…and so it is only fitting that the control and surveillance system he envisaged In his landmark novel “1984” should be actually implemented in England. Did he know something?

The linked UK Telegraph article reports that an audio monitoring system is being test-deployed on High Street, Coventry as “pilot project”.

    A controversial covert surveillance system that records the public’s conversations is being used in Britain.
    The technology, called Sigard, monitors movements and speech to detect signs of threatening behaviour.

    Its designers claim the system can anticipate anti-social behaviour and violence by analysing the information picked up its sensors.

    The system, produced by Sound Intelligence, is being used in Dutch prisons, city centres and Amsterdam’s Central Rail Station.

Well, I guess if it’s good enough for prisons with bars, it’s good enough for prisons with no bars. Can you imagine what meets the criteria for “anti-social behavior”?

    “Hey, Joe, I’m really tired of government intrusion.

This is in addition to the UK’s now-famous battery of CCTV cameras, estimated nearly five years ago as approaching 5 million cameras:

    So famed has central London’s surveillance network become that figures released yesterday revealed that more than 6,000 officials from 30 countries have come to learn lessons from the centre.
    They include police with the job of keeping order in the most dangerous cities on earth, from São Paulo in Brazil to Baltimore in the United States, as well as law enforcement officials from countries with a notorious disregard for the rights of citizens, such as China.
    The UK, whose police forces pioneered experiments with the technology in the 1960s, leads the world in surveillance of its people.
    Exactly how many CCTV cameras there are in the UK is not known, although one study four years ago estimated 4.8m cameras had been installed.

Think it can’t happen here?

This report documents over 4,000 CCTV cameras in various districts of New York City in 2006, up from 769 in 1998. The KingWorldNews blog claims there are now over 10,000 cameras in a 15 block radius of Times Square today.