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With cameras watching, your car isn't your castle

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by tulianr, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    WASHINGTON (AP) — You can drive, but you can't hide.

    A rapidly growing network of police cameras is capturing, storing and sharing data on license plates, making it possible to stitch together people's movements whether they are stuck in a commute, making tracks to the beach or up to no good.

    For the first time, the number of license tag captures has reached the millions, according to a study published Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union based on information from hundreds of law enforcement agencies. Departments keep the records for weeks or years, sometimes indefinitely, saying they can be crucial in tracking suspicious cars, aiding drug busts, finding abducted children and more.

    Attached to police cars, bridges or buildings — and sometimes merely as an app on a police officer's smartphone — scanners capture images of passing or parked vehicles and pinpoint their locations, uploading that information into police databases.

    Over time, it's unlikely many vehicles in a covered area escape notice. And with some of the information going into regional databases encompassing multiple jurisdictions, it's becoming easier to build a record of where someone has been and when, over a large area.

    While the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that a judge's approval is needed to use GPS to track a car, networks of plate scanners allow police effectively to track a driver's location, sometimes several times every day, with few legal restrictions. The ACLU says the scanners are assembling a "single, high-resolution image of our lives."

    Although less thorough than GPS tracking, plate readers can produce some of the same information, the group says, revealing whether someone is frequenting a bar, joining a protest, getting medical or mental help, being unfaithful to a spouse and much more.

    In Minneapolis, for example, eight mobile and two fixed cameras captured data on 4.9 million license plates from January to August 2012, the Star Tribune reported. Among those whose movements were recorded: Mayor R.T. Rybak, whose city-owned cars were tracked at 41 locations in a year.

    A Star Tribune reporter's vehicle was tracked seven times in a year, placing him at a friend's house three times late at night, other times going to and from work — forming a picture of the dates, times and coordinates of his daily routine. Until the city temporarily classified such data late last year, anyone could ask police for a list of when and where a car had been spotted.

    Law enforcement officials say the scanners are strikingly efficient. The state of Maryland told the ACLU that troopers could "maintain a normal patrol stance" while capturing up to 7,000 license plate images in a single eight-hour shift.

    In Yonkers, N.Y., just north of New York City's Bronx, police said retaining the information indefinitely helps detectives solve future crimes. In a statement, the department said it uses license plate readers as a "reactive investigative tool" that is only accessed if detectives are looking for a particular vehicle in connection with a crime.

    With cameras watching, your car isn't your castle - Yahoo! News

    Driving Somewhere? There's a Gov't Record | Watch the video - Yahoo! News
    Yard Dart likes this.
  2. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    so the moral of the story is. If you are going to do something bad, take a bus and then hot wire a car from terminal.
    oldawg, Yard Dart and tulianr like this.
  3. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Or rig the plates to read as the Mayor's car.
    tulianr and William Antrum like this.
  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    But if you are going to do that you need to park your car down at the strip bar.... a lot :D
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I like the idea of using a different set of plates, for any nefarious business.... Just like using a different Barrel in your weapon, if your planning on making a hit.... .....
    kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    James Bond had rotating plates....why not?:rolleyes:
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    "Oh well, best lay back, grit your teeth, and think of England....":rolleyes:
  8. Icefoot

    Icefoot Monkey+

    I see an enterprising soul inventing a system to project a holographic plate number (think the Mayor's) over the real plate. This way you can display a plate that is valid in the DMV system without stealing it. Which would show up on a scan as "stolen plates" when the Mayor reported it. And forged plates would come up as invalid upon scanning. Both of which would get you pulled over by an over zealous bully of a cop that would treat you like public enemy number one. A system that makes a valid plate not reported as stolen/lost show up when scanned would be worth its weight in gold.

    Of course the po po might figure out something hinky is going on when the system says the Mayor was in 100,000 places in town at the same date/time...
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    A "mimic plate" capable of copying scanning and copying plate optically?;)
  10. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    This is a problem for me specifically and for the rest of the population generally...how? Like I give a rat's anus how much extra work it may cause the jack-boots. That's why all the additional information is called chaff. Most of the LEOs I've ever encountered might figure something was up but are too dense to figure out "what" or "how".

    ***No, I do not think all LEOs, especially not those on this forum, are dumb as hammers...no offense to hammers, but I don't give a tinker's cuss if I throw a wrench in their many times illegal/corrupt works.***
  11. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Not just a passive reader but a LEO can get a read out almost instantly of who you are, where you live, and lots of other info on you from your tag #.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Then just set up a Living Trust, named with some innocuous Name, and put everything you OWN, including the Cars, in the Trust, with YOU and the Wife as Trustees. Then, when they look up the License Plate, they get the Trust Name, and the Trust Address, which can be a Post Office Box, somewhere.... and they would have to go DIG thru the State Trust Records, to find out WHO Owns the Trust.... Not something that they can do with the Puter in the Car, or the computer in the Cop Station, either.... The Trust would also be who the Car Insurance would be Named , as well.... Nothing there either.... you can setup all your Phone Accounts, ISP Accounts, Credit Cards, and Bank Accounts the same way.... Makes you personally Off the Grid, but you still can conduct BIZ, when you need to.... It is what the CORP's do all the time.... ......
    tulianr, Silversnake and kellory like this.
  13. fmhuff

    fmhuff Monkey+++

    Not being paranoid but if the powers that be can collect and use information with political subjects to keep them in line and on leash what will it come to for us. Of course if you believe our leaders are never corrupt and are doing it only for the public good, you have nothing to worry about.

    They can if they want to track your face, your car make and color or any other feature they can quantify. Of course those of us with cell phones know they track our every movement, collect all voice, web pages and text data. It all goes into the big data mining machine and out pops whatever they're looking for, including this forum. Just think how some bored analyst could make your life a hell.

    People who used to say things like this were accused of wearing tin foil beanies. Now days there are few who doubt it.
    Yard Dart, oldawg and tulianr like this.
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