Big Ben or Big Brother? NEWSWEEK FEBRUARY 28, 2000 Every breath they take, someone is watching the Brits. Funny thing; they don’t seem to care. years the police and local the face-recognition software, BY WILLIAM UNDERHILL communities have invested "find the whole idea of cameras hugely in the technology; Prime an invasion of privacy. The FOR THE BAD GUYS OF Minister Tony Blair last week British are used to them." NEWHAM, trouble begins with a advertised his backing with a visit The government isn't too bleep on a control-room to Newham. The closed-circuit troubled. Crime is on the rise: last computer. Somewhere on the television system may be intrusive year saw a 19 percent hike in streets of London's poorest – but its record blunts any public robbery. For the politicians cost- borough a smart camera has outrage. Figures suggest that a effective solutions have become spotted a face from its watch list network of cameras in a town more important than any of known rogues. At once staff center can reduce crime by 70 handwringing over privacy. Cam- monitoring a bank of screens from percent. eras and other next-generation a council-office block are alerted. Still, the sheer scale of technologies fit the bill. So, too, are the police. Across supervision feeds fears of a If they work – but often they Newham more than 240 snooper society. Cameras now don't. The camera can't stop some surveillance cameras keep watch over parking lots, phone of the most common crimes. The permanent watch on likely trouble booths, elevators and even some lout leaving the nightclub with a spots. Walk the mile from the public toilets. Some buses carry skinful of lager won't know or station to the town hall and every up to six hidden lenses. Beside all care whether he's filmed, say the step could be observed. And these roads into the center of the City, critics. And the wise thief or are no ordinary cameras. Last year the capital's commercial heart, mugger just moves to a new patch Newham became the world's first stand masts topped by cameras when the first camera appears. public authority to add "face that snap every driver and his Crime is displaced – not recognition" software to its registration plate. When TV eliminated. armory. The cameras will presenter Jill Dando was shot A few powerful images help automatically pick out any face dead last summer, police hunting explain the camera's popularity. held on its 100-strong database of her murderer – still at large – Lodged in the public memory are leading local villains. Intelligence could reconstruct much of her last the 1993 video pictures of two 10- suggests that the top dozen morning's shopping trip from year-old boys abducting toddler criminals have quit the area. "For footage taken in her local high James Bulger from a Liverpool the first time in 15 years crime street. Says Simon Davies of shopping mall. Hours later he was here is lower than in the rest of Privacy International: "A battered to death. The cameras London," says Bob Lack, the generation is growing up that hadn't prevented his murder – but former policeman who runs the won't know what it means to walk they did speed up the killers' security operation. anonymously." arrest. Besides, a little privacy can Big Brother is alive and well, The technology can be pretty seem a small price to pay for the not only in Newham but all over scary. The latest generation of sense of security that cameras Britain. More than a million face-recognition software can bring. "To worry about something cameras now monitor the citizens' scan a million faces on its like that, you must have movements. That's more per head database in a second. Critics warn something to hide," says of population than in any other that soon authorities might use pensioner John Peebles, who has country. By one reckoning, the images and data for purposes that seen vandalism and petty crime average commuter can expect to have nothing to do with routine evaporate since cameras were be caught on film 300 times law enforcement. Unlike most fitted around his home in a between opening the garden gate European countries, Britain has Glasgow housing development. "I in the morning and returning at no laws on privacy. And the certainly feel safer now – and I night. Glance upward in almost British have a sometimes speak for 100 percent of the any town center for proof: a wall- unhealthy belief in the state's people here." Back in Newham, mounted camera – sometimes in a wisdom. Other Europeans, says there's overwhelming support for bulletproof casing – trained on the Tim Pidgeon of Visionics, the extending the cameras' gaze. Big shoppers below. Over the last 10 U.S.- based company that supplies Brother is best friend. For now. Handout for Report 7th form, October 5, 2001 C.Kö. Big Ben or Big Brother? NEWSWEEK FEBRUARY 28, 2000 Every breath they take, someone is watching the Brits. Funny thing; they don’t seem to care. 1. What is the article about? 