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Big brother is watching

May 21, 2008

I was watching National Geographic Specials this morning on ‘Surveillance’ where it discussed if the modern, sophisticated high-tech would means better security or is just an invasion of privacy. These machines not only are able to view you from four or five miles away but are able to track personal records, see through the walls and screen facial features.

As I was watching the programme, I became fascinated with the different surveillance equipments currently being used around the world. For example, the United Arab Emirate’s airport which scans around seven thousand people daily, has installed an iris recognition software where using a mathematical calculation called the iris code, the software is able to capture and compare in the iris database. The result would be being able to identify those wanted or black-listed passengers.

Using the logic that the iris is ten times better than the fingerprints as a personal identification, the airport has managed with success in identifying those culprits who have tried to enter the emirates in the past.

I wonder if such equipment would be beneficial to Brunei, well not the iris software but maybe more CCTV cameras. I know there are eight CCTV cameras being installed around the country and shown live via webcam in BruNet, but would it be useful if we are to have more of these in the public area?

London is known to be a city in the world with hundreds and hundreds of CCTV cameras. The latest news is that not only big brother is watching you; big brother also wants to have a word with you. Read more from the Time website.

Among others, it says: Liberty, a civil liberties group, conservatively estimates there are 4.2 million CCTV cameras currently in operation in the UK, one for every 14 residents. Anyone living or working in London will likely be captured on camera 300 times a day, the group claims. Indeed, the government’s information commissioner, Richard Thomas, has called Britain a “surveillance society” in danger of becoming overly reliant on tracking technologies.

Although crime rate is relatively low in Brunei, I think such equipment would be able to curb crimes. Think about vandalism, graffiti, littering to would-be burglars or even rapists who would pose a threat to the country’s socio-stability. It would also be good for the religious crime busters at work, catching those who are not supposed to be in close proximity thereby eliminating sins. Insya Allah.  

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2008 1:49 am

    It is indeed a valid point. But surveillance is useless if no one is erm… shall I say… surveilling? For example, we have a few CCTV cameras installed at a few main junctions in Bandar and Kiulap to curb red light runners. And I’ve seen a few runners in action, but have there been any action against them. So far, I’ve heard nothing.

    I’ve never heard anybody getting served a ticket for running a red light and the CCTV was the witness to it. And if there is, please excuse my ignorance. But to date, I’ve heard nothing. So where are we on this? It’s really good having CCTV to curb anti-social activities, but who’s watching? Just a penny for my thoughts…

  2. Ramble On permalink
    May 23, 2008 11:58 am

    Yes Kellaz, I agree; pointless if no one is, err ‘surveilling’. Nope, neither do I, never heard of anyone given a ticket for running the red light. Which reminds me, next time I would smile at traffic lights, just in case… Hru doing btw?

  3. May 23, 2008 8:34 pm

    Don’t forget a peace sign when you smile for the camera! LOL

    As for me, I’m surviving. Things at work, supremely busy, mind numbingly crazy… My personal life, empty as ever, not my surroundings, I have friends and things to entertain myself with, but, I feel quite empty inside at times… Well, ce’st la vie! Sigh…

  4. Ramble On permalink
    May 26, 2008 8:07 am

    😦 Kellaz.

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