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Utility Box Exposed As Spy Cabinet In the Netherlands 179

Posted by timothy
from the all-an-elaborate-dream dept.
First time accepted submitter thejezus writes "A spy cabinet has been exposed on a public road in The Hague, the Netherlands (Google translate here). The cabinet was disguised as telecom-cabinet and was detected by the maintenance crew of Ziggo (a triple-play provider) because it was not listed as a property of the company. Upon opening, it was revealed the cabinet contained a camera and UMTS equipment. Later that day, the cabinet disappeared. 1984 much?"
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Utility Box Exposed As Spy Cabinet In the Netherlands

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  • by Roderic9 (2454194) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @12:34PM (#43510041)

    It doesn't justify comparison with 1984, but it and its ilk do get us closer to it. A step on the way.

  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @12:37PM (#43510079)

    It doesn't justify comparison with 1984, but it and its ilk do get us closer to it. A step on the way.

    The comparison to 1984 seems a bit over the top, but, some people would argue that you don't get an Orwellian society suddenly, over night, but one small step at a time, and it happens so slowly that you don't notice it until its too late.

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday April 21, 2013 @12:38PM (#43510093) Homepage

    Does a spy camera on the side of the road really justify comparisons to 1984?

    Of course it does, this is Slashdot, where "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" is considered a measured, reasonable, and modest response to practically everything. Slashdot users probably accounts for the 10-15% of the annual worldwide sales of tin foil.
     

    Are we really anywhere close to the type of life portrayed in 1984?

    Not even close. "1984", like many other such terms, has become a cargo cult buzzword. It's a term of opprobrium now, whose original and full meaning has been lost.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @12:39PM (#43510101)

    Does a spy camera on the side of the road really justify comparisons to 1984? Are we really anywhere close to the type of life portrayed in 1984?

    What is the minimum criteria for comparing society to a literary work -- Is there some percentage of the work that have to similar to justify the comparison?

    I can certainly see how hidden government surveillance cabinets (if there's one, there's likely to be more than one, and who knows how many - maybe they are on every street corner?) could be compared to the ubiquitous surveillance decribed in 1984. We may be a long way from government surveillance in our homes, when we can't walk to the corner store without the government knowing about it, it seems that we're a lot closer than we used to. And now we don't even need a trusted Party official to keep track of us - thanks to facial recognition, the government can record and indefinitely store all of our public movements for later data mining.

  • by iggymanz (596061) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @01:08PM (#43510293)

    you think "1984" was to be interpreted literally? We have instead government tapping all internet and phone systems, data mining social media, warring against people who never attacked us in the name of "peace", able to legally "disappear" people who are considered threats without warrant nor oversight, a privileged powerful and wealthy few with government in their pockets engineering the media, social and economic systems for their benefit......we're there

  • by Doctor Device (890418) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @01:25PM (#43510397)
    as the old saying goes...

    Airstrip One wasn't built in a day.

  • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @01:30PM (#43510449) Journal

    Obama received the Nobel peace price while expanding military operations in Afghanistan and ordering extrajudicial murders of American citizens abroad.

    War is peace, right?

    Nope, he received the prize before any of that stuff happened. In fact he received it barely before anything happened that'd in any way justify the prize going to Obama.

    The prize committee's thinking seems to be more a case of giving the award in recognition that Obama at the time hadn't made things worse and didn't seem to be hearing Jesus in his head telling him to go bomb people. In practice, a jar of mustard would have been in with a chance if it were replacing Bush.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @01:35PM (#43510491)

    > The Ziggo employees were irresponsible in publicizing this.

    The Ziggo employees had no duty to the police.

  • Re:You mean... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kaenneth (82978) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @01:38PM (#43510511) Homepage Journal

    His usage was perfectly cromulent.

  • by Plumpaquatsch (2701653) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @02:03PM (#43510691) Journal

    you think "1984" was to be interpreted literally? We have instead government tapping all internet and phone systems, data mining social media, warring against people who never attacked us in the name of "peace", able to legally "disappear" people who are considered threats without warrant nor oversight, a privileged powerful and wealthy few with government in their pockets engineering the media, social and economic systems for their benefit......we're there

    Did you even read Nineteen Eighty-Four? Quick quiz: what was the spying technique that turned in most people in the book? Tapping of phones? Surveillance by Telescreen? Nope, it was good old low-tech "squealing by somebody you trust".

  • by TeslaBoy (1593823) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @02:40PM (#43510883)
    In ten days, a new King of the Netherlands is being crowned near this location. In this case, i think a little surveillance is reasonable. The Netherlands is not a surveillance-heavy country, but this may be just a case of good security practice. That is, watching out for a credible threat, not paranoia.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:08PM (#43511353)

    Yes, but those mini spy cams were not directed at the population, they were used against the evil of then, the bad Russkies. Plus, our politicians had to play nice to keep reminding us that we're the good guys. We don't do oppressive things like keeping tabs on every person, hiring snitches from the population to spy on the people in their apartment block, shooting randomly at suspects because they "look funny" or make people disappear in some remote concentration camps without trial (or a kangaroo court trial at best).

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:19PM (#43511413)

    NOW I'm convinced it was a government job!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 21, 2013 @04:53PM (#43511623)

    In the US it is equally rare for a legal gun owner to do the same. It is something often conveniently forgotten.

  • by chihowa (366380) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @05:00PM (#43511669)

    Shootings here in the US aren't exactly a regular part of our lives. Neither I, nor anyone I know, has ever even heard a gunshot (outside of a shooting range) in my entire life. They may not be as rare as they are in Europe, but they are still exceedingly rare here, too. Besides the recent school shootings, the vast majority of shootings happen by (and to) the criminal element in the terribly seedy parts of town. Our crime here seems to be more of a social problem (wealth inequality and drug laws) and less of a technical problem (access to guns). Ordinary citizens rarely, if ever, see gun crime.

  • by WGFCrafty (1062506) on Sunday April 21, 2013 @06:42PM (#43512027)

    Yes, but those mini spy cams were not directed at the population, they were used against the evil of then, the bad Russkies. Plus, our politicians had to play nice to keep reminding us that we're the good guys. We don't do oppressive things like keeping tabs on every person, hiring snitches from the population to spy on the people in their apartment block, shooting randomly at suspects because they "look funny" or make people disappear in some remote concentration camps without trial (or a kangaroo court trial at best).

    Martin Luther King Jr.? Watergate? McCarthy?

    There was plenty of domestic intelligence often aimed wildly at whoever was in the way.

    Hell, J. Robert Oppenheimer was outed and accused, you are glossing over many disgusting ordeals.Many prominent people were entangled in webs of ridicule and half truths. Stopping the reds would be achieved no matter the cost. Human experimentation without informed consent on children and prisoners - black syphilis patients not told about penicillin. "Down-winders" exposed to fallout from MANY tests. Bacteria spread over town to watch epidemic infection profiles. People dosed with LSD without their knowledge.

    Stop acting like human right violations only occurred elsewhere or to others people. The United States is guilty of many questionable and downright illegal things.

One man's constant is another man's variable. -- A.J. Perlis

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