Big Brother Monitors Conversations in European Cities
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  1. #1

    Exclamation Big Brother Monitors Conversations in European Cities

    If they are out to get you and you know they are out to get you does that mean you are paranoid?

    ?Big Brother? Monitors Conversations in European Cities
    Big Brother Monitors Conversations in European Cities | Print | E-mail
    Written by Alex Newman
    Tuesday, 06 July 2010 14:15

    In a scenario that could have come from George Orwells famous book 1984, a controversial government surveillance system that uses hidden microphones to snoop on public conversations in Europe has been exposed. And its already drawing strong criticism from privacy advocates.

    The technology, known as Sigard, works by detecting aggressive or fearful speech patterns and warning officials, who can then use surveillance cameras to zoom in while authorities make their way to the scene. Its deployment has been especially widespread in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

    "We connect microphones that listen for aggressive sound and once they have a match with the aggressive pattern, the camera will automatically move to the aggressive sound and there will be a pop up on this screen which says there is aggression at this and this location," Derek van der Vorst with Sound Intelligence, the technologys manufacturer, told the BBC.

    The system is a very reliable method of automated detection to combat crime and antisocial behavior, according to the companys website. Ninety percent of all incidents involving physical aggression are preceded by verbal aggression. The ability to spot verbal aggression before it turns into a violent outbreak delivers valuable time to security personnel and enables speedy intervention," it adds.

    Some of the technologys other benefits are also listed on the site: "It increases the chance of arrest and prosecution" and "one operator can keep track of more cameras."

    Company officials and governments have refused to rule out the possibility that the devices will be used to record conversations. And the microphones can eavesdrop on conversations up to 100 yards away.

    But despite any alleged upside, civil-liberties activists and newspaper editorials have blasted the systems Orwellian nature, calling it a violation of privacy and the hallmark of a police state.

    "There can be no justification for giving councils or the police the capability to listen in on private conversations, Big Brother Watch campaign director Dylan Sharpe told the U.K. Telegraph. "There is enormous potential for abuse, or a misheard word, causing unnecessary harm with this sort of intrusive and overbearing surveillance."

    Corinna Ferguson, a lawyer for the human-rights organization Liberty, also attacked the system. "Britain has been far too complacent about the growth of CCTV without any proper public debate or legal safeguards. With cameras linked to microphones and number-plate databases, everyone can be treated as a suspect," she told the Daily Express newspaper.

    "The Birmingham fiasco demonstrates the destructive power of snooping on whole communities," she added, referring to the revelation just days ago that the government was aiming license plate-reading systems at Asian districts in Birmingham.

    In a separate piece, the Daily Express lashed out against the new snooping system, calling it yet another unacceptable erosion of our personal freedom. The editorial, entitled Big Brother at Every Turn, suggested the technology was an attack on free speech and that one wrong word could land somebody in jail.

    Its bad enough that were all under almost constant surveillance from CCTV cameras, the paper continued. Were sure readers can think of several very succinct words about being spied on in this way which would make the snoopers ears burn. It is estimated that the vast camera network in cities like London helps solve one crime per 1,000 cameras.

    Another U.K. editorial was equally harsh, though it took a more humorous and sarcastic approach. Proposing surveillance cameras and microphones in every home and office, the Herald in Scotland explained: It wont just leave terrorists with no place to hide, itll expose criminals wherever theyre holed up or plotting.

    Isnt this the logical extension of what is already happening, of what were allowing with barely a squeak of protest? wondered the paper in its editorial, "Were watching our freedoms vanish thanks to spy society." The police could be at the door, handcuffs at the ready, before a drunken man can punch his wife or say domestic violence. It also sarcastically hinted that child abuse and burglary could be abolished.

    Noting that there are already cameras that allow officials to chastise subjects being monitored via a speaker, the piece suggests that government health initiatives could be encouraged: a warning could be broadcast every time someone lights a cigarette. Meal times could be made wholesome by reminding parents to eat at a table and provide their family with five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Secret drinking would be secret no more.

    The editorial goes on, concluding: Previous generations have fought wars both civil and international in the cause of freedom. They chopped off a kings head for freedom. If we throw it away without a fight, we will be betray the generations that are gone and rob those still to come.

    At least a dozen cities in Holland use the microphone-spying technology, as well as Dutch prisons and public transportation systems. It has been tested in U.K. cities including London, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Manchester. And if Europeans (and even Americans) dont rise up to stop it, the intrusion will undoubtedly spread.

    The European Union, meanwhile, is funding its own Big Brother spying technology under a project uncovered last year known as INDECT. That system will compile data from personal computers, the Internet, CCTV cameras, and other sources with the goal of "automatic detection of threats and abnormal behavior or violence." Pre-crime, in other words.

    The degree of surveillance and accompanying loss of privacy that people worldwide are being subjected to is alarming. And rather than slowing down, available evidence indicates the troubling trend is accelerating. Its time for citizens to draw the line and hold their public servants accountable, lest a future reminiscent of Orwells dystopia come to fruition. If the madness proceeds much further, it might be too late to stop it.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    It'll be state-side soon enough.
    When they "Nudge. Shove. Shoot.",
    Don't retreat. Just reload.

  4. #3
    Coming soon to Main Street, Every Town, USA
    Conservative Wife & Mom -- I'm a Conservative Christian-American with dual citizenship...the Kingdom of God is my 1st home and the U.S.A. is my 2nd.

  5. #4
    wolfhunter Guest
    Do microphones make good targets?

    Once they are in place, how long does it take a hacker to tie in a loop of Weird Al's greatest hits?

  6. #5
    I wonder what their plans are for the deaf community? are their cute little microphones going to pick up aggressive hand movements when deaf people start talking louder?
    You can have my freedom as soon as I'm done with it!!!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by wolfhunter View Post
    Do microphones make good targets?

    Once they are in place, how long does it take a hacker to tie in a loop of Weird Al's greatest hits?
    The last thing they'll record is the 1812 Overture.

    Dut-dah-dah dah-dah dah-dah-dah dit-daaa *BOOM*
    When they "Nudge. Shove. Shoot.",
    Don't retreat. Just reload.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Florida Panhandle


    Quote Originally Posted by wolfhunter View Post
    Do microphones make good targets?

    Once they are in place, how long does it take a hacker to tie in a loop of Weird Al's greatest hits?
    i HAVE A BUNCH OF WEIRD AL MUSIC...ABOUT 6 CD'S WORTH...know any techies that want a donation? It's either that or we all go back to 80's boom boxes and lots of batteries. Even better...what about a sound effects record from the 60's with all out war and other military sounds...that'll keep em busy

  9. LOL, the world is becoming more and more ridiculous. So if I decide to engage in an AIM hate speech against minorities with my friend, I'll suddenly be called in for "questioning"? LOL

  10. #9
    mojo Guest
    Dont be surprised if a form of this actual type of system isnt already in place somewhere in the US, remember they can get a fix on words now on the phone, internet etc like bomb, kill, you know who etc. Is anyone surprised, this is why Europe is such a paradise, no slums, no poverty, no social problems, no racism no............oh wait, that's just how they and our media want europe to be portrayed.

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