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The Road to Southend Pier

One man's struggle against the surveillance society

By Ross Clark
Cover of The Road to Southend Pier (Hardback) by Ross Clark

Out of Print

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About the Author

Ross Clark

Ross Clark is a journalist who writes extensively for the Spectator, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and for many other publications. For many years he wrote the Thunderer column on the Times.
Ross is also the bestselling author of How to Label a Goat: The silly rules and regulations that are strangling Britain, The Road to Southend Pier: One man's struggle against the surveillance society, A ... Read more on Ross Clark

Contents Listing

1. The Talking Lamp-Post
2. My Big Day Out
3. Me and My Mug
4. A Brief History of Surveillance
5. Me and My Genes
6. Me and My Good Name
7. Me and My Secrets
8. Me and My ID
9. Me and My Pockets
10. Me and My Travels
11. Me and My Computer
12. Me and My Car
13. Me and My Home
14. Me and My Money
15. Me and My Shopping
16. Me and My Job
17. Me and My Health
18. Me and My Paranoia
19. Me and My Conclusions
Appendix
1. The Talking Lamp-Post
2. My Big Day Out
3. Me and My Mug
4. A Brief History of Surveillance
5. Me and My Genes
6. Me and My Good Name
7. Me and My Secrets
8. Me and My ID
9. Me and My Pockets
10. Me and My Travels
11. Me and My Computer
12. Me and My Car
13. Me and My Home
14. Me and My Money
15. Me and My Shopping
16. Me and My Job
17. Me and My Health
18. Me and My Paranoia
...

Jacket Text

A chance encounter with a talking lamp-post got Ross Clark thinking: is there any escape from Britain's growing surveillance society? He set himself a challenge: could he get to Southend without Big Brother knowing where he had gone? In this entertaining and highly revealing account of his attempt to dodge Britain's 4.2 million CCTV cameras and other forms of surveillance, Ross Clark lays bare the astonishing amount of data which is kept on us by the state and by commercial organisations, and asks whom should we fear most: the government agencies who are spying on us - or the criminals who seem to prosper in the swirling fog of excessive data-collection.

Among his discoveries are:

- An information company in Nottingham seemed to know he has cherry trees in his garden.

- If he flies to New York, the FBI will keep a record of what he had for lunch.

- 2,700 people are wrongly recorded as criminals on Britain's Police National Computer.

- 70 Americans have been implanted with microchips to help identify them if they become lost and confused.

- British companies are routinely vetting potential employees by searching MySpace for evidence of drunken antics and sexual perversion.

- It will take 905 man-years to issue every British citizen with an ID card.

Other books by this author

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Media Coverage

Pajamas Media

Praise for the US Edition:

Is England a police state? It?s hard not to think so given that the nation?s public spaces brim with 4.2 million surveillance cameras. Indeed, the United Kingdom seems ...

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Technical Analysis Today

Praise for the US Edition:

So many times the obvious contradictions that surround us go unnoticed. In our high-tech society, one such contradiction is the apparent acceptance by the general public ...

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Praise for the US edition:

A lighthearted account of the author's attempt to travel to London's Southend Pier undetected by the western world's growing surveillance technologies reveals how much ...

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The Independent

"After encountering a talking lamp post, Ross Clark wondered if he could get to Southend without Big Brother watching him. An entertaining look at Britain's surveillance society."

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The Daily Mail

"The revelation that only three per cent of London street robberies are solved by CCTV cameras comes as no surprise to me. A year ago this week I was standing in the rain on Southend Pier, waving at ...

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Times Online

"'The Road to Southend Pier' apparently documents Ross Clark's attempt to travel fifty miles south from his home in East Anglia without being caught on any of these cameras, or indeed leaving any ...

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Blogger News Network

"Experienced journalist Clark and author of 'How to Label a Goat' an excellent book about the idiocy of British bureaucracy/red tape has set his sights on the new British surveillance society which ...

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Cambridge Evening News

"In the midst of writing his new book, The Road to Southend Pier, Ross was investigating Britain's surveillance culture. With an incredible 4.2 million CCTV cameras currently filming in the UK - ...

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BBC Radio Five Live

Interview with Ross Clark.

