UK's Orwellian 'Baby' Brother Cams

Last October, I wrote about the Orwellian CCTV camera and speaker systems that British bureaucrats are now using to identify and punish "bad behavior" (see Big Brother Would Like A Word With You).

If possible, it's getting worse. Apparently, police plan to use recordings of children's voices to chide passersby into a higher standard of behavior.


(Big Brother CCTV Cams and Child Voices)

Louise Casey, the government's "co-ordinator for respect", said in a statement this morning: "We are encouraging children to send this clear message to grown ups - act anti-socially and face the shame of being publicly embarrassed."

For those who remember reading George Orwell's 1984, this carries with it the chilling overtones of children who are encouraged to report their own parents to the secret police for questionable behavior.

'You're a traitor!' yelled the boy. 'You're a thought-criminal! You're a Eurasian spy! I'll shoot you, I'll vaporize you, I'll send you to the salt mines!'

Suddenly they were both leaping round him, shouting 'Traitor!' and 'Thought-criminal!' the little girl imitating her brother in every movement. It was somehow slightly frightening, like the gambolling of tiger cubs which will soon grow up into man-eaters...

With those children, he thought, that wretched woman must lead a life of terror. Another year, two years, and they would be watching her night and day for symptoms of unorthodoxy. Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it. The songs, the processions, the banners, the hiking, the drilling with dummy rifles, the yelling of slogans, the worship of Big Brother--it was all a sort of glorious game to them. All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which 'The Times' did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak--'child hero' was the phrase generally used--had overheard some compromising remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police.

Via Children to nag adults through CCTV. See also these recent surveillance-related stories.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/10/2007)

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