back to article Google to fund 'video Street View' for Central London

A joint project by the Metropolitan Police and London's Westminster Council to put CCTV onto the Internet has received substantial financial backing from Google, The Register has learned. On completion of the first phase, practically every square inch of Central London - including narrow alleyways, council debating chambers and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Not as bad as that silly Panda to be fair.

    Merry April Fools all.

  2. Duncan Carter
    Paris Hilton


    This may be an April fools, but I can see it happening in my life time...

    Paris, cos I wouldn't mind surveilling her...

  3. Eddie

    What's the date?

    One of these articles has to be a fool, and this one seems the most likely...

    ,...unless it's me, of course.

  4. jonathan keith


    I hope that DS Visconti's chief is called DI Antonioni

  5. CeeJay


    I guess there's no need for me to check my calendar, is there.

  6. Law
    Thumb Up

    almost had me...

    Sounded like the usual crazy crap they would say to get more camera's up there - I was so filled with outrage I completely forgot the day.... well done el-reg, good game sir.

  7. Stuart Elliott


    Excellent, that should get the veins in the foreheads popping in the "privacy" whiners.

  8. Paul

    low productivity

    Arsene Ghia is a very occasional contributor. More from this hack please!

  9. Rocket

    WOT no ufo angle?

    Seriously? I'm not believing any of the stories on El Reg, today of all days.

    You shouldn't joke about things like this because some exec (or labour MP) will take a look and think 'Hmm. Great idea!'

  10. OFI


    As someone who lives OUTside of London this sounds pretty cool :-D

    Not sure how i'd feel about it if I was a resident though..

    This could bring e-stalking to a WHOLE new level...

  11. umacf24

    Excellent, well done

    Waiting all morning for this.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very drole

    >who are to be equipped with helmet cameras as part of a one year pilot study.

    Sounds like essential viewing for Whackoff Jacqui's husband.

  13. Paul McConkey

    Ha ha ha ha ha!

    You had me right up to the last paragraph!

    Arsene Ghia - who thought that one up!

  14. Anonymous Coward

    I so nearly...

    ....fell for that one :-)

    All ready to vent my anger in true Reg comment style...

  15. John Routledge
    Thumb Up


    The Reg's April Fool's stories get subtler every year.

  16. Dave Ross

    Oh my god...

    Yet another assault on the privacy of the average man on the street, this is disgusting!

    (oh, and by the way, happy april the first!)

  17. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    Here's hoping....

    that the Moderatrtix publishes all of the rants first.

  18. D C Whitworth
    Thumb Up

    London 2.0 ?

    Love it ! Great idea ;-)

  19. Steve


    Good to see that El Reg has it's collective Arsene Ghia this April 1st

  20. The Mole
    Thumb Down

    Googles contribution

    Presumably Google will be contributing the technology to blur everybodies faces and number plates so that it doesn't fall foul of the DPA and be a total privacy nightmare. What the benefit of it will be I don't know?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh look..

    It's the first of April..

  22. Alex Clark

    Nice try!

    Almost fell for it......not :)

  23. mrlumpy
    Thumb Up

    Only a start

    I have been involved with this project working with my colleague Avril Poisson and I think this will bring many benefits to all residents of London initially and then the rest of the country as we widen the scope of th eporject.

  24. Ed


    I am far from convinced of the reliability of this story! Although if it were published on any other day I wouldn't have much difficulty in believing it.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    London Live!

    Today is of course All Fools Day. Nice article though. The all seeing Sauron would laugh at the efforts to integrate all this 'stuff'.

    PC Nein Nein Nein

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    can i be first to note the day!

  29. Jord

    The Google machine

    "Basically, it shouldn't be about surveillance at all, it should be about sharing. That's when we got the call from Google - it was almost as if they'd been listening to our meetings."

    Did anyone else experience a chill running up their spine and some very loud ringing alarm bells in their head when they read this...?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cctv does not prevent crime

    It just means we can watch it afterwards.... if this were not true then we would have seen a dramatic drop in crime since the introduction of CCTV... and we haven't.

  31. BoldMan
    Thumb Up

    Oh and the date is...

    Nice try, almost convincing but the last para really let the cat out of the bag :)

  32. Benny
    Thumb Up


    Now I can spy on people from the comfort of my house!

  33. Dave Harris

    Very Good

    Better than the Grauniad's Twitter story at least

    and welcome Mr "Ghia"

  34. PaddyR

    ha ha sharing

    shark whale spotted by "google police ltd" being battered by steven fry in the back of chippie van.

    I offered my webcam to google, they said they had filled their middle aged men with hands down their pants quota.

  35. floweracre
    Paris Hilton


    "one of the planet's greatest cities" - have you been there recently!

    Why Paris? - now there's one of the worlds GREAT cities

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This guy only writes...

    ... one article a year.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You can never be taken seriously as a credible news source while you continue to engage in juvenile behavior like this.

    I thought only children and overly-excitable Americans still pulled April Fools pranks?

  38. Richard

    I smell cow faeces

    April the first, if you released this story tomorrow I might have believed you

    Cynical Bastard :-)

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    April the 1st

    Not sure if its this article, the spanking or the £1250 phone thats taking the urine.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    On any other day of the year you could believe that they would propose something like this - but realising what date it is I'll dismiss it as the Reg's April the 1st article - hopefully...

  41. Bassey

    ha ha

    That is all

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    "I'm a Londoner, get me out of here"

    haha! Excellent.

    Y'know in all seriousness, we may see it one day yet the way things are going...

  43. Robert Grant

    Haha, you actually had me for a minute.


  44. McParland

    April Fool

    Nice one.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Well, I can't believe it's that day already

    "Met video ops chief DS Visconti " - yes, very good.

    Paris, because I understand she quite likes to appear on video and probably wouldn't mind working under DS Visconti.

  46. Mr Larrington
    Thumb Up


    Is that Luchino Visconti, by any chance?

  47. Gary Littlemore
    Thumb Up

    April Foold

    Arsene Ghia only makes post on the 1st April... You can't kid a kidda.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Still not as believeable... a continuancy Presidency

  49. Code Monkey

    1st April

    8/10 not bad.

  50. Sam
    Black Helicopters

    April Fools :)

    Although adding Google to the mix does add some credibility

  51. MnM
    Dead Vulture

    But what about privacy?

    El Reg, this is lazy journalism and makes you no better than government propagandists. I don't want my kids, or anyone else's growing up under this kind of scrutiny. Even Paris Hilton (yes, leave it to me to find the PH angle) doesn't want that - one camera between at least two is where she draws the line.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title required

    Lol, brilliant

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    London 2.0


    But almost believable sadly.

  54. masterpikey

    april 1st

    Im calling sheninagans on this one.

  55. Richard Wharram

    Itchy Chin !

    Chinny Rack On...

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Todfay is 01/04/09

    todays april fools joke is tomorrows reality...

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Related to this....

    It seems the stimulus money will be spent almost entirely on CCTV cameras & surveillance equipment. Said Jacqui Smith, "the stimulus money will create millions of jobs putting idle hands to work, especially my husbands who has been busy with his quantitative easing".

    The Right Honorable Yvette Cooper MP is quoted as saying ... "obviously once government spending has finished, the growth in CCTV will fall away, however we expect the demand from other countries will create a great export market for surveillance....they'll literally be able to see how good our surveillance is right there on the internet. I will be passing a law banning the wearing of herringbone shirts in London, as this does not look good on the cameras, together with a 'smile your on camera' law....we must look our best to potential customers!"

    But many are not convinced, professional women of the night, fear "Google Street Walker View" will end up talking 90% of their revenue as men can pick and choose their girl from a wider range of streets. Google however has promised to only permit adverts *next* to the girls and then only for related services, condoms, whips, butterscotch, pay-per-view movies etc.

  58. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Erm?


  59. Anonymous Coward

    Take it this is the April 1st Joke Story...

    Nearly had me in until I started reading further down - very well written....

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a great idea

    This way we can all play a part in stamping out crime in this city. Privacy? Bah! If you doing nothing wrong you've nothing to hide. Let's organise community surveillance committees so that we can watch the miscreants round the clock. Better start that prison building programme right now. Hey, and what better way to kick start the economy, or the building trade at any rate?

  61. Pete

    For fcek's sake

    Dont put ideas in to their head!

  62. Stuart
    Thumb Up

    Good Idea

    In general I'm against CCTV. But if we have it (and nobody asked me if it was OK) then it should be available to all and not just the taxpayer financed screenwatchers deep in a council bunker.

    One protection is that we should be able to see what they see. If its too intrusive for us - then so it should be for them. I'm particularly incensed by the legislation restricting (that's effectively a ban) photographing police here in London while they aggressively photograph innocent people doing innocent things for their files.

    Picturing them doing nasty things has resulted in prosecution and the threat of being photographed will discourage abuse.

  63. Anonymous Coward

    Google Street View is breach of privacy?

