Am I paranoid? Yes. Am I paranoid enough? Mayhap not.
A national network of cameras and computers automatically logging car number plates will be in place within months, the BBC has learned.
Thousands of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras are already operating on Britain’s roads.
Police forces across England, Wales and Scotland will soon be able to share the information on one central computer.
Read my lips, for I fear that there may be some misunderstanding if attention is not paid: there is no need, excuse or justification for this action.
A national, searchable and centralised database of the movements of every driver is in no way beneficial to any individual, save those that mine the data for personal financial gain. Like advertisers, housebreakers and kidnappers.
ANPR is a very interesting technological solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Crime now is no more complicated than it was twenty years ago; the really scary crimes are not any more common than they were then. Crimes in the eighties were solved by the same means that they are solved by now: interviewing suspects, speaking to witnesses and collecting forensic evidence at the scene. They are not solved by CCTV, and they will not be solved by keeping track of us when we go about our legal business.
However, legal actions by citizens that make life difficult for the state and for the police – legitimate protesters, journalists, lawyers and the like – will be tracked, and then it will become that little bit easier to make their lives difficult.
In current cases that means that protesters get stopped any time they approach London. If you mixed it with a little bit of Norn Iron history you could get very detailed travel details or troublesome individuals passed to murdering bastards. Neither of these is a good thing, to my mind.
So am I paranoid? Yes. But the things that I worry about I only worry about because things like them have happened before, and they will happen again. And they’ll keep happening until we all wise up to it.