Most working days Australia’s ABC TV European Correspondent Rafael Epstein rides his bike from his home in North London to the ABC office near Regents Park. His 10 kilometre journey is captured by dozens of cameras, as are millions of other Londoners.
Epstein wanted to find out why Britons have become the most watched people in the world, with over four million surveillance cameras, one for every 12 people. By one estimate the average Londoner is caught on camera 300 times a day. The United Kingdom has become a society obsessed with security.
Yet even having 20 per cent of the world’s CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras doesn’t seem to be enough. Authorities are now installing cameras that not only issue orders, but attempt to predict criminal behaviour.
Epstein tests out some of them, with surprising results.
Transcript begins: “Hello and welcome to Foreign Correspondent. I’m Rafael Epstein. I’m standing outside my home in North London. Now this city is a remarkable place … but one of the first things I noticed when I came here was the vast number of security cameras”
“Most people here seem to think that closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) are a fantastic idea .. but are they? My daily ride to work has left me wondering why is it that Britain has become the most watched nation on Earth”
“My ride to work begins with a camera I can see from right outside our kitchen window ……..”
Watch the story for yourself (16min 39 sec in length) below by clicking on the play button:
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Excerpt from “You will never be alone” (SMH article)
Almost every move you make is being watched – and privacy is fast becoming obsolete.
If Hollywood and its movies are America thinking aloud, then a very interesting thought bubble has just appeared over the map of the United States.
The bubble appears, naturally, in the form of a film, Look, which opened in US cinemas this month. It weaves a range of stories with entwining themes of sex, blackmail, crime and alienation, with a twist: every scene of the film is shot from the perspective of a surveillance camera, from the bubble lens above an ATM, to the elevated perspective of the security cameras that are ubiquitous and sometimes invisible, across the US.
As entertainment, the jury will return a verdict by the end of the year. As a statement of the American and world zeitgeist, Look is impeccable in its timing.
The US, like Australia and Britain, has taken fear as a guiding principle, and used it to introduce or justify wide-ranging security and surveillance programs as a means of preventing terrorist attacks such as those in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, in Bali in October 2002, and London in July 2005.
- UK 2017: under surveillance (Scotlands Sunday Herald Newspaper)
- London’s Privacy Falling Down (Wired Magazine)
- You will never be alone (Sydney Morning Herald newspaper)
- State of surveillance (Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper)
- Every step you take (Melbourne’s The Age newspaper)
- How we learnt to love Big Brother (Melbourne’s The Age newspaper)
- Debate over storage of CCTV footage (ABC Radio National)
- UK Privacy Commissioner issues dire security warning (ABC Radio National)
ABC TV’s team of Foreign Correspondents take you on a unique journey to places few others venture, for a colourful look at the culture and lifestyle of people who don’t usually make international headlines. Their mixture of serious and light-hearted stories will inform and entertain you.