Just to emphasise how inept and stupid the Home Officee's vague plans for Global Positioning Satellite tracking of paedophiles and wife batterers is, particularly the vain hope of enforcing "no go zones", one only has to look at the massively complicated and expensive technology that will be required for Transport Secretary Alistair Darling's plans for Road Tolls.
The Systems Architecture for this Road Toll plan (.pdf) is hugely complicated and expensive. Even with Automatic Number Plate Recognition and On Board Units in your car which respond to either roadside microwave beacons or GPS satellite signals, there is no way to guarantee the ability to track a vehicle accurately to the nearest road junction.
This puts into perspective just how much more technologically difficult would be the task of preventing paedophiles from visiting a local primary school or a wife batterer from hanging around his estranged wife and family home, as per the Home Office's vague and woolly plans for mobile electronic tagging of offenders.
The Department of Transport, or at least its advisors Delloitte, unlike the Home Office, do actually seem to have heard of the Human Rights Act and the Data protection Act. Unfortunately, their Annex G, Compliance, Enforcement
and Privacy(.pdf) seem to be planning the usual ploy of using Primary Legislation to circumvent the privacy protections of the HRA or the DPA.
Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, the planting of a tracking device in your car requires the authorisation of a senior police officier, and is only to be contemplated when there is reasonable evidence that you might be involved in serious crime i.e. a crime for which you might expect a prison sentence of over 3 years for a first offence if you are convicted.
Alistair Darling is planning to put the entire UK road network and 30 million vehicles under an equivalent surveillance system, the likes of which the enemies of democracy would be delighted with.
If each On Board Unit toll unit contains the equivalent of a mobile phone, this will more than double the number of mobile phone handset devices attaching to the network, which will bring it grinding to a halt, unless billions of pounds of infrastructure upgrades are paid for by, presumably, the tax payer. This would constitute either an illegal subsidy or unfair competition under European Union competition rules. The number of controversial mobile phone masts dotted around the country would also have to be increased, with a detrimental effect on the visual environment and and increase in health fears amongst local communities (whether justified or not, the fears remain).
This expensive and intrusive high tech surveillance is not necessary for road pricing schemes, as is shown by the Swiss tachograph system.