For your safety and security . . .

July 7th, 2012

You know, one of the most troubling aspects of my trip to London–other than living under the specter of a Monarchy–was the¬†omnipresent¬†surveillance. One may call it omniveillance. I was roughly familiar with the pervasiveness of the CCTV cameras throughout London (I think Kagan or Breyer said something about London during oral argument in United States v. Jones), but until you see it, and experience, you can’t really understand how creepy it is. The cameras are EVERYWHERE. When I got into a (ridiculously overpriced) taxi from Heathrow Airport to my hotel, there was a frickin camera in the cab. Holy crap. When I took a bus the next morning (there was a free 24 hour shuttle to and from my hotel that no one told me about, yes I was pissed) there was a camera on the bus. I randomly looked up at a screen on the bus and saw myself. In downtown London it is worse. There are cameras everywhere. And the Brits don’t seem to care at all. Almost every sign is accompanied by something that begins “For your safety and security…” I guess that covers just about any infringement on individual liberty, no?

Here are some photos I took of the surveillance. My way of watching the watchmen I suppose. Though, funny aside. I went to Kings Crossing Train Station to get a pic of Platform 9 and 3/4 (from Harry Potter). I’m not kidding you. Some guard yelled at me for recording video in the train station. Oh sweet irony.