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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Victorian Surveillance Units


They are watching.


 They have always been watching. 



These devices were unearthed in London recently during construction of a new building in Old bond Street.



It is believed these are prototype Populace Surveillance Devices (PSD's) from the Victorian era. These 'people monitors' were manufactured for the Government Surveillance Unit (GSU) which was a branch of MI5 at that time. GSU was was given unlimited funding when the Total Control Act of 1888 introduced.



Although installed through many streets in London, they failed to assist or protect against 'Jack the Ripper', for which they were supposedly introduced. The project was enacted almost overnight when the Total Control Act was introduced. At this time the 'Ripper Threat Level' was on continual red alert for 20 years. 




Despite the real threat level being zero, they were never phased out and because of their design continued to work up until the Great War. They used primitive voice, facial and smell recognition technology to monitor every person in a one mile radius. Crafted from brass and steel, they stood 8 inches tall. Virtually indestructible, they were built to last. Incredibly each one was accounted for when finally removed and ' destroyed'. None remain and the government afterward denied their existence. 


A small pamphlet was distributed by Sir Julius Assage in 1901 in which they are described in detail and explain how to disable them. He was threatened with treason and endangering the lives of British citizens but the charges were dropped when he revealed that he had hired 2000 people to 'leak' 5000 copies each if he was arrested. Assage was later arrested on an unrelated murder charge, which never stuck and then he died soon after in a bicycle accident in the English countryside. 


The Government Surveillance Unit had it's headquarters in Old Bond Street until 1909. The building was destroyed when a Zeppelin crashed into it one night. Despite the fact there were no witnesses, no debris or evidence and no one injured it was blamed on 'Jack the Ripper' himself. The event led to the drafting of the Complete Control Act of 1910 which gave agencies like GSU even greater powers and the development of even more advanced public surveillance technology. When these units were unearthed they were not just functioning- they were still on and transmitting a signal. 
 They will always be watching.