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  1. #1
    Xiphos's Avatar
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    Spy Planes Snooping on Homes Wasting Energy

    How long until someone tries this here? I think it won't go over well...

    Council uses spy plane with thermal imaging camera to snoop on homes wasting energy

    By Andrew Levy
    Last updated at 2:40 AM on 24th March 2009

    Our movements are already tracked by CCTV, speed cameras and even spies in dustbins.

    Now snooping on the public has reached new heights with local authorities putting spy planes in the air to snoop on homeowners who are wasting too much energy.

    Thermal imaging cameras are being used to create colour-coded maps which will enable council officers to identify offenders and pay them a visit to educate them about the harm to the environment and measures they can take.

    A scheme is already under way in Broadland District Council in Norfolk, which has spent 30,000 hiring a plane with a thermal imaging camera.

    It said the exercise has been so successful other local authorities are planning to follow suit.

    But critics have warned the crackdown was another example of local authorities extending their charter to poke their noses into every aspect of people's lives.

    Broadland, which covers towns including Aylsham, Reepham and Acle, hired the plane from a Leicestershire-based company for five days at the end of January.

    The aircraft took images of homes and businesses, with those losing the most heat showing up as red, while better insulated properties appear blue.

    The council's head of environmental services, Andy Jarvis, said the original plan was to target businesses but it was realised the scope could be extended to include residental properties.

    'The project we put together was for a plane to go up on various nights flying strips of the district and taking pictures,' he said.

    'Through those images, a thermal image photograph can be created in which you can pick out individual properties which are losing a lot of heat.

    'We do a lot on domestic energy conservation already and realised it would be useful to see if any of the homes which were particularly hot were properties where people had not insulated their lofts.

    'We were also able to look at very cold properties and think we might have picked up people on low incomes who are not heating their homes because they cannot afford to.'

    More than half the UK's carbon dioxide emissions come from the domestic sector, which includes property and transport.

    Almost 60 per cent of a household's heat is lost through uninsulated walls, lofts and windows, costing the average home 380 a year.

    Insulation is estimated to reduce each home's carbon emissions by around two tonnes annually.

    The first city in the UK to make a heat-loss map was Aberdeen, while the first local authority in England was Haringey Council, in London - although environmental groups at that time said they viewed the practice as a 'gimmick' of little real value.

    The TaxPayers' Alliance has added concerns about the issue of privacy.

    Chief executive Matthew Elliott said: 'People are sick and tired of being heckled and spied on by local government and this council has shown an utter disregard for the man on the street.'

    He added: 'We're in a recession and you would have thought this council had better ways to spend 30,000.

    'Taxpayers are already footing the bill for innumerable advertising campaigns at a time when families are struggling to make ends meet.'

    But Conservative-led Broadlands insisted the heat-loss map would allow officers to pinpoint offenders and point out how to get help and grants to improve insulation to cut carbon emissions.

    Council leader Simon Woodbridge said the project would 'effectively pay for itself within a few weeks in terms of the amounts of money we can help people to save'.

    Lib Dem group leader Stuart Beadle added: 'Cameras are in place all over today and we have to accept them. So long as the right guidelines are in place and it will bring benefits, I think the scheme is a good thing.'

    Britain now has more than four million CCTV cameras - a fifth of those in use around the world - and around 8,000 speed cameras.

    Almost 500 local authorities have been using anti-terrorism powers brought in under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to launch a string of bizarre investigations.

    These have included checks on dog fouling, putting bins out on the wrong day and people trying to cheat school catchment area rules.
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  2. #2
    MacLean's Avatar
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    God bless them, they get the government they consent to just like us.
    I'm your huckleberry...

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    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...

  3. #3
    pgg's Avatar
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    Big Brother is getting worst. I wonder if they would fly over Gore's, Pelosi's, Ried's house?
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
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    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

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  4. #4
    Star Man's Avatar
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    Isn't this kind of oppression why we moved away and fought the Red Coats while establishing our own country? Now they want this type of big brother attitude across the pond here as well? I love Great Britain but their sense of the government being in every aspect of the citizens lives from extreme gun control to thermal spying on heat wasters along with doggie poop patrol is ridiculous!

  5. #5
    Caveman's Avatar
    Caveman is offline Something Smells Kinda Funny
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    The U.K. is all up in arms with privacy issues over Google Street view and something like this is going on??

    "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."

    Will Durant.



    Since Jan. 2009

  6. #6
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    Big Brother is getting worst. I wonder if they would fly over Gore's, Pelosi's, Ried's house?
    I was just thinking about that. Add Boxer and Feinstein to that list.

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