Saturday, April 23, 2011

Heather Brooke

After two centuries, its matchless historical value is thoroughly established

Concerns about state surveillance have been growing at such a rate in the past 10 years that the census was never going to have an easy ride, this time round.

As it plopped on to our mats this week, you would be forgiven for reflecting that government agencies already gather more information about us than is sensible, useful or even decent. As Heather Brooke's polemic, The Silent State, shows us, in recent years government agencies have sought to collect detailed information on the mentality, health and prospects of citizens from a very young age, while consistently denying the right of citizens to discover anything about the authorities themselves.

In this country, something like four million CCTV cameras supervise our ordinary movements every day. Many millions of citizens have their DNA stored by the law enforcement agencies, whether or not they have been found guilty of any crime. Hundreds of official and pseudo-official agencies have been handed the right to carry out surveillance operations into the intimate lives of individuals, for no better reason, sometimes, than to see if we conform to the rules on the putting out of rubbish.

Heather Brooke (born 1970) is a journalist, writer, and freedom of information activist, resident in London, England. She is best known as one of the leading figures exposing the House of Commons resistance to disclosing expenses of Members of Parliament (MPs), generating a furore that culminated in the resignation of Speaker Michael Martin. She is also a Honorary Visiting Fellow at City University London's Journalism Department.
Brooke was born in Pennsylvania in the USA to English-immigrant parents from Liverpool, and has dual citizenship in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. She grew up in the state of Washington, where her mother worked for Boeing, and graduated from Federal Way High School, after having also spent some time being educated in the UK.
[edit]American career
Brooke graduated from the University of Washington school of communications in 1993, where she also got her start in journalism at The Daily, the student newspaper. Along with covering news stories she was also a sex columnist for the paper, writing with what she called a "feminist" slant. An internship with The Spokesman-Review, working in Olympia to cover the state legislature, gave Brooke an early exposure to using public records requests to investigate the expenses of politicians, although she found little beyond taking advantage of frequent flyer miles.
After graduation, Brooke worked a year at the Spokesman-Review, but it lacked the funds to keep her on longer. She then became a crime reporter for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, where she reported on murder cases and uncovered flaws in South Carolina’s forensic crime lab.
United Kingdom.

Describing herself as "burnt out" from covering over 300 murders, Brooke took a break from journalism. With her mother having died in a car accident in 1996, and her father having moved back to England, she no longer had family in America and decided to relocate to the United Kingdom. She studied English literature at the University of Warwick, then moved to east London and worked for the BBC as an assistant publicist in International Television.
With the BBC, Brooke moved from publicist to copywriter for BBC News, then to BBC Magazines as a sub-editor for children's magazines. She also became a neighborhood activist, but from that experience described public officials as having a surprisingly hostile attitude compared to local governments in the US.
Hollywood Masti Masala

No comments:

Post a Comment