Going to England, the city of trust? Internet eyes is watching you!!

On: October 8, 2010
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About Layla Van Daalen
I am MA New Media student of the University of Amsterdam. After I passed my study Communication Multimedia & Design, I worked for half a year as a graphic designer. 1 year ago I moved to Amsterdam to start my premaster at the university. I succesfully completed my premaster this year, and I’ll hope to complete my master at the end of this schoolyear (2010-2011). Beside my study I am still working as a graphic designer and beside my creative activities I am also interested in new media theories. In particulair I am interested in social media, design & interactive installations, locative media, user experience & behaviour.


If u have nothing to hide why should you care?
Public to monitor CCTV from home

I think the most of you ever heard of the famous story of Orwell “1984”. Its about an inhuman state, a state that is under the control of the other, The Big Brother.

Surveillance of the public became common in our society, The CCTV’s are an good example. In the Uk there are even more than 4 million in use. The boundaries between private and public dissapeared and lot of debates about privacy and our rights followed and still going on.

A dominant warning is overruling from the critics, Big brother is watching you!

And now everyone is watching everyone! At least in England! Internet eyes bring something new, the CCTV camera’s installed in shops and public space can now be watched by ….anyone! And if you detect a crime you can earn 1000 dollar! Crime prevention, looking for law breakers, is up to you, us! And from next month England will be a city of trust!

Orwell – “the City of Trust – on the surface looks very similar to the City of Control. But here the citizens have been given much more control: Here pervasive systems have been embedded, but offered as an option rather than as a default. You leave your laptop on the train, no problem: with the ‘internet of Things’ can locate it on a search engine, even arrange for it to be delivered back to your door.  Similarly, just as in Brim’s future city the cameras were left on at the cop station, in our City of Trust the movements of our Guardians are tracked where our citizens are free to switch there’s off.” (foreward by Sean Dodson)

Let’s see how it works with Internet Eyes…

Innocent or not, we are watched in England! We can be a spy and spy on each other!

But what about our citizen rights and our privacy?

I would like to refer to the words of Charles Farrier from No CCTV, about a “Snoopers Paradise” on the BBC website. Following he’s words: “This is a private company using private cameras and asking private citizens to spy on each other. It represents a privatisation of the surveillance state.”

The city of control is coming closer.

Orwell – “the City of Control is being tracked and potentially data-mined, lest there be a combination of goods in your basket that the authorities don’t like. Your movements are watched, not by the use of crude cameras (which it transpires were rather poor at fighting crime anyway) but by tags embedded in your gadgets or in your clothes or even under your skin. Transmitted wirelessly and instantly they connect with satellite systems that record your digital footprint endlessly. Every thing you buy, every person you meet, every move you make. They could be watching you. (foreward by Sean Dodson)

I think that the marketing business, government and other institutions will praise this new development, I am afraid we’re innocent citizens are going to loose this game! So maybe the next time when i go visit England, should i have to go undercover?
On the other hand If I have nothing to hide why should I Care?

1.Kranenburg, Rob van The Internet of Things. A critique of ambient technology and the all-seeing network of RFID, Network Notebooks 02, Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, 2007. ISBN: 978-90-78146-06-3.


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