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sarongsong
2004-Dec-01, 02:43 AM
November 27 (http://www.lewrockwell.com/spectator2/spec517.html)
"On Wednesday 3 November I was driving along the Embankment towards the City when a police constable stepped out into the road and flagged me down..."

Andromeda321
2004-Dec-01, 03:16 AM
Wow. :o
By the way, how many cameras does the UK have in it again? It's definetely a lot more Big Brotherish over there...

Normandy6644
2004-Dec-01, 03:39 AM
Wow. That's kind of scary.

Gullible Jones
2004-Dec-01, 04:28 AM
A "locking blade"? What the heck is a "locking blade" anyway? And didn't the fellow have a right to call a lawyer?

Morrolan
2004-Dec-01, 04:33 AM
you have got to be kidding me! :o a pen knife!!

Maksutov
2004-Dec-01, 05:35 AM
Well, let's not forget who Tony Blair's close friend in North America is. Perhaps Ashcroft resigned in order to eventually accept a post in Britain. Old John would say that, based on the article, the security needs beefing up!

sarongsong
2004-Dec-01, 08:29 AM
...It is only since the Terrorism Act of 2000...
2000---Project Headstart?

sarongsong
2004-Dec-01, 10:00 AM
...how many cameras does the UK have in it again?...
Four million CCTV cameras watch public. UK has the highest level of surveillance (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=480364)
Yikes!

mid
2004-Dec-01, 10:18 AM
I'd just love to post a proper reply about that article, but (a) it would be highly political, and (b) it would offer further grounds to lock me up and throw away the key without charge, for being one of those dangerous "dark forces" that Mr. Blunkett thinks is out to get him.

enginelessjohn
2004-Dec-01, 11:56 AM
Okay trying to comment on this without my political bias showning.

Firstly the terrorism act 2000...

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/terrorism/govprotect/legislation/#Terrorism%20Act%202000%20(TACT)

Bear in mind that the UK has been subject to IRA attacks since the early 70s, although that appears to be resolving itself somewhat. And without wanting to sound overly inflamatory, terrorism did not start on the 11th of September 2001.

Secondly the Spectator has a political agenda that could best be described as against the Labour government. In addition the editor of this magazine is one Boris Johnson. As I'm unsure of what to say about him and stay within the remit of the board, I'll point you to a search of the BBC's website...

http://newssearch.bbc.co.uk/cgi-bin/search/results.pl?scope=newsukfs&tab=news&q=boris+johnson &go.x=0&go.y=0&go=go

Cheers
John

mid
2004-Dec-01, 01:48 PM
Secondly the Spectator has a political agenda that could best be described as against the Labour government. In addition the editor of this magazine is one Boris Johnson. As I'm unsure of what to say about him and stay within the remit of the board, I'll point you to a search of the BBC's website...

Well, when it comes to pointing out possible bias, all that really needs to be said is the fact that Boris is a Conservative MP, really.

pghnative
2004-Dec-01, 05:09 PM
Being from the west side of the pond, I'm not familiar with England's politics, so I don't know who is biased against what, but I'll note that this article reads to me as if it were exaggerated. There are lots of details that could never be proven or refuted. (Among other things, it is quite convenient for the authors sake that the tape was blank.)

There may well be police abuses left and right, but this article, in my opinion, does nothing to prove it.

teddyv
2004-Dec-01, 06:05 PM
Though not on the scale of the report, back in early '98, I was passing through Brussels airport on my way to the Congo. Passing through security, the official asked if I had a knife in my bag, which I did (a Leatherman - kind of a Super Swiss Army knife for those who don't know). She asked if it had a locking blade, which it also did. I was then told locking blades are illegal in Belgium and I would have to check the item in.

Great a small knife goes into the belly of a 747 and I'm landing in a 3rd World country - not likely to see it again.

Back to security and she asks of I had another knife in my bag. I did (a smaller, non-locking version I was bringing for a friend). I almost lost it there. Why didn't they see this the first time? I guess I didn't volunteer it, but since the issue was with locking blades, it didn't seem relevant. Anyway, they let me go with that. Thankfully this was pre9/11.

Oh yeah, my knife actually made it back to me in Kinshasa.

electromagneticpulse
2004-Dec-01, 06:22 PM
...how many cameras does the UK have in it again?...
Four million CCTV cameras watch public. UK has the highest level of surveillance (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=480364)
Yikes!
How average Briton is caught on camera 300 times a day (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/story.jsp?story=480355)
I'm caught on a camera 300 times a day. I wonder how many of those i've been doing something i shouldn't be 8-[

sarongsong
2004-Dec-02, 02:51 AM
...Bear in mind that the UK has been subject to IRA attacks since the early 70s, although that appears to be resolving itself somewhat. And without wanting to sound overly inflamatory, terrorism did not start on the 11th of September 2001...
Quite right; thanks for putting it in proper perspective.