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BBC Radio Essex

Interview with Ross Clark.

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Ely Standard

"To illustrate his frustration at Britain's surveillance-obsessed society, Ross Clark attempted to drive from his Reach home to Southend Pier and back without being spotted by a CCTV camera. Mr ...

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The Spectator

"With an estimated one surveillance camera in Britain for every 14 Britons, reality television has never been more invasive. As Ross Clark argues in this marvellous and timely book, such technology ...

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The Spectator

"Ross Clark says that we will soon be the most counted and analysed people on earth - and the probability is that real threats will be lost in a fog of data."

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BBC Radio Five Live

Interview with Ross Clark about Britain's CCTV culture.

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In Hard Focus

"In his new book, subtitled "One Manâ??s Struggle Against a Surveillance Society," Ross Clark chronicles an attempt to walk from his East Anglia home to a Pier in Southend...all the while avoiding ...

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The Mail on Sunday

"As someone who enjoys appearing on TV, I always assumed everyone else felt the same way. If this book is anything to go by, I was wrong. I am not talking about the TV in your living room, however. ...

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The Times

"If Britain is a police state, Ross Clark wants to know, where are all the police? If we are the most surveilled people on Earth, with Londoners allegedly caught on cameras 300 times a day, why can't ...

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BBC Radio Northampton

Interview with Ross Clark.

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BBC Radio 4

Interview with Ross Clark.

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Off-Grid

"This week also sees the publication of The Road to Southend Pier: One Man's Struggle Against the Surveillance Society by Ross Kemp, a look at everything from CCTV Cameras in the High Street to the ...

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ITV 1

Interview with Ross Clark.

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The Daily Mail

"The journey would be a dangerous one. I knew that, even before I set off from my home near Newmarket in Suffolk and began my drive towards the coast.

My mission was simple - to travel just 50 ...

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BBC Radio Essex

Interview with Ross Clark and listener phone-in on Britian's CCTV culture.

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ITV 1

Interview with Ross Clark.

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Adam Smith Institute Blog

"My book choice this week is The Road to Southend Pier - One man's struggle against the surveillance society by Ross Clark (£6.49). A chance encounter with a talking lamp-post got Ross Clark ...

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Essex Echo

"How easy would it be to travel from Cambridge to Southend without being caught on CCTV or tracked by phone? This was the challenge freelance journalist Ross Clark set himself in a study of ...

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Online.wsj.com

US edition
The State of Surveillance: Britain is one of the most watched societies in the world - from cameras to communications. Can it happen here?- Wall Street Journal18th May 2009

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Media Review

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Dailymail.co.uk

Big Brother? Hardly. The CCTV cameras don't work - and actually make crime even worse- The Daily Mail7th May 2008

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Tls.timesonline.co.uk

a timely and important book, because, on balance, he is probably right- The Times14th March 2008

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Bloggernews.net

a great book that is both interesting and amusing- Andrew Ian Dodge, Blogger News Network2nd March 2008

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Cambridge-news.co.uk

Dodging spy cameras is a mission impossible!- Cambridge News31st January 2008

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Media Review

A review of The Road to Southend Pier- Mark Smulian, The LiberatorJanuary 2008

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Spectator.co.uk

marvellous and timely book- Graham Stewart, The Spectator28th November 2007

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Media Review

a skilfully written and occasionally witty rant 4/5- Jonathan Maitland, The Mail on Sunday11th November 2007

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Entertainment.timesonline.co.uk

fast, funny, fact-packed...a protest on behalf of respectable Brits about the absurdities of the surveillance society- Mick Hume, The Times9th November 2007

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Bbc.co.uk

Interview on BBC Radio- Ross was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme by John Humphrys1st November 2007

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Itvlocal.com

Surveillance society- Ross Clark is interviewed on ITV's Meridian Tonight29th October 2007

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Dailymail.co.uk

Big Brother Britain: Is it possible to travel 50 miles without being tracked by CCTV?- Ross Clark, Daily Mail27th October 2007

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Adamsmith.org

Booksmith's choice- Adam Smith Institute25th October 2007

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Echo-news.co.uk

It's easy to evade Big Brother, right?- Michelle Archard, Echo22nd October 2007

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