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 ")

UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.' - Philip K. Dick, 1956.

Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.' - Schachner and Zagat, 1931.

China's Social Credit System - A Facebook-1984 Mashup
'Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh.' - Jack Vance, 1976.

Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.' - Cory Doctorow, 2008.

 

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

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'

Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.

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.