Tony Blair, fresh from victory at the polls is taking on a new enemy - the hoodie:
Britain has a new public enemy: the teenager in a hooded sweatshirt. Hoods, no longer just an adolescent fashion statement, lie at the centre of a debate over what many people, including Prime Minister Tony Blair, see as an alarming rise in bad behaviour. Mr. Blair says rowdy public drunkenness, noisy neighbours, petty street crime, even graffiti and vandalism are top concerns. He is enthusiastically backing an English shopping mall's ban on hoods, baseball caps and other headgear that obscure the face. "It is time to reclaim the streets for the decent majority," Mr. Blair told the House of Commons. "People are rightly fed up with street-corner and shopping-centre thugs...."You might think that something is amiss when a garment I and my children wear has become the icon of the evil in British Society. You might think that there is something else to this. Which of course there is. The knowing amongst you may know I did a wee thesis for my LLM a couple of years ago on the implications under Canadian law for distant biometric surveillance. The interesting thing is that the western nation most interested in using superfast cameras to gather biometric images of people's faces and immediately cross reference them against databases of the known is the UK. No koo-koo wingnuttiness. That is just reality.
The hoodie over the face defeats this watching, making it difficult for the computers to figure out who you are through simply the cloaking and even the face down posture. So when he speaks of "the decent majority", keep in mind that the UK government reserves to itself tools for the identification and logging of individual citizens which would be unacceptable under Canadian and US law, which, though the technolgy is here, still provide more by way of autonomy for the citizen from the state. Sure there are likely other aspects to it as there always are but keep in mindw who is watching and how they watch when the hoodie is separated out as the new evil.