NO CCTV - Latest News
[For our latest articles - see the No CCTV articles page]
Home CCTV, the data protection "domestice purpose exemption" and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) - 17th Dec 2014
Data Protection specialist Chris Pounder over at AmberHawk has posted up details of the recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision relating to the "domestic purpose" exemption in the Data Protection Act.
This exemption has up until now meant that people installing home cctv cameras do not have to abide by the data protection act. The ECJ ruling seeks to change the rules where home cameras monitor a public space (e.g the street outside a house).
As far as No CCTV is concerned, because regulation relating to cctv cameras is framed from a data protection perspective issues of right and wrong are not likely to feature in the ECJ ruling or any subsequent regulation.
Read more over at the Hawktalk blog:
Surveillance Camera Commissioner publishes damp squib Annual Report - 17th Dec 2014
The Surveillance Camera Commissioner has published his first Annual Report. There is little of interest in the report as the commissioner is only interested in standards and accreditation. It's worth remembering that the commissioner came about as the result of the inappropriately named 'Protection of Freedoms Act', introduced by a government who claimed they would reverse the rise of the surveillance state. As another election looms in the UK it is wise to remember how cheap talk is.
The report can be downloaded from:
For more on the passage of the Protection of Freedoms Act and the warning we gave about the Surveillance Camera Code/Commissioner and the code's concept of "surveillance by consent", see:
New 1984 Action Day Promo Video
8th June is International 1984 Action Day - a day of action to mark the date of the publication of George Orwell's novel '1984'. The book was first published in 1949 so this year is Big Brother's 65th birthday. Surely it is time for Big Brother to retire...
New Article: 'Trust Me I'm A Camera - The 5 Laws of FFUCams' - 2nd May 2014
When it comes to lying, cameras are clearly more trustworthy, reliable and generally better than people. Everyone has known this since the phrase "the camera never lies" was first discovered in 1857...
New Press Release: 'ICO RULING REPLACES ROYSTON "RING OF STEEL" WITH MASS SURVEILLANCE ROULETTE' - 7th March 2014
After over two and a half years of deliberation, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) ruling on Royston's "ring of steel" has side-stepped the real issues at the heart of the mass surveillance Automatic Numberplate Recognition (ANPR) camera network...
Read the press release:
More analysis to follow shortly.
New Article: 'The Manufacture of "Surveillance by Consent" part 2 - 14th October 2013
New article 'The Manufacture of "Surveillance by Consent" part 2 - Is mass surveillance so bad if you can't see it?'
What happens when the whole state and its every function become one massive security service...
No CCTV report "What's Wrong With ANPR?" - 2nd October 2013
No CCTV's new report exposes the dangers of Automatic Number Plater Recognition (ANPR) cameras.
Download the report at: http://www.no-cctv.org.uk/whats_wrong_with_anpr.asp
Business as usual - New Surveillance Camera Code Published - 12th August 2013
The Home Office launched their Surveillance Camera Code of Practice today (12th August). No CCTV has been critical of the concept and execution of this code from the start and particularly the ridiculous concept of "surveillance by consent" (see http://www.no-cctv.org.uk/blog/the_manufacture_of_surveillance_by_consent.htm)
The code is too little too late. Over 20 years ago the government of the day was talking about the need for a CCTV code, and since then the cameras have spread into schools, pubs, taxis, buses, where there are now more cameras than there used to be in town centres. And yet we are hearing the same broken record suggesting that a code will make everything all right.
But there already is a CCTV code - published by the Information Commissioner's Office. This new code is not new, it is just a box ticking exercise, designed to allow surveillance as usual whilst creating an illusion of public consent.
The Home Office minister Lord Taylor last month summed it up when he said the whole focus of the code is "going to be on improving the effectiveness of surveillance". Not restoring lost freedoms - improving the effectiveness of surveillance. Of course this code came about because of the Protection of Freedoms Act but it looks as though it would have been more at home in a Protection of Surveillance Act.
The government is backing away from its promises to restore lost freedoms - throughout the passage of the protection of freedoms act and then the subsequent vote on the code - there was no discussion of freedoms in relation to CCTV. Instead politicians on all sides chose to play a childish game of "who loves CCTV the most". It says something about the surveillance culture in Britain that we are still talking about how many cameras there are or how effective they are. All of the evidence shows they aren't effective - BUT even if they were we should be talking about the loss of freedoms and destruction of trust caused by the levels of blanket surveillance we are being constantly subjected to.
A report 'Fortress Britain' published this year by the New Economics Foundation showed that cameras have a negative impact on communities - increasing fear and lowering trust. The report describes a school in Hertfordshire with 162 cameras, 18 of which are in the toilets. Yet the school says it complies with the guidance it received...
It used to be that in the course of law enforcement, probable cause or reasonable suspicion was required before information could be collected and retained. But with CCTV information is collected with no reasonable suspicion - so information on thousands of innocent people engaged in lawful activities is unnecessarily collected.
Instead of just rushing into installing CCTV much more probing questions need to be asked, questions like:
- What is the problem to which you think this technology might be the solution?
- Whose problem is it?
- What new problems might be created by trying solving the original problem with this technology?
- What other less intrusive solutions have been considered/tried?
- How will your success or failure be measured?
- If the cameras don't help will they be removed?
The new code is a how-to manual - how to create a "compliant surveillance system" by ticking boxes. One such box is about defining a "legitimate aim" for cameras - and it lists the aims where the right to Privacy in the Human Rights Act can be effectively side-stepped. In other words it spells out how to get around the already weak privacy protection the Human Rights Act provides. Like the Regulation Of Investigatory Powers Act, that led to a massive increase in snooping by local councils, this will most likely lead to a further increase in state surveillance.