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Surveillance Backlash in Britain

Posted Oct 1, 2007 1:50 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The U.K.'s famously state-of-the-art national surveillance system (at least compared to the U.S.), is suddenly taking it on the chin.

A blog post today by the Pinsent Masons law firm says up to 95 percent of the closed-circuit television systems in Britain and Wales are illegal—and that may soon be true in Scotland, too, if a new law under consideration there is enacted.

Meanwhile, it isn't just CCTVs that may be watching the average citizen in the U.K. What the London Times refers to as "the new spy in the sky" has its eye on folks, too. Smaller—and far less obtrusive—than a helicopter, the remote-control camera craft looks like a toy but isn't.

It can hover around bedroom windows without residents ever realizing that it's there, points out David Hambling on the wired.com blog. "In my 2005 book Weapons Grade I predicted that police would soon be using micro air vehicles developed for the military," he writes. "I didn’t realize it would happen quite so soon."

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