National Geographic : 2003 Nov
SECURITY BLANKET When posters started appearing last year on London double-deckers reading "Secure Beneath the Watchful Eyes" (right), the Orwellian overtones were so strong that more than a few Londoners mistook the signs for satire. But the posters were real. The United Kingdom has become perhaps the world's most surveilled nation, with more than four million closed-circuit television cameras, includingfancy rotating models with wipers to clear the rain (above). First installed in the 1960s, the cameras have exposed crimes from littering to mugging to tax evasion. Now they watch for possible terrorist activity. In Manchester (below), security officials can monitor streets and public areas in the city center.