...Secondly the Spectator has a political agenda that could best be described as against the Labour government. In addition the editor of this magazine is one Boris Johnson...
Yes, while it's difficult for non-residents to know what's-what and who's who, the article's author, Nicky Samengo-Turner (http://www.google.com/search?q=Nicky+Samengo-Turner+f1&sourceid=opera&num=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8), is a player in the racing world.
I've always admired the freeness of the British press, in all its incarnations, vs. the political stranglehold the U.S. press and media seems to be suffering under lately.

2004-Dec-02, 07:26 PM
If anyone feels the inclination to spy on me whilst I'm doing nothing...then, that's their problem, not mine??? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Get a life of your own!!! :o :o

sarongsong
2004-Dec-03, 07:08 AM
Are these cameras noticeable to the public, or are they generally hidden from view?

enginelessjohn
2004-Dec-03, 09:27 AM
Both really. Some of the outdoors ones are very obvious indeed, mounted on top of a big yellow van with "POLICE CAMERA UNIT" written on it. Some are much less obvious, and disguised as lamposts. And then there are speed cameras which are another thing altogether.

Bigger pubs have a couple of cameras, and almost all shops do, banks too. I think most people in the UK accept them as part of life, and just get on with theirs. Mostly they are there in case there is trouble and evidence is needed for the courts.

Cheers
John

johnb
2004-Dec-03, 10:34 AM
Are these cameras noticeable to the public, or are they generally hidden from view?

All CCTV cameras in the UK have to be easily seen to the public ( speed cameras for example have to be marked with Dayglo stripes) and must carry a sign naming their operator and an address where you can arrange to view their footage if you wish to. Failure to comply with these requirements means the footage will, usually, be ignored if the authorities try to use it in court against you.I still don`t like it though.

Argos
2004-Dec-03, 10:47 AM
It´s worrisome to see this kind of thing happening in places acknowledged by Freedom.

Richard of Chelmsford
2004-Dec-03, 01:56 PM
I've been searched by the police before, but that was back in the days when it was Irish terrorism which was the one to watch out for, when buildings in London and elsewhere were being smashed up by lorry bombs.

I just let them get on with it.

It is illegal to carry a knife in Britain by the way.

Speed cameras? I've found a perfect way to deal with them.

Just stick to the speed limit.

sarongsong
2004-Dec-03, 08:08 PM
...It is illegal to carry a knife in Britain by the way...
Then I suppose swords and cutlasses are completely out of the question.
Traffic cameras are proliferating at break-neck speed here in the U.S., with the fines being split between municipalities (2/3) and the cameras' providers (1/3), who seem quite adept at manipulating the flash-time of the intermediate 'yellow' light, between the absolutes of 'red' and 'green'.

darkhunter
2004-Dec-03, 08:09 PM
I've been searched by the police before, but that was back in the days when it was Irish terrorism which was the one to watch out for, when buildings in London and elsewhere were being smashed up by lorry bombs.

I just let them get on with it.

It is illegal to carry a knife in Britain by the way.

Security shouldn't be a problem if you have nothing to hide--just don't carry [insert illegal item/substance here], and the security personnel behave in a scrupulously professional manner at all times.


Speed cameras? I've found a perfect way to deal with them.

Just stick to the speed limit.

True!!

Can be extended to if you don't want trouble with the police, always cooperate with them when they are doing their job, and don't break the law!

papageno
2004-Dec-04, 04:29 PM
...It is illegal to carry a knife in Britain by the way...
Then I suppose swords and cutlasses are completely out of the question.
A colleague explained to me that he could carry around his bat'leth, because it is not a concealable weapon.
I guess the same works for broadswords and big double-edged battleaxes.

sarongsong
2004-Dec-04, 11:02 PM
Ah, 'concealable' being the key. I'd pictured some enforcer trying to arrest the Queen as she was knighting someone. :lol:

mid
2004-Dec-06, 10:41 AM
You're not allowed to carry bladed weapons above a certain minimal length (around 4cm, if memory serves, but I've a feeling that may be wrong) without due purpose. Its ok to buy a 12" butcher's knife from John Lewis and take it home, but carrying it around "just in case" is illegal.

I'm fairly sure that the Queen has a legitimate explanation for her sword ownership...

Sleepy
2004-Dec-06, 11:00 AM
It is illegal to carry a knife in Britain by the way.
Not true. A small 3 inch knife eg a penknife, swiss army knife, etc, is legal to carry except on school property, airports etc

For bigger blades:

(3) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) or (2) above to prove that he had good reason or lawful authority for having the article or weapon with him on the premises in question.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3) above, it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) or (2) above to prove that he had the article or weapon in question with him-

(a) for use at work,

(b) for educational purposes,

(c) for religious reasons, or

(d) as part of any national costume.

So it is perfectly legal for a chef to carry his knifes from home to work, but if he sticks the 9 inch carving knife through his belt and goes for a drink in the pub he's breaking the law.

