Archive for January, 2009

390,000 to access child database

January 29th, 2009

A child protection database containing the contact details for all under 18-year-olds in England will be accessible to 390,000 staff, say ministers. The Contact Point database is intended to improve information sharing between professionals working with children Children’s Minister Baroness Morgan said parents would not be allowed to remove their children from the list.

The Conservatives attacked the £224m database as “another expensive data disaster waiting to happen”. The Liberal Democrats have also previously opposed what they called an “intrusive and expensive project”.

Baroness Morgan is crazy…..this is a blunder waiting to happen, and what happened to childrens rights. This is an ID system for our kids. I don’t even want my child on this list. What happened to allowing parents a say. Allowing 390,000 people access is just sort of insane. Why not just put it all up on the internet and be done with it.

So no I  don’t want my child on your database, and the image below is copyright.

It shows Amber Stanza, not to be used without permission and cannot be stored on any retrieval system without written permission.

Copyright Image by Stanza

Image shows Amber Stanza, not to be used without permission and cannot be stored on any retrieval system without written permission.

What will we need to fight for in twenty years once we have lost our liberty?

January 28th, 2009

Duncan Campbell. Liberty in Electronic Space.  He talks about the loss of the value of privacy and the effects on liberty. He then cites various  new systems or techs that invade privacy.  CCCTV, ANPR, AMP , DPI , PHORM ,ACSA , PNR , ….all forms of tracking in the new datasphere.

It seems to me we are mving towards a super database, some sort of systems that  has borders of information.  We need to  remember systems migrate. These futures dont creep up on us they are made. In the UK we are investing heavily in CCTV police surveillance electronic surveillance. So the question is why….what they  know…what does the public really have to  hide.

What happens when a newer power starts to use these systems in different ways. The younger generation will not be able to  argue without be traced tracked and invaded,

Maybe we are heading for a bloodbath. Refer to history.

What will we need to fight for in twenty years once we have lost our liberty? And how hard will the fight be. You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.

Image: Stanza. These are Our Children.

Image: Stanza. These are Our Children.

Robotic Wireless Sensor Networks

January 27th, 2009

In the last decade, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) have been successfully deployed to perform numerous automation tasks such as environmental monitoring, surveillance and inventory tracking. By introducing actuation capabilities (in particular controlled-mobility), robots have the potential to improve the capabilities of existing WSNs significantly. Recent advances in robotics as well as the availability of inexpensive robotic platforms have made it feasible to develop hybrid networks in which multiple mobile robots interact with each other and other static sensors to perform complex tasks. On the other hand, design and implementation of such hybrid systems bring forth new algorithmic and systems challenges related to coordination, planning, and resource management.

The goal of this workshop is to explore the algorithmic and systems aspects at the intersection of robotics and sensor networks. We seek work in a variety of areas including:

  • Development of hardware and software platforms
  • Experiences from deployments
  • Resource allocation algorithms
  • Novel research challenges and applications
  • Localization and route planning
  • Sensor tasking, control and planning

Legalised surveillance in children’s toilets.

January 25th, 2009

Your are being watched

From the BBC comes one of my favourite posts to date.

CCTV in children’s toilets. Reading below I wonder what “major concern is”. I would have thought spying and watching young girls in a toilet via CCTV was a major concern. Why I wonder hasn’t every single parent withdrawn their children from this school. Surely the council should spend money more ethically. Ceredigion Council really need to go back to school on this one and have a think where such policies could really go.

From the BBC:

A teenage pupil has been withdrawn from her school after CCTV cameras were installed in the pupils’ toilets. Anthony White, from Llandysul told a newspaper that the cameras at Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi in Ceredigion were an “outrageous invasion” of privacy. He said his 14-year-old daughter has also said she will not return to school while the cameras are still there. But Ceredigion Council said it had installed the cameras after incidents of “major concern” were reported.

Mr White told the Carmarthen Journal that he had taken his daughter out of the school over the cameras. “I think its an invasion of her privacy,” he told the paper.

“The whole place is like they’re on Big Brother. There are cameras all around the school, outside and in the corridors.” Ceredigion Council, which is the school’s local education authority (LEA), issued a statement saying the CCTV footage in the school’s toilet was only examined if an incident was reported. “The LEA understands the equipment to have been installed owing to pupils and cleaning staff reporting incidents that were of major concern to them,” the statement said.

“However, it is further understood that the CCTV footage is only examined should an incident be reported either by pupils or the cleaning staff.”

“Any such viewing of CCTV footage is undertaken by senior members of staff having Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance. “ The council said no other schools in Ceredigion are using CCTV in toilet areas used by pupils. “The Ceredigion LEA draws attention to the fact that pupil surveys undertaken throughout the country continually show situations that arise in school toilet areas are one of the main concerns expressed by pupils,” the statement continued.” Schools are, of course, required to consider the views and concerns of their pupils and take appropriate action.