The digital slave-system of the Fourth Industrial Repression is being imposed on us by stealth.
Various aspects of the sinister technology have gradually crept in over the years under the excuse of fighting crime or terrorism or, more recently, of combating the spread of a so-called pandemic.
As we saw in our recent article on “15 Minute Cities”, we are now being told that it is all about urban planning and making life generally more pleasant for everyone by reducing traffic congestion and pollution.
Anyone who sees through this greenwashing attempt is dismissed as a paranoid fool or as a dangerous conspiracy theorist spreading fear and disinformation.
And yet the whole premise of this official spin is blown out of the water by the fact that smart infrastructure (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) is being rolled out in contexts that have nothing to do with private vehicle use.
We have got hold of a very interesting document from Transport for London on the current testing of smart surveillance at Willesden Green tube station, which is due to continue until March 31, 2023.
If this project were really about “providing the best possible service” to passengers on the British capital’s underground railway network, as claimed, then you would think that it would be loudly and proudly announced and discussed, with information widely available in a democratic public consultation.
But the fact that the document, entitled “Smart Station Proof Concept”, is marked “restricted” for internal TfL use reveals the secrecy being deployed to sneak through this new stage of the incremental theft of our freedom.
In the public interest, we have decided to publicise its contents.
The “exciting” project for the Jubilee Line station combines existing CCTV cameras with “visual analytics technology” to provide 24-hour real-time monitoring, via a “Smart Stations Dashboard”.
As well as counting everyone entering and leaving the station, the smart spies will be issuing “notifications” for a range of “triggers” including not just gate-jumping or smoking, but also “loitering” or a “person sat on a bench (Excessive Time)”, which turns out to be anything more than ten minutes!
The document reveals that this will be achieved by identifying body language, movement, behaviour and “some protected characteristics”, which apparently include disability, age and pregnancy/maternity.
But don’t worry: “All identification is performed in accordance with our data protection impact assessment and equality impact assessment”.
The document is disingenuous when it declares that the “smart station” system will allow TfL to “deliver an even more attentive service to Customers. We will have 24 more sets of eyes watching for incidents 24/7/365” and in claiming that “Smart Station technology will not replace station staff”.
One of the main purposes of 4IR technology, as famously championed by Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, is to get rid of pesky, demanding and expensive human employees. In the longer term, the robot “eyes” at tube stations are designed to replace most of the human ones, rather than to add to them.