What Does London Not Want Us To See?

3-30-09

London is poised to shut down all of their brand spanking new mobile CCTV cameras in central London just before the G-20 summit is to begin due to what is described as an illegality with the units. What kind of illegality? Well according to law these cameras must meet certain quality requirements and for some strange reason this brand new network of cameras doesn’t seem to make the grade. Apparently the U.K. Department for Transport says these cameras used for snooping on their citizens must have the ability to record at 720 x 576 pixels but these new CCTV units just barely miss the cut as they only record at 704 x 576.

Naturally one would wonder why this issue was not discovered until after the cameras had already been put into place. I must say the timing is mighty suspicious. Maybe the British bobbies prefer to not be recorded handing out a whole bunch of “wooded shampoos” on the stupid knuckleheads that always show up at these things. Or maybe they would rather not have images leaked to the world along the lines of this fiasco. Whatever the reason I’m sure it will get taken care of after the festivities are over and all the big wigs are shuffling out of the country and onto the next.

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The security operation at this week’s G20 summit was thrown into chaos last night when it emerged that the entire network of central London’s wireless CCTV cameras will have to be turned off because of a legal ruling.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has ruled that Westminster council’s mobile road cameras – a third of the authority’s CCTV network – “do not fully meet the resolution standards required” and must be switched off by midnight tomorrow.

The blackout begins on the eve of the summit, when world leaders arrive in the capital and protesters take to the streets.

The council only discovered last week that images from its newly installed £15m traffic cameras do not meet the quality required under the Traffic Management Act, which comes into force on 1 April.

In an urgently drafted letter seen by the Guardian and hand-delivered to the transport secretary, Geoff Hoon, on Friday, the council warns its entire network of wireless cameras will need to be shut down unless the minister finds a way to give special dispensation. “This would have a serious impact on our ability to manage our road network safely, as well as impeding our community protection efforts,” the letter states.

It adds: “We are seeking authorisation from DfT as a matter of urgency to enable Westminster to continue using its digital CCTV network.”

The 60 cameras in question use the latest digital technology and transmit images using Wi-Fi. While they are primarily for traffic enforcement, according to the council the cameras are “an essential additional tool” to tackle crime and disorder, and have been fixed to strategic locations across the capital ahead of the summit.

Read the rest of this guardian.co.uk article here>>>

This entry was posted in European News.

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