I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

  Forum Editor 17:58 04 Oct 2012

Many of you will remember those words, spoken by HAL, the computer that decided to have a mind if its own in the film 2001: A space Odyssey.

What goes around comes around, and now we have the government's surveillance Minister (who knew we had one of those?) saying that "the technology has overtaken our ability to regulate it".

He's talking about HD CCTV cameras that can recognise a human face at a distance of half a mile. There will be over 129,000 of them in use in the UK by the end of this year, and as many as 3.7 million by 2016.

There is fear of a public backlash, and Andrew Rennison - the aforementioned Minister - wants to have more control over the way these cameras are used. At the moment he has virtually no power to do anything if people complain.

The Home Office says Mr Rennison would develop a new code of practice to "empower the public to shine a light on those who operate camera systems in public places, challenging them to show the use of these systems is justified, proportionate and effective".

So that's all OK then.

  sunnypete 18:04 04 Oct 2012

Will shining a light into the camera lens disable it?

  Forum Editor 18:06 04 Oct 2012


Maybe, maybe not. Why, are you thinking of giving it a try?

  Aitchbee 18:10 04 Oct 2012

FE, cast your mind back (cue harps and blurry images)...


Science Fiction is now Fact.

Hal was also a very good lip-reader!

  wiz-king 18:11 04 Oct 2012

Having seen some bad cctv where it was difficult to see a person let alone a recognisable one there is a need for a good definition system, but it normally does not have to be quite that that good. You have to remember most cctv images are not looked at unless there is reason to do so, it is only the 'view the public' systems that may need greater than standard definition.

  Forum Editor 18:32 04 Oct 2012


I'm someone who believes that surveillance of public places is a good thing. There are numerous instances of these cameras providing police with just the information they need to make arrests/bring charges.

I think the point being made here is not that cameras are bad, but that it is necessary to have a proper means whereby the people who operate them are sufficiently regulated. I don't particularly mind my face being recorded as I pinch an apple from my neighbour's tree, as long as the resulting image doesn't turn up on Facebook the next day. The Minister's concern seems to focus on getting a grip on the problem before it becomes one, so to speak, and I have to say I'm with him all the way.

  N47. 18:36 04 Oct 2012

Just what Sky need for their HD channels. Caught on camera in glorious HD.

  Aitchbee 18:59 04 Oct 2012

An easy way to thwart 'big brother' is to don a disguise ... a different one every day of the week/year.

  Forum Editor 19:03 04 Oct 2012


Trust you to come up with the perfect solution. I'll get to work on that straight away.

  Aitchbee 19:07 04 Oct 2012

...if you're a man ... go easy on the lipstick!

  wiz-king 19:40 04 Oct 2012

FE - How are you going to disguise the crutches - put a parrot on your shoulder?

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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