Walking: it’s time to take action on this major terrorist threat

With apologies to Theresa May and The Sun.

Walking is now a part of our daily lives — it’s how we go to the travel agents to book our holidays, buy our Christmas presents and meet our friends.

But walking can also be abused by criminals, paedophiles and terrorists who want to cover their tracks and keep their communication secret.

Right now, the police and security agencies use information from watching people walking around to solve crime and keep us safe.

Looking at where a suspect has walked up to can lead the police to other criminals. Whole paedophile rings, criminal conspiracies and terrorist plots can then be smashed.

Such data has been used in every security service terrorism investigation and serious organised crime investigations since the police force was first created.

We cannot afford to lose this vital law enforcement tool. But currently not all walking by criminals can always be tracked.

That’s why the Government is proposing to help the police stay one step ahead of the criminals.

There are no plans for any big Government database of perambulations. No one is going to be looking through ordinary people’s walking, jogging or running habits.

We are simply asking shoe manufacturers to include an RFID tracking chip in every pair of shoes they sell.

Only suspected terrorists, paedophiles or serious criminals will be investigated.

As Home Secretary I have a responsibility to keep the British public safe. That is exactly what I intend to do.

30 responses to “Walking: it’s time to take action on this major terrorist threat”

  1. Thank god for @MarkPack – I'll take back everything I said about the Lib Dems in the last 24h if he becomes leader.

  2. The single most glaring technical non-sequitur in this article is cost, closely-followed by technical feasibility.

    Unlike pervasive email interception, this would only cost a few tens of millions, assuming kerbside readers can be installed for less than £100 each; and the data volume is entirely manageable.

    Feasibility and controllable costs are unknown in national IT projects.

    Worse, the ability to set a ceiling on costs reduces the fees that will inevitably be paid to well-connected management consultancies; worse, the presence of a clear technical 'deliverable' would force them to actually deliver a product and a service, rather than unending series of cost overruns to no purpose other than packing corporate hospitality events with junior ministers.

    So your whole idea is utterly impossible. Laughable, even.

    • What you do instead is run your own reader in a railway station for a day, clone all the tags you read, and scatter copies on the pavement, sticky-side up. Your own tag is, by pure chance, one of the ones copied.

  3. Splendid piece… However, I must take issue with "With apologies to Theresa May." as I feel it is the clown-mistress general who owes US the apology, not the other way around.

  4. No article I have read has really gotten to the real core of why these measures are draconian to the same degree as this article.

    Well done sir.

  5. Why bother with RFID chips? Gait recognition and facial recognition, along with ANPR for vehicles are getting us there anyway. There's even a city in Mexico who is adopting some US made iris recognition technology that can detect who you are even if you are running past the detector which will have this technology all over the city in the next few years. They are, of course, describing it as the "safest city" on the planet. Likely coming to a town near you soon!

  6. It's the drip-drip of a kind of Chinese water torture. For years now, first under New Labour, now under the Tories, we have been asking ourselves whether Britain is fulfilling Orwell's prophecies. Is Britain already a police state? people muse. Are the police and authorities out of control? others wonder. From day to day, from year to year, the rest of Europe just seems to get on with its various democracies, while Britain's appears constantly under threat.

    But what do we Brits do about it? Nothing! It's as if we are just waiting for the telescreens to be installed while we offer up our faces for that boot to be imprinted upon them. Because we don't REALLY believe Britain is turning nasty! We cannot. Because we've never had to consider it. A country turning nasty is something that never happens in good old Blighty. It only happens in foreign parts, doesn't it? Doesn't it?

    Now ponder upon how many new DNA samples the police will gather over the weekend off innocent members of the public and for how many years the police will store said samples, no problemo, despite what the ECHR may say.

  7. To Jock Coats re uni debating society complacency, I would say the following: The East German Stasi were diligent in collecting vast swathes of innocuous detail on mundane events in citizens' lives 'just in case', and that was long before modern electronic surveillance methods took hold. Now, the same kind of surveillance and more can be instituted at the turn of a switch. The reunified Germans, however, have their Basic Law (Grundgesetz) in a written document, which restricts the authorities from all kinds of monitoring that would be commonplace in the UK under the current and previous administrations. We do not have such a Basic Law document to fall back on. The Germans today would simply not stand for what we here in the UK are routinely subjected to, often for political reasons, though always under the guise of 'anti-terrorism'.

    It seems we are no longer innocent till proved guilty, but presumed guilty from the outset. Indeed, our very existence is evidence for that presumption in the eyes of the Nanny Surveillance State that passes for British 'democracy'. We cannot trust anybody in authority any more, not politicians, not councillors, not the media, not judges, and certainly not the police.

  8. It's not terrorists the government is afraid of, it's us. They saw how a relatively few hotheads managed to set London alight last August and they are s**t scared that it will all kick off again. After all, *nothing* has been done since August to address the problems that led to the riots. Only reams of warm words in various reports, plus Draconian sentences handed down by what passes for "justice" in this country – pour encourager les autres and for no other reason. In fact, since August the situation is far worse. More unemployment, more shady government deals with the rich at the expense of pensioners, and now further steps towards a totalitarian state, initially with the connivance of Nick Clegg, that erstwhile upholder of a Great Repeal Act. No wonder people are up in arms about the UK and the awful shower we have in Westminster. The general public are fed up to the back teeth.

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