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Disturbing Loss of Motoring Liberty

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Galileo Signals End of Liberty in Europe

The first signals received from the oncoming swarm of Galileo satellites signal the end of liberty in Europe.

Galileo offers consumers the promise of better and cheaper satellite navigation - this is how those behind the multi-billion (insert currency of choice) project sell it to the public.

What they don't shout so loudly about is that it also offers governments the promise of easier satellite tracking.

You'll soon be able to buy a mobile phone or watch that knows where you are. Indeed, the Japanese government have already passed a law that from 2007 onwards you won't be able to buy a new mobile phone in Japan without a satellite navigation system.

Proposals to use such devices to locate lost children, accidents and breakdowns sound wonderful, until you realise that the same technology can all too easily be used by governments to track every citizen 24 hours a day wherever they go, whoever they see, whatever they do. There will be no escape from state surveillance. Privacy will be consigned to history.

Many former European leaders would have smiled with menacing delight at the benefits that Galileo offers: Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Nicolae Ceausescu, to name but a few.

The principal concern of the Association of British Drivers is that Galileo will be used to extort yet more stealth tax from drivers.

The EU is already planning to use Galileo to enforce continental-wide road tolling, and the car-hating British government wants to be first. You won't be able to drive anywhere without the EU knowing where you are going, who you are travelling with, and what speed you are travelling at. They will be able to charge whatever they want. One journey, four lapses of concentration that take you slightly over the speed limit, and you'll be banned from driving.

Manufacturers will be forced by law to fit Galileo devices to all cars. You won't be able to start your car without one. You won't be able to drive anywhere without being spied upon and paying through the nose for the privilege.

ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said:

"The ABD is not opposed to technology, far from it, the existing GPS system provides great benefits to drivers. Yet we are very concerned indeed that with the prevalence in Europe of anti-car ideology, and the use of terrorism as an excuse to reduce civil liberties, this technology will be abused like no other has ever been. Galileo is not a light on the horizon, it is the entrance to an abyss."

(Association of British Drivers)

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Well, photo radar is alive and well in many jurisdictions. Even countries like Brazil love those revenue generating cameras!

Sadly, I think all forms of surveilance are inevitable. Our world is becoming too unstable and too dangerous. Street cameras are becoming standard around the world. Credit cards have been routinely used by police for decades to track people's movements.

If this technology is used to augment safety and track real criminals, then I am for it. Unfortunately, speeding is an easy offense to prove, even though no study has directly linked speeding to traffic incidents - many have tried but failed.

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Big brother?

Seriously...I can't even imagine Bush having something like this. It would be the end of freedom in this country.

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The article is a bit melodramatic, but I agree that such a device could never work here.

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