Following in Britain's footsteps, it looks like the Japanese government is looking to install CCTV cameras in every conceivable public place in order to keep an eye on the populous. But since it's Japan, they're doing it in a uniquely Japanese way: via their ubiquitous vending machines. As anyone who's been to Japan knows, there are vending machines all over the place there, especially in the cities. They're on every block and ever corner, offering up hot coffee in a can and cigarettes whenever you need them. The next generation of vending machines, as first released on Friday, will also include a security camera, an emergency phone and an alarm. The camera will be a CCTV camera accessed by the police department. When the door to the emergency phone is opened, an alarm on the top of the machine starts going off, alerting those around you that you're in trouble.
With only the first machine being installed a few days ago, there's already been a backlash against it, with someone tearing off the camera and spraypainting "Surveillance Society" on the machine. Will these machines catch on, slowly replacing the thousands of vending machine already spread across Japan, or will the people there stand up against becoming another country where privacy takes a backseat to security? Time will tell. [JapanProbe]