what would techno-fascist public space be like?

I imagine it would be an only slightly more extreme version of what’s being sought for the garden bridge in London:

Visitors to the garden bridge in London will be tracked by their mobile phone signals and supervised by staff with powers to take people’s names and addresses and confiscate and destroy banned items, including kites and musical instruments, according to a planning document.

The lengthy document (pdf) submitted as part of the planning process for the bridge, which will be part-financed by at least £40m of public money, said the trust behind the scheme hoped to “maximise the opportunity provided by the status of the bridge as private land” by imposing rules to “establish expectations for behaviour and conduct”.

If it goes ahead, people’s progress across the structure would be tracked by monitors detecting the Wi-Fi signals from their phones, which show up the device’s Mac address, or unique identifying code. The Garden Bridge Trust says it will not store any of this data and is only tracking phones to count numbers and prevent overcrowding.


There would be more rules, as well as greater penalties attached to their  enforcement. If this vision of the garden bridge comes to pass, I wonder what escalation we’ll seen in the next project of comparable stature?

The bridge rules, of which 30 are listed, include a prohibition on any exercise other than jogging, playing a musical instrument, taking part in a “gathering of any kind”, giving a speech or address, scattering ashes, releasing a balloon and flying a kite.

They would be enforced by visitor hosts, who would be qualified under the government’s community safety accreditation scheme (CSAS). Under this, police can grant powers to civilians involved in crowd control so they can issue fines for offences such as littering, and can require suspected wrongdoers to give their name and address.

The planning document confirms that visitor hosts could impose fixed penalty notices and order anyone breaking the bridge rules to give their personal details. If the infraction involves a banned item, the host “may seize and dispose of that property in line with CSAS enforcement powers”, it says.

An “enhanced” CCTV system would monitor visitors for lawbreaking or prohibited activities, the document adds.