Britain has long been known to have more surveillance cameras per capita than any other country in the world. An enviable achievement I’d have thought. It gives me a sense of pride. After all, I’ve noticed that there’s never a policeman around when you need one, at least the crime I witness/endure might be recorded for posterity. Strangely not very comforting.
A recent article has highlighted a new type of street light that as well as being able to speak to you, show video and alerts on an LCD screen at head height, it also records sound and vision. Freaky. Imagine leaving your home, waving goodbye to the wife and kids and setting off at a lively pace to the train station to take the same journey you’ve been taking for the last x number of years. Today, though, you receive a call from one of your colleagues who needs to discuss the upcoming meeting of the day where your major competitor is just behind the curve. You are ahead of them for the first time ever and you feel great. During the conversation you mention the name of your prospect and that of the competitor. The details of the call are recorded and sold to the competitor at the speed of a computer. You lose the deal.
That is one possible scenario. I’m not saying that a local council would sell such conversations, but if it’s recorded and stored it’s capable of being hacked and used. In light of the frequent displays of ineptitude shown by councils, would you be happy to have this sort of technology over your head at all times? The potential for bribery, blackmail and corruption is enormous. And that’s before you consider the bigger picture of Big Brother watching you and infringing your rights to privacy.
The manufacturers say that hacking can’t happen because the system’s encrypted. Now there’s a challenge if ever I heard one. Unhackable is like unsinkable; Honey! I forgot to tell you, I just bought a pair of tickets for a romantic cruise on a new ship called the Titanic. It should be great; we can have breakfast at Tiffany’s when we arrive in New York! Actually, didn’t I recently hear that either the US or UK government is now able to crack pretty much any encrypted system? If they can’t now they soon will. That’s what hacking is all about.
Anyway, to the point. I’m writing and have nearly finished the sequel to The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle. It should be available December 1st – that’s the target date. In it I use a hit and miss satellite observation and radio conversation interception technology to put one group of survivors in touch with another. I’m not about to change the story at this late stage, but it would have been nice of Denver local councils if they had been forward-thinking enough to have installed these IntelliLights so that I could use them for my story. It would have been so much simpler to write!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
Check out more of my blogs on http://www.david-k-roberts.com
My inspiration came from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2497624/Las-Vegas-street-lights-record-conversations.html
Zombie books available from David K Roberts: