Boris confirms London’s total surveillance system, but leaves out something very crucial
In a leaked recorded speech at a private dinner for Conservative activists on Wednesday 6 June, Britain’s foreign secretary and former mayor of London let rip about his views on Brexit. But later in the same speech, the gaffe-prone cabinet minister revealed what some may have suspected. The capital has in place a total surveillance system, linked to the Oyster card.
But what Johnson failed to mention is that the company which manages the Oyster card also has a long history of providing support to military and defence systems.
A private talk given by Johnson was leaked to BuzzFeed. In an almost throwaway line, he also potentially referred to a surveillance system operated via Transport for London (TfL):
You know, when I was mayor of London… I could tell where you all were just when you swiped your Oyster card over a tube terminal, a tube gizmo.
He admitted, then, that in his official capacity he had access to London-wide surveillance data.
Cubic Corporation, the company that developed and manages the Oyster card system for London’s Underground and buses, boasts that in London:
- Over 1 million contactless bankcard journeys are made every weekday.
- Around 25,000 unique new cards [are] seen every day.
- 14 million taps are made by Oyster cards, and 1.8 million by… bankcards daily
Cubic manages similar systems elsewhere, including Sydney, Brisbane, Vancouver, and Chicago.
Cubic’s military support services
But there’s another side to Cubic’s business.
In addition to transportation systems, Cubic also provides support services to the military:
- Mission Support Services – providing support services for all echelons of national militaries and security forces in the US and allied nations.
- Cubic Defense Applications – of live air and ground combat training systems worldwide, a supplier of virtual and immersive training systems, communications and electronics products, and a provider of cyber technologies and global tracking solutions for commercial and national military customers.
Specifically, it provides training for military, as well as support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
Contracts in recent years include:
- A $6.5m subcontract from General Dynamics Amphibious Systems to develop and produce a Driver Simulator and a Turret Simulator for the Marine Corps new Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.
- A $6m contract from Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture to produce tactical trainers for RLM’s shoulder-launched, “fire-and-forget” anti-tank missile.
- One of several companies working with General Dynamics under a contract from the US Joint Forces Command’s Joint Experimentation Program (JEXP) to help establish the Joint War-fighting Center at Fort Monroe.
- A $6.2m contract from the US Army to design, develop and implement the Battle Command Knowledge System.
- Cubic also received a contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to coordinate training exercises for military and civilian organizations to respond to chemical, biological, nuclear and high-explosives attacks.
- The Avionics Advanced Development division of Cubic redesigned their AN/ARS-6 Personnel Locator Systems which has been used in every global military operation since 1987. These devices are the standard search and rescue system for US and NATO forces.
- Cubic is also developing the Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, an air/ground data link system for the US military.
Given Cubic’s other business arms, questions should be asked about the role the company plays in monitoring people’s movement via transport systems in London and elsewhere.
Something that Boris Johnson may wish to elaborate on further.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
Featured image via EuroNews – YouTube
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.