Tuesday, October 27, 1998 Published at 03:34 GMT
Watching Big Brother
Newham has 140 street cameras and face-recognition software
By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall
The first annual awards defending the individual's right to privacy have been made at a ceremony in London.
The 1998 UK Big Brother Awards were held on the 50th anniversary of the writing of George Orwell's novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The pressure group Privacy International announced winners it judged to be the modern-day equivalents of Big Brother in the novel, as well as individuals who had fought to protect privacy, awarding them Winstons, the name of the book's hero.
Privacy awards to go global
The academics, writers and lawyers who make up Privacy International concentrated their first awards on the UK, but plan to extend them to other countries over the next few years.
The director of Privacy International, Simon Davies, said the time was now right for the awards.
"Surveillance has now become an inbuilt component of every piece of information technology on the planet, we've got a long way to go to wind the clock back. I think these awards are the beginning of a movement," he said.
And the winners are ..
The Big Brothers were given for a number of categories:
None of the winners were present to accept their awards. But a video was shown of a receptionist at Newham Council receiving a Big Brother earlier in the day and of several police dragging a Privacy International campaigner out of the DTI's headquarters after he had tried to present it.
Winstons were awarded to three individuals, cited for campaigning at Menwith Hill, documenting police surveillance and pursuing a privacy case against a landlord who had installed a two-way mirror in a 19-year-old woman's flat.