A colleague explained to me that he could carry around his bat'leth, because it is not a concealable weapon.
I guess the same works for broadswords and big double-edged battleaxes.
Section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 prohibits the possession in any public place of an offensive weapon without lawful authority or excuse. So your friend is wrong.

Richard of Chelmsford
2004-Dec-06, 10:59 PM
Yes, there is some truth in that, but it still restricts hooligans.

I used to carry a knife.

An Olfa knife, as I worked for a company which supplied newspapers and typesetters with the old technology.

Re illegalities.. if the Old Bill catch you with a gun in Britain you will get banged up for five years minimum.

Guns in Britain are very bad news.

Bad jcsd
2004-Dec-07, 01:49 AM
Locking blades are illegal to carry, that's why he was arrested.

If he's going to go around 'tooled up' and then volunteers to be serached then that's his lookout.

Gullible Jones
2004-Dec-07, 03:14 AM
And what the heck is a "locking blade"?

papageno
2004-Dec-07, 11:49 AM
(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3) above, it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) or (2) above to prove that he had the article or weapon in question with him-

(a) for use at work,

(b) for educational purposes,

(c) for religious reasons, or

(d) as part of any national costume.


A colleague explained to me that he could carry around his bat'leth, because it is not a concealable weapon.
I guess the same works for broadswords and big double-edged battleaxes.
Section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 prohibits the possession in any public place of an offensive weapon without lawful authority or excuse. So your friend is wrong.
What if he goes around in a Klingon costume?

Sleepy
2004-Dec-07, 12:04 PM
And what the heck is a "locking blade"?
A folding knife where the blade once extended wont retract without a button, slide, collar etc being activated.

If you stab someone with an unlocked blade you are more likely to cut off your fingers than stab your intended victim.


What if he goes around in a Klingon costume?
Doesn't give him a legal reason to carry a weapon and may cause the police to section him under the The Mental Health Act :wink:

papageno
2004-Dec-07, 12:12 PM
What if he goes around in a Klingon costume?
Doesn't give him a legal reason to carry a weapon and may cause the police to section him under the The Mental Health Act :wink:
What if he claims that he is following the Klingon religion?
(Alright, Mental Health Act it is ...)

mid
2004-Dec-07, 01:45 PM
And what the heck is a "locking blade"?
A folding knife where the blade once extended wont retract without a button, slide, collar etc being activated.

If you stab someone with an unlocked blade you are more likely to cut off your fingers than stab your intended victim.

Well, that certainly explains a few things. The way the author of the article described it, he just had a normal Victorinox Swiss Army Knife on him. Certainly mine doesn't have any locking blades by that description.

Which is a relief, as it lives in my work bag - I've got the 'cybertool' model with all the screwdrivers, and its great for taking PCs to pieces.

Sleepy
2004-Dec-07, 02:24 PM
Well, that certainly explains a few things. The way the author of the article described it, he just had a normal Victorinox Swiss Army Knife on him. Certainly mine doesn't have any locking blades by that description.

Which is a relief, as it lives in my work bag - I've got the 'cybertool' model with all the screwdrivers, and its great for taking PCs to pieces.He was also carrying a baton for which he had no excuse otherwise he might have been able to blag his way out ...

sarongsong
2006-Sep-17, 06:12 PM
Talking cameras, now:
September 16, 2006
...Law-abiding shopper Karen Margery, 40, was shocked to hear the [camera's] speakers spring into action as she walked past them... Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=405477&in_page_id=1770)

soylentgreen
2006-Sep-17, 06:35 PM
A few weeks ago I saw some menacing news items concerning the state of mind in England lately. I was going to post about it, but decided I would rather not seem alarmist.

Britons call for use of profiling (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4794975.stm)

55% support passenger profiling, poll indicates (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2316549,00.html)
and
Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=401419&in_page_id=1770&ico=Homepage&icl=TabModule&icc=NEWS&ct=5)

While these are focused primarily on the issue of travel, it does seem to indicate that UK citizens at large are not exactly free of the blame for any creeping police state potential. In fact, such situations can't happen without a large enough portion of the population going along to begin with.

Cylinder
2006-Sep-17, 07:23 PM
A locking blade is a folding pocket knife whose blade has a catch or mechanism that keeps the blade locked in the deployed position.

