21 May 2007.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

ABD Calls for New Laws to Restrict Use of Surveillance Infomation
Speed Cameras ARE the Orwellian Nightmare Warned of by Hampshire DCC Readhead

The ABD today supported the brave stance taken by Hampshire Deputy Chief Constable Ian Readhead against the rampant expansion of the surveillance society, together with suggested limits on the use of DNA records and a review of the use of speed cameras.
Whilst surveillance information can be very useful in the investigation of serious crimes, speed cameras have shown how the automation of identity recognition linked to law enforcement leads inevitably to the mass criminalisation of the general population, and to enforcement that is increasingly irrelevant to the stated purpose of the law.
Where motoring offences lead, due to the ease of number plate recognition, the rest will follow as automated face recognition combined with increased electronic tracking makes the pedestrian as identifiable as a vehicle.
"DCC Readhead, unlike some of his senior police colleagues, understands the concept of policing by consent in a democracy, and recognises that the powers of the police should be limited," said ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries. "Surveillance is here to stay — the technology cannot be uninvented — what is needed are robust laws which only allow the information to be accessed by the police when they are investigating a specific crime."
Such laws would prevent automated use of surveillance information for mass prosecutions. This has always been the case with telephone records - they remain the property of the phone company until subpoenaed in a criminal investigation. All other forms of surveillance data should be the same. David Blunkett says that surveillance should do no more than a police officer would if present. If he means that, he should support this proposal, as it is the police officer who should decide who is arrested not the surveillance camera.


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