, our every movement watched, our behaviour monitored, and our freedoms curtailed.

Between May 1997 and August 2006, New Labour created 3,023 new criminal offences – taking in everything from a law against Polish potatoes (the Polish Potatoes Order 2004) to one which made the creation of a nuclear explosion in Britain officially illegal.


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