BigDon
2006-Sep-17, 07:48 PM
That or a straight bladed knife are the only kind I'll use. Had one or two of the non-locking folding knives close on my hand when I was a child.

umop ap!sdn
2006-Sep-17, 08:54 PM
I hope the audio system in those cameras is two way. :razz:

Tog
2006-Sep-18, 07:25 AM
Regarding the article in the OP: Utah is pretty open about stuff like that. If I get pulled over and the cops asks if I have any weapons in the car, I'll mention the 3.5 lock blade knife I have in my pocket. They've never asked me to step out of the car. Here we can even have a gun in the car legally as long as it's not considered loaded. A gun is unloaded if it will take two mechanical actions to get it to fire. A revolver with two empty chambers,the one in line with the barrel, and the next one to come in line of the trigger is pulled, but 4 loaded chambers, is considered to be unloaded and can be carried in the car. Other states, the gun must be in a locked case, not in the passenger area and separate from the ammunition to be "Unloaded".

captain swoop
2006-Sep-18, 10:42 AM
You can carry a blade if u have a legitimate reason, ie work or if u are off fishing, camping etc. Carrying a knife at any other times can get u in trouble with the law. Knife crime is a big thing in the UK at the moment, there have been a number of high profile stabbings in schools, it all came to a head a fiew years ago when a school principal was killed by a student. I know for a fact that there's a lot of knives carried in even Guisborough.

captain swoop
2006-Sep-18, 10:47 AM
Just noticed the OP of this thread. U do realise the Spectator is like a political version of a Tabloid, and the new post about talkiong cameras is in the Daily Mail!! If they told me the sky was blue I would look outside to make sure.

JohnD
2006-Sep-18, 11:15 AM
I doubt that anyone in the USA should look too goggle-eyed at these news items, even if you take them at face value, and ignore Capn.Swoop's point about the nature of these newspapers and their political stance.

For instance, look at the amount and nature of items siezed from the hand luggage of American air passengers passisn through American airports: http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2006/09/04/banned_items_find_new_home_in_discount_bin/
12,000, that's twelve THOUSAND, items a week. Yes, a WEEK! At ONE airport!

But what annoys me is that the US Government, that seized these items, then SELLS them! Tools, yes, but 12 inch knives, live ammunition, guns? And for a dollar each! You would think they would want to destroy them, not let them back onto the street .
Does the USA sell on the cocaine or heroin it siezes?

It's a mad world, my masters.

JOhn

HenrikOlsen
2006-Sep-18, 12:22 PM
For instance, look at the amount and nature of items siezed from the hand luggage of American air passengers passisn through American airports: http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2006/09/04/banned_items_find_new_home_in_discount_bin/
12,000, that's twelve THOUSAND, items a week. Yes, a WEEK! At ONE airport!
Of those 12.000, 10.000 are cigarette lighters, so it's not quite as impressive as it sounds.

SMEaton
2006-Sep-18, 12:57 PM
It seems to me that a "locking blade" would be one that stays in the open position until released... they're pretty common. The release is usually a tab inset in the handle. Why this type of knife is particularly more dangerous than others is beyond me. Forgot to check the 2nd page. Nothing to see here--carry on about your business.

Gruesome
2006-Sep-18, 04:03 PM
"Would you mind if we searched your vehicle? We’re training these new community support officers."

Although a little worried about being late for my meeting, I was impressed by their air of professionalism and vigilance. I was pleased that the government was doing something to keep us all safe and thought it would be selfish to refuse. "I don’t mind at all," I replied, "as long as it doesn’t take a huge amount of time."

This would seem to be where the mistake was made.

I'm not sure of the existence or operation of probable cause in the UK, but the general rule of thumb in the U.S. is that if they ask to search, they don't have probable cause. Because if they had probable cause, your permission wouldn't mean squat.

Also, do the bobbies think this guy is going to attack the Ministry of Defence with a pocket knife?

Doodler
2006-Sep-18, 04:30 PM
You're not allowed to carry bladed weapons above a certain minimal length (around 4cm, if memory serves, but I've a feeling that may be wrong) without due purpose. Its ok to buy a 12" butcher's knife from John Lewis and take it home, but carrying it around "just in case" is illegal.

I'm fairly sure that the Queen has a legitimate explanation for her sword ownership...

The US leaves that to the States to decide on max length, but it would seem the average in the more civilized states is around 4 inches. Some of the states with more wilderness area or agrarian may allow something larger, so long as you're either out of a municipal area, or on your own property.

Moose
2006-Sep-18, 05:09 PM
This would seem to be where the mistake was made.

Oh yeah.

There's absolutely no favorable outcome from letting cops (especially rent-a-cops) go on a fishing expedition through your belongings.

You may have been in a hurry to get somewhere, but you're not in a hurry anymore. Sorry friends, but the moment they chose to stop you and request a warrantless search, it's a given that you're hopelessly late for wherever you're going.

No matter how benign they've been talking up to that point, you need to remember you're skating on the very edge of a "presumed guilty until proven innocent" situation. In that situation, your only real bet is to decline consent, stay as silent as possible (and when you can't stay silent, stay polite!), then lawyer up at the earliest opportunity if they don't immediately let you go on your merry.

tlbs101
2006-Sep-18, 05:56 PM
Last week I received a delightful mail from the City of Albuquerque. Inside the envelope was, among other related items, photographs of my automobile making a legal right-turn on a green right arrow. The claim was that I was running a red light at the intersection where cameras are installed for detcting such things.