4. Arguments / Conclusion / Views: Basic background information. The closed-circuit television system may be All over Britain more than a million cameras intrusive – but its record blunts any public now monitor the citizens' movements. outrage. Figures suggest that a network of cameras in a Still, the sheer scale of supervision feeds fears town center can reduce crime by 70 percent. of a snooper society. Face-recognition software can scan a million Critics warn that soon authorities might use faces on its database in a second. images and data for purposes that have nothing to Crime is on the rise: last year saw a 19 percent do with routine law enforcement. hike in robbery. Unlike most European countries, Britain has The camera can't stop some of the most no laws on privacy. common crimes. Other Europeans find the whole idea of Crime is displaced – not eliminated. cameras an invasion of privacy. The British are used to them. 2. A brief summary of the article: Across London's poorest borough Newham 5. For discussion : more than 240 surveillance cameras keep Besides, a little privacy can seem a small price permanent watch on likely trouble spots. to pay for the sense of security that cameras bring. Every step could be observed. To worry about something like that, you must Last year Newham became the world's first have something to hide. public authority to add "face recognition" software to its armory. For the first time in 15 years crime here is lower than in the rest of London. VOCABULARY There is a sense of security that cameras bring. to monitor = überwachen, beaufsichtigen In Newham, there's overwhelming support for recognition = Erkennung extending the cameras' gaze. to scan = begutachten, überfliegen hike = Ansteigen, Erhöhung 3. Additional information: to displace = verschieben, vertreiben armo(u)ry = Waffenarsenal The average commuter can expect to be caught borough = Bezirk on film 300 times between opening the garden surveillance = Überwachung gate in the morning and returning at night. overwhelming = überwältigend, begeisternd In almost any town center a wall-mounted gaze = Blick commuter = Pendler camera trained on the shoppers below. to be trained on = ausgerichtet sein auf Cameras now watch over parking lots, phone to be topped by = gekrönt sein von/mit booths, elevators and even some public toilets. to snap = einen Schnappschuss machen Some buses carry up to six hidden lenses. to be at large = auf freiem Fuß sein Beside all roads into the center of the City footage = Filmmaterial to be lodged = festsitzen stand masts topped by cameras that snap every to abduct = entführen driver and his registration plate. toddler = Klein(st)kind When TV presenter Jill Dando was shot dead to batter = schlagen, prügeln last summer, police hunting her murderer – still at CCTV = Closed Circuit Television to be intrusive = aufdringlich, aggressiv large – could reconstruct much of her last record = Erfolg(sliste) morning's shopping trip from footage taken in her to blunt = “stumpf” (unwirksam) machen local high street. outrage = Empörung, Aufschrei Lodged in the public memory are the 1993 the sheer scale = das gigantische Ausmaß video pictures of two 10-year-old boys abducting supervision = Überwachung, Beaufsichtigung snooper = Schnüffler toddler James Bulger from a Liverpool shopping unlike = im Gegensatz zu mall. Hours later he was battered to death. The image = Bild, Standbild cameras hadn't prevented his murder – but they law enforcement = Gesetzesausübung did speed up the killers' arrest. privacy = Privatsphäre Handout for Report 7th form, October 5, 2001 C.Kö. http://www.crimelibrary.com/classics3/bulger/bibliography.htm The Death of James Bulger: Tragic Child Abduction Caught on Tape We see them everywhere. Those security cameras that hang in corners, bolted to the ceiling, silently monitoring us as we shop. Do they make us feel safer? Or do we ignore them, assuming nothing bad happens in the safe haven of our suburban shopping centers? Like millions of cameras installed in almost every modern shopping plaza, they are set up to identify shoplifters and thieves. But on February 12, 1993 in the calm of a Friday early afternoon, the security cameras at the Bootle Strand Shopping Center near Liverpool captured the most tragic of thefts -- on this day, something priceless was stolen. In this video clip, we see a young boy holding a toddler by the hand. A few paces ahead, another boy leads. They look like family, navigating a baby brother past shoppers and distractions. Passersby hardly notice them, unaware that one of the most heartbreaking murders in British history was unfolding right before their eyes. Too young to fight, too young to know better, the toddler trusted the boys who took him by the hand and led him away. This is two-year-old James Bulger in the hands of his killers, frozen in time. He will be taken on a long, aimless walk, cruelly tortured