Subject Material

Funny Walk and Dangerous Talk

Published: 24.08.2011, Updated: 04.03.2017
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Everyone likes to feel safe. Thus the use of surveillance cameras may seem like a good idea. After all, technology allows for more increasingly efficient means of control through surveillance. So why not use it? We can hide a wireless camera in a flower or a keyhole? Nobody would be able to sneak into your house without you knowing. We may even set up software to log information from millions of web users. That would enable us to track down suspicious anti-social behaviour and terrorist plots

Pedestrians walk near a sign alerting them to the presence of a surveillance camera in downtown Mexico CityPedestrians walk near a sign alerting them to the presence of a surveillance camera in downtown Mexico City
Fotograf: Claudia Daut

Funny Walk and dangerous Talk
Forfatter: London Language Experience

Or would it be scary? You wouldn't know who might be checking up on you, would you?? Also gathering information secretly from people in general is definitely on the wrong side of the law. But as for rest - where do we draw the line between what is necessary for our safety and what limits our freedom and quality of life?

  1. Is it OK to shut down parts of the internet to prevent people using social media to incite to rioting, as suggested by the British prime minister?
  2. Is it OK to let people dealing in illegal guns, human smuggling, sex slavery etc. walk free, because we did not want limitations on our personal freedom in terms of internet information control?
  3. Is it OK to add surveillance cameras to city centres to prevent rape and robberies?
  4. Should we monitor internet arenas for hateful utterances and extremist views to prevent possible future acts of violence?

Discuss these issues before you watch the video. Then answer the questions under the video and finally round off this session by discussing whether you have changed your mind or reached new insight during this session.

Video clip used with permission form BBC Motion Gallery


  1. Why is the way we walk compared to fingerprints?
  2. Which word is used for a person’s way of walking?
  3. What is the research being done at Southampton University?
  4. Why is Southampton Constabulary mentioned?
  5. Why is privacy an issue in this connection?
  6. If you watch the opening scene and check the title of the clip, does that remind you of anything?


Write a letter to the editor explaining your view on surveillance in a modern society.


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