Big Brother is now in taxis

Posted by David Gomez

The United States isn’t the only industrial power whose government is based around constant surveillance of their citizens. In the city of Oxford, English residents will have to deal with Big Brother every time they want to get a taxi.

According to Press TV, residents will simply just have to put up with new surveillance systems that are being installed in all of the city taxis - despite opposition from numerous civil liberties groups.
    
Yes, Oxford’s City Council (in all of its wisdom) has decided that all 600 taxis in the city must be equipped with CCTV systems to record passengers. By April 2015 every taxi driver will have to have the system installed - if he or she wants to continue doing business.
    
The footage will run continuously and it is expected to be encrypted and stored for 28 days.

Officials claim that the footage will not be viewed unless there is a complaint from a taxi driver or passenger, but government in the UK is just as shady as it is in the US.
    
So unless the there is a public outcry in Oxford that is strong enough to get this mandate canceled, you can pretty much count on Oxford’s city’s government abusing their Big Brother taxi system.
    
There used to be a TV show here in the US called Taxicab Confessions. It was an interesting show where people would feel comfortable enough to tell the taxi driver about personal events in their life. They would get this on camera, and boy, was it ever entertaining.
    
Some of the people’s stories would be disturbing; some would be just plain strange. And a few times people even engaged in sexual acts while waiting to reach their desired destination. You could say that some of these people were odd and talked about committing illegal acts on camera.
    
This show first hit television screens in 1995 and has been aired periodically since then. But I never though that one day authoritarian governments would take a sweet idea for a TV show and turn it into a way to make sure the peasants aren't thinking about rebellion.
    
In the US we have the war on terror and the "see something, say something" campaign from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). They encourage citizens to report anything suspicious they see to the government, no matter how minor it may be. If someone is a little odd you can bet the DHS wants to know about it.
    
And now, in the UK, if you ride in a taxi you had better not be too happy or look different than your peers. Because if you do they have video on file and they’ll use the phony terror war to justify harassing people who are simply trying to get to point A to point B.
    
I don’t know what direction the world is headed, but it looks people will someday have to show their papers just to leave their house. You can’t drive anywhere without getting harassed and you can’t take public transportation without getting harassed either.
    
I can see a world where people have to clear a check point just to get in and out of their homes. In the US and UK we aren't that far off.