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Britain to track all vehicle movements and store them for upto 2 years.

Posted by James Hammerton @ 9:00 pm on 24 November, 2005.
Categories privacy and surveillance.
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Firstly, apologies for the lack of posts this month, things have been rather busy lately.

Secondly, and to start on the backlog of items that cought my attention recently, it seems that the steps towards a big brother state in Britain are moving on fast. According to this report from the Register:

A “24×7 national vehicle movement database” that logs everything on the UK’s roads and retains the data for at least two years is now being built, according to an Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) strategy document leaked to the Sunday Times. The system, which will use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), and will be overseen from a control centre in Hendon, London, is a sort of ‘Gatso 2′ network, extending. enhancing and linking existing CCTV, ANPR and speedcam systems and databases.

Which possibly explains why the sorcerer’s apprentices in ACPO’s tech section don’t seem to have needed any kind of Parliamentary approval to begin the deployment of what promises to be one the most pervasive surveillance systems on earth.

The control centre is intended to go live in April of next year, and is intended to be processing 50 million number plates a day by year end. ACPO national ANPR co-ordinator John Dean told the Sunday Times that fixed ANPR cameras already exist “at strategic points” on every motorway in the UK, and that the intention was to have “good nationwide coverage within the next 12 months.” According to ACPO roads policing head Meredydd Hughes, ANPR systems are planned every 400 yards along motorways, and a trial on the M42 near Birmingham will first be used to enforce variable speed limits, then to ‘tackle more serious crime.’

So yet again the British government is opting for a system of indiscriminate surveillance of the public at large. I predict a burgeoning market in fake registration plates developing once this in place…

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