Juxtaposition of the day. First this:
It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself--anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face...; was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime..."
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 5
Talking surveillance cameras that bark orders at passers-by and can also record conversations are heading for U.S. streets, with manufacturer Illuminating Concepts announcing the progress of its ‘Intellistreets’ system.
As we first reported last year, high tech street lights with “homeland security applications” are now being installed in major U.S. cities.
The street lights also have loudspeakers that can give audible warnings to individuals, mimicking the talking surveillance cameras in the UK that shout out orders through microphones telling people to pick up litter or leave the area.
A recent press release put out by Amerlux announces the company’s partnership with Illuminating Concepts to further advance the rollout of ‘Intellistreets’. The announcement confirms that the street lights will have a number of “homeland security features” including a loudspeaker system that will be used to “engage captive audiences”.
Big Brother isn't everywhere yet -- maybe lurking in the back doors of our computers but not in the bedroom, not yet looking for facial tics, but, hey, how about that facial recognition program? Everything has to start somewhere.