back to article Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE

As if being ankle deep in a muddy field, surrounded by pretend hippies seemingly re-enacting highlights of the Battle of Waterloo was bad enough, attendees of the aptly named Download Festival will be subjected to a new police facial recognition system, and surveillance of their onsite location and expenditure via the debut of …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Eugh

    "The only way to get around the festival and pay for stuff is to use this system. It’s not possible to opt out of this."

    Not a great leap from this to what was always my main concern about a national electronic ID system - the eventuality that a card would be needed for every little transaction.

    Why not just stamp people at birth and be done with it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eugh

      stamping at birth is currently not supported by the system, due to some unwelcome past associations certain individuals (read: voters) might have. But with the passage of time... let's boil this frog when we get there, shall we?

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Eugh

      RFID wristband

      The Number of the Beast!

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Eugh

        More like the Number of the State, which is often associated with Leviathan, the Biblical Sea Monster. "Social Contract Theory" my arse.

      2. Yugguy

        Re: Eugh

        Rev13:16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark

        1. AbelSoul
          1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark

            And of course it's not true: http://www.snopes.com/business/alliance/barcode.asp

            1. Wilseus

              Re: they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark

              And also, 666 isn't the correct "number of the beast" anyway. It's 616.

          2. Yugguy

            Re: they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark

            Of course the Beast will be revealed to be the United States of Europe, and the mark will be a universal ID smart card, without which you will not be able to buy, sell or communicate.

            YOU LAUGH NOW BUT WHEN IT ALL GOES TO COCK I SHALL BE THE ONE LAUGHING...

          3. SEDT

            Re: they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark

            That would be amazing. Truly truly amazing. But a quick check through the EAN13 barcodes that I use and not a '6' is to be seen. Nice idea though, very dramatic!

      3. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Eugh

        "The Number of the Beast!" Of course it is - it's a dog-tag!

    3. h3

      Re: Eugh

      If you cover your entire body with mud maybe that would work ?

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Eugh

        I doubt covering your body in mud would work. But I know what would:

        People refusing en masse to go to the festival unless the facial recognition and surveillance is removed. This would instantly end it at that festival. Not sure what the critical mass would need to be to achieve this. A third of people to a half would be my wild estimate. And it wont matter if the tickets are already sold or not, people walking away from it in large numbers would have this effect.

        Rock / Alternative types fancy themselves misfits and rebels, do they not? They have a definite and real way they could stick it to the Man if they did this.

        Or they can wander around knowing their every movement is being tracked and their faces scanned by cameras. Up to them.

        1. Smallbrainfield

          Re: Eugh

          Alternative types are often the most conformist, despite their appearance. Not all are of course, but I suspect most people will waive their right to privacy in this case.

          I imagine Glastonbury would face more of a backlash due to it's size and the fact it's sold as being a bit alternative and hippy (despite the fact it isn't any more). Reading and Leeds might go for it, depends on what sort of backlash they got on Tw*tter or F*cebook.

          Currently as I type, the tw*tter stream is filled fill starving Download punters as their RFID payment system isn't working. So I guess it's sorted itself out.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eugh

      are cops looking for drugs or what?

      illegal highs ftw

    5. Jake Maverick

      Re: Eugh

      DNA is already being taken at birth and has been for over a decade....DNA sniffers do exist, RFID are in implants, injections given....likely being trialled at birth stage at least, they just don't want you to know about it.

  2. Alexander Hanff 1

    So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

    WTF would anyone even consider attending this festival with this level of surveillance?

    1. Someonehasusedthathandle

      Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

      Ignorance, blissful ignorance....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

      because they're short-sighted, and they can't see past their nose. Do they care when using gmail? Do they care about cookies and other tracking? Do we care about the cameras at every corner? Do we care that your movements are tracked as your mobile hops from tower to tower? Do we care that our agencies can track you online and offline with no real oversight? Baaaa... I'd better go back to my job, got a mortage to pay...

      1. NateGee

        Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

        The RFID system was only announced *after* the tickets had already gone on sale.

        I'm more than a little ticked off about it all.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

          "The RFID system was only announced *after* the tickets had already gone on sale.

          I'm more than a little ticked off about it all."

          I think you might need to encourage lots of your fellow festival goers to go play with a Tesla Coil. That should do the job....

        2. bhuseren

          Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

          I would not have have bought a ticket for Download Festival if I had known in advance about the cashless system and the level of surveillance that it meant I would have been subject to. I am utterly opposed to any cashless system. And why do I need to be watched while I'm enjoying myself???? I intend to boycott Download in future if they think this is the way forward. I am a peaceful person and resent this intrusion into my life. Get off my back Big Brother, shove your surveillance

          1. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

            Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

            When considering a new system that involves money, think not how it would work, but how it could go wrong.

            This system is an absolute dream come true for the small-time fraudster and grifter. All they need is a small RFID sniffer, an RFID programmer and a supply of RFID tags that look a bit like the ones the organisers have.

