Die Geschichte britischer Überwachungsstrategien

Großbritannien ist ein Vorreiter der Überwachungstechnologie und eines der am stärksten überwachenden Länder der Welt. Auf Medium wird ein Teil der Geschichte, anhand der Entwicklung von Kameratechnologie namens ANPR (autoatic number plate recognition) die automatisch Nummernschilder erkennt, speichert und mit lokalen Polizeistationen abgleicht, nacherzählt.

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DURING THE 1990s, thousands of cameras, including plate readers, were installed to form a so-called “ring of steel” around the City of London, a massive operation aimed at ending the string of Irish Republican bombings in the financial district. Laws were changed to make the technology more effective: legislation enacted in 2001 required characters used on plates to be displayed in a font that made them easier for ANPR cameras to recognize.

In the same year, the government decided to deploy “spectrum vans” — mobile units with multiple ANPR cameras, connected by radio to local control stations — across every police force in England and Wales. The success of the scheme led to Project Laser, a 2005 plan to deploy more than 2,000 fixed cameras nationwide, and to the creation of the National ANPR Data Centre, which is tasked with handling the information collected.

Since that time, the system has been continually, if largely invisibly, expanded throughout the UK. In 2012 the Metropolitan Police, which patrols Greater London, announced its own ANPR bureau, and rolled out a new fleet of dedicated “ANPR interceptors”: at least 110 police vehicles on London’s roads, each equipped with mobile camera equipment and a live link to the central computer.

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