The automatic sensor is set to snap photographs whenever an object enters the intersection when the traffic light is red in that direction.

I learned from the clerk in the city office, that a law-enforcement officer reviews the photographs before they are mailed, but I find this hard to believe, as this is plainly obvious that no laws were broken in this situation. So, I have to take time to request a hearing, go to the hearing, and hopefully get a judge with a modicum of common sense.

The city "gets away" with alot of legal issues, becuase they levy civil fines for running a red lights based on camera evidence, not criminal (traffic) fines. What it amounts to is a revenue generator for the city, and my case drives that point home. I may prevail in court, and I will defend this on principle, but my time and expense my add up to more than the would-be $100.00 fine.

The city of Albuquerque has also leased several "speed-trap" vans, that take photographs along with RADAR or LASER based speed indications -- another revenue generator. At least there is a proper defense, if caught, versus the red-light cameras. With the red-light camera, it is a binary operation -- either the car is travelling straight through the intersection while the light shows red, or it is not. With the speed-traps there is the issue of equipment calibration. Calibration (or lack, thereof) has been used successfully as a defense many times.

peteshimmon
2006-Sep-18, 06:00 PM
Strange feeling seeing a camera installation
a month ago viewing a small subway in my home
town that I first used as a kid over 50 years
ago! It has been a trouble spot late at night.
But the really scarry thing in 1984 was the
home installation, ie Keep those arms straight..
touch your toes..Hey! 274383 Bush, George Yes
You..pick those feet up! As long as that does
not happen:) But I sometimes have bleak thoughts
that more needs doing. There have been bricks
thrown from motorway bridges with bad injuries
caused and one death. These places definitely
need cameras..along with boresight aligned
machine guns perhaps! Think of the poor folk
who have to monitor the screens. But then..
those loudspeaker ones were demonstrated on
the lunchtime news..Hey you in the suit..pick
that litter up...thank you! As long as that last
bit stays its still civilisation over here.

Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-18, 06:00 PM
Veering slighty OT, but what I want to know is why do people get all uppity about all this surveillance? I just don't see what the fuss is about. If anyone could provide a historical example of a nation that ended up a police state due to too much surveillance, then I might understand.

- Maha Vailo

Moose
2006-Sep-18, 06:10 PM
Veering slighty OT, but what I want to know is why do people get all uppity about all this surveillance? I just don't see what the fuss is about. If anyone could provide a historical example of a nation that ended up a police state due to too much surveillance, then I might understand.

You're kidding, right? Please tell me your kidding. If you're not kidding and really do need help figuring that out, try asking a (citizen) resident of the former Soviet Union about "too much surveillance".

Doodler
2006-Sep-18, 06:19 PM
You're kidding, right? Please tell me your kidding. If you're not kidding and really do need help figuring that out, try asking a (citizen) resident of the former Soviet Union about "too much surveillance".

Sometimes I wonder how much of that was blanket surveillance, or the appearance of blanket surveillance.

They couldn't be everywhere, everywhen, but they were brutal enough that people were terrified enough that it seemed that way.

Moose
2006-Sep-18, 06:40 PM
Sometimes I wonder how much of that was blanket surveillance, or the appearance of blanket surveillance.


If truly blanket surveillance is the minimum bar of what's necessary to become a police state, then Maha's question is meaningless. It was as close to blanket surveillance as could be had given the technical means available to the KGB at any point. It was certainly ubiquitous enough to be most properly classified (IMO) as a police state in communist trappings. Especially under Stalin.

Lianachan
2006-Sep-18, 06:50 PM
Just wanting, yet again, to point out that the terms "British" and "English" are not interchangeable.

Doodler
2006-Sep-18, 07:15 PM
If truly blanket surveillance is the minimum bar of what's necessary to become a police state, then Maha's question is meaningless. It was as close to blanket surveillance as could be had given the technical means available to the KGB at any point. It was certainly ubiquitous enough to be most properly classified (IMO) as a police state in communist trappings. Especially under Stalin.

Hehe, sorry, I wasn't questioning whether it was a police state. Its quite simply a given that, yes, it was. My question was one of whether the coverage was quite so extensive (not only KGB, but GRU, and probably a host of others), that it really could tell you where you were at any given moment, or if it was the way they acted that made it appear so.

Gillianren
2006-Sep-18, 07:30 PM
I tend to consider surveillance different if it's in your home vs. in the public street, where you have no presumption of privacy anyway. Mind, i still don't want to be followed around or whatever, but still.

Doodler
2006-Sep-18, 07:41 PM
Heh, too many secrets. Its not the criminal activities that people are concerned about, its the vices.

What's Bob doing at the bar at 3pm?
Now what's this young lady doing at the adult boutique?
What's this guy doing trading spit with a woman who isn't his wife?
Doodler had a rough day, that's his vehicle at the nudie bar.

