Big Brother Watching You: When Spy Cameras Are Everywhere

If you walk down the street in New York City or travel its subways, rest assured you’re being watched. This is unavoidable with the Big Apple’s untold thousands of security cameras, more than 17,000 of which are available for police scrutiny. Yet this is nothing. London’s notorious “Ring of Steel” comprises one camera for every 16 people, approximately half a million peering electronic eyes altogether. And while this may not seem a concern to many Americans, note that there are those who want to use London “as a model” for N.Y.C. — and perhaps beyond.


Even in Britain, though, some are sounding the alarm over the continual state surveillance, which extends far beyond the capitol. As the Times of London recently wrote:


Britain’s surveillance camera watchdog has raised concerns over the scope of a police database holding details of billions of road journeys that was set up without parliamentary authority.


Millions of car numberplates are logged daily by a network of cameras on motorways, main roads and in town centres. They are stored by police on a database that now holds 22 billion “reads” of vehicles’ front and back numberplates. The automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) database is believed to be the biggest in the world.


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