    The people who said that Google Stree View was a breach of privacy. Because it took one image in a single snapshot of time is a breach of privacy. But the fact that they would show this live is not?

    I seem to see flaws in that logic

  64. Tim

    Not too bad a try

    ... but was never a possibility, as it would mean that they would have to show all the many demonstrations which go totally unmentioned in the press and on TV.

    Years back I left a "management circular" that I had created on a colleague's desk, about the new charges for cycle parking at work. He was absolutely steaming livid at the proposal, ranting and swearing and banging piles of stuff down. Probably still hates me for it. Hehe.


  65. John Harrison

    Looking at the date and time...

    you have to wonder if it's April fool joke by El Reg..

    The really scary thing is...

    I could well belive this is true...

    I for one fear our overlords...

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    love how many people have fallen for this :D

  67. dave

    OMG, how many people took this seriously...

    Although, under new labour it is sadly quite believable!

  68. NB
    Thumb Up



    That will be all.

  69. Ash

    We must think of the children!

    I fully and wholeheartedly agree with this scheme. Google should assist the Government by providing satellite images of every tree within London in order to have them properly monitored. We can't have kids falling out of trees, can we? They might fall into the hands of a paedophile!

    We also can't ignore the terrorism issues with this. Happy Japery Day, all! Just making sure you're reading...2 minutes to spare on submission! What if a terrosismist got into the control centre? He could coordinate all manner of schemes from that location! I say we move it to China in order to prevent some extremismist terrorismist from gaining control of our entire video monitoring system, and potentially the ContactPoint security measures.

  70. Juan Inamillion
    Thumb Up

    Pseudo Names

    Arsene Ghia - Deffo one for Private Eye's 'Pseudo Names'


  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too credible?

    Careful, we might all be laughing the other sides of our faces if Frau Schmidt and Gruppenführer McNumpty get wind of this "valuable addition to our arsenal in the war against civil liberties/terror". Although Jacq may be more keen on using such a system to catch the Old Man playing with his Old Fella in front of some taxpayer funded smut.

    Nicely done.

  72. Graham Marsden

    It's almost plausible...

    ... but I very much doubt the Police would actually ever let us access *their* systems for monitoring us...

  73. Steve Roper

    Pity it's an April Fool's

    because I'd actually have a lot less of a problem with CCTV if all the cameras WERE publicly accessible. Then we really could watch the watchers - and that's why this will only ever be an April Fool's joke, because the watchers don't want to be watched. Imagine: if we could all see what was happening on the CCTV the pigs would actually have to abide by the law instead of making it up as they go along. Government coverups would become almost impossible. As things stand, secret CCTV allows those in control to selectively delete or doctor footage, so for example if a judge, politician or cop does the wrong thing, or if the cameras prove an accused scapegoat's innocence, the evidence can be quietly removed or modified. Not so with public CCTV.

    So my reaction when I read this article was, this has GOT to be an April Fool's because there's no bloody way the government would empower the public in this fashion. It goes against everything the police state we are being railroaded into stands for!

  74. Anonymous Coward

    Please oh please oh please Jim....

    can you fix it for me for the Daily Express, Daily Mail and The Spectator to pick this up and run it unchecked? Then we could have them all shut down for the slavering f**ktards they are..


  75. B.Shaw


    It's not like you can't find live security camera with a little bit of googling already!

  76. kain preacher

    At first

    At fir st I thought this was real. Then it hit me.. We would able to see granny get robbed as the local police are eating doughnuts and cant be bothered . It would also show lots of crimes were the cops never showed up. Nope it would look bad if it caught some one getting stabbed and the local police showed up to late

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will no-one think of the children?

    Cos you should be able to get lots of great pics of them from this system.

  78. This post has been deleted by its author

  79. Jerome

    The Transparent Society

    I assume Mr. Ghia hasn't heard of The Transparent Society by David Brin. It's funny that we've got through so many pages of oh-so-insightful "Woo! April fool!" comments with no-one having mentioned it (although Steve Roper a couple of pages back came perilously close!)

    Brin evangelises the idea that a surveillance network which is totally open to the public, much like the one described in the article, just might be a force for good. Regardless of whether this idea has legs in practice, it's certainly an intriguing concept.

  80. Julian Bond
    Black Helicopters

    Yes, please

    In fact can we have a law that every CCTV camera *must* be a publicly accessible webcam.

  81. steogede

    Not (necessarily) a bad idea

    >> In fact can we have a law that every CCTV camera *must* be a publicly accessible webcam.

    If they are in a public place (i.e. anywhere the public have access to), then perhaps that isn't a bad idea.

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