Muse & UK Police Butt Heads Over Use Of Face-Scanning Technology At Download 2015

A band who have made entire albums about their distrust of authorities who abuse modern technology to suit their own ends have lashed out at authorities for abusing modern technology to suit their own ends.

In news that should come as a surprise to no one, Muse have taken issue with the Leicester police force’s decision to covertly scan the faces of 90,000 punters who attended the UK’s Download Festival earlier this year, in a trial of new counter-crime measures.

As NME reports, frontman Matt Bellamy lashed out at the cops during Muse’s headlining performance of the song Uprising, declaring: “Fuck the Leicestershire police for scanning your faces without you knowing”.

Now, Police’s Chief Constable Simon Cole has addressed Bellamy’s criticisms, arguing that it’s the job of the UK Parliament to decide “what is OK or not” when it comes to matters of privacy and crime prevention.

“For me it’s an area where technology has advanced probably quicker than legislation,” he told BBC Radio Leicester. “The Police and Criminal Evidence Act was written in the 1980s – this kind of technology existed in science fiction films at that point and now it exists in reality.

“The law needs to change to take account of that.”

But during the same programme, Rachel Robinson of human rights group Liberty urged vigilance: “We really think that there’s a real need for caution here. The police [need] to think about their relationship with their communities and the broader impact that this kind of mass surveillance can have.”

Muse, meanwhile, released their seventh album Drones back in June, a disc which takes the Orwellian themes of mass surveillance addressed in their 2009 album The Resistance to a whole new apocalyptic level.

The British rock trio are also expected to bring their Drones tour to Australia some time in 2016.

Watch Matt Bellamy diss the face-scanning British po-po during Muse’s Download set in the video, below.

Watch: MUSE – The Uprising Live @ Download 2015

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