Saturday, November 29, 2008

The surveillance state

There has been much commentary about Britain leading the world in camera surveillance, whether it be used on motorways or to monitor criminal activities in urban centres.
Bastard Holdborn now blogs on how such technology can now be used to predict such crime before it actually happens.
I thought of such comments of a surveillance state in Britain and wondering how far New Zealand was going the same way with my repeated trips to Hamilton this week.
Driving on the Southern Motorway in South Auckland you come across so many cameras.
Are they revenue generators? Or do they exist simply to warn the radio stations that it is rather busy around Manukau?
I recall around 5 years ago, I was involved in a minor accident in Auckland's CBD.
I was the designated driver in a friend's car and drove from West Auckland to O'Connell Street in the city centre.
As I approached a junction, I paused and a car ran into the back of us. The owner of the vehicle I was driving got out of the back seats and since he was drunk, the offending driver tried to say my drunken friend, not me, was the driver. The police likewise doubted I had driven because I had not adjusted my seat.
The case of who was driving went to court and it took nearly two years to prove that I , not my drunken friend, was driving and we were in the clear.
I had raised the issue that surely some traffic or anti-crime cameras might have recorded me driving from West Auckland to the CBD. I was told there were none, but think of the hassle saved had there been some.


voiceofbragg said...

Want to swap links, if so mine is or me a line at

KG said...

Yeah, FFM--and think of the hassles saved if we all carried I.D. cards...or a barcode tattooed on our foreheads, perhaps?


You are right KG, but when I was struck by the numbers of cameras on the Southern Motorway, I did recall that instance of cameras having a use. One would have been nice in O'Connell Street that Saturday night.