Wednesday, October 14, 2009

User 64

When I was a nipper I used to get comic books, innocent comic books they were, full of tales of daring do and adventure.

The comic books I read carried mimimal adverts as I recall, although they usually featured a page or two of classifieds containing a bunch of smaller ads. One of the most intriguing adverts to a young Newsdesk, lurking furtively on the edge of sexual awakening, was the advert for X-Ray Specs.

I used to look at the ad and my mind would boggle at the possibilities. I remember watching that scene in Superman where Lois asks Superman to prove that he has x-ray vision and he mumbles something about lead lining bloking the view, and even at that early age, I thought to myself that it would be brilliant to see through ladies' under garments.

I wonder if it is? I wonder if Superman wanders through life and everyone looks naked, or whether he has to invoke a special perv muscle in his eyes. One of the top tips for people giving presentations is to imagine that everyone you're speaking to is naked, I bet Superman is a bloody excellent public speaker.

Of course, even at that young age, I was aware that the x-ray specs for sale in the back of the comic books were fake. They just kind of made your fingers look a bit red, as I recall users were instructed to hold the subject of their scrutiny against a strong light, and when viewed it the skin kind of disappeared, only not really. They certainly weren't much cop for looking through ladies' under garments.

Well, good news perverts everywhere, eggheads and boffins have invented an actual x-ray scanner that enables users to view, at the touch of a button, fully dressed people in their birthday suit. Get this though, all you people with a keen eye on civil liberties, they're going to start using the scanners at airports!

Woooooooah, talk about prying eyes. It's bad enough as it is passing through security, without the dread of knowing that the gloating, job's worth with the peaked cap is having a good long look at your down belows.

Not to mention the children readers, I mean, I wonder how many of the so-called security guards are using the shield of anti-terrorism to protect their paedophilia?

And don't tell me that this sort of thing doesn't go on. I once got into a conversation with a man whose dad used to work at Manchester Airport and he told me about a curious case of CCTV misadventure.

Now, I don't know if you're aware of this, but CCTV users in commercial premises, like shopping centres, are given different codes and different levels of authority. This chap told me that each store in Manchester airport had access to the CCTV cameras that covered its premisis, then the terminal security firm had a level of security above that, so it could take control of any camera at any time, while the local constabulary had a security number and clearance and authority that supersceded the lot, or so they thought.

The head of security at the airport noticed that every so often he would lose control of the CCTV cameras for a short while. He contacted the police who had the highest level of clearance, but they said they were not accessing the cameras at the times stated.

The head of security decided to review the full list of user codes. He discovered that, buried in the system, was a code number User 64.

He started monitoring whenever User 64 came live and whenever it shut down. But there was no apparent pattern. The cameras would suddenly click on, following inocuous parts of the terminal building for seemingly random periods of time, then click off.

This happended over a period of a number of weeks. There was absolutely no pattern. No one shop was being monitored more than the others, no time of day was more popular, no time limit more prevalent. Nothing.

So, the head of security called in the head of IT and they worked together to work out a way of tapping the CCTV recordings of User 64. Every time User 64 clicked into life, a separate tape recorder captured the moment for posterity.

Posterity, being a more than appropriate word too readers, because what they discovered when they came to review the entire film of a week's worth of automated video capture, was a three hour epic motion picture featuring a stream of close up foottage of ladies' backsides!

I'm talking arse, literally.

It seemed that some junior IT bloke at the airport had managed to hack into CCTV system and create a User 64 account, then use that account to take over the airport security CCTV in order to please his own voyeuristic ends.

Now, just imagine what would happen if that same pervert managed to tap into Manchester airport's new x-ray scanner machine. Well, he'd pretty much have a continual stream of unwitting porn movie stars.

Talk about a surviellance society!

And don't get me started on this story about a CCTV 'game' that is encouraging the people of Britain to start spying on each other.

It's like East Germany and 1984 all over again.

I know the old arguments about how, if you've got nothing to hide, it's not a problem. Well, I'm afraid that simply doesn't wash.

Yours in News



  1. Brilliant Baz! I always wondered who would be the one to quash that outmoded lie. Now I know. Am looking forward to seeing what other fish you have to fry.

  2. Thanks Tennyson mate, if I may call you mate, I know mateship is taken quite seriously downunder. I'm loving your comments by the way, and I hope to be frying more fish soon.

    I'm on Newsfire, and I don't mind admitting it....