UK surveillance cams may get mic'ed up to detect aggression

Pretty much every time we glance over at our friends in the UK, they seem to be implementing surveillance technology that surely wouldn't make George Orwell too thrilled. In the last two months alone we've seen those CCTV cams with accompanying loudspeakers debut in Middlesbrough, which was more recently followed by a handful of London cops getting some head-mounted cams. Sure, it's easy to invoke the spectre of Big Brother into any conversation about the expansion of the watchful eye of government, but the new discussions afoot have even us Yanks a little concerned for our British brethren. According to The Times, UK police are considering using high-powered microphones that will home in on a particular public conversation, if "aggressive tones" are detected, based on decibel level, pitch and the speed of the speaker's voice. Three hundred such microphones are already installed in cities around The Netherlands, including Groningen, Utrecht and Rotterdam, in locations such as government offices, city centers, and our favorite: "T-Mobile shops." We had no idea T-Mobile shops caused Dutch people to get so ornery -- maybe their highly-ranked customer service department didn't make it across the Atlantic yet.

[Via The Inquirer]