Archive for We Know Where You Live

Great Questions of Our Time #342

Posted in Alas the Mystery Remains Holmes, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , on July 3, 2010 by awickerman

This sentence either makes no sense or is posing a great philosophical question.

The Highways Agency has agreed to erect two fences and to plant some hawthorns to protect the naturists’ modesty and peace and quiet.

Assuming it is deliberate it does pose the question; If you are a nudist do you in fact have any modesty?


Left wing think tank in bad idea non-shocker

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, Rantings with tags , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by awickerman

Latest stupid idea that probably failed to set the world alight; voucherising the entire trunk road network. Not privatisation, but instead just giving every citizen in the country an equal share of the nation’s A-road and Motorways and imposing compulsory satellite tracking on every vehicle in the country.

Leaving aside my natural dislike of satellite tracking, you just know it will be abused to ‘help fight terrorism’ or some such bullshit, and my deep seated hatred of road pricing this is a quite ludicrously bad idea. Here is a short list of my problems in question form;

  • How are 61 million individual share holders supposed to agree on anything?
  • On which note, what happens when the South East works out they can out-vote the rest of the nation and vote to spend all the money on the M-25.¬† Or closing down the entire Welsh road network to save a few quid? (Not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s probably not what the authors intended)
  • Isn’t it really very unfair on the babies born the day after the cut off point that they don’t own their own chunk of the road network?
  • How do you define ‘citizen’ anyway?

I could go on but frankly it’s an exceptionally stupid idea and will only end in more surveillance, less liberty and more tax. All in all exactly what you’d expect from a think tank headed up by an ex-Fabian Labour peer with a history of supporting biometric ID cards and the EDS-NHS IT fiasco.

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Doing the Government’s Job For Them

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Rantings, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , on March 31, 2010 by awickerman

While looking for new car insurance these terrifying goons offered a quote. The deal being they will fit you with a tracking box so they know how many miles you do and charge accordingly. Looking into the FAQ it emerges that there are ‘peak times’ they charge you double for (so it’s time and distance logging) and that it it also works as an anti-theft device (so real time capable).

Is it just me that finds that alarming? That people will voluntarily let a random company put a tracking box into their car that will know where they are, where they’ve been, when and how fast they were going. Because you just know it wont be long till the government will demand the police have full access to these devices¬† for counter-terrorism reason or the ‘war on speed’ or just because ‘the innocent have nothing to hide’, which remains one of the most terrifying phrases in the English language.

About the only silver lining is that the next government can’t be as authoritarian and anti-civil liberties as Labour without actually being dictators, but I’m not sure it will be enough. If people will volunteer for this sort of stuff I doubt enough fuss can be kicked up to stop it.

And the worst part about it? Well, tempted as I was by their bald statement that they own the box “but you have our permission to have the box in your car” (must be a contender for cheeky bastard of the year clause) I think this must be a winner;

Q.21 If I decide I want to change from coverbox in the future do I have to pay to get the box removed?
A.21 No, we can just leave the box in your car.
So they will continue to track you but you don’t even get the benefit of cheap insurance or an anti-theft device. And you can’t easily (or indeed legally) remove it because (a) they wont tell you where it is and (b) they still own it and haven’t given you permission to remove their device from your car.

Next time you wonder why people aren’t fussed about ID cards or a national DNA database just remember this.

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