along the way. James will be senselessly beaten to death by his ten-year-old captors, who will callously abandon him on the railroad tracks. Jon Venables and Robert Thompson had been stealing things all day at the shopping center -- candy, a troll doll, some batteries, a can of blue paint, and other incidentals. Why did they decide to steal a baby? Was it a plot or a sudden, overwhelming compulsion? Once they had him, they didn’t know what to do with him. They could have easily discarded James, leaving him alone on the sidewalk, by a shop, where someone would discover the crying baby. But Jon and Robert, like children who would rather destroy their own possessions than give them to another, murdered the little boy. http://www.jamesbulger.co.uk/main.html Robert Thompson Jon Venables It was on 12th February 1993 that James was abducted and brutally killed by two ten year old boys in Liverpool. The pair were convicted of murder in November 1993 and sentenced to be detained indefinitely. Their trial judge said they would be locked up "for many, many years". He recommended they should serve at least eight years. Home Secretary Michael Howard decided they should be eligible for parole only after they had served 15 years. Finally on 26th October 2000 Britain's top judge, Lord Woolf, ruled that Thompson and Venables should be considered for immediate parole. ----------------------------------------------- http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777278.html http://www.jilldandofund.com/ Jill Dando Jill Dando, 37, was a high-profile British television journalist who hosted a popular travel show and presented the news for the BBC. She also hosted a monthly real-life crime show. http://www.itn.co.uk/news/20010702/britain/10georgeguilty.shtml April 26 1999, 11.30am: Miss Dando returned from a shopping trip in Hammersmith. She is shot once in the head on the doorstep of her home in Fulham, south west London, in an assassination-style murder which shocked the nation. Police were given 2100 names as possible suspects in the massive Jill Dando murder investigation. Officers examined video footage from 191 CCTV cameras in the Hammersmith and Fulham area of west London. There were no eyewitnesses, no apparent motive and no clues left at the scene. Barry George has been convicted of murdering television presenter Jill Dando and has been sentenced to life imprisonment. An Old Bailey jury found the unemployed 41-year-old guilty of shooting Miss Dando in the head outside her home in Gowan Avenue, Fulham, west London, on April 26, 1999. The jury delivered a majority verdict of 10-1 after receiving direction from Mr Justice Gage that he was prepared to accept a majority verdict in the case. The jury of six women and five men deliberated for over 30 hours before returning the Handout for Report 7th form, October 5, 2001 C.Kö. verdict in a packed Court Room Number One at the Old Bailey. George, a convicted sex- attacker from Crookham Road, Fulham, south-west London, had denied the murder. Handout for Report 7th form, October 5, 2001 C.Kö. Big Ben or Big Brother? NEWSWEEK FEBRUARY 28, 2000 1. What is the article about? Basic background information. Britain - million cameras - citizens' movements / figures - reduce crime - 70 percent / face-recognition software - scan database / Crime - on the rise - 19 % robbery / can't stop - common crimes / crime displaced – not eliminated 2. A brief summary of the article: London's poorest borough Newham - 240 surveillance cameras / every step – observed / world's first public authority - "face recognition" / 15 years - crime lower than rest of London / sense of security / overwhelming support - extend 3. Additional information: commuter - on film 300 times / wall-mounted camera – shoppers / parking lots, phone booths, elevators, public toilets, buses up to six / roads into the center - masts - cameras - snap every registration plate / Jill Dando - shot dead last summer / police reconstruct her last morning / local high street / TV presenter – popular travel show – crime show / 1999 shot dead in the head- doorstep / 191 CCTV cameras / no eyewitness / 1993 video pictures / 10-year-old boys abducting toddler James Bulger / shopping mall / battered to death / cameras hadn't prevented / speed up arrest mall – cameras – shoplifters / boys stealing – all day / took toddler / not know what to do with him / could have left him – senselessly beaten to death 4. Arguments / Conclusion / Views: CCTV system intrusive – no public outrage / scale of supervision / snooper society / critics / use images and data not for law enforcement / Britain no laws on privacy / other Europeans / invasion of privacy / British used 5. For discussion : Besides, a little privacy can seem a small price to pay for the sense of security that cameras bring. To worry about something like that, you must have something to hide. Handout for Report 7th form, October 5, 2001 C.Kö.