Big Brother Now Watching George Orwell's House

Big Brother, the ever-watchful leader in the novel 1984, has popped up all around George Orwell's former home in London.

If you haven't had your daily dose of irony yet, here it is. Within 200 yards of George Orwell's flat 27B overlooking Canonbury Square in Islington, North London, there are thirty-two CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras.


(1984 finally arrives in London)

Orwell's view of the tree-filled gardens outside the flat is under 24-hour surveillance from two cameras perched on traffic lights.

The flat's rear windows are constantly viewed from two more security cameras outside a conference centre in Canonbury Place.

I have to say, the Brits are going on a bit of a CCTV surveillance binge lately. Britain now has over 4.2 million cameras - that's one for every fourteen people. A typical citizen is caught on camera an average of 300 times per day.

Just like in 1984, watchers have the opportunity to talk to you anywhere you might be by attaching speakers to CCTV cameras - see Big Brother Would Like A Word With You. Some of them are even using children's voices to chide adults - see 'Baby' Brother Cams.

The next steps? There is a proposal on the table for a national standard for CCTV cameras; this would make it possible for all images gathered by individual cameras to be accessed by authorities.

Alistair Darling, transport secretary, has outlined a proposal to charge UK drivers in a "pay as you go" tax to pay for roads. In order to implement the plan, all cars would carry a device that would be tracked every minute by satellite. The UK already uses ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras placed every 400 yards along major roadways to create a national vehicle movement database (see ANPR Cams - Britain's Roadside Big Brother).

Just to give you a little taste of the novel, here's a snippet on BB:

The black-moustachio'd face gazed down from every commanding corner. There was one on the house-front immediately opposite. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes looked deep into Winston's own... In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the police patrol, snooping into people's windows.

Read more at The Daily Mail.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/14/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Surveillance ")

Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.' - Schachner and Zagat, 1931.

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

Kuri Robot Roams Your Home, Taking Pictures
'Small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely...'

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.

SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.