            Once in the festival, the grifter gets his RFID sniffer going then goes looking for people who look a bit richer than normal festival goers; designer clothing and so on, and walks past them. His RFID sniffer grabs the codes, which in the privacy of his tent he puts onto some more RFID tags, which he sells to willing stooges to try out. When he finds one that is loaded with cash and is an access-most-areas tag, he duplicates lots of them and sells 'em for lots of cash (cash will of course still be present, so people can buy drugs).

            Pretty soon the guy who had his tag sniffed finds he ain't rich any more and the festival organisers want to have a quiet word with him, along with all of his clones...

            This is how this system will break, mark my words.

      2. grendel666h

        Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

        Nope, I don't care!

    3. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

      Says someone who is most likely carrying about an Android or Apple snoop phone.

      1. AceRimmer

        Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

        "Says someone who is most likely carrying about an Android or Apple snoop phone."

        Both are still optional devices

        I can, if I want to; dump my phone and get a working unregistered burner for less than £20 cash

        1. John Lilburne Silver badge

          Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

          "Both are still optional devices"

          Try telling that to some teen. You'll find that these are only optional device to those above a certain age. To anyone younger they are items that are absolutely required unless you want to be laying on the ground with some bigger kid pummelling you.

      2. Alexander Hanff 1

        Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

        @John Lilburne And oh how wrong you are on that one - nice try though.

    4. yossarianuk

      Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

      The same reason people voted Tory - idiocy/ignorance of reality.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

        Come on now, you're out of college now. Your student union mates won't look down on you if you vote Tory any more.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: voting Tory

          Sadly that's probably true: I do seem to meet more astonishingly gullible and naive people than ever before. They are often pleasant and intelligent in most ways, but they do seem to regard reality as being of purely academic interest as if they will never have to live there.

          They just seem to find it easier to say "yes" to whatever they are told, a bit like innocent people who confess to a crime they haven't committed and think "It will all be sorted out later". But by whom? Not someone like them!

      2. Ted Treen

        Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

        You mean a vote for Miliband would have shown great intelligence and deep understanding of reality?

        Or is it a case of anyone who doesn't agree with you is an idiot and away with the fairies?

        Thought so.

      3. Yugguy

        Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

        What the sweet buggering fuckwank does this subject have to do with the general election?

        1. Wilseus

          Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

          "What the sweet buggering fuckwank does this subject have to do with the general election?"

          Nothing. Nothing at all. But that doesn't usually stop your typical Labour shill from bringing up the subject at every opportunity.

      4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

      Maybe because when we bought our tickets, there was no mention of it

    6. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

      "WTF would anyone even consider attending this any festival with this level of surveillance ever?*

      * Genuinely sorry to those who go to festivals, but I have an absolute horror of these things. I cannot understand what the fun is is in standing in a crowd of unwashed, off-their-heads people in the cold and wet whilst someone pisses on your tent. Standing in the cold and wet is only to be done when rally cars are involved :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So Download Festival are trying to go bankrupt?

        > I cannot understand what the fun is is in standing in a crowd of unwashed, off-their-heads people in the cold and wet whilst someone pisses on your tent.

        High chance of getting laid. Then again...

        > Standing in the cold and wet is only to be done when rally cars are involved

        ...what would you know about that?

        >:-)

  3. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    yuck

    creepy.

  4. Caff

    Panopticon Festival!!!

    So you pay a good 200 quid to camp in a field, and then they collect marketing data on your for 3 days solid selling it on to the highest bidder?

    Come listen to music in our panopticon!!

    1. cosmogoblin

      Re: Panopticon Festival!!!

      Not exactly accurate... The Panopticon is a system where you COULD be surveilled at any time, but you don't know WHEN you're surveilled.

      With this system, and those to come, you know you're ALWAYS being surveilled.

      The Panopticon was devised in an era when humans had to do all the surveilling themselves. In that respect, it was actually a much friendlier system (albeit fictional).

      1. Captain Hogwash
        Headmaster

        Re: fictional

        Presidio Modelo

        1. cosmogoblin

          Re: fictional

          Huh. I stand corrected!

      2. Jake Maverick

        Re: Panopticon Festival!!!

        well, the whol epoint of secret/ covert cameras is that they are hidden, you can't see them

        and the rfid doesn't tell you every time it logs and sends off your location

        few years ago they were even caught putting cameras in urinals....supposedly to 'catch' sex offenders of course....

    2. Len Goddard

      Re: Panopticon Festival!!!

      Essential equipment for this festival

      Well stocked piknik basket.

      Camera to take pictures of things you like the look of so you can buy them elsewhere later (and probably cheaper),

      V for Vengeance style Guy Fawkes mask.

      Then have a good time.

      1. Jim 57

        Re: Panopticon Festival!!!

        Who wants to walk around with a mask on all day: google for dazzle makeup. It's not just for war ships!

      2. petur

        Re: Panopticon Festival!!!

        you forgot a roll of tinfoil

      3. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Panopticon Festival!!!

        A well stocked piknik basket.

        So they will allow you to bring your own containers (i.e. beverages), and food. Into the event, without coercing you to use the vender's instead?! That's a first I'm sure...

  5. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    nope.gif

  6. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    Let me guess - you have to "charge" up funds to the wristband account before you can use it? A nice little interest-earner for the organiser?

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