That kind of thing. The stuff we do that we do for our own amusement we'd just as soon not tell the world (except me, I'm pretty shameless ;)). The idea that this information is out there means its there to be had by anyone with enough brains to tap into it. Sometimes, this information can be used against us in ways that it never would be were it that evidenciary discovery not be an automated process.

Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-18, 09:02 PM
OK, tell me more about the type of surveillance the Soviets used. I'm pretty sure they didn't use hidden cameras to bring out people's deepest, darkest secrets, now did they?

I'm still not getting what the fuss is about.

- Maha "call me naive, but still...." Vailo

sarongsong
2006-Sep-18, 09:18 PM
Just wanting, yet again, to point out that the terms "British" and "English" are not interchangeable.If you are referring to this thread's title, please elaborate. My thinking was that the event took place in England, ergo "English" as the adjective.

Moose
2006-Sep-18, 09:50 PM
OK, tell me more about the type of surveillance the Soviets used. I'm pretty sure they didn't use hidden cameras to bring out people's deepest, darkest secrets, now did they?

I would imagine they only give that special treatment for people who somehow cause them to suspect something might be unusual. That could, however, be something as simple as having a neighbor (down the street) who practices religion.

Or missed too many Party political meetings (which have been described as something not terribly unlike bible studies, except for works by/about Lenin and flattering articles about the Party leaders).

Or has a kid who repeated gossip that was misunderstood.

Or someone has some sort of petty grudge against you.

Or someone suspects you of being gay.

Etc.

Techniques during the height of the USSR could include covert searches of your living space, following you and documenting/investigating whoever you speak to, audio bugs in your house and car, listening to your phone calls, opening your mail. And I've no doubt my list is by no means comprehensive.

It's no way to live.

captain swoop
2006-Sep-18, 10:15 PM
Cameras work, Friday and Sat nights theres a lot of aggro when the pubs turn out around the Market Place in Guisborough, we have 3 cameras covering it and the police bring a mobile CCTV van up for the evenings as well. Since the cameras went in theres been a drop off in trouble and when it does start THE cctv operators can 'home in' the cops quickly and make sure they get the right people.

soylentgreen
2006-Sep-18, 10:31 PM
Overlysimplified -
The Soviet and the Nazi security forces(GPU, NKVD, GESTAPO, etc...)were not as 'wall-to-wall' as people in this country have been taught by lousy history and cliched films. Both functioned successfully(if that's the right word for it)because of the fear of an all-encompassing surveillance. The GeStaPo dept records for most areas bear out the truth that in some cases almost 50% of investigations were made based on denunciations by neighbors, relatives or coworkers. In some areas, it was even higher.

The Soviet system was a little different in that, while still overloaded by denouncers looking to 'get them before they get me', the security forces were more 'thuggish' often directed by fickle(and paranoia-driven)whims of the higher officials...who were, of course, in turn directed by Uncle Joe and his ever-increasing paranoia. The 'police' in Stalinist Russia would be just as afraid for their own hides as the average Ivan in the tenement block.

Both systems thrived because enough of the public was convinced of the need for 'a little loss of privacy'. I don't need to tell you that they got to that point by a comprehensive and thorough program of fear-mongering, fake terror threats, enabling acts and staged incidents. Subsequent use of night-and-fog arrests and economic plans that yoyo-ed vitals to keep people in some state of need at all times helped keep the machine oiled.

Simply put, while terrifyingly effective, the police state organs could not have operated at the efficient level they did without the active/passive support of a sizable chunk of the citizenry.

So far, I think the closest we've come in this country was with the HUAC nightmare. And that's not a police state issue, that's just denouncers trying to save their own skins by naming names, even if they had to make it up.
Ronald Reagan, Elia Kazan, Walt Disney...despicable! A nightmare born of the 'red menace' anxiety, courtesy of the Truman("We thank God for giving us The Bomb!")Administration.

I suggest for a clear picture of what a police state is and how one functions...and more importantly for the current state of affairs...Start with The Dictators by Richard Overy(straightforward), Nazi Terror: The Gestapo, Jews, and Ordinary Germans by Eric Johnson(detailed and terrifying) and The Gestapo and German Society: Enforcing Racial Policy 1933-1945 by Robert Gellately(easily digestible overview). You'll be surprised by how much you recognize in those societies. Then again, maybe you won't.

Tog
2006-Sep-19, 06:17 AM
OK, tell me more about the type of surveillance the Soviets used. I'm pretty sure they didn't use hidden cameras to bring out people's deepest, darkest secrets, now did they?

I'm still not getting what the fuss is about.

- Maha "call me naive, but still...." Vailo

One of the drivers that used to deliver to my store was originally from Poland. He jumped the Curtain in about '80 or '81, but never talked too much about it. In a few of the talks we did have, he mentioned that it was common for the soldier to use several large farming machines to till up the perimiter of the villages each night. In the morning they would check them for footprints to see if anyone left in the night.

Now, I have no way to confirm this, it's only his word and he did NOT like the Soviets at all. If it was true as stated, it seems like a lot of work to go through to make a prison without walls. Tere were also a lot of rules about travel to different towns but I can't recall what he said they were. Prohibiting the entire family from leaving at once sounds familiar though.

BigDon
2006-Sep-19, 05:13 PM
I have never, ever, in all my four and a half decades on this planet ever heard of anybody who said no to the police when they "ask politely" to go through your stuff to have ever been allowed to go on their merry way.

Just saying no is probable cause to most police. Every fricking time they "ask" me if they can go through my stuff and I say no, they detain me, handcuff me, call for back up and go through my stuff anyway. When they find nothing illegal they then have the balls to ask me why I just didn't let them search my stuff in the first place. :mad: This has happened to me personally three times.

Moose
2006-Sep-19, 05:34 PM
:mad: This has happened to me personally three times.

Uh huh. That's why I wrote my post the way I did:

1) You'll be late regardless, because they'll inevitably delay you as long as possible over it.
2) You deny all consent.
3) You stay silent if possible, polite if not.
4) And you lawyer up just as soon as you can.

Thing is, if nobody's willing to defend their constitutional right to not be subjected to unreasonable searches, the right may as well not exist.

Gillianren
2006-Sep-19, 06:05 PM
I've never even had the police ask to go through my stuff!

BigDon
2006-Sep-19, 06:49 PM
Gillian, that's because you are not a large man who, because of his job, finds himself on foot in different neighborhoods at all hours of the night.

Gillianren
2006-Sep-19, 10:28 PM
Very true. (Especially that "you are not a large man" part!)

Van Rijn
2006-Sep-19, 11:21 PM
I tend to consider surveillance different if it's in your home vs. in the public street, where you have no presumption of privacy anyway. Mind, i still don't want to be followed around or whatever, but still.

I don't? Actually, I do expect a certain level of privacy or at least anonymity. The issue is that the technology is making ubiquitous surveillance possible. It's quite possible in a decade or so that a combination of cameras and other hardware combined with computers could track and specifically identify your car (or other transportation) and your face, tracking everywhere you have gone in some detail. Even if you don't do anything particularly exciting, that should concern you. It's one thing to be put under surveillance if you are suspected of doing something illegal, it is another thing to have all that information available for review whenever somebody wants it.

Our expectation of relative privacy is based on the technology and the practicalities of tracking people. As that changes, so will the limits of privacy. I think the use by government of these technologies should be strictly limited because it is too easy for them to use them badly. It is just like bugging your phone.

BigDon
2006-Sep-19, 11:37 PM
Its not even the goverment that worries me a lot of times. At least they make an atempt at oversight. PGE (Our local power company, Pacific Gas and Electric) uses sensitive IR cameras "to spot transformers that are about to fail". Except that you can also point them at a house and render the curtains and sometimes even the walls transparent. Had a lot of IR experiance (the TARPS system) in the Navy. Amazing technology.

Captain Kidd
2006-Sep-20, 01:29 AM
After watching cars continue to go though a red light for a 10 full seconds this afternoon, I have to say that it reinforces my desire for my city to have more red light cameras.

captain swoop
2006-Sep-20, 03:10 PM
As for police going through stuff, in the UK they have powers of Stop and Search on Suspicion, they fill in a little form with their name and number, give you a copy and let you go on your way.

soylentgreen
2006-Sep-20, 06:04 PM
The issue is that the technology is making ubiquitous surveillance possible. It's quite possible in a decade or so that a combination of cameras and other hardware combined with computers could track and specifically identify your car (or other transportation) and your face, tracking everywhere you have gone in some detail. Even if you don't do anything particularly exciting, that should concern you. It's one thing to be put under surveillance if you are suspected of doing something illegal, it is another thing to have all that information available for review whenever somebody wants it.

Our expectation of relative privacy is based on the technology and the practicalities of tracking people. As that changes, so will the limits of privacy. I think the use by government of these technologies should be strictly limited because it is too easy for them to use them badly. It is just like bugging your phone.
The people zipping around the tri-state here with their ezpasses don't always seem aware that not only is data kept on what toll points they crossed and when they did....they can also calculate how fast the person drove to get from toll A to toll B! Nice, huh?



As for police going through stuff, in the UK they have powers of Stop and Search on Suspicion....

but of what?

Everytime someone references this particular aspect of police powers whether the UK or US, it always comes out the same...'based on suspicion"

Random stops are not based on suspicion. It's 50/50 between the authorities hoping to get lucky(1st-that the citizen doesn't know his rights and 2nd-that the driver actually is up to something)and sending a signal to the populace not to do something naughty on the chance YOU might get randomly stopped in mid-naughtiness.

Either way you read it, random searches are bogus and people who submit may presumably be saving themselves a larger hassle...but that's certainly the worst way to use the rights you supposedly care so much about. It's a tough call...one you shouldn't be forced to make!

Doodler
2006-Sep-20, 06:09 PM
The people zipping around the tri-state here with their ezpasses don't always seem aware that not only is data kept on what toll points they crossed and when they did....they can also calculate how fast the person drove to get from toll A to toll B! Nice, huh?

Yeah, there are some toll roads using that now. Its why I'll never have an EZPass on any vehicle I use.

SeanF
2006-Sep-20, 06:54 PM
The people zipping around the tri-state here with their ezpasses don't always seem aware that not only is data kept on what toll points they crossed and when they did....they can also calculate how fast the person drove to get from toll A to toll B! Nice, huh?
But, Your Honor, how do we know that the clock at Toll Booth A and the clock at Toll Booth B are correctly synchronized with each other?

;)

('Course, that line of questioning could backfire if the clocks in question are those that automatically synch up with the atomic clocks in Boulder...)

NEOWatcher
2006-Sep-20, 07:10 PM
...
('Course, that line of questioning could backfire if the clocks in question are those that automatically synch up with the atomic clocks in Boulder...)
Thus proving you were speeding.

Although I see nothing wrong with the fact that if a device catches you in an infraction, then you are guilty.
I do see a problem where you or the arresting party do not know the conditions. In other words, do I know if I was singled out of a crowd, or did the other 3 thousand cars through the toll booth or red light camera also get a ticket?
Add in the fact that there is no immediate feedback. It would be possible for me to be "on the edge" everytime I pass a particular camera, and get a whole pile of citations before I even hear of the first one.

I do see surveillance cameras as somewhat different though. If in a public place, and only used as a result of a crime, then so what. It's when they go seeking out a crime that bothers me.

JohnD
2006-Sep-20, 08:37 PM
HenrykOlsen,
When someone carrying a knife and a bludgeon with them is carried off to chokey, that is considered excessive use of excutive force.
But confiscating 10,000 cigarette lighters is not? Esp. when the lighters are sold on?
But the latter is in your country, and the former in another - so that's alright.

Actually, I'm all in favour of making it a criminal offence to carry a lighter, and a capital one to light up a fag in a public place. Oh, sorry, 'fag'=cigarette in UKspeak.

John

captain swoop
2006-Sep-20, 10:07 PM
In the UK a Police officer can stop and ask to search anyone, a refusal always gets u detained

Doodler
2006-Sep-20, 10:31 PM
In the UK a Police officer can stop and ask to search anyone, a refusal always gets u detained

Similar situation exists over here in another situation. God help you if you refuse a breathalizer test in Maryland.

korjik
2006-Sep-21, 07:51 PM
two things about Texas.

1) There is a good chance that the guy getting stopped could have a rifle, a couple of knives and a concealed handgun when stopped, and chances are the cops wouldnt even blink

2) In most rural areas, if you get pulled over and give the cop lip, you may end up spending the night in jail. Never, ever, give lip to the local sheriff.

Captain Kidd
2006-Sep-22, 12:16 PM
2) In most rural areas, if you get pulled over and give the cop lip, you may end up spending the night in jail. Never, ever, give lip to the local sheriff.Around here, if the neighbors are openly cooking meth, don't bother reporting it to the police. They'll either ignore you or leak your name and address to the people you reported.

If the police are honest, don't expect their bosses to be. One small town disbanded its police department after they busted one of the city councilmen cooking meth. Now the town has no city police, the county police covers it.

Cylinder
2006-Sep-24, 10:46 AM
It was as close to blanket surveillance as could be had given the technical means available to the KGB at any point.

When the Soviet was in power, the normal surveillance was through informants. Each town (or district within a city) would have a Communist Party office including a member of the NKVD/KGB. These party officers would recruit infomants from each neighborhood or apartment building to act as his eyes and ears.

It was a robust system but also very prone to corruption from the bottom up. It worked quite efficiently whenever they wanted to compile a list.

Gruesome
2006-Sep-25, 05:56 PM
Just saying no is probable cause to most police.

That's not entirely accurate.

"...law enforcement officers do not violate the Fourth Amendment by merely approaching an individual on the street or in another public place, by asking him if he is willing to answer some questions, by putting questions to him if the person is willing to listen, or by offering in evidence in a criminal prosecution his voluntary answers to such questions. Nor would the fact that the officer identifies himself as a police officer, without more, convert the encounter into a seizure requiring some level of objective justification. The person approached, however, need not answer any question put to him; indeed, he may decline to listen to the questions at all and may go on his way. He may not be detained even momentarily without reasonable, objective grounds for doing so; and his refusal to listen or answer does not, without more, furnish those grounds." FLORIDA v. ROYER, 460 U.S. 491 (1983)