Sunday, October 28, 2012

Being Watched - then and now

From the tower of St Nicholas's Church in Prague's Lesser Town Square (Mala Strana Nemesti) the secret police used to watch comings and goings from their baroque watchtower. There are few CCTV cameras in evidence in Prague today. But in the UK, on average, you appear on approx 200 CCTV cameras each day you spend in a city or large town. The 1989 Velvet Revolution showed how far people will go to claim their freedom. We, on the other hand, have given ours away without a murmur – no consent was sought, and much of the watching is done for profit, not state snooping, though the authorities have made sure they can get their hands on the results, so that's alright then... And, as the right-wing press are always eager to say, if you haven't done anything wrong, you